News Roundup for January 6, 2022

January 6, 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.

Top News and Analysis

Israeli Committee OKs 3,500 Settlement Homes in Jerusalem, AP News
A local Israeli committee on Wednesday approved plans for the construction of more than 3,500 settler housing units in east Jerusalem, nearly half in a particularly controversial area, according to Peace Now, an anti-settlement monitoring group.

US, Iran Say Progress Made in Nuclear Negotiations, The Jerusalem Post
The US and Iran said that there has been progress in the indirect negotiations in Vienna for the sides to return to compliance with the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal.


Palestinians Press Biden to Take More Active Role in Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Axios
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned national security advisor Jake Sullivan in their recent meeting that more active U.S. diplomatic engagement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is needed to avoid a new crisis in the region, Palestinian Minister for Civilian Affairs Hussein al-Sheikh tells Axios.

Defense Minister Sets Tone for Israeli Diplomacy, Al-Monitor
His invitation last week for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to come and met him in his home, earned Defense Minister Benny Gantz a much stronger spot in Israel’s political leadership.

Unbelievable,’ ‘Disgrace’: Likud Lawmakers Erupt Over Knesset Speech in Arabic, Haaretz
The Knesset is often the scene of shouting, heckling and exchanging verbal insults. But the eruption on Wednesday morning from the ranks of Likud, the largest opposition party led by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, wasn’t about legislation or policy, but over a speech given in Arabic. The incident occurred after the passage of a hotly debated bill, commonly called the Electricity Law, which has to do with connecting tens of thousands of Arab-Israelis living in unrecognized villages in southern Israel to key infrastructures like electricity, water and telephone lines.

Israeli Defense Minister Discusses Regional Stability With Jordanian King, Reuters
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz met Jordan’s King Abdullah in Amman on Wednesday to discuss regional stability and bilateral ties in the latest high-level visit since relations between the two neighbours improved, officials from both countries said.

Israeli Protester Assaults Palestinian Press Photographer Outside Hunger Striker’s Hospital, Haaretz
A masked right-wing protester attacked a Palestinian press photographer on Wednesday, during a demonstration against the release of Palestinian detainee Hisham Abu Hawash in front of the central Israeli hospital he is kept in after ending a 141-day hunger strike.

Opinion and Analysis

Enough With Administrative Detentions, Haaretz
Haaretz Editorial board writes, “It’s time for Israel to learn to forgo this undemocratic, corrupt practice of unlimited administrative detention, without evidence or charges that can be refuted.”

Why Palestinian Kids’ Playgrounds Are Such Prime Targets for Israeli Settlers, Haaretz
Ali Awad writes, “Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett claims his ambition is to “shrink the conflict.” For Palestinians, this means shrinking the space we have to breathe, to play, and to live on our land, crushed between expulsions, demolition orders, a pliable judicial and civil administration, an ideologically-committed government, violent settlers and the serried ranks of the IDF. If we’re lucky, there’ll be international observers, or diplomats, or someone documenting the abuse on their phone. More frequently, we face the full weight of Israel’s occupation alone.”