Top cop: It’s ‘natural’ for officers to be more suspicious of Ethiopians
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Top cop: It’s ‘natural’ for officers to be more suspicious of Ethiopians

Turkish, Kurdish forces in Syria said to agree to truce; soccer association declares strike in all Israeli leagues

Elie Leshem is deputy editor of The Times of Israel.

  • Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich speaks in Tel Aviv on August 30, 2016 (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
    Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich speaks in Tel Aviv on August 30, 2016 (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
  • This picture, taken around 5 kilometers west of the Turkish Syrian border city of Karkamis in the southern region of Gaziantep, on August 25, 2016, shows a boy looking on as Turkish Army tanks drive to the Syrian Turkish border town of Jarabulus. (AFP PHOTO / BULENT KILIC)
    This picture, taken around 5 kilometers west of the Turkish Syrian border city of Karkamis in the southern region of Gaziantep, on August 25, 2016, shows a boy looking on as Turkish Army tanks drive to the Syrian Turkish border town of Jarabulus. (AFP PHOTO / BULENT KILIC)
  • A woman walks in front of a closed Police station where a police officer was stabbed, in Toulouse, on August 30, 2016 (AFP PHOTO / PASCAL PAVANI)
    A woman walks in front of a closed Police station where a police officer was stabbed, in Toulouse, on August 30, 2016 (AFP PHOTO / PASCAL PAVANI)
  • General view of the old Bloomfield soccer stadium in Jaffa on August 8, 2016 (Flash90)
    General view of the old Bloomfield soccer stadium in Jaffa on August 8, 2016 (Flash90)
  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the funeral of former minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer at the cemetery in Holon, on August 30, 2016 (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the funeral of former minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer at the cemetery in Holon, on August 30, 2016 (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
  • Illustrative: Palestinian security forces patrol in the West Bank city of Nablus on August 19,2016 amid clashes. (AFP Photo/Jaafar Ashtiyeh)
    Illustrative: Palestinian security forces patrol in the West Bank city of Nablus on August 19,2016 amid clashes. (AFP Photo/Jaafar Ashtiyeh)
  • Scene of fatality on Route 2 on August 30, 2016 (United Hatzalah)
    Scene of fatality on Route 2 on August 30, 2016 (United Hatzalah)

The Times of Israel liveblogged Tuesday’s news as it unfolded.

Car crashes into bus stop, killing woman

One woman is killed and a man is injured when a car crashes into a bus stop on Route 2 near the Olga Interchange, north of Tel Aviv.

The woman, said to have been about 40 years old, is pronounced dead at the scene.

The man, suffering from multiple injuries, is treated at the scene by medics.

According to reports, the car that rammed into the bus stop was driven by a man who was on his way home after arriving on a flight to the country and may have fallen asleep at the wheel.

Times of Israel staff

US blasts EU move to extract billions in back taxes from Apple

The US Treasury Department slams an EU ruling ordering Apple to pay record back taxes of up to 13 billion euros, saying the decision threatens the bilateral “spirit of economic partnership.”

“The Commission’s actions could threaten to undermine foreign investment, the business climate in Europe, and the important spirit of economic partnership between the US and the EU,” a Treasury Department spokesperson says in a statement.

“We will continue to monitor these cases as they progress, and we will continue to work with the Commission toward our shared objective of preventing the erosion of our corporate tax bases,” the statement adds.

Ireland’s tax collection agency, the Revenue Commissioners, insists that Apple hasn’t dodged a penny of lawfully calculated tax in Ireland.

The Revenue Commissioner chairman, Niall Cody, says the overarching problem is “mismatches between different countries’ tax rules.” Whereas Ireland taxes only a multinational company’s profits on sales within Ireland — a country of barely 4.6 million and representing a tiny fraction of those companies’ global business — the United States often seeks to recoup tax on a US-headquartered company’s profits worldwide.

Cody says Apple’s profits “that are not generated by their Irish branches — such as profits from technology, design and marketing that are generated outside Ireland — cannot be charged with Irish tax under Irish tax law.”

