News Roundup for May 11, 2023

May 11, 2023

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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

J Street Alarmed by Latest Israeli-Palestinian Escalation, Condems Ongoing Rocket Fire, J Street
J Street’s statement on the latest escalation in Israeli-Palestinian violence.

Top News and Analysis

IDF Assassinates Three Islamic Jihad Leaders, Including Head of Rocket Program in Gaza, Haaretz
Israel says that it has assassination Ali Hassan Muhammad Ghali, the head of Islamic Jihad’s rocket program in the Gaza Strip. Ghali was killed in a strike in the early hours of Thursday morning on a residential building in the Sheikh Hamad neighborhood of Khan Younis.

Hundreds of Rockets Fired at Israel Amid Deadly IDF Airstrikes in Gaza, CNN
Israel’s army and Palestinian militants exchanged heavy cross-border fire on Wednesday, with hundreds of rockets launched from Gaza towards Israel after the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) carried out deadly strikes on what it says are Islamic Jihad organization targets along the strip. The latest violence comes a day after Israeli military airstrikes killed three leaders of the Palestinian militant group and 10 other Palestinian men, women and children in Gaza and led to threats of retaliation.

PM Says Israel Ready to Expand Gaza Operation Despite Bid to Limit Conflict, The Times of Israel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the heads of southern municipalities that they should be prepared for the possibility that the current military operation in Gaza could significantly expand, even as defense officials signaled that Israel was seeking to keep the conflict from snowballing. “We are prepared for the possibility of the expansion of the operation, and for very heavy strikes, at this moment, as well as in the future,” Netanyahu said in a phone call with municipal chiefs, according to footage distributed by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Egypt Starts Mediating End to Israel-Gaza Strikes, Rockets, Reuters
Israel hit Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza for a second day on Wednesday and Palestinian militants launched hundreds of rockets across the border, setting off sirens as far away as Tel Aviv, while Egypt began efforts to mediate an end to the fighting.


Hamas Has ‘Too Much to Lose’ by Firing Rockets at Israel , The Jerusalem Post
Hamas has “more to lose” than gain by involving itself in the recent round of rocket barrages toward Israel following the launch of the IDF’s Operation Shield and Arrow, military expert and former Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) official Dr. Moshe Elad told 104.5FM on Tuesday.

5,000 Trees Vandalized in Palestinian West Bank Villages in Less Than Five Months, Haaretz
Some 5,000 trees throughout dozens of Palestinian villages in the West Bank were vandalized in less than five months, according to data from the United Nations that was gathered through the end of April and by local residents’ reports from last week.

Opinion and Analysis

Gaza Assassinations Were All About Israeli Politics, Haaretz
The Haaretz Editorial Board argues, “We should be examining how these assassinations, which resulted in the deaths of at least 10 innocents, including four women and four children, were carried out and what happened to the concept of ‘targeted countermeasures,’ the ability to precisely hit a target. Even more importantly, we should be examining how the decision was made and the reasoning behind it. Killings of this type have been done dozens of times, but opinions differ on how effective they are at achieving a prolonged calm or deterrence.”

I Live Next to Gaza. I Oppose Airstrikes on Our Neighbors, Haaretz
Roni Keidar, a member of Other Voices, writes, “Living less than two miles from the Gaza border, I’ve been through two decades of these ’rounds’ of escalation and war. Despite what Israel’s far-right government says, retaliation does not work. It means Israeli and Palestinian civilians, including my friends in Gaza, are paying a terrible price.”