News Roundup for July 8,2024

July 8, 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.

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J Street In the News

‘The Time Is Now’: Historic Rally Calls for a Hostage Deal and End to the War, J Street
“Above the packed Tel Aviv arena hung white banners inscribed with three demands. Each message – written in Hebrew, Arabic and English – spoke for the pleas of the thousands gathered in the seats below. ‘It’s time,’ they read. ‘To reach a deal. To stop the war. To make peace.’ In the most significant display from the Israeli peace camp since Hamas’ October 7 attack, Israeli and Palestinian advocates streamed into the Menora Mivtachim Arena on Monday evening for a conference demanding a hostage deal and an end to Israel’s ongoing war in Gaza.”

Top News and Analysis

Israeli Government Accused of Trying to Sabotage Gaza Ceasefire Proposal, The Guardian
The Israeli government has been accused of attempting to sabotage a US-backed ceasefire proposal, according to Israeli media, by introducing new demands despite previously accepting the plan. Hopes for a ceasefire in Gaza had risen in recent days following reports that Hamas had given initial approval for a new proposal for a phased deal after nine months of war since the attack on October 7.

Netanyahu: Gaza Deal Must Let Israel Resume Fighting Until War Goals Met, Reuters
Netanyahu said he insisted the deal must not prevent Israel from resuming fighting until its war objectives are met. Those goals were defined at the start of the war as dismantling Hamas’ military and governing capabilities, as well as returning the hostages. The plan that has been agreed to by Israel and which has been welcomed by President Biden will allow Israel to return hostages without infringing on the other objectives of the war, Netanyahu said. The deal, he said, must also prohibit weapons smuggling to Hamas via the Gaza-Egypt border and should not allow for thousands of armed militants to return to northern Gaza.

Talks for a Cease-Fire in Gaza Appear Set to Resume as the War Reaches 9 Months, NPR
Hamas now appears potentially willing to accept a more gradual approach to its core demands, including a permanent end to the fighting and a full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, according to multiple officials close to the talks who requested anonymity. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has given no indication that he’s budging from Israel’s main demand: the destruction of Hamas as a political and military force.


Israeli Protesters Block Highways, Call for Cease-Fire to Return Hostages 9 Months Into War in Gaza, AP
Marking nine months since the war in Gaza started, Israeli protesters blocked highways across the country Sunday, calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to step down and pushing for a cease-fire to bring back scores of hostages held by Hamas.

Senior Hamas Official Killed as Israel Orders Fresh Evacuation, BBC
A senior Hamas administration official was among four people killed in an Israeli air strike at a school in Gaza City, Palestinian sources say. A local official told the BBC that Ehab Al-Ghussein was appointed to manage the affairs of the Hamas government in Gaza City and northern Gaza three months ago.

IDF Ordered Hannibal Directive on October 7 to Prevent Hamas Taking Soldiers Captive, Haaretz
Documents and testimonies obtained by Haaretz reveal the Hannibal operational order, which directs the use of force to prevent soldiers being taken into captivity, was employed at three army facilities infiltrated by Hamas, potentially endangering civilians as well.

Israeli Tanks Storm Gaza City Districts, Residents Report Heavy Fire, Reuters
Residents said neighbourhoods in Gaza City, which lies in the north of the Gaza Strip, had been bombed throughout the night into the early morning hours. Several multi-floor buildings have been destroyed, they added.

Israeli Attack Kills at Least 16 at UNRWA School for the Displaced in Gaza, Ministry Says, CNN
An Israeli attack has killed at least 16 Palestinians and injured 50 others at UNRWA’s Al-Jaouni school sheltering displaced people in al-Nuseirat camp in central Gaza, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said on Saturday.

Hezbollah Fires Over 200 Rockets Into Israel After Killing of Senior Commander, AP
The Israeli military said “numerous projectiles and suspicious aerial targets” had entered its territory from Lebanon, many of which it said were intercepted. It confirmed the death of one soldier in the barrage.

