Islamic State claims deadly Berlin truck attack
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Islamic State claims deadly Berlin truck attack

Prime Minister Netanyahu says a missing Israeli woman, whose husband was severly injured in the assault, may have been killed

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (C), his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu (R) and Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) attend a meeting in Moscow on December 20, 2016.   ( AFP PHOTO / Natalia KOLESNIKOVA)
    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (C), his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu (R) and Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) attend a meeting in Moscow on December 20, 2016. ( AFP PHOTO / Natalia KOLESNIKOVA)
  • A view of the Christmas market near the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedaechtniskirche (Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church) in central Berlin on December 20, 2016, a day after a terror attack killed 12 and wounded dozens (AFP PHOTO/Tobias SCHWARZ)
    A view of the Christmas market near the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedaechtniskirche (Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church) in central Berlin on December 20, 2016, a day after a terror attack killed 12 and wounded dozens (AFP PHOTO/Tobias SCHWARZ)
  • Ambulance and police cars are seen outside a Muslim prayer hall, central Zurich, on December 19, 2016, after three people were injured by gunfire. 
(AFP PHOTO / Michael Buholzer)
    Ambulance and police cars are seen outside a Muslim prayer hall, central Zurich, on December 19, 2016, after three people were injured by gunfire. (AFP PHOTO / Michael Buholzer)
  • Syrian government forces and Red Crescent staff are seen in Aleppo's Ramoussa district as the evacuation of civilians from eastern Aleppo continues on December 20, 2016. (AFP PHOTO / GEORGE OURFALIAN)
    Syrian government forces and Red Crescent staff are seen in Aleppo's Ramoussa district as the evacuation of civilians from eastern Aleppo continues on December 20, 2016. (AFP PHOTO / GEORGE OURFALIAN)
  • Tunisians shout slogans against Israel during a demonstration on December 20, 2016 in Tunis  (AFP PHOTO / FETHI BELAID)
    Tunisians shout slogans against Israel during a demonstration on December 20, 2016 in Tunis (AFP PHOTO / FETHI BELAID)

The Times of Israel liveblogged Tuesday’s events as they unfolded.

Swiss police find body of suspected Islamic center shooter

Swiss police say they have found the body of a man suspected of opening fire and injuring three men at a Muslim prayer hall in Zurich.

The attack on Monday evening is not believed to be linked to the so-called Islamic State (IS) movement, a statement adds.

“We assume that the dead person we found is the perpetrator of the shooting at the Islamic centre in Zurich,” Zurich police say in a tweet.

It added that there is “no indication that the perpetrator has a link to IS (Islamic State).”

The body was found after a search for the shooter near the scene. No details were given on how he died.

The announcement came after a man, around 30 years old, burst into the Islamic Center in central Zurich around 5:30 p.m. (1630 GMT) on Monday and began shooting, according to police.

AFP

Turkey, Russia vow to cooperate in wake of assassination of envoy

The foreign ministers of Russia and Turkey are vowing to continue to cooperate after a Turkish policeman shot and killed Russia’s ambassador to Ankara yesterday.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says Turkey and Russia will work together to determine who was behind the “heinous terror attack” against Andrey Karlov, who was killed in front of a stunned audience while making remarks at a photo exhibition in Ankara.

Andrei Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, pauses during a speech at a photo exhibition, moments before a gunman, identified as Mevlut Mert Altintas, seen standing in the background, left, fatally shoots him in Ankara, December 19, 2016 (AP/Burhan Ozbilici)

Andrei Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, pauses during a speech at a photo exhibition, moments before a gunman, identified as Mevlut Mert Altintas, seen standing in the background, left, fatally shoots him in Ankara, December 19, 2016 (AP/Burhan Ozbilici)

They attending a previously scheduled meeting in Moscow.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was hosting Cavusoglu as well as the foreign minister of Iran for a meeting to discuss the Syrian crisis. Top Turkish, Russian and Iranian defense officials were also meeting. Russia and Iran have backed the government of Bashar Assad, while Turkey has supported rebels fighting Assad.