He says the Revenue Commissioners applied the same Irish tax rules to Apple as to around 1,000 other multinationals, most of them American, with bases in Ireland. He says: “Full tax due was paid in accordance with the law.”

— news agencies

Construction worker pushed to his death, police suspect

Police are investigating a suspicion that a Palestinian construction worker who fell to his death at a building site in Tel Aviv last week was pushed by another worker, Haaretz reports.

Police who arrived at the scene of the incident, on Tuesday on Carlebach Street, initially treated it as an accident. However, witnesses said that prior to the worker’s fall, he was involved in a physical altercation with another worker, a Bedouin citizen of Israel.

The suspect, 19, has been arrested, the report says, and is brought before the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court to be remanded.

For the time being, he has been accused of negligent homicide.

Haredi MKs meet with Netanyahu over Shabbat railway works

Ultra-Orthodox lawmakers meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the midst of a coalition scare sparked by train works in Tel Aviv last Shabbat.

According to previous reports, the ultra-Orthodox politicians were planning to demand the resignation of Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz for what they described as a blatant breach of the “status quo” governing the relations between synagogue and state in the country.

Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz addresses the Herzliya Conference on Thursday, June 16, 2016 (Adi Cohen Zedek)

Minister Yisrael Katz addresses the Herzliya Conference on Thursday, June 16, 2016 (Adi Cohen Zedek)

However, it now appears that they will not seek Katz’s ouster. Instead, Netanyahu is pitching the establishment of a committee that will determine, in the future, what works are essential to the extent that they have to be carried out on Shabbat.

The ultra-Orthodox lawmakers are demanding that Jewish law be the yardstick by which such matters are determined, the report says.

Both PA and Hamas accused of rights abuses

Palestinian security forces have been arresting and abusing journalists and activists critical of their leaders, Human Rights Watch says in a report weeks before local elections.

The US-based group says abuses have occurred in both the West Bank, where the Palestinian Authority is in power, and the Gaza Strip, run by the Islamist movement Hamas, which Israel and much of the West consider a terror group.

“Both Palestinian governments, operating independently, have apparently arrived at similar methods of harassment, intimidation and physical abuse of anyone who dares criticize them,” Sari Bashi, the organization’s Israel and Palestine director, says in a statement.

Palestinian members of the al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, display Qassam home-made rockets during an anti-Israel military parade marking the second anniversary of the killing of Hamas's military commanders Mohammed Abu Shamala and Raed al-Attar on August 21, 2016 in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. (AFP  / SAID KHATIB)

Palestinian members of the al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, display Qassam home-made rockets during an anti-Israel military parade marking the second anniversary of the killing of Hamas’s military commanders Mohammed Abu Shamala and Raed al-Attar on August 21, 2016 in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. (AFP / SAID KHATIB)

“The Palestinian people fought hard to gain the protections that accompany membership in the international community, and their leaders should take their treaty obligations seriously,” she says.

A spokesman for Palestinian Authority security forces in the West Bank, Adnan al-Damiri, says: “We are committed to the international treaties that we signed and respect for human rights.”

He says officers are trained to avoid rights abuses.

In Gaza, interior ministry spokesman Iyad al-Bozum denies torture or political arrests. He says the Human Rights Watch report “includes many fallacies.”

— AFP

Binyamin Ben-Eliezer’s funeral begins in Holon

The funeral for the late lawmaker, minister and IDF general Binyamin Ben-Eliezer begins in Holon.

Hundreds are on hand for the ceremony, among them Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other dignitaries.

Netanyahu praises Ben-Eliezer for his honesty

Netanyahu praises Ben-Eliezer in his eulogy, calling him by his nickname.

“I loved Fuad,” he says, “and I allow myself to speak in your names — we loved Fuad.”

Ben-Eliezer, he continues, “understood the meaning of Jewish sovereignty, and contributed during his IDF service and later in his years of service in the government. He was all of a piece, and I was very impressed with that.”

Peres recalls Ben-Eliezer’s popularity among all Israelis

Former prime minister and president Shimon Peres also speaks at the funeral.