Mounting International Sanctions Against Powerful Israeli Settler Group Could Be Earth-shattering, Haaretz
The Amana organization has ties with all the banks in Israel and with thousands of settlers who live in its homes. An extension of the sanctions imposed by Canada could spell an earthquake in the settlement movement.

Injured American Citizen’s Condition ‘Worsening’ After Hezbollah Missiles Fired Toward Israel, CNN
The 31-year-old man suffered shrapnel injuries to his upper body and was admitted to the operating room Sunday evening local time, the Galilee Medical Center said in a statement. Two other people injured by the missile fire – a soldier and a civilian – have also been hospitalized in a surgical department, the center added.

Hamas Rejects Report That It Dropped Key Demand in Possible Cease-Fire Deal, CBS News
Hamas still wants “written guarantees” from mediators that Israel will continue to negotiate a permanent cease-fire deal once the first phase goes into effect, the officials said. The Hamas representative told The Associated Press the group’s approval came after it received “verbal commitments and guarantees” from the mediators that the war won’t be resumed and that negotiations will continue until a permanent cease-fire is reached.

Gaza Destruction Likely Helped Push Hamas to Soften Cease-Fire Demands, Several Officials Say, AP
In recent internal communications seen by The Associated Press, messages signed by several senior Hamas figures in Gaza urged the group’s exiled political leadership to accept the cease-fire proposal pitched by U.S. President Joe Biden.

Netanyahu Coalition Advances Bill Allowing Israel’s Antiquities Authority to Operate in West Bank, Haaretz
The West Bank is home to about 6,000 declared archeological sites, which means that virtually every village has one subject to supervision. The result of last week’s decision is that the Civil Administration, which is under the control of Bezalel Smotrich in his role as minister in the Defense Ministry, can block development and even order buildings razed on the grounds that they are on an archeological site.

Opinion and Analysis

In Rafah, We Saw Destruction and the Limits of Israel’s Gaza Strategy, The New York Times
Following an Israeli military convoy for journalists in Rafah, Adam Goldman shares, “As we dismounted our Humvees, a stillness gripped this swath of southern Gaza, near the border with Egypt. Slabs of concrete and twisted rebar dotted the scarred landscape. Kittens darted through the wreckage. Streets once bustling with life were now a maze of rubble. Everyone was gone. More than a million people have fled to avoid an Israeli onslaught that began two months ago. Many have been displaced repeatedly and now live in tent cities that stretch for miles, where they face an uncertain future as they mourn the loss of loved ones.”

Biden Is Out-of-Date on Israel and Netanyahu, and It’s a Problem, Haaretz
Amir Tibon writes, “[Biden] treated Netanyahu as an ally and a friend, even though decades of experience should have made him aware that the man is like the scorpion in the famous fable – he will always sting the frog helping him reach the other side of the river. Netanyahu has been working against Biden for months now, attacking his administration in English and briefing journalists that he is to blame for the Israeli government’s lack of a real war strategy. He is also trying to create a schism between the president and his pro-Israel supporters, at a time when Biden is bleeding support from the far left due to his support of the Jewish state.”

The Palestine-Israel Nightmare Won’t End until We Accept These Basic Truths, The Guardian
Ahmed Moor shares, “Equal rights in Palestine-Israel would act as the basis for a strong parliamentary democracy, safeguarding the rights of the individual in a pluralistic society. Or, in an alternative future, the confederation promoted by Dahlia Scheindlin, Palestinians and Israelis would live in a country grounded in ‘two people’s self-determination, [each claiming] a territorial environment where they feel culturally expressive of who they are’, as she described her vision.”

Who’s in Charge of the IDF?, Foreign Policy
Benjamin V. Allison argues, “Israeli military personnel have been and remain engaged in activities that suggest a serious chain of command problem for the IDF. Three factors explain this phenomenon: the existence of a permissive politico-military environment, Israeli military doctrine, and the fact that the IDF is a conscript army.”