News Roundup for June 12, 2024

June 12, 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

Hamas Responds to Gaza Cease-Fire Plan Seeking Some Changes. US Says It’s ‘Evaluating’ the Reply, AP
Hamas said Tuesday that it gave mediators its reply to the U.S.-backed proposal for a cease-fire in Gaza, seeking some “amendments” on the deal. It appeared the reply was short of an outright acceptance that the United States has been pushing for but kept negotiations alive over an elusive halt to the eight-month war. The foreign ministries of Qatar and Egypt — who have been key mediators alongside the United States — confirmed that they had received Hamas’ response and said mediators were studying it.

Hamas, Israel Committed War Crimes, Claims Independent Rights Probe, UN News
Palestinian armed groups and Israeli authorities have both committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during the attack on 7 October and the subsequent military operations, according to a new report by a UN independent human rights body. “Amid months of losses and despair, retribution and atrocities, the only tangible result has been compounding the immense suffering of both Palestinians and Israelis, with civilians, yet again, bearing the brunt of decisions by those in power,” the Commission said, stressing the impact on women and children.

Officials Condemn Protest Outside Exhibit Memorializing Oct. 7 Victims, The New York Times
The location of the demonstration — outside an exhibition featuring portraits of the people killed at the Tribe of Nova trance music festival, along with cars that were charred in the attack and the personal belongings that some music fans left behind — was widely criticized from the city government to Washington. Mayor Eric Adams of New York visited the exhibition on Tuesday and called the protest “despicable.” And Andrew Bates, a White House spokesman, said in a statement Tuesday, “The events at yesterday’s memorial to those murdered at the Nova music festival are outrageous and heartbreaking.”


Hezbollah Vows to Escalate Attacks after Israel Kills a Top Commander, Reuters
Hezbollah declared at least five attacks in response to what it called an assassination by Israel in Jouaiyya, including one in which Hezbollah fighters fired guided missiles at an Israeli military factory. The group also said it had attacked Israeli military headquarters in Ein Zeitim and Ami’ad, and an Israeli military air surveillance station in Meron, in each case firing dozens of Katyusha rockets, according to its statements.

Israel Vows to Press on in Gaza After UN Security Council Approves Ceasefire Proposal, CNN
Israel’s representative to the UN, Reut Shapir Ben-Naftaly, emphasized at a UNSC meeting Monday that her country wants to “ensure that Gaza doesn’t pose a threat to Israel in the future.” The senior diplomat said the war would not end until all hostages were returned and Hamas’ capabilities were “dismantled,” accusing the Palestinian militant group of using “endless negotiations… as a means to stall for time.”

Blinken Says US, Partners Will Present Plans for Post-war Gaza in Coming Weeks, Times of Israel
“In the coming weeks, we will put forward proposals for key elements of the day-after — planning that includes concrete ideas for how to manage governance, security, reconstruction,” Blinken says in a press conference with Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in Doha.

After Weeks of Planning, Seconds Made the Difference in Israel’s Hostage Rescue, The New York Times
The truck in which three hostages and a wounded Israeli officer were being evacuated broke down and was surrounded by militants, Israeli officials said. In an effort to give the rescuers enough time and ample cover to get the captives to freedom, the military said, the air force began striking dozens of nearby targets.

Amid War in Gaza, 58% of Israelis Say Their Country Is Not Respected Internationally, Pew Research Center
Israelis who place themselves on the ideological left are especially likely to say that their country is not respected internationally. Two-thirds of Israelis on the left hold this view, including around a quarter (27%) who say Israel is not at all respected abroad.

Former US Diplomat Warns Biden Policy on Israel Is Putting America at Risk, ABC
Rharrit said she believes the steady stream of U.S. bombs and other weapons sent to Israel with few conditions is putting America’s national security at risk as the Arab world grows more volatile – and hostile to U.S. interests – than ever. None of this is helping Israel, Rharrit said of Israel’s ongoing war in Gaza. And the policy of shipping military aid with few conditions to Israel is “fundamentally bad for America,” she added.