“Turkey and Russia have shown the world what they can achieve when they cooperate,” Cavusoglu said in at the start of the meeting with Lavrov. He was referring to a Turkish- and Russian-brokered peace deal that paved the way for the evacuation of thousands of people from the east of embattled Aleppo.

The presidents of Russia and Turkey, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, agreed that the killing of the Russian ambassador “makes us more decisive in fighting terrorism and makes today’s meeting even more important,” Lavrov said.

Both foreign ministers lay flowers in front of a photograph of the ambassador at the Russian Foreign Ministry mansion where talks were taking place. Cavusoglu said a street where the Russian Embassy in Ankara is located would be renamed for Karlov.

AP

Berlin rabbi visits Israeli wounded in truck attack

Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, Rabbi of the Jewish Community of Berlin, has visited the Israli who was injured during Monday’s attack in Berlin.

“He is not in a life-threatening situation. He has had an operation,” the rabbi says, adding that he prayed for the man.

Teichtal say he and the community are trying to assist in the search for the man’s wife, who is missing.

Police arrest 2nd man in billionaire diamond tycoon corruption probe

Israeli police have arrested a second man suspected of involvement on suspicion of money laundering and bribing public officials in Africa, police say.

The man is an assistant to diamond and mining magnate Beny Steinmetz, who is accused of paying millions of dollars in bribes in the Republic of Guinea in exchange for advancing his business interests in the country.

Israeli businessman Beny Steinmetz. May 17, 2007.(Moshe Shai/FLASH90)

Israeli businessman Beny Steinmetz. May 17, 2007.(Moshe Shai/FLASH90)

“The suspect arrested today will appear before the court as the investigation advances,” police say.

Yesterday Steinmetz was released on bail to house arrest after paying NIS 100 million ($26 million) bail. He was also questioned Monday by the Lahav 433 anti-corruption unit, and police searched his home and offices.

The joint investigation is being carried out by agencies from the US, Switzerland, Guiana and Israel in coordination with the OECD.

Ilan Ben Zion

Islamic State claims responsibility for Jordan castle attack

The Islamic state is claiming responsibility for the deadly shooting attack in Jordan that killed 10 people, including a Canadian tourist, Al Arabiya reports.

The shootings Sunday took place in Karak, a tourist destination known for one of the biggest Crusader castles in the region, around 120 kilometers (70 miles) south of the capital Amman.

Baby killed in fire in Bedouin village

A small child was killed when a fire broke out in a hut in a Bedouin village in the Negev, Megen David Adom says.

The rescue service says medics were unable to revive the baby, believed to be about 6 months old. Another person was hospitalized in a moderate condition.

Man arrested for Berlin truck attack likely the wrong person

Berlin police say a man arrested for the truck attack in the German capital is not the actual perpetrator, who is still on the loose.

“We have the wrong man,” a police official tells the German paper De Welt

The attack Monday saw a truck plow into a crowded Christmas market in the heart of the German capital, killing at least 12 people and injuring nearly 50 in what police described as an “intentional” act and a suspected “terror attack.”

The man initially arrested is a Pakistani who entered the country about a year ago.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the market carnage was a “terrorist act” likely committed by an asylum seeker.

Tennis star injured by knife-wielding attacker at her home

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova was injured by a knife-wielding attacker at her home today

The player’s spokesman, Karel Tejkal, says Kvitova suffered a left hand injury and has been treated by doctors. He said the injuries to Kvitova, who is left-handed, are not life-threatening.

