Palestinian mufti: Al-Aqsa Mosque ‘always existed’
search
Live updates (closed)

Palestinian mufti: Al-Aqsa Mosque ‘always existed’

Israeli wounded in West Bank stabbing attack; Rivlin says he'll never pardon Rabin assassin Yigal Amir; Jewish residents of Hebron to receive tax breaks

Adiv Sterman is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

  • An Israeli soldier runs in heavy rains and strong winds as a thunderstorm hits Tel Aviv, October 25, 2015. (Ben Kelmer/Flash90)
    An Israeli soldier runs in heavy rains and strong winds as a thunderstorm hits Tel Aviv, October 25, 2015. (Ben Kelmer/Flash90)
  • Illustrative photo of the Tzalbanit checkpoint near the West Bank city of Hebron, near the Tomb of the Patriarchs. (Israel Police)
    Illustrative photo of the Tzalbanit checkpoint near the West Bank city of Hebron, near the Tomb of the Patriarchs. (Israel Police)
  • Israeli security forces use specially trained dogs to search the area where a Palestinian man carried out a stabbing attack near the Old City of Jerusalem on October 10, 2015 (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)
    Israeli security forces use specially trained dogs to search the area where a Palestinian man carried out a stabbing attack near the Old City of Jerusalem on October 10, 2015 (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)
  • View of the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, September 29, 2015 (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
    View of the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, September 29, 2015 (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
  • The knife used to stab an Israeli in a Palestinian attack near Ariel in the West Bank on Sunday, October 25, 2015 (Israel Police)
    The knife used to stab an Israeli in a Palestinian attack near Ariel in the West Bank on Sunday, October 25, 2015 (Israel Police)

The Times of Israel liveblogged Sunday’s developments as they unfolded.

Security forces shoot, kill would-be stabber in Hebron

Security forces foil an attempted stabbing attack at a checkpoint in Hebron, near the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

A Palestinian woman who pulled out a knife at the site is shot and killed.

No Israelis are reported injured in the incident.

Government officially labels IS as terror group

The government officially labels the Islamic State group and the Nusra Front as terrorist organizations, following recommendations by the Shin Bet security service.

On Saturday, an Arab Israeli man from the central Israeli town of Jaljulia crossed the Golan Heights border to Syria on a hang glider, the IDF said. Large military forces were mobilized to the Golan Heights border on Saturday night after a lookout position spotted him crossing the border and landing in Syrian territory in an area controlled by a rebel group affiliated with al Qaeda.

The man, a 23-year-old, crossed the border in order to join a terror group based in Syria, the IDF said.

Court extends remand for suspected car-ramming terrorist

The Haifa Magistrate’s Court extends by 3 days the remand for a suspected terrorist who carried out an attack near the entrance to Kibbutz Gan Shmuel.

Alaa Raed Ahmad Ziwad, 20, was arrested earlier this month after his vehicle allegedly rammed into a female soldier on Route 65 northeast of Hadera, after which he stepped out of the car and stabbed three others at the scene.

The attack left the 19-year-old soldier in critical condition. The remaining victims — a 20-year-old male soldier, a 15-year-old girl and a 45-year-old man — were lightly to moderately injured.

Suspect Alaa Raed Ahmad Ziwad at Haifa Magistrate's Court (Basel Awidat/Flash90)

Suspect Alaa Raed Ahmad Ziwad at Haifa Magistrate’s Court (Basel Awidat/Flash90)

Ziwad, a resident of the Israeli Arab town of Umm al-Fahm, some 12 miles from the scene of the attack, insisted during an arraignment at the Haifa court that he got into an accidental car collision and then acted in self-defense when attacked.

Jerusalem man shot by soldiers to be laid to rest

Simha Hodedatov, a Jewish man who was shot to death in Jerusalem Wednesday night by soldiers who thought he was a terrorist, will be laid to rest at 3 p.m. in the Yarkon Cemetery.

The funeral procession will begin in Petah Tikva, Ynet reports.

Hodedatov was shot by soldiers during a physical altercation, apparently fueled by his suspicion that the security personnel were themselves terrorists.

Zaka rescue personnel carry the body of a man shot dead by IDF soldiers in Jerusalem after he was mistaken for a terrorist, on October 21, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Zaka rescue personnel carry the body of a man shot dead by IDF soldiers in Jerusalem after he was mistaken for a terrorist, on October 21, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Hodedatov, 28, an immigrant from Dagestan, was a student in a yeshiva in Jerusalem. He had previously served as a soldier in an ultra-Orthodox IDF combat unit and after his discharge worked as a security guard in a kindergarten.

