The Times of Israel liveblogged Tuesday’s events as they unfolded.
Netanyahu to Ban: Help secure release of Israelis from Gaza
Holding a joint press conference ahead of their meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calls on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to use his position in the international community to help secure the release of the remains of Israeli soldiers held in Gaza as well as Israeli civilians there.
The issue has leaped to the front of the Israeli agenda in recent days amid a detente agreement with Turkey that does not include Gaza giving up the bodies and prisoners as had been hoped.
Relatives have harshly protested the deal, and they are expected to join part of the meeting between Netanyahu and Ban.
Ban says he understands Israel’s frustrations and fears but warns Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the dangers if a two-state solution with the Palestinians is not reached,
“I encourage you to take the courageous steