News Roundup for July 7, 2023

July 7, 2023
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J Street In the News

Biden Muddles Along with Israel as West Bank Violence Spirals, The Washington Post
“On settlements, Biden officials “have continued the tradition of strong condemnation but with no actual consequences,” Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of J Street, a liberal-leaning, pro-Israel advocacy group, told me…Biden’s approach “is a policy that is not connected to the reality of what [Netanyahu’s] government is all about and what is happening on the ground,” Ben-Ami said, adding that the Biden administration needs to both “make there be some consequences” for Israel and also muster “a vision for an alternate, better future” for Israelis and Palestinians.”

Endless Occupation Won’t Bring Security or Peace, J Street
J Street Israel Director Nadav Tamir writes, “As an Israeli who yearns to see my country living alongside our Palestinian neighbors in peace, freedom and equality, I’ve watched the unfolding chaos in the West Bank with sadness and frustration. Under the so-called “leadership” of Prime Minister Netanyahu and his far-right government, there is no real security for Israelis, no check on the extremist settlement movement, and no concern for Palestinian rights and aspirations. This government has no intention of addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or to ending the occupation – only plans to double down on the same failed policies that have pushed the situation from bad to worse.”

Top News and Analysis

Palestinian Militant Kills Israeli Soldier in West Bank, a Day After Israel’s Military Raid in Area, AP
A Hamas militant on Thursday opened fire near an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank, killing an Israeli soldier, a day after Israeli forces withdrew from the largest military operation in the West Bank in two decades. The Palestinian attacker was shot and killed by Israeli forces, the army said. The shooting came on the heels of the Israeli withdrawal from the Jenin refugee camp. The operation destroyed the camp’s narrow roads and alleyways, sent thousands of people fleeing their homes and killed 12 Palestinians. One Israeli soldier also was killed.

Israeli Court Acquits Police Officer Who Killed Autistic Palestinian Man, The New York Times
An Israeli court on Thursday acquitted a police officer charged with manslaughter in the killing of an unarmed Palestinian man with autism in Jerusalem, a case that drew Palestinian outrage and focused attention on the treatment of Palestinians by Israeli police. The man, Iyad al-Hallaq, 31, was shot and killed by an Israeli police officer in Jerusalem’s Old City in May 2020 while walking to the special-needs school where he was a student.


Israeli Forces Kill 2 Palestinians Who Carried Out Attack, Army Says, Reuters
Israeli security forces on Friday killed two Palestinians who carried out a shooting attack against police this week, Israel’s military said. Israeli forces raided the occupied West Bank town of Nablus, the military said, and “both terrorists were killed following an exchange of fire.” The official Palestinian news agency WAFA said Israeli troops had cordoned off a house where the two had holed up and that they had been “executed.”

Gantz Calls on Netanyahu to Renew Judicial Overhaul Talks, Halt Legislative Push, The Times of Israel
Warning of looming civil war, opposition party head MK Benny Gantz on Thursday called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to halt his coalition’s unilateral drive to overhaul the judiciary and resume compromise talks. Supporting protest efforts to pressure Netanyahu to pause the overhaul legislation, Gantz addressed reporters in Ramat Gan, just outside Tel Aviv, near where anti-overhaul protesters staged one of their most charged demonstrations to date hours earlier.

Hundreds of Anti-judicial Coup Protesters Demonstrate Outside Israeli MK’s Homes, Haaretz
Hundreds of anti-judicial reform protesters are demonstrating on Thursday evening outside the homes of government ministers, blocking the road outside one of the homes and clashing with police. Police vehicles were being used to prevent protesters from blocking the street outside MK Gila Gamliel’s home and others were headed in the direction of the Ayalon Highway to prevent a potential road block should protests break out there.

UAE Pledges $15 Million to Rebuild Palestinian City of Jenin After Israeli Raid, Al-Monitor
The United Arab Emirates pledged Thursday to give $15 million to efforts to help rebuild the Palestinian city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank following a major Israeli operation there earlier this week, Emirati state media reported on Thursday. The UAE will provide the funds to the United Nations’ agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA to support the latter’s operations and provide assistance to Palestinian families.

UN Chief: Israel ‘Obviously’ Used Excessive Force in Jenin; Israel Demands Retraction, The Times of Israel
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Thursday said Israel used excessive force in the counter-terror operation in Jenin earlier this week and blamed Israel for the violence in the West Bank city. During a press briefing at UN Headquarters in New York City, Guterres said he had been “deeply disturbed” by news of the Jenin operation and “strongly condemns all acts of violence against civilians.”

Opinion and Analysis

Israel Is Hours Away From Becoming a De Facto Dictatorship, Haaretz
Ehud Barak writes, “The moment of truth is upon us. This is the most severe crisis in the history of the state. On Monday, the bill limiting the use of the reasonableness standard will be submitted to the Knesset for the first of three votes in the legislature. When the voting ends, Israel will be three hours away from a de facto dictatorship.”

Israel’s Assault in Jenin Will Only Further Erode the Palestinian Authority’s Legitimacy, The Conversation
Dov Waxman argues, “However successful in the short term, no military operation can resolve what I see as the underlying problem that caused Jenin’s refugee camp to become what Netanyahu has described as a “safe haven” for Palestinian militants. That problem is a legitimacy crisis facing the Palestinian Authority – the self-governing body that has limited rule over parts of the occupied West Bank, including Jenin, that are not directly ruled by Israel.”