News Roundup for January 14, 2020

January 14, 2020

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Top News and Analysis

Top White House official says peace plan could be rolled out before March vote, AXIOS
On the Mideast peace plan, which Israeli officials believe could be announced before the Israeli elections in March, O’Brien said the Trump administration is under “no illusions” that “this will be an easy process.” O’Brien said the administration is not depending on Israel’s leadership crisis being resolved before it releases its peace plan. “I don’t think it necessarily depends on the elections. They will have had three elections in a row, we’ll have to see. … The president is looking for a solution on the Israeli-Palestinian front that is durable, is long-lasting, and we’re not timing anything we do based on the domestic politics, either the Palestinians or the Israelis.”

Trudeau: Iran plane victims would be alive had there been no regional tensions, Reuters
“I think if there were no tensions, if there was no escalation recently in the region, those Canadians would be right now home with their families,” Trudeau said in the interview. Trudeau said Canada did not receive a heads up before the United States killed Soleimani, and that he “obviously” would have preferred one.

Gantz, Netanyahu at a Tie in Poll Asking Israelis Who Is Best Fit for PM Ahead of Election, Haaretz
The poll shows that Kahol Lavan is remaining the largest party. It is projected to garner 34 seats, one down from the previous survey conducted earlier this month. The prime minister’s Likud party dropped from 33 to 31 Knesset seats, broadening the gap between the two main parties as Netanyahu begins his fight for immunity in three criminal cases.

News

Europeans to trigger Iran nuclear deal dispute mechanism, Reuters
Britain, France and Germany will trigger the dispute resolution mechanism in the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, two European diplomats said on Tuesday, the biggest step the Europeans have taken in response as Tehran has backed off nuclear commitments.

Europe stands by Iran nuclear deal for now, defying US calls to abandon it, CNBC
The leaders of Germany, France and the U.K. have said they will stand by the Iran nuclear deal, defying a call from President Donald Trump to abandon the 2015 pact.

Tensions between president Rouhani and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard spill into open, The Telegraph
Tensions between the Iranian government and the Revolutionary Guard spilled into the open on Monday as the president’s office accused the elite military force of misleading them over the accidental shooting down of a civilian airliner. 

Authorities: Kosher store shooters planned attack for months, AP
The two people who fatally shot a police officer then killed three people at a kosher grocery in Jersey City planned an assault for some time and were equipped to cause greater destruction, authorities said Monday. State and federal law enforcement officials revealed details about the months leading up to the shootings by David Anderson and Francine Graham, a couple who expressed hatred of Jews and law enforcement in notes left at the grocery shooting scene and in online posts. “This was a senseless and cowardly act,” U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.

Poll indicates left-wing merger will not end ongoing political deadlock, Times of Israel
A TV survey released on Monday hours after the left-wing Labor and Meretz parties agreed on a merger indicated that the alliance would not pay dividends at the polls, nor would it break the political stalemate that has condemned Israel to its third election within a year.

Announcing Labor Merger, Meretz Leader Says ‘Those Who Want to Vote for the Right Can Vote Gantz’, Haaretz
“Those who want to vote for the right can vote for Likud or Kahol Lavan,” Horowitz said in an apparent jab at Benny Gantz’s party, which the former Israeli army chief has been labeling as center-right since the previous election campaign. “Those who want to want left have one choice,” he added. 

New Right, National Union agree on joint run, call for Jewish Home to join them, Times of Israel
The New Right and National Union parties announced Tuesday that they will run together together in the upcoming national elections, calling on fellow national-religious faction Jewish Home to also enter their joint slate.

Israel to Compensate Five Palestinians for Property Destroyed in Second Intifada, Haaretz
After an 18-year legal battle, a military court ordered the state to compensate five Palestinians whose plant nurseries were destroyed by the army during the second intifada.

Stone throwing that killed Palestinian mother of 8 recognized as terror attack, Times of Israel
Israeli authorities on Sunday recognized the 2018 stone throwing in the West Bank that killed Aisha Rabi as a terror attack, but refused to recognize the Palestinian mother-of-eight as a terror victim.

Transfer of Palestinian minors from prisons a ‘violation of law’, Al Jazeera
The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) transferred at least 33 Palestinian child detainees on Monday from Ofer prison to Damoun without the presence of adult representatives, a move slammed by Palestinian activists and civil organisations.

Opinion and Analysis

The Israeli Left’s Labor-Meretz Linkup: An Alliance Forged by Fear, Not Love, Haaretz
Ravit Hecht writes, “The difficulty in forging a slate between people who have no fundamental differences of opinion show that culture wars and ethnic rifts still drive Israeli society.”

With international law under siege, can the ICC bring justice to Palestinians?, +972 Mag
Amjad Iraqi write, “As the ICC prosecutor’s investigation awaits a green light, Palestinian experts reflect on what the legal battle portends for their struggle.”

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