News Roundup for May 24, 2022

May 24, 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.

Top News and Analysis

Israeli Judge’s Ruling on Jews Who Prayed in Al-Aqsa Compound Ignites Controversy, CNN
A court in Jerusalem has issued a controversial ruling that critics say threatens the fragile agreement regulating access to Jerusalem’s most disputed holy sites. Israeli Magistrate’s Court Judge Zion Sahrai ruled Sunday that three Jewish youths were not violating security conditions when they recited a Jewish prayer at the contested holy area known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as Haram Al-Sharif. Police had charged all three with security violations for reciting the Shema, banning them from entering Jerusalem’s Old City for 15 days.

Israel Says 5 Palestinians Arrested in Alleged Attack Plots, AP
Israeli authorities said Tuesday they have foiled a wide-ranging plot by Palestinian militant Hamas group to shoot a member of parliament, kidnap soldiers and bomb Jerusalem’s light rail system during a surge of violence that has left dozens dead in recent weeks. The police and Shin Bet security services said in a statement that five Palestinian men from east Jerusalem had been arrested for allegedly planning a shooting attack against far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir and other targets at a time of heightened tensions in the flashpoint city.



Knesset Passes Veterans Scholarships Law After Likud Agrees to Gantz’s Compromise, The Times of Israel
The Knesset passed legislation early Tuesday granting tuition scholarships to IDF veterans, after the Likud party agreed to a last-minute compromise proposal from Defense Minister Benny Gantz and withdrew its opposition to the bill.

Israeli Defense Minister: ‘We Seek the Truth’ on Killing of Veteran Palestinian Journalist, The Forward
Israel’s defense minister, Benny Gantz, said on Sunday that he discussed the fatal shooting of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh while she was covering a raid in the occupied West Bank for Al-Jazeera, in his meetings with senior officials of the U.S. administration last week.

U.S. Negotiating Deal Among Saudis, Israelis and Egyptians, Axios
The Biden administration has been quietly mediating among Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt on negotiations that, if successful, could be a first step on the road to the normalization of relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Turkey’s Top Diplomat Starts West Bank, Israel Tour, in First Visit in Years, Haaretz
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu arrived on Tuesday for a two-day visit of Israel and the West Bank, the first such visit by a senior Turkish official in more than a decade.

Opinion and Analysis

An Israeli-Palestinian Confederation Is the Best Path to Peace, Foreign Policy
Hiba Husseini and Yossi Beilin write, “We believe that the only way to deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is through addressing the root cause of this protracted conflict by reaching a permanent peace agreement. We cannot keep placing Band-Aids on a festering wound and hope that it will self-heal. A confederation would address the deeply rooted causes of the conflict and bring about a fair and genuine resolution. It will place us on a path that ensures the desired security and prosperity for both peoples.”

‘We Have All Lost Our Parent’: Umm Al-Khair Mourns an Iconic Activist, +972 Mag
Awdah Hathaleen reflects, “Life in Umm al-Khair feels darker since the death of my uncle, Haj Suleiman al-Hathaleen. A lifelong activist and respected elder, Haj Suleiman was the light that illuminated the way for many of us living in the South Hebron Hills in the occupied West Bank…His martyrdom has left a great emotional void here in our small village, and indeed throughout Masafer Yatta, where eight of our neighboring communities are facing imminent demolition after the Israeli High Court approved their expulsion earlier this month. Particularly in this dangerous moment, his death represents the loss of a defender of our people who brought his characteristic nonviolent resistance to all spheres of our life. In truth, we are finding it hard to maintain our resistance: we have not found another person who can do what Haj Suleiman did for us, and I do not think that we will. We have lost a core source of hope for a better future.””

Absence of Iran Nuclear Deal Could Spell Danger for Israel, The Jerusalem Post
Yonah Jeremy Bob reports, “The absence of an Iran deal could spell more imminent nuclear danger for Israel and its allies, intelligence sources have indicated to The Jerusalem Post, although both the governments of Benjamin Netanyahu and Naftali Bennett have opposed the deal. Some in the intelligence and defense establishment view no deal as much worse than even a bad deal.”