2 East Jerusalem men accused of incitement, terror support

The Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office files an indictment against two residents of East Jerusalem, accusing them of supporting a terrorist organization and inciting to violence.

The two, Omar Helwan, 18, and Mahmoud Abdel-Latif, 23, are accused of posting calls on Facebook to carry out acts of terrorism.

Syria: Russia operations achieving ‘big results’

Joint operations between Syrian and Russian forces are achieving “big results,” Syria’s parliament chief tells a visiting Russian parliamentary delegation, state news agency SANA reports.

“The coordination between Syrian and Russian forces during the implementation of air and ground operations has begun to achieve big results in defeating and eradicating terrorism in Syria and Iraq,” Jihad al-Lahham says.

He also defends joint Russian-Syrian operations as “the only legitimate coalition against international terrorism” in a dig at a US-led coalition against the Islamic State group that does not coordinate with Damascus.

Russia began an aerial campaign in Syria on September 30, in response to a request from Damascus.

Moscow says it is targeting IS and other “terrorists,” but Syrian rebels and their backers say Russian strikes have focused on moderate and Islamist fighters, not jihadists.

— AFP

2 injured in Afula stabbing, police investigating

Two people are reported severely wounded in an apparent stabbing attack in Afula’s Arlozorov Street.

Police are investigating the motive for the attack.

Police: Afula stabbing is crime, not terrorism

The stabbing of three people in Afula’s Arlozorov Street was criminally motivated, not an a terrorist attack, police say.

Two of those stabbed are reportedly moderately injured, while the other suffered light wounds.

Severe weather sweeps Mideast, 6 dead in Egypt

Severe weather sweeps across the Middle East, pounding Israel with baseball-sized hail, sending torrents of uncollected garbage through the streets of Beirut and killing six people in Egypt, five of whom were electrocuted by a fallen power cable.

The cable from a tramway in the coastal city of Alexandria landed in streets flooded with water, electrocuting the five, senior health official Magdy Hegazy said. He said a sixth person, a judge, drowned when he was trapped in his car by the floodwaters.

State news agency MENA reported heavy rains in several other Egyptian governorates, with authorities closing the port of Ain Sokhna near the southern end of the Suez Canal due to high winds and waves.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi ordered the government to provide aid to the hard-hit Alexandria area, while sandstorms and flash floods hit parts of the Sinai Peninsula. Cairo was also hit by a rare rainstorm.

In Israel, high winds knocked over cranes while hail the size of baseballs struck cities across the country.

An Israeli soldier runs in heavy rains and strong winds as a thunderstorm hits Tel Aviv, October 25, 2015. (Ben Kelmer/Flash90)

An Israeli soldier runs in heavy rains and strong winds as a thunderstorm hits Tel Aviv, October 25, 2015. (Ben Kelmer/Flash90)

Israeli police say they had received reports that one of the cranes struck a man, although his condition was unknown. Elsewhere, trees were knocked down, including one that hit a bus, seriously injuring a passenger.

In Lebanon, meanwhile, heavy rains caused floodwaters to mix with mounds of uncollected garbage, raising public health concerns.

— AP

Jewish residents of Hebron to receive tax breaks

The residents of the Jewish settlement in Hebron will receive tax breaks, the government decides, in order to compensate for ongoing terrorist attacks in the city.

The government is further debating whether residents of settlements defined as “high risk” will be eligible for benefits as well, Channel 2 reports.

The Finance Ministry estimates that the additional cost of adding tax benefits for settlements may reach up to NIS 600 million ($154.59 million) per year.

Police training dogs to fight terror, riots

Six search dogs are being trained by police to seek out potential terrorists and act against rioters the Jerusalem area.

The dogs will be deployed in situations where there is a real and immediate physical danger and in life-threatening situations, police says.

Israeli security forces use specially trained dogs to search the area where a Palestinian man carried out a stabbing attack near the Old City of Jerusalem on October 10, 2015 (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)

Israeli security forces use specially trained dogs to search the area where a Palestinian man carried out a stabbing attack near the Old City of Jerusalem on October 10, 2015 (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)

The canines are trained to hold down rock and Molotov cocktail throwers as well until the arrival of police forces.

Jordan king calls on Israel to respect Temple Mount status quo

Jordan’s King Abdullah says he hopes Israel will respect its commitments to ensure that the status quo is not violated on the Temple Mount.

“I followed the statements made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who reiterated that he respects the status quo on the Temple Mount,” the king says in a statement quoted by the Ynet news site.

“This is a worthy commitment, provided that it is implemented on the ground.”

On Saturday, US Secretary of State John Kerry lauded the idea of placing round-the-clock surveillance cameras on the Temple Mount as a means of ensuring calm at the holy site.

On Sunday, Netanyahu vowed once again to leave the status quo on the Temple Mount in place, with Muslim prayer and non-Muslim visits guaranteed. He said the cameras would help dispel accusations that Israel was breaking the status quo, and expressed hope it would help calm the region.

Haniyeh urges intensification of uprising against Israel

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh calls for the current uprising against Israel to be intensified, Israel Radio reports.

In a speech broadcast at a Hamas gathering in southern Lebanon, Haniyeh says the uprising, which he called an “intifada,” has succeeded where the attempts at reconciliation have failed and has united the Palestinian people.

Administrative order issued for right-wing activist

An administrative order is issued by security forces for a right-wing activist from a West Bank settlement in the Southern Hebron Hills.

According to the order, the man must remain under nightly house arrest for two and half months and will be forbidden from traveling through the West Bank, except in order to reach his home, Ynet reports.

Police searching for Afula stabbing suspect

A suspect involved in a criminal stabbing attack at Afula’s Arlozorov Street is still on the run from the police.

Before the incident, the suspect was briefly arrested for allegedly threatening two men over a financial dispute.

The man was released under restrictive conditions, but later returned to the scene, stabbed the two men and fled.

Abbas honors cartoonist who supports rock throwing

Palestinian Authority President Abbas honors a cartoonist from the Palestinian daily Al-Ayyam whose latest cartoons encourage rock throwing at Israelis, according to a report by Palestinian Media Watch.

Baha Al-Bukhari was awarded with the Palestine Order of Merit for Culture, Sciences and Arts as his work “fits Palestine and its resolute and full culture,” Abbas says.

A cartoon by Baha Al-Bukhari shows a whole Palestinian family prepared with rocks in their hands and ready to attack Israelis (Palestinian Media Watch)

A cartoon by Baha Al-Bukhari shows a whole Palestinian family prepared with rocks in their hands and ready to attack Israelis (Palestinian Media Watch)

“The president [Abbas] awarded the Order of Merit for Culture, Sciences and Arts to the creator and artist Al-Bukhari in recognition of his creative path in plastic arts and cartoons, and out of recognition of his life full of giving, actions, struggle, and beauty, in a way that fits Palestine and its resolute and full culture,” the Al-Hayat Al-Jadida newspaper reported on October 2.

Arabic to be taught starting first grade

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation approves a bill mandating that all students in Israel will learn spoken Arabic starting in the first grade.

“Especially during these days, in which terrorism grows and coexistence is undermined, it is important to lower the flames and create a bridge of language, cultural understanding and rapprochement between citizens,” said MK Oren Hazan, who advanced the bill.

“There is no better way to do so than to learn the language in order to understand the culture and mentality of a million and a half Arab citizens in Israel and hundreds of millions of Arabic speakers throughout the Middle East,” he said.

Power outages expected due to weather

The Israel Electrical Corporation announces that due to the serious damage caused to the electricity grid in the country by to the weather, widespread power outages are expected. Most of the outages are expected to take place in the cities of Netanya, Ashdod, Ra’anana, Hadera, Kfar Saba, Rehovot, Rishon Lezion, Ra’anana, Tel Aviv and Beersheba.

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man holds an umbrella on Jaffa Street, downtown Jerusalem on a rainy day, October 25, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man holds an umbrella on Jaffa Street, downtown Jerusalem on a rainy day, October 25, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Work to fix the grid may take several hours due to floods and collapsed trees that cause accessibility problems at the damaged sites.

‘Yigal Amir will never be pardoned as long as I’m president’

Marking the Hebrew date of the anniversary of the assassination of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, President Reuven Rivlin speaks at the President’s Residence.

“Twenty years after the assassination I can say… for as long as I am president, Yigal Amir will never be pardoned,” Rivlin says.

“We remember the shock when we realized the murder was real.”

1 wounded in stabbing near West Bank city of Ariel

A 25-year-old man is moderately wounded in a stabbing attack at a hitchhiking post on Route 5 near the central West Bank city of Ariel.

