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21 Killed in Fast-Moving Gaza House Fire, The New York Times
A festive family gathering in the Gaza Strip celebrating a birthday and a graduation turned deadly on Thursday night, when a fire broke out and engulfed a multistory building, killing all 21 people at the party, an official said. The blaze, in the northern Gaza neighborhood of Jabaliya, was one of the deadliest episodes in Gaza in recent memory beyond the violence from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
New Israeli Government Bent on Escalation, Palestinians Warn, Haaretz
Senior Palestinian officials warned Thursday that the incoming Israeli government, headed by Benjamin Netanyahu, is intent on escalating violence in the West Bank and killing off any chance of peace. A statement issued by the office of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned that the agreements reached between Netanyahu and Itamar Ben-Gvir, according to which illegal settlement outposts will be connected to utilities and new bypass roads, will “entrench the settlements, lead to the confiscation of more Palestinian land, and undermine any possibility of achieving peace and establishing an independent Palestinian state on the basis of a two-state solution.”
Greek, Israeli Defense Ministers Stress Importance of Ties, The Washington Post
The defense ministers of Israel and Greece on Friday stressed the importance of maintaining strong alliances to tackle global and regional threats, citing challenges such as the war in Ukraine and ongoing tension in the eastern Mediterranean.
Ben-Gvir Announces Split From Religious Zionism, Calls for Smotrich to Be Appointed Defense Minister, Haaretz
Otzma Yehudit Chairman Itamar Ben-Gvir announced on Friday that he plans to submit a request to separate his party from Bezalel Smotrich’s Religious Zionism, per the deal the two agreed upon before the election held earlier this month.
Palestinian Teen Arrested With Knife Near Hebron; Shots Fired at Tulkarem Checkpoint, The Times of Israel
A Palestinian teenager was arrested with a knife near the West Bank city of Hebron on Friday morning as thousands of Jewish Israelis arrived to spend the weekend for an annual pilgrimage tradition.
Qatar To Allow Israeli Fans Into World Cup, but Jerusalem Warns Visitors To ‘Downplay Israeli Identity’, JTA
Qatar, which does not normally allow Israelis into the country, will permit Israeli visitors during the 2022 World Cup, prompting the Israeli government to warn travelers who make the trip to “downplay” their “Israeli identity.”
American Evangelicals Open a New Antiabortion Front — In Israel, The Washington Post
Shira Rubin reports, “In a country with one of the world’s most liberal abortion policies, groups funded by conservative American evangelicals are targeting women with a message familiar in the United States but novel to most Israelis: Abortion is “murder.” Israel legalized abortion in 1977, four years after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision. Israeli Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz further eased access to abortion this year, saying the overturning of Roe had set back women’s rights “by a hundred years.” But “pregnancy crisis centers” backed by conservative American evangelicals are becoming more prominent here, aiming to change the conversation around abortion and lay the groundwork for a political movement.”
Autistic Palestinian Teen’s Killing Casts Spotlight on Israel Tactics, BBC
Tom Bateman writes, “Fulla Masalmeh was buried on her 16th birthday in a grave sealed with cement and marked by a single bunch of flowers. Her family had planned a party that day, but instead said goodbye to their “wonderful and beautiful” daughter who had lived with the challenges of autism and an upbringing in poverty. A day earlier, Fulla was killed by Israeli soldiers who fired multiple shots at the car she was in…The army said the vehicle, driven by a 26-year-old Palestinian man, did not heed calls to stop and sped towards them – an account rejected by eyewitnesses and Fulla’s family. The army later said the driver was found to be drunk.”