“Fuad,” he says, “you’re planted deep in the fields of Israel. You built its roads, defended its borders and towns.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the funeral of former minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer at the cemetery in Holon, on August 30, 2016 (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the funeral of former minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer at the cemetery in Holon, on August 30, 2016 (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Alluding to Ben-Eliezer’s popularity, which transcended his Labor Party affiliation, he adds: “We have come to take leave of you, from the right and the left, religious and secular; friends from all [ideological] streams and parties; representatives of the various religions. We’ve come to say thank you for your contribution to the security of the country, for the seeds of hope that you spread, for your humanity.”

Soccer association declares strike in all Israeli leagues

The Israel Football Association declares that all of the soccer leagues in the country are striking due to disagreements over a marketing deal.

The Premier League is not scheduled to play this weekend, but lower league play will not take place under the strike.

Drone strike said to kill Qaeda suspect in Yemen

A presumed US drone strike in southern Yemen killed an Al-Qaeda suspect and wounded two more on Tuesday, a security official says.

The strike hit a vehicle carrying the three jihadists in the eastern suburbs of Ataq, the capital of Shabwa province, the source says.

The United States has carried out numerous drone strikes against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula operatives in Yemen.

American officials said this month that the US military had killed three AQAP fighters in a strike, also in Shabwa.

On Wednesday, drone strikes killed seven Al-Qaeda suspects in south and east Yemen.

AFP

Dehydrated 2-year-old found wandering in Modiin Illit

Police find a dehydrated 2-year-old boy wandering around the central town of Modiin Illit.

They locate his father and question him on suspicion of negligence.

WATCH: Netanyahu meets with Israeli Olympic athletes

— Luke Tress

Russian hackers attack two US voter databases — reports

Russian-based hackers may have been responsible for two recent attempts to breach US voter registration databases in two states, raising fears Moscow is trying to undermine November’s presidential election, US media says.

The incidents led the FBI to send a “flash alert” to election officials earlier this month, asking them to watch for similar cyber-attacks.

The FBI alert, first reported by Yahoo News, does not mention Russia.

However, the authorities have attributed the attacks to Russian spy agencies, NBC News quotes US intelligence officials as saying.

“This is the closest we’ve come to tying a recent hack to the Russian government,” one unidentified official says, adding “there is serious concern” Moscow may be seeking to create uncertainty in the election process.

Although the alert does not identify targeted states, Yahoo News quotes officials as saying they were Illinois and Arizona.

— AFP

Ex-Istanbul police chief, others detained in anti-coup probe

Turkey detains a former police chief, several governors and nine journalists as part of the probe into the movement allegedly behind last month’s abortive coup, according to state media.

The Istanbul chief public prosecutor’s office issued a detention order for former Istanbul police chief Huseyin Capkin, an unnamed governor and two district governors, after new evidence surfaced in its investigation into the finances of the movement led by US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen. The Anadolu news agency says Capkin was detained in the western city of Izmir.

Ankara alleges Gulen was responsible for the violent July 15 coup attempt that left over 270 people dead. The cleric himself denies any involvement.

Nine journalists, meanwhile, are detained in police operations in Istanbul, Ankara and the northwestern province of Kocaeli, according to Anadolu.

The operations come after the Istanbul chief prosecutor’s office issues detention orders for 35 journalists with alleged ties to the Gulen movement. Eighteen of the journalists have left the country and authorities are still searching for the remaining eight.

— AP

Turkish, Kurdish forces in Syria said to agree to truce

Turkish and Kurdish forces in northern Syria have reached a “loose agreement” to stop fighting each other, a US defense official tells AFP.

“In the last several hours, we have received assurance that all parties involved are going to stop shooting at each other and focus on the ISIL threat,” says Colonel John Thomas, Central Command spokesman, using an acronym for the Islamic State group (IS).

“It’s a loose agreement for at least the next couple of days and we are hoping that will solidify.”

Thomas says the Turkish and Syrian Democratic Forces, made up largely of Kurdish fighters from the People’s Protection Units (YPG), have opened communications with the United States and between each other “with the goal of limiting hostilities.”

