News Roundup for February 8, 2022

February 8, 2022
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J Street works to promote an open, honest and rigorous conversation about Israel. The opinions reflected in articles posted in the News Roundup do not necessarily reflect J Street’s positions, and their posting does not constitute an endorsement from J Street.

J Street in the News

Another American Has Died in Police Custody…But This Time in Israel., The Medhi Hasan Show, MSNBC
Mehdi Hasan discusses the death of Palestinian-American Omar Assad, and highlights J Street’s call for the US to determine whether the nature and method of Assad’s detention are common practice in Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, and whether US-supplied military equipment is used in such instances.

Top News and Analysis

Charges Are Pressed Only in 4% of Settler Violence Cases, Haaretz
Hagar Shezaf reports, “At Haaretz’s request, police provided figures showing that in only 3.8 percent of criminal cases pertaining to violence against Palestinians were charges actually filed. In absolute numbers, 221 of 263 cases that were opened were closed without any action taken. Only ten of those cases resulted in an indictment. The rest are still under investigation.”

Israel to Investigate Domestic Use of Pegasus Spyware as Scrutiny Hits Home, The New York Times
The intensifying scrutiny of NSO Group, the Israeli spyware firm, has largely come from overseas as evidence mounted that authoritarian governments had used NSO products to spy on political opponents. On Monday, the controversy came home as the Israeli government said it would investigate reports that the Israeli police had illegally used spyware against its citizens without a court order, including a key state witness in the corruption trial of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


Israeli Forces Kill 3 Suspected Militants in West Bank City, ABC News
Israel says security forces killed three Palestinian militants in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus on Tuesday who had been responsible for recent shooting attacks.

Herzog on Death of Palestinian Left Bound by Troops: ‘a Warning Light for Us All’, Times of Israel
President Isaac Herzog on Monday decried the recent death of a 78-year-old Palestinian-American man who suffered a fatal attack after Israeli troops left him bound, gagged and abandoned at a construction site in the middle of winter.

Israeli and Palestinian Figures Propose a Plan for an Independent State of Palestine, NPR
Israeli and Palestinian public figures have drawn up a new proposal for a two-state confederation that they hope will offer a way forward after a decade-long stalemate in Mideast peace efforts. The plan calls for an independent state of Palestine in most of the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, territories Israel seized in the 1967 Mideast war. Israel and Palestine would have separate governments but coordinate at a very high level on security, infrastructure and other issues that affect both populations.

Minister Calls for Probe Into Israeli Police Use of Sponge-tipped Bullets After Bedouin Head Injuries, Haaretz
Israel’s public security minister has called for an investigation into the Israel Police’s use of hard sponge-tipped bullets against Bedouin, five of whom suffered head injuries, during protests last month over the planting of JNF trees.

Iran Talks To Resume Tuesday as Negotiations Enter Final Phase, Al-Monitor
Iran and world powers will return to Vienna on Tuesday as negotiators warn time is running out to restore the landmark nuclear agreement. “Following a short break, the 8th round of negotiations in Vienna in the framework of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will resume tomorrow, on Tuesday 8 February,” the European Union said in a statement.

Two Potential Successors to Palestinian President Abbas Named to Top PLO Posts, Haaretz
Two potential successors to 86-year-old Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas were named on Monday to top posts in the Palestine Liberation Organization at a meeting boycotted by his Islamist rivals.

Opinion and Analysis

And Meanwhile There’s Iran – The Other Crisis That Threatens the Existing World Order, USA Today
USA TODAY Opinion speaks with with Barbara Slavin – director of the Future of Iran Initiative, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and a former senior diplomatic reporter for USA TODAY – about where we are now in talks with the Central Asian country and Iran’s progress on developing nuclear weapons. Slavin says, “The most important step is to return to the JCPOA.”

Israeli Army and Police Shift Responsibility to One Another as Settler Violence Continues, Haaretz
Yaniv Kubovich and Amos Harel write, “The Israel Defense Forces and police continue to pass the buck to one another in the face of increasing numbers of politically motivated anti-Arab crimes committed by Jews in the West Bank.” Speaking to a senior security course, they report, “‘It’s very difficult to instill an understanding in the commanders and soldiers that their job is to protect the safety of both sides,’ the source said, ‘Eventually, this violence will blow up in our faces’”