In this Nov. 12, 2016 file picture Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova returns the ball to France's Caroline Garcia during the Fed Cup final in Strasbourg, France. Kvitova has been injured during an attack in her flat in the Czech Republic. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias,file)

In this Nov. 12, 2016 file picture Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova returns the ball to France’s Caroline Garcia during the Fed Cup final in Strasbourg, France. Kvitova has been injured during an attack in her flat in the Czech Republic. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias,file)

“What happened to me was certainly not pleasant, but it’s behind me,” Kvitova saysin a statement on the Facebook page of the Czech Republic’s Fed Cup team. “The main thing for me now is that the doctors find out what is the condition of my hand. I trust them and believe that everything will end up well.

“I have the best possible care and I’m in touch with my loved ones. The worst is behind me.”

It was not immediately clear how the injury could affect the 2011 and 2014 Wimbledon champion’s play. Details of her injury were expected to be released later Tuesday.

Tejkal said the incident, which he described as a burglary, occurred Tuesday morning in the eastern Czech town of Prostejov.

Prostejov police spokesman Frantisek Korinek said the attacker, a man who is about 35 years old, escaped from the scene and was at large. He said police have launched a manhunt.

AP

15-year-old girl found killed in north — medics

Magen David Adom say that a body of a young girl, “with signs of violence,” was found in northern Israel.

Hebrew media say the victim is 15 years old.

The body was found in a park near the Arab village of Kasra Samia in northern Israel, Magen David Adom says.

Medics confirmed her death, they say.

Shin Bet wants to ban lawmakers meeting with prisoners

Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan says that the Shin Bet security agency wants lawmakers banned from meeting with security prisoners.

Erdan tells a Knesset committee that he had spoken with the head of the Shin Bet about the issue.

“As far as he is concerned there should be a blanket ban on any MKs meeting with security prisoners,” he says, according to Walla.

The move comes after police launched an investigation into Arab MK Basel Ghattas, who is suspected of smuggling phones to inmates in Israeli prison.

Aleppo evacuation should end in ‘one or two days’ – Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says that the evacuation from Syria’s Aleppo should finish within a couple of days.

“Right now the evacuation is wrapping up,” Lavrov says at a joint press conference after meeting with Turkish and Iranian counterparts in Moscow. “We hope that this is a question of one or a maximum of two days.”

— AFP

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (C), his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu (R) and Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) attend a meeting in Moscow on December 20, 2016. ( AFP PHOTO / Natalia KOLESNIKOVA)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (C), his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu (R) and Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) attend a meeting in Moscow on December 20, 2016. ( AFP PHOTO / Natalia KOLESNIKOVA)

Palestinian arrested for attempted stabbing

Police and Shin Bet security agents arrested a Palestinian teen earlier this month on suspicion of stabbing a Border Police officer in October near the settlement of Har Adar, west of Jerusalem, the Shin Bet reveals today.

The 17-year-old Palestinian from the adjacent village of Bayt Surik attacked the serviceman on October 15 and fled the scene.

An investigation found that the unnamed suspect monitored Israeli security agents operating along the security barrier running near Har Adar and Bayt Surik from his home and tracked their movements, the security agency says.

The policeman suffered minor injuries and was taken to Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem in Jerusalem. He was released from hospital several hours later.

— Ilan Ben Zion

Police arrest operation in East Jerusalem sparks clashes

Police entered the Shuafat neighborhood of East Jerusalem, arresting four Palestinians who were illegal in Israel, police say.

During the arrest raid police came under attack by stone throwers. One Palestinian was reported shot and fled the scene, police say.

Five minors were arrested.

Lawmakers barred from visiting security prisoners

The Knesset House Committee has voted to bar lawmakers from visiting security prisoners.

Channel 2 says that while individual Knesset members will no longer be permitted to make such visits, a group of coalition and opposition lawmakers will be set up that can inspect prisons and prisoners to make sure there is no abuse.

The move comes after police launched an investigation into Arab MK Basel Ghattas, who is suspected of smuggling phones to inmates in Israeli prison.

Swastikas, hate graffiti reported throughout Long Island, NY neighborhoods

Several incidents of red spray-painted swastikas and other hate incidents have been reported in neighborhoods in Long Island, New York.

