News Roundup for June 25, 2018

June 25, 2018

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Top News and Analysis

As Israel Pushes to Build, Bedouin Homes and School Face Demolition, The New York Times

David M. Halbfinger and Rami Nazzal write, “The herders are being herded. Any day now, the Israeli Army says, bulldozers will arrive to wipe the West Bank Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar off the map. For decades, Israel has wanted to clear a large section of the West Bank of several thousand Bedouins — who raise sheep and goats in the creases of the hills east of Jerusalem — to make room for the expansion of Jewish settlements.”

Why Jordan will be key to any Mideast peace deal, Al-Monitor

Akiva Eldar writes, “The burden is on Netanyahu to show that he is indeed committed to maintaining the status quo at the holy places in Jerusalem as he declared after meeting with Jordan’s king this week. Primarily, he must rein in himself and his friends who have turned Jerusalem into a source of political capital and a burial site for the two-state vision.”



Five Strikes in 24 Hours: Israel Targets Gazans Prepping Flaming Balloons, Hamas Targets, Haaretz

The Israeli military carried out five strikes on Palestinians in Gaza prepping flaming kites and balloons, as well as Hamas targets throughout the Strip, over the past 24 hours. On Sunday, the IDF said it conducted an airstrike in Gaza on a vehicle carrying a group of Palestinians was preparing to launch incendiary balloons in the southern strip.

Erdogan declares victory in presidential election in Turkey, Washington Post

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared victory in a pivotal election Sunday, saying voters had “handed him” the presidency….The election was one of the most consequential votes in years and saw a revitalized opposition unify to challenge the incumbent president, who has ruled Turkey for a decade and a half.

Kushner rips Palestinian president, says Mideast peace plan will move forward — with or without him, Los Angeles Times

President Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor said in an interview published Sunday that the administration will release a Mideast peace plan soon, with or without the blessing of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Jared Kushner accused Abbas of advancing his own political interests at the expense of his constituents and suggested the Palestinian leader was afraid of making peace with Israel.

Trump on Israel embassy move: ‘Evangelicals appreciate it more than the Jews’, Hill

President Trump said in a new interview that evangelical Christians have been more appreciative than Jewish people of his decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Nuclear deal collapse would be ‘very dangerous’ for Iran, its FM says, Times of Israel Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned Sunday that failure to save the nuclear deal after the exit of the United States would be “very dangerous” for Tehran….Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani is expected to visit Switzerland and Austria in July as part of Iran’s efforts to secure continued European support for the deal, Bern and Vienna have said.

Israel says fires Patriot at drone from Syria, which turns around unhit, Reuters

Israel’s military said it launched Patriot anti-aircraft on Sunday at an incoming drone from Syria, which turned away unscathed, and a Syrian commander said the pilotless plane was engaged in local operations.


Opinion and Analysis

Victory propels Erdoğan into elite club of strongman leaders, Guardian

Simon Tisdall writes, “Outright victory in the first round of Turkey’s presidential elections has propelled Recep Tayyip Erdoğan into the foremost rank of global strongman leaders in the style of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping and Egypt’s Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. But his unchecked political dominance may mark the beginning of a new dark age for Turkish democracy. Erdoğan’s triumphantly aggressive acceptance speech from the balcony of the Ankara headquarters of his neo-Islamist Justice and Development party (AKP) set an ominous tone. He vowed to continue to ‘fight decisively’ against Turkey’s enemies at home and abroad, as defined by him.”

Hamas Seeks a Major Conflict With Israel, Defense Officials Warn, Haaretz

Yaniv Kubovich reports, “Israeli defense officials are seeing in recent weeks signs that Hamas is willing to enter another round of fighting with Israel as a possible path to a solution to Gaza’s humanitarian crisis. Hamas believes that a prolonged and intense confrontation will promote the rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip and investment in infrastructure projects, according to these assessments.”