News Roundup for July 11,2024

July 11, 2024
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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

US to Again Ship 500-Pound Bombs to Israel, Reversing Suspension, The Washington Post
The paused delivery included 1,800 2,000-pound bombs, which remain on hold, US officials said. But the supply of 1,700 500-pound bombs will move forward. The US decision followed a pressure campaign by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and pro-Israel lobbyists in the United States, including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, demanding the resumption of all weapons shipments regardless of their lethality.

Israeli Military Orders the Evacuation of Gaza City, an Early Target of Its War With Hamas, AP
Israel says it is pursuing Hamas fighters that are regrouping in various parts of Gaza nine months into the war. But heavy strikes in recent days along the length of the territory also could be aimed at putting more pressure on Hamas in the cease-fire talks.

A Gaza Cease-Fire Agreement Appears Within Reach, The Washington Post
David Ignatius reports, “A senior U.S. official told me Wednesday that ‘the framework is agreed’ and the parties are now ‘negotiating details of how it will be implemented.’ To forge the deal, Middle East adviser Brett McGurk and CIA Director William J. Burns have been shuttling among regional capitals since November. Officials caution that although the framework is in place, a final pact probably isn’t imminent, and the details are complex and will take time to work through.”


Israel Cites Aid Backlog in Gaza; UN Says: ‘We’re Doing What We Can’, Reuters
“Yes the aid is being dropped off. But on the other side of that you have utter lawlessness, plus you have continuing conflict,” said U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric. “We are continuing to do our best to get that to those people who need it. Our colleagues in Gaza are not sitting on their hands.”

US Announces $100M Additional Aid for Palestinians, AP
A statement from USAID said the funding would assist the United Nations’ World Food Program. It also said that through the funding, it would provide “logistics support for the safe and efficient delivery of lifesaving humanitarian aid across Gaza,” without elaborating.

CIA Director Holds Gaza Talks with Qatari, Egyptian and Israeli Officials, Axios
Two Israeli officials said there was a joint understanding by the U.S., Egypt and Israel of the need to block the Philadelphi Corridor on the Egypt-Gaza border and prevent arms smuggling to Hamas through underground tunnels. The Israeli officials said the U.S. showed great willingness to be directly involved in building infrastructure on the border, such as an underground “wall” that detects attempts to dig tunnels so that they can be destroyed in real time.

Report: Israel, Hamas to Cede Control of Gaza to PA-Linked Force in Deal’s 2nd Phase, The Times of Israel
Israel and the Hamas terror group have agreed to hand over control of the Gaza Strip to a new Palestinian force during the crucial second stage of a three-phase proposal for a ceasefire and hostage-prisoner release deal in the war-torn territory, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.

Escalation Between Israel and Hezbollah Hangs Over Gaza Cease-Fire Talks, The New York Times
Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, made it clear on Wednesday that “the only way” to stop the cross-border hostilities between his group and Israel was to negotiate an end to the fighting in Gaza. “Hamas is negotiating on its own behalf and on behalf of the entire resistance axis, and what Hamas accepts, we accept,” Mr. Nasrallah said in a televised speech.

Israel’s Planned Draft of Ultra-Orthodox Falls Far Short of the Army’s Current Needs, Haaretz
Senior defense establishment members, including hundreds of veterans of the IDF, the Shin Bet and Mossad, view the plan shaping up as laughable compared to the army’s actual needs. The General Staff says, in contrast, that they have received legal briefs from state prosecutors and the Military Advocate General’s office, which conform to the move now shaping up.

Bodies Trapped in Gaza City under Israeli Assault as Mediators Push for Truce, Reuters
The Gaza health ministry said it had reports of people trapped and others killed inside their houses in the Tel Al Hawa and Sabra districts of Gaza City, and rescuers could not reach them.The Civil Emergency Service said it estimated that at least 30 people had been killed in the Tel Al-Hawa and Rimal areas and it could not recover bodies from the streets there.

Window for Biden to Broker Israeli-Saudi Deal before Election Has Shut — Sources, The Times of Israel
There are less than four weeks in which the US Senate is in session before it recesses on September 27 for the last time until the election. This period includes the month of August, when Congress is only open for two days. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer could theoretically try and call lawmakers back from recess in October.

Opinion and Analysis

To Avoid Catastrophe, Netanyahu Must Not Delay Another Deal, Haaretz
Retired Israeli general Yitzhak Brik writes, “We continue fighting in Gaza, raiding territory we had already conquered over and over again. Purposeless raids that exact a price in blood. The Israel Defense Forces succeeds in destroying buildings but has not been able to stop Hamas, which survives in its tunnel city and has been restored to its pre-war ranks with young men who replaced the dead.”

I Am an Israeli American Jew. Bulldozing Palestinian Homes Is Personal for Me, The Jewish News of Northern California
J Street leader Ben Linder shares, “Cementing control of Area C of the West Bank and preventing the creation of a Palestinian state is at the heart of Smotrich’s plan. The Biden administration must act decisively to halt this flagrant abuse of international law. It’s one thing to consider these issues in the abstract. It’s another matter when I wake up one morning to frantic WhatsApp messages from June 26 that the IDF’s bulldozers just demolished several homes, including the home of my friend, Eid Suleiman, and his family. The devastating result is that 38 of his family members now live in the desert with no shelter in the heat of summer.”

The Dangerous Push for Israeli-Saudi Normalization, Foreign Affairs
Maria Fantappie and Vali Nasr argue, “If the United States still wants an Israeli-Saudi deal, it will have to lean hard on the Israelis to change their position. It needs to secure not only a cease-fire but also a positive, long-term plan for Gaza’s future that ends in Palestinian statehood. It needs, in other words, to show Arab leaders that working more closely with Israel will not further inflame the region with conflicts that undermine their own credibility while strengthening Tehran and its partners.”

Israel Has Not Won the Gaza War. Its Other Wars Weren’t So Successful Either, Haaretz
Dahlia Scheindlin writes, “It’s not clear that Israel’s perceived military prowess takes full stock of the consequences – and sometimes failures – of its wars. And if Hamas thinks its initial attack was a ‘success,’ Palestinians too need to count the cost of nearly 40,000 dead, total destruction and Israeli reoccupation of Gaza.”

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