Palestinians in the West Bank Are Living in the Shadow of the War in Gaza [Video], The New York Times
Since the Hamas-led attacks on Oct. 7, Israel has tightened its grip on the occupied West Bank. Two Palestinians describe how they have been impacted – and their worries for the future.

Six Palestinians Killed in Israeli Counterterrorism Raid Against West Bank Militants, Haaretz
Israeli forces killed six Palestinians in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, the Palestinian Health Ministry said, in what the Israeli military described as a raid against militants. The Israeli military said four of the dead were armed militants, killed in an exchange of fire with soldiers, in the village of Kafr Dan, near the Palestinian city of Jenin. A security source added that six people were killed in all.

German Court Dismisses Request to Block Arms Exports to Israel, Reuters
A Berlin court on Tuesday rejected an urgent request by a number of Palestinian Gaza residents to stop the government approving permits for the export of German weapons to Israel on grounds that they might be used in violation of humanitarian law. The Palestinians were supported by several organisations including the European Legal Support Center, Law for Palestine and the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy.

A Palestinian Professor Spoke Out Against the Gaza War. Israel Detained Her, The New York Times
Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian is among about 500 Arab-Israeli citizens who have faced police investigations for incitement. Dozens of students have also been caught up in disciplinary proceedings by universities for vague expressions of religious belief or statistics and images that counter Israel’s narrative of the war.

Opinion and Analysis

How a Palestinian/Jewish Village in Israel Changed After October 7th, The New Yorker
Masha Gessen reports, “Six months after the Hamas attack on October 7th, I went to Wahat al-Salam/Neve Shalom to see what the war had done to the village and, more broadly, to the Israeli peace movement. Amir told me that a gap had opened between the Palestinian residents of the community and some of their Jewish neighbors. The Jews wanted the Palestinians to denounce Hamas and its murders. The Palestinians felt that some Jews were indifferent to the devastation of Gaza. The cognitive distance wasn’t unfamiliar to Amir: he experienced it with his in-laws and with other Israeli Jews. He had never thought that he would experience it in Wahat al-Salam/Neve Shalom.”

The Paradox Ahead for Gaza: A Postwar Where War Goes On, The Washington Post
David Ignatius writes, “What is the Biden administration’s alternative vision of the path forward? It begins with the reality that Israel can’t go it alone. To wind down the war, with or without a cease-fire, it needs support from the international community. The Security Council has backed the U.S. plan for a phased truce; next, it can support a framework for actual transition […] We’re not yet at the day after, and even when we get there, it won’t be a bloodless process. But maybe this is “the day between,” and Biden and his team deserve credit for staying the course, dodging brickbats from left and right, in trying to halt this terrible war.”

The Hostage Rescue Is a Joyous Distraction. A Deal Is Still Key, The Forward
Rob Eshman shares, “I share every bit of the joy and relief all Israel felt at the news of the IDF’s daring rescue of four hostages after eight months in Hamas captivity. How could anyone not rejoice at the emotional reunion of Noa Argamani with her father? But the astonishing mission reaffirms, rather than negates, a fundamental truth: A negotiated deal is still the best way to release all the hostages, end the bloodshed on both sides, and achieve greater security for Israelis and Palestinians.”

Israel Shrugs at Palestinian Civilian Casualties. So Does Hamas, The Washington Post
Ishaan Tharoor writes, “Stung by the events of Oct. 7 — the bloodiest day in the history of the Jewish people since the Holocaust — the Israeli public has generally shown little compassion for Gazans caught in the crossfire. […] Hamas has its own narrative, too. […] In April, even as the group faced major losses to its armed wing and the hideous toll exacted on Gaza’s civilians grew, Khaled Meshal, one of Hamas’s leaders in exile, told an audience in Qatar that his faction was further down “the path of liberating Palestine and defeating the Zionist project.”