News Roundup for January 30, 2023

January 30, 2023

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J Street News Roundup

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

Alarming New Israeli-Palestinian Escalation Underscores Need for Firm, Proactive US Leadership, J Street
“J Street is deeply concerned by the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territory, and urges firm and proactive US leadership to encourage restraint and help prevent any further escalation in violence. The past 36 hours have seen the Palestinian Authority suspend critical security cooperation with Israel, following a major IDF incursion into the Jenin refugee camp in which at least nine Palestinians were killed, reportedly including Islamic Jihad militants and at least one civilian, and over twenty injured. The IDF incursion reportedly sought to prevent a potential terror attack. We have also seen a despicable and dangerous attempt by terrorist factions to exploit the situation with a round of rocket fire directed at Israeli civilians, which prompted IDF airstrikes on Gaza in response.”

J Street Condemns Horrifying Terror Attack on Neve Yaakov Synagogue, J Street
“J Street condemns today’s utterly horrifying terror attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem’s Neve Yaakov neighborhood, in which according to initial reports at least seven Israelis were shot and killed, and several more wounded. Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of the victims, as well as with the entire Israeli people as they mourn this attack. The targeting of a synagogue on Shabbat is despicable and deeply painful for Israelis and Jewish people around the world – even more so as it comes on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Acts of terror and violence against civilians are never acceptable, and only lead to more pain, suffering and loss.”

Blinken To Visit Israel and West Bank With Tensions High After Outbreak of Violence, CNN
“Jeremy Ben-Ami, the president of the advocacy group J Street, which pushes for a two-state solution, said that he believes Blinken’s trip is well-timed, and sends an important message about American involvement. He said the administration should try to articulate both privately to the new Israeli government as well as publicly the things that the US would find unacceptable, such as “plans for what amounts to de facto annexation of territory on the West Bank.””

Top News and Analysis

At Least 7 Killed in East Jerusalem Synagogue Shooting, The Washington Post
A Palestinian gunman killed at least seven people, including children, during Friday night prayers at a synagogue in East Jerusalem, the latest in a pattern of escalatory violence that has evoked the darkest days of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The gunman entered the synagogue in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood around 8:15 p.m. local time and opened fire on worshipers who were observing the Jewish sabbath, according to a statement by Israeli police. He then ran back onto the street, firing at passersby, and attempted to drive away in a car before being killed by Israeli security officers at the scene.

2 Israelis Injured in Jerusalem Attack, Hours After a Nearby Mass Shooting, The New York Times
Violence continued on Saturday in Jerusalem as an attacker, identified by the police as a 13-year-old boy, shot and injured two Israelis near a settlement in East Jerusalem, the morning after a Palestinian assailant killed seven people outside a synagogue elsewhere in the city. Both victims on Saturday were taken to a hospital and were described by medics as being in serious but not critical condition. The teenage assailant was shot and injured by two passers-by, according to a police statement.

Palestinians Say Israeli Troops Kill Man in West Bank, AP
Israeli forces killed a Palestinian man in a flashpoint city in the occupied West Bank on Monday, the Palestinian Health Ministry said. The killing marks the latest bloodshed in spiraling violence that comes as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits the region. The Palestinian Health Ministry said the man, Nassim Abu Fouda, 26, was shot in the head in Hebron, often a center of friction between the Israeli military and Palestinians.


Israeli Settlers Attack Palestinians Across West Bank As Escalation Looms, The Washington Post
Israeli settlers carried out dozens of attacks targeting Palestinians across the occupied territory, according to Palestinian media and officials, as violence showed no sign of abating on the eve of a trip to the region by America’s top diplomat. Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency said at least 144 Israeli settler attacks — some minor rock-throwing incidents, others much more violent — were reported on Saturday across the West Bank, the occupied territory that Palestinians envision as part of their future state. Meanwhile, Israeli authorities on Sunday began demolishing Palestinian homes in retaliation for Friday’s synagogue shooting and pledged an expansion of West Bank settlements, which could further inflame an already volatile situation.

Blinken Begins Middle East Trip With Call for Calm As Israeli-Palestinian Violence Flares, The Guardian
Efforts to calm the security situation are likely to dominate Blinken’s long-planned three-day Middle East trip. He arrived in Cairo on Monday for talks with the Egyptian president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, who remains a key US partner despite a grim human rights record. “The most important thing in the near term is to try to get some calm,” Blinken told Saudi-owned news outlet Al Arabiya on Sunday, according to a US state department transcript.

Israel Launched Drone Attack on Iranian Facility, Officials Say, The New York Times
A drone attack on an Iranian military facility that resulted in a large explosion in the center of the city of Isfahan on Saturday was the work of the Mossad, Israel’s premier intelligence agency, according to senior intelligence officials who were familiar with the dialogue between Israel and the United States about the incident. The facility’s purpose was not clear, and neither was how much damage the strike caused.

Israel Is Moving To ‘Strengthen’ Settlements After Shooting Attacks, NPR
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday announced a series of punitive steps against the Palestinians, including plans to beef up Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, in response to a pair of shooting attacks that killed seven Israelis and wounded five others.

Opinion and Analysis

Scenes of Mourning in Israel After Synagogue Attack, The Washington Post
In photos: Funerals are being held for those killed in the Jan. 27 attacks on a synagogue in Jerusalem that killed seven Israelis.

By Targeting Terrorists’ Families, Israel Risks Devastating the Innocent, Haaretz
Haaretz’s Editorial Board writes, “Moreover, no proof has ever been shown that this “deterrence” actually works. On the contrary, the circle of vengeance and bloodshed merely expands when collective punishments are imposed. Unfortunately, there is no responsible adult to stop the people in the government who are longing for more intifadas and more wars with the Gaza Strip.”