— AFP

IDF chief prosecutor pushes back at Liberman criticism

The IDF’s top prosecutor defends the decision to try a soldier who shot a disarmed Palestinian attacker in Hebron earlier this year.

“Wherever there is an alleged severe crime, it is our responsibility to investigate and put on trial,” Colonel Sharon Afek tells a gathering of the Israeli Bar Association in Tel Aviv, “even when passions flare, even when there is public debate, and even when the decisions are unpopular.”

Military Advocate General Col. Sharon Afek. (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

Military Advocate General Col. Sharon Afek. (IDF Spokesperson’s Unit)

His statements appear to be a response to Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, who said yesterday that cases such as those involving Elor Azaria, the Hebron shooter, were inevitable, as soldiers cannot stop and seek legal advice from an attorney before they carry out a mission.

“I want to remind you that people are fighting terror on a daily basis, fighting terrorists. They can’t go out to a mission with a lawyer at their side, and therefore sometimes [their] thought process will be correct and sometimes it won’t,” Liberman said.

— Judah Ari Gross contributed

Bennett accuses Netanyahu of bad-mouthing him to journalists

A day after announcing he would attempt to bury the hatchet with Benjamin Netanyahu, Education Minister Naftali Bennett claims the prime minister has been briefing members of the press against him.

“It saddens me that the prime minister has not stopped the marathon attacks against me in these briefings,” Bennett told the Knesset Channel, alluding to a series of hours-long off-the-record briefings that Netanyahu has been giving to the editorial boards of major Israeli outlets.

Bennett, who has recently sparred with Netanyahu over his alleged mishandling of the 2014 war in Gaza, says he’s “aware the prime minister has not stopped attacking me.”

“As two members of the same government, we must act collegially toward each other,” he says. “I will carry on with my business. I think these attacks are wrong, but I don’t intend to attack him back.”

On Monday, Bennett told Channel 2 he didn’t plan on getting into any more tiffs with Netanyahu, vowing to rectify their prickly relationship and let the state comptroller have the final word on any missteps in the lead-up to the 2014 war.

— Tamar Pileggi

French police officer wounded by knife-wielding attacker

French officials say that a police officer in the southern city of Toulouse has been wounded by a knife-wielding assailant.

Police spokesman David Delattre says the attack took place Tuesday afternoon when a person entered the Rempart Saint-Etienne police station and attacked the officer with a knife.

A woman walks in front of a closed Police station where a police officer was stabbed, in Toulouse, on August 30, 2016 (AFP PHOTO / PASCAL PAVANI)

A woman walks in front of a closed Police station where a police officer was stabbed, in Toulouse, on August 30, 2016 (AFP PHOTO / PASCAL PAVANI)

Delattre says the officer has a minor neck injury and adds that the attacker has been arrested, but he can’t elaborate further on the cause of the attack or the identity of either individual.

An Interior Ministry official, who isn’t authorized to speak to the media so speaks on condition of anonymity, says that it’s too soon to say if the “attack was of a terrorist nature,” but the attacker is known to local authorities for having psychological issues.

— AP

Top cop: It’s ‘natural’ for officers to suspect Ethiopians more than others

Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich draws condemnations from myriad politicians after he appears to say it’s “natural” for law-enforcement officers to be more suspicious of Ethiopian Israelis than of other citizens.

“Studies the world over have proven that immigrants and young people are invariably more involved in crime than others,” he tells a gathering of the Israel Bar Association in Tel Aviv, in response to a question about persistent accusations of police brutality and racial discrimination against Ethiopian Israelis.

“When a police officer comes across a suspicious person, his brain suspects him more than it would suspect someone else,” he continues, emphasizing that “over-policing is natural” when it comes to Ethiopians, apparently due to the aforementioned statistics linking them, as members of an immigrant community, to higher crime rates.

Still, Alsheich adds, the Israel Police has been working together with leaders in the Ethiopian Israeli community in a bid to curb such over-policing.

IS says its spokesman killed in Syria

The Islamic State says its spokesman, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, has been killed in Syria.

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