The man suffers wounds to his upper body and is rushed to the Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikvah for emergency treatment.

The stabber manages to escape. Police are searching the area.

Roads to Ariel Junction blocked off

Police close off the roads leading to the Ariel Junction in all directions following a stabbing attack near the West Bank site.

The stabber is still at large and police are searching the area.

IDF blocks entrance to villages near Ariel

IDF forces are blocking the entrances to several Palestinian villages near the West Bank city of Ariel and are searching for the perpetrator of a stabbing attack in the area earlier.

The attack took place as dozens of Palestinian workers arrived at the Ariel Junction after working in cities inside the Green Line during the day.

‘We warned of dangers at Ariel Junction’

Referring to a stabbing attack near the Ariel Junction in the West Bank, Yossi Dagan, the head of the Samaria Regional Council, says he had warned security officials of the dangers posed by Palestinian workers who are dropped off at the site.

“The problem is the loss of our ability to deter attackers – the buses that come here full of illegal aliens and Palestinians. We warned about this problem, and now we see the results,” he says.

Syria’s Assad favors vote, but only after defeating ‘terrorists’

President Bashar Assad is willing to run in an early presidential election, hold parliamentary elections and discuss constitutional changes, but only after the defeat of “terrorist” groups, Russian lawmakers say after meeting with the Syrian leader.

The meeting came as Russia, the US, Saudi Arabia and Turkey were discussing new ideas for a political transition in Syria to end the nearly five-year war, which has killed 250,000 people and displaced half the country’s population.

The Western-backed Syrian opposition and other insurgent groups have refused to back any plan that does not include Assad’s exit from power, and were unlikely to view any elections held by his government as legitimate. The Syrian government views the entire armed opposition as “terrorists” and has been waging an offensive on several fronts in recent weeks backed by Russian airstrikes.

— AP

Mufti says Al-Aqsa Mosque ‘always existed’

Palestinian Mufti Sheikh Mohammed Ahmed Hussein says he cannot comment on the US-brokered plan to install video surveillance at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the third-holiest site in Islam.

The Temple Mount is also considered by Jews to be the holiest site in Judaism and home to the biblical Jewish Temples.

“It is still a plan, the Waqf will decide in the end,” he says in an interview with Channel 2.

He adds that the Jews have no right to ascend to the Temple Mount, as, he claimed, the site was always home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

“The Al-Aqsa Mosque existed since 3,000 years ago… and 30,000 years ago and since the creation of the world,” the mufti says.

Hebron stabber was 17-year-old Palestinian

The attacker during today’s stabbing at a checkpoint in the West Bank city of Hebron was a 17-year-old Palestinian teenager, police say.

The teenager, Dalia Jihad Arsheed, raised suspicions while walking near the checkpoint and, when asked by security forces at the site to identify herself, pulled out a knife.

She was shot and killed on the spot.

1,000 Hezbollah fighters killed in Syria

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says up to 1,000 fighters from Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah have been killed in combat in Syria since the beginning of the uprising against President Bashar Assad in 2011, Ynet reports.

Citizenship of Arab Israeli who crossed into Syria may be revoked

Interior Minister Silvan Shalom requests of Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to review the possibility of revoking the citizenship of an Arab Israeli man, from the central Israeli town of Jaljulia, who crossed the Golan Heights border to Syria on a hang glider Saturday night.

“Those who violate their loyalty to the state and endanger its security must be treated harshly,” says Shalom.

Large military forces were mobilized to the Golan Heights border on Saturday night after one of the military’s lookout positions along the border with Syria spotted a hang glider crossing from Israel and landing in Syrian territory in an area controlled by a rebel group affiliated with al-Qaeda.

The man, a 23-year-old, crossed the border in order to join a terror group based in Syria, the IDF said.

German vice chancellor to arrive in Israel for talks

German Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel is scheduled to arrive in Israel this evening for meetings with senior Israel officials.

He’ll meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Monday afternoon right before taking off again.

Gabriel, of the center-left SPD, was one of the first top European officials to visit Iran just days after the nuclear deal was signed earlier this summer.

Trump: World would be better off if Saddam still in power

The world would be a better place if dictators such as Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi were still in power, top Republican US presidential hopeful Donald Trump says.

The billionaire real estate tycoon also tells CNN’s “State of the Union” talk show that the Middle East “blew up” around US President Barack Obama and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

“100 percent,” Trump said when asked if the world would be better off with Hussein and Gaddafi still at the helm in Iraq and Libya.

