News Roundup for June 8, 2022

June 8, 2022
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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.

J Street in the News

Biden Needs To Use His First Trip to Israel To Seek Justice for the Palestinian-American Journalist Reportedly Killed by Israeli Forces, Business Insider
“In the face of this dangerous escalation, it is critical for the US government to stand up for its own stated interests and take steps that would help finally break this destructive cycle, help ensure Israel’s security and future as a democratic homeland for the Jewish people, and guarantee the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and safety in an independent state of their own. Biden’s upcoming trip to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory is the perfect opportunity to advance these US objectives — and it should start with an independent US investigation and justice for Shireen Abu Akleh,” writes J Street’s Senior Vice President for Policy and Strategy, Dylan Williams.

Top News and Analysis

Report: ‘Perpetual’ Israeli Occupation at Root of Violence, AP
Investigators commissioned by the U.N.’s top human rights body say tensions between Palestinians and Israelis are underpinned by Israel’s “perpetual occupation” of Palestinian areas with no apparent intention of ending it. The findings came Tuesday in the first report by a Commission of Inquiry, headed by a three-person team of human rights experts. It was set up last year by the U.N.-backed Human Rights Council following an 11-day war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. The U.N. human rights office says the war killed at least 261 people — including 67 children — in Gaza, and 14 people, including two children, in Israel.

Senators Call for Investigation Into Killing of U.S. Journalist in West Bank, The Washington Post
Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) sent a request to the State Department on Monday for a “full and transparent investigation” into the death of Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian American journalist who was killed while reporting on an Israeli military raid in the West Bank last month. The two senators also urged the Biden administration to ensure “justice is served.”


Iran Turns off 2 of UN Nuclear Watchdog’s Cameras, AP
Iran turned off two surveillance cameras of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog that monitored one of its atomic sites, state television reported Wednesday. The report did not identify the site, but it appeared to be a new pressure technique by Tehran as Western nations seek to censure Iran at a meeting this week of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Israeli Army Won’t Open Elite Units to Women, Will Allow Applications for Select Roles, Haaretz
The Israeli military will not open all units to women, it told the High Court of Justice on Tuesday in response to a petition by soldiers seeking equal opportunity to serve as combatants in elite and frontline units. However, following the recommendation of a panel appointed by Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi on the possibility of more women taking on combat roles, a new “pilot program” will let women apply for the Air Force’s rescue unit or for a bomb disposal role at Yahalom, a special ops unit in the Combat Engineering Corps.

PA’s Abbas Dismisses US Bid To Boost Ties Unless Consulate Reopened, The Times of Israel
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has expressed his dissatisfaction with the series of steps the Biden administration is planning to introduce in order to boost ties with Ramallah, deeming the measures insufficient so long as the US consulate in Jerusalem remains shuttered, two US and Palestinian officials told The Times of Israel on Monday.

Daughter of Israeli Arab Deputy Mayor Killed by Explosive Device, Haaretz
The daughter of the deputy mayor of the Israeli Arab town of Shfaram was killed Tuesday night after an explosive device planted in her car detonated. Johara Khanifs, 28, was pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene. Initial police investigation shows that Khanifs was murdered by one of her relatives. Khanifs’ father, Faraj Khanifs, however, said that the claim is just a “vicious rumor.”

Opinion and Analysis

When Hospitals Become Battlefields, +972 Mag
Osama Tanous and Ghada Majadli reflect, “The assault on Abu Akleh’s funeral was thus the most visible and highly-televised episode in a consistent pattern of Israeli attacks on healthcare facilities. It also made clear once again that the Palestinian body has no safety — not alive nor dead, not in a battlefield nor in a hospital. It is time the international medical community recognizes the extent of violence and lack of safety that Palestinian hospitals face, and advocates for their protection from Israeli forces.”