News Roundup for June 6, 2024

June 6, 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

Children Among Dozens Killed in Strike on Gaza School That Israeli Military Says Was Being Used by Hamas, NBC News
The Israeli military launched an airstrike on a school operated by the UN agency for refugees in the central Gaza Strip overnight, saying it was targeting Hamas. Local health officials said dozens of displaced civilians, including children, were killed in the attack. The IDF said early Thursday morning it had launched a “precise strike” targeting a Hamas compound it said was embedded inside the UNRWA school in the area of the Nuseirat refugee camp. It said militants who took part in Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks were killed in the strike.

Israeli Nationalists March in Jerusalem as a Far-Right Minister Boasts of Jewish Prayer at Key Site, AP
The comments by Itamar Ben-Gvir and the march in Jerusalem, the emotional heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, threatened to stoke already high tensions that have gripped the region since the start of the war in Gaza. The annual march, seen by Palestinians as provocative, helped set off an 11-day war in Gaza three years ago.

Hamas Leader Demands Full End to Conflict in Blow to Biden Plan, Reuters
The remarks by Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh appeared to deliver the Palestinian militant group’s reply to the proposal that Biden unveiled last week. Washington had said it was waiting to hear an answer from Hamas to what Biden described as an Israeli initiative. “The movement and factions of the resistance will deal seriously and positively with any agreement that is based on a comprehensive ending of the aggression and the complete withdrawal and prisoners swap,” Haniyeh said.


Reserve Soldier Killed, 10 Hurt, in Hezbollah Drone Attack on Northern Town, The Times of Israel
The IDF announced the death of the soldier on Thursday morning, naming him as Staff Sgt. (res.) Refael Kauders, 39, from Tzur Hadassah. The IDF said it was investigating why sirens did not sound when at least two drones slammed into the Druze-majority town of Hurfeish, located several kilometers from the Lebanon border.

Gaza’s Sick and Malnourished Children Die as Hospitals Collapse From Israel’s War [Audio], NPR
At 6 months old, he weighed just three pounds when he died May 31. The local press declared him the latest child to die from hunger as a result of not enough aid going into Gaza. The short arc of Fayez’s life mirrors the collapse of Gaza’s healthcare system. He was born just two months after Hamas’ deadly attack on Israel October 7.

Israeli Detention Center Faces Legal Challenge After ‘Unimaginable Abuses’, The Washington Post
Israeli authorities announced that they had begun transferring detainees to other facilities in response to a hearing held by the country’s Supreme Court on Wednesday, the first to challenge the legality of Sde Teiman. It was the latest move by rights groups to shed light on what they say is a legal black hole created after Oct. 7, allowing prisoners from Gaza to disappear into military custody.

Rights Group Accuses Israel of Hitting Residential Buildings With White Phosphorous in Lebanon, AP
Human Rights Watch said in its report that there was no evidence of burn injuries due to white phosphorus in Lebanon, but that researchers had “heard accounts indicating possible respiratory damage.” Human rights advocates say it’s a crime under international law to fire the controversial munitions into populated areas.

Aharon Barak Resigns as Israeli Ad Hoc Judge at ICJ for ‘Personal Reasons’, The Times of Israel
Barak was a member of the 15-judge panel at the top UN court hearing of South Africa’s case accusing Israel of committing genocide in Gaza. Under the ICJ’s rules, a state that does not have a judge of its nationality already on the bench can choose an ad hoc judge to sit in their case. It was not immediately clear whom Israel might appoint to replace Barak.

Spain Applies to Join South Africa’s Case at Top UN Court Accusing Israel of Genocide, AP
“We take the decision because of the ongoing military operation in Gaza,” Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares said in Madrid. “We want peace to return to Gaza and the Middle East, and for that to happen we must all support the court.”

Hamas Claims Disparity Between Israeli and US Cease-fire Proposals, Requests Clarification From Mediators, Haaretz
Hamas said that while Biden’s proposal is largely in line with the demands it made last month, there is a gap between the outline submitted to the negotiating team and the Israeli proposal as set out by Biden, and that it appears that Israel wants to keep the option of resuming fighting open.

Diminished Hamas Switches to Full Insurgent Mode in Gaza, Reuters
Hamas fighters are now largely avoiding sustained skirmishes with Israeli forces closing in on the southernmost city of Rafah, instead relying on ambushes and improvised bombs to hit targets often behind enemy lines, one of the officials said.

Trump Says Schumer Has ‘Become Like a Palestinian’, The Hill
“Even Schumer, he’s become like a Palestinian. Chuck Schumer. Jewish. Always strong for Israel. He’s become like a Palestinian,” Trump said in a Fox News interview with Sean Hannity. “It’s a very bad thing. It’s a very sad thing, and it’s a very dangerous thing,” he added.

Opinion and Analysis

Netanyahu and Israel’s Generals Secretly Want to End the Gaza War, Haaretz
Anshel Pfeffer shares, “Just like Netanyahu, these leaders can’t say they want the war with Hamas to end. And just like him, they’re looking for a way to end it. Unlike Netanyahu, they have fewer personal and political reasons. They realize that any realistic campaign to eradicate Hamas’ control of Gaza will take years and can only be done when the Palestinian Authority’s security forces have the capacity to start taking over.”

Here’s a Closer Look at the Hurdles to a Cease-Fire Deal, The New York Times
Matthew Mpoke Bigg reports, “As the proposal has been laid out, it appears that Hamas would conduct talks over phases two and three with Israel, which suggests that it would retain some measure of control of Gaza. Mr. Netanyahu has repeatedly said that this is a red line and has also ruled out a governing role for the Palestinian Authority, a fierce rival to Hamas that has limited governing powers in the Israel-occupied West Bank.”

How Biden Is Putting the Heat on Netanyahu, Politico
Nahal Toosi writes, “There’s a fear among many U.S. officials and others caught in the crisis that this could be the last best shot to bring home hostages held by Hamas and wind down the war without significantly more casualties. In many ways, the Biden team is going beyond its past efforts to persuade Netanyahu to act on U.S. advice, turning to more people and institutions than usual so that the Israeli prime minister feels the heat no matter where he turns.”

Inside the Base Where Israel Has Detained Thousands of Gazans, The New York Times
Patrick Kingsley and Bilal Shbair report, “1,200 Palestinian civilians have been held at Sde Teiman in demeaning conditions without the ability to plead their cases to a judge for up to 75 days. Detainees are also denied access to lawyers for up to 90 days and their location is withheld from rights groups as well as from the International Committee of the Red Cross, in what some legal experts say is a contravention of international law.”

It’s Not Working with Netanyahu. Can Biden Find a Better Israeli Partner for Peace?, Forward
Jacob Kornbluh shares, “[Biden] may worry that the prime minister’s successor would be even harder to work with. But many who follow U.S.-Israeli politics closely say that despite the president’s warmer tone with the prime minister, he could well prefer a reset — a reliable new partner who isn’t buffeted by all the winds blowing around Netanyahu, even if that person also doesn’t align with Biden’s Middle East plan.”