“People are getting their heads chopped off. They’re being drowned. Right now it’s far worse than ever under Saddam Hussein or Gaddafi,” Trump says.

“I mean, look what happened. Libya is a catastrophe. Libya is a disaster. Iraq is a disaster. Syria is a disaster. The whole Middle East. It all blew up around Hillary Clinton and around Obama. It blew up.”

Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump talks during a campaign stop, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015, in Keene, N.H. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Republican presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump talks during a campaign stop in Keene, New Hampshire, on September 30, 2015. (AP/Steven Senne)

Calling Iraq the “Harvard of terrorism,” Trump says the country had turned into a “training ground for terrorists.

“If you look at Iraq from years ago, I’m not saying he [Saddam]) was a nice guy. He was a horrible guy but it’s better than it is now,” Trump said.

Trump says his foreign policy strategy would be centered around beefing up the US military.

“All I know is this: We’re living in Medieval times… We’re living in an unbelievably dangerous and horrible world,” he says.

“The Trump doctrine is simple,” he adds. “It’s strength. It’s strength. Nobody is going to mess with us. Our military will be made stronger.”

— AFP

Security forces shoot would-be stabber in Hebron

Security forces foil an attempted stabbing attack at a checkpoint in Hebron, near the site of the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

A Palestinian woman who pulled out a knife at the site is shot and killed.

No Israelis are reported injured in the incident.

Stones hurled at Israeli vehicles near Hebron

Stones are hurled at Israeli vehicles near the Bani Na’im intersection near Hebron.

No casualties or damage are reported.

Security increased around Justice Uzi Fogelman

Security around Justice Uzi Fogelman, who ordered a Supreme Court decree to temporarily halt demolition of terrorists’ homes, has been significantly increased for fear of potential attacks against him, Channel 10 reports.

Fogelman has been the target of much criticism — particularly from right-wing politicians — after signing the decree.

Soldier critically wounded in Beersheba was shot by cops

An investigation into last week’s terrorist attack at the Beersheba Central Bus Station reveals that a soldier who was critically wounded during the incident was accidentally shot by police forces, and not by the terrorist, Channel 2 reports.

Daniel Harush, 19, is still hospitalized. His condition has slightly improved, but he is nevertheless considered severely injured.

Ya’alon to fly out to Washington

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon is set to fly to the United States later tonight. He is to meet with US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter in Washington.

Ya’alon will also visit a F-35 aircraft fighter training facility.

“The US is the State of Israel’s strategic backrest, and we have no better friend,” Ya’alon says.

Damage to electricity grid may only be fixed tomorrow

The management of the Israel Electric Corporation says that efforts to fix the damage caused to the electricity grid by today’s storm will continue tonight and tomorrow morning.

The company says it ordered employees to operate as expected in an emergency, following reports that the workers union instructed members to protest budget cuts by working slower than usual.

Metzad terrorists were not dressed up as ultra-Orthodox Jews

The IDF determines that its initial findings were incorrect and that the two Palestinians who stabbed an Israeli man in the West Bank settlement of Metzad this morning were not, in fact, dressed up as ultra-Orthodox Jews.

The victim of the attack, a middle-aged man, sustained moderate injuries to his upper body and was taken to Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem.

He was stabbed trying to escape from his car as it was pelted with stones, the Israeli army said.

— Judah Ari Gross

Jewish leaders observe moment of silence for Rabin

Jewish leaders from around the world observe a moment of silence in memory of slain Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Jewish leaders from around the world observe a moment of silence in memory of slain Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in Jerusalem, October 25, 2015 (Nathan Roi/the Jewish Agency for Israel)

Jewish leaders from around the world observe a moment of silence in memory of slain Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in Jerusalem, October 25, 2015. (Nathan Roi/Jewish Agency for Israel)

The event took place at the start of the fall meeting of the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Board of Governors.

Ariel Junction stabbing suspect caught

A man suspected of stabbing an Israeli near the Ariel Junction in the West Bank was apprehended by IDF soldiers, according to a tweet by a Channel 10 reporter.

The stabbing took place on Route 5, just east of Ariel, in the northern West Bank. According to Channel 2, the suspect approached the bus stop wearing a Jewish skullcap and attacked the victim.

The suspect initially fled the scene, prompting IDF troops to block the entrances to several nearby Palestinian villages in order to help search for the perpetrator of the attack.

read more:
comments