Police are investigating the incidents, which occurred throughout the neighborhoods through December 16, as hate crimes, the New York Daily News reports. Among the places where the incidents occurred are the towns of Merrick and Mineola in Nassau County.

The incidents include a sidewalk outside of a private home vandalized with multiple red swastikas and “Make America White Again”and swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti painted on a wall outside of a 7-Eleven in Merrick.

Swastikas were drawn in the snow in Merrick and Mineola on Sunday, according to reports.

In addition, several swastikas were discovered by a professor at the Nassau Community College campus in Garden City on Friday, on top of swastikas drawn in campus restrooms earlier this month as well as on three separate occasions in October.

JTA

Tallahassee synagogue ups security after receiving hate mail

A synagogue in Tallahassee, Florida, has increased security after receiving three anonymous letters filed with anti-Semitic rhetoric.

The 100-family, Conservative synagogue has put in surveillance cameras and requested increased police patrols, the Tallahassee Democrat daily newspaper reports.

Synagogue president David Abrams tells the newspaper that there were no direct threats against the congregation, but that the letters referenced several Jewish conspiracy theories.

JTA

First 2 female Ethiopian-Israeli judges appointed

The first two Ethiopian-descent female judges in Israel have been appointed.

Esther Tapta Geradi and Adenko Sabhat Haimovich were sworn in in a ceremony at the residence of President Reuven Rivlin.

New Ethiopian Israeli judges Esther Tapta Geradi and Adenko Sabhat Haimovich take part in a swearing-in ceremony for newly appointed judges at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, on December 20, 2016. (Photo by Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

New Ethiopian Israeli judges Esther Tapta Geradi and Adenko Sabhat Haimovich take part in a swearing-in ceremony for newly appointed judges at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, on December 20, 2016. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

Jordanian police clash with gunmen in Karak

Jordanian security forces are battling unidentified gunmen in the city of Karak, where 10 people were killed in an attack on Sunday, Reuters reports.

The clashes came after a raid on a house where the suspected attackers were hiding, the report says.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack earlier in the day.

Turkish assassin unlikely to have acted alone

The Turkish policeman who assassinated Russia’s ambassador was unlikely to have acted alone, a senior Turkish government official says, as investigators from both countries hunted for clues as to who might have been behind the killing.

Russian investigators arrived in the Turkish capital of Ankara on Tuesday morning and headed to the art gallery where Ambassador Andrey Karlov was shot dead Monday evening by Mevlut Mert Altintas.

The 22-year-old gunman, a member Ankara’s riot police squad, shouted slogans about the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo as he killed the envoy.

The senior government official describes the killing as “fully professional, not a one-man action” and said the attack was well-planned. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release details to the press.

Turkish authorities have not publicly released any information on the investigation or on a possible motive for the policeman.

AP

Jordanian policeman killed in shootout with gunmen

Gunmen today killed a Jordanian policeman in a shootout in Karak where a weekend attack claimed by the Islamic State group killed 10 people, a security source says

A second policeman was wounded after security forces launched a raid in search of suspects linked to Sunday’s attack, according to the source who declined to be identified, adding that the operation is ongoing.

The general security department, in a statement carried by the official Petra news agency, says the operation was launched to track down a number of wanted suspects who were holed up in a house in Karak.

AFP

Netanyahu to name Hanegbi as minister for regional coooperation

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will name Tzachi Hanegbi from his Likud party as minister for regional cooperation, Walla reports.

Netanyahu currently holds the position himself, along with the foreign affairs and communication portfolios.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, speaks with MK Tzachi Hanegbi during a Likud party meeting in the Knesset on February 8, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, speaks with MK Tzachi Hanegbi during a Likud party meeting in the Knesset on February 8, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Hanegbi is currently a minister in the prime minister’s office.

Israeli envoy: Missing woman in Berlin attack may still be alive

Israel’s ambassador in Germany says there is still hope that a missing Israeli woman, whose husband was seriously wounded in the truck attack, might be alive.

Yakov Hadas-Handelsman says that not all the wounded have been identified.

“We are going from place to place, mobilizing whoever we can. There must always be hope, but we don’t have any information,” he told Ynet.

Liberman opposed to cuts in army service for men

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman says he is opposed to planned cuts in the amount of time men have to serve in the army.

From 2020 compulsory military service is supposed to drop to 30 months. Currently men serve 32 months, down from the traditional 3 years.

But Liberman says “we need to return to 36 months,” according to Haaretz, and will speak with the Finance Ministry about it.

IDF soldiers take part in a training exercise on October 26, 2010. (Michal Shvadron / IDF spokesperson / FLASH90)

IDF soldiers take part in a training exercise on October 26, 2010. (Michal Shvadron / IDF spokesperson / FLASH90)

Tunisians protest killing blamed on Mossad

Hundreds protested in Tunis today over the killing of a Tunisian engineer last week that Hamas has blamed on Israel.

Mohamed Al-Zoari, 49, was shot dead at the wheel of his car outside his house in Tunisia’s second city Sfax on Thursday. He was hit by 20 bullets.

Waving Tunisian and Palestinian flags, more than 200 protesters walked up a main thoroughfare in the Tunisian capital, an AFP correspondent says.

“With our soul, with our blood, we will avenge you Palestine,” they chanted.

Tunisians shout slogans against Israel during a demonstration on December 20, 2016 in Tunis (AFP PHOTO / FETHI BELAID)

Tunisians shout slogans against Israel during a demonstration on December 20, 2016 in Tunis (AFP PHOTO / FETHI BELAID)

Putin tells secret services to boost security at home, abroad

Russian President Vladimir Putin today ordered his secret services to boost security at home and abroad after the killing of Moscow’s envoy in Ankara and an attack on a Christmas market in Berlin.

“I ask the special services to take additional measures to ensure security inside Russia and outside, to raise the security of Russian institutions and employees abroad,” Russian news wires are quoting Putin as saying to security bosses, adding they should “strengthen their work” with intelligence agencies from other countries.

AFP

4 Jordanian police killed in clash with gunmen during raid

Four policemen were killed today in an exchange of fire with wanted men in a central Jordanian province where assailants had killed 10 people in a series of ambushes earlier this week, state media says

Several wanted men were killed and others arrested after the firefight in the province of Karak, the official news agency Petra reports. The report did not say how many of the alleged fugitives had been killed.

State media said police officers came under fire during a raid of a suspected hideout of fugitives. Petra says the cell targeted Tuesday was not connected to those involved in Sunday’s attacks in Karak.

Earlier Tuesday, the extremist group Islamic State claimed responsibility for Sunday’s shootings which killed nine Jordanians and a tourist from Canada.

AP

Israel stands with Germany, President Rivlin tells counterpart

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin called his German counterpart Joachim Gauck to offer his condolences after the Berlin truck attack and told him that Israel is stands with Germany in the fight against terror.

“Israel stands hand-in-hand with Germany in the fight against hatred, extremism, and all forms of terror.”,” Rivlin says, according to his office.

Guack thanked Rivlin, saying “I appreciate you calling me and expressing your condolences because I know that you and your country are in a position to understand fully what being threatened by terrorism means for a people and a nation because in your country it has become almost a daily phenomenon.”

Prague subway employee allegedly threatened to ‘cut off’ head of kippah-wearing passenger

The company operating Prague’s subway is investigating a complaint alleging one of its employees threatened to “cut off the head” of a Jewish passenger wearing a kippah.

The incident was reported last week by a member of Prague’s Bejt Simcha Reform Community, Petr Papousek, president of the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic, tell JTA today.

The Prague Public Transit Company, he says, “is taking the complaint very seriously, and is investigating the details of the incident in order to draw conclusions on the behavior of the employee in question,” Papousek says. He did not identify the complainant, who requested anonymity.

The state asks High Court to delay Amona evacuation

The state has asked High Court of Justice for a delay in the order to evacuate the illegal Amona outpost.

The court had given the state until December 25th, but with an agreement reached with residents to voluntarily relocate, the government has now gone back to the court for a stay.

PM says it’s possible an Israeli was killed in Berlin truck attack

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the Berlin truck attack on a Christmas fair “may have claimed the life of an Israeli citizen.”

An Israeli woman, whose husband was seriously wounded in the assault, remains missing. However, not all the wounded have yet been identified.

Netanyahu was addressing foreign reporters and diplomats at the Government Press Office’s annual New Year’s reception.

Raphael Ahren

PM says Israel looking for ways to help wounded from Aleppo

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he has instructed the foreign ministry to find a way to help more of the wounded from Syria, including from Aleppo.

“The suffering is great. We can help mitigate some of the suffering, that’s the best we can do,” he says.

“It’s a tragedy,” Netanyahu says addressing foreign reporters and diplomats at the Government Press Office’s annual New Year’s reception.

Israel has been treated over 2,000 Syrians since 2014, with most helped in a IDF field hospital.

Raphael Ahren

A military hospital set up by the IDF in the Golan Heights in order to treat wounded Syrians. (photo credit: screen capture, Channel 2)

A military hospital set up by the IDF in the Golan Heights in order to treat wounded Syrians. (photo credit: screen capture, Channel 2)

MK Ghattas reportedly admits smuggling phones to prisoners

Arab MK Basel Ghattas reportedly confessed to police interrogators that he did smuggle miniature cellphones and notes to Palestinian prisoners serving time for terror acts at Ketziot Prison south of Beersheba.

Ghattas was questioned by police today and confirmed the allegations against him, but said his actions were meant to be humanitarian, Channel 2 reports.

The government wants to strip Ghattas of his parliamentary immunity so that he can face charges for the smuggling.

Germany releases Pakistani held over Berlin attack

A Pakistani asylum seeker suspected of plowing a truck into a Berlin Christmas market and killing 12 people was released today for lack of evidence, prosecutors say.

“The accused, detained over the attack on the Berlin Christmas market on December 19, 2016, was let go on this evening on the orders of the federal prosecutor,” his office says. Authorities identified the man earlier as a Pakistani asylum seeker.

“The forensic tests carried out so far did not provide evidence of the accused’s presence during the crimes in the cab of the truck.”

AFP

US-Israel cybersecurity collaboration legislation signed into law

Bipartisan legislation to strengthen collaborative cyber security-research and development efforts between the United States and Israel was signed into law.

On Friday, President Barack Obama signed the US-Israel Advanced Research Partnership Act of 2016, which will expand existing joint research and create a grant for new development.

Reps. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, and Jim Langevin, D-R.I., had introduced the measure after returning from a congressional trip to Israel in July that focused on addressing cyber-security issues facing both countries, Ratcliffe’s office says in a statement issued Monday.

Ratcliffe is chairman of the House Homeland Security subcommittee on cyber-security, infrastructure protection and security technologies.

JTA

UN Security Council condemns ‘barbaric’ Berlin attack

The UN Security Council is condemning “the barbaric and cowardly terrorist attack” at a Christmas market in Berlin and calling for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.

Council members say “that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.”

A truck drove into the popular market, killing 12 people and injuring nearly 50 others.

The council “expressed their deep sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims, as well as to the government of Germany.”

AP

Islamic State claims the Berlin truck attack

The Islamic State is claiming responsibility for the deadly truck attack at a Berlin Christmas market.

It took responsibility in a statement on its official Amaq site.

At least 12 people were killed and dozens wounded when the truck plowed into a busy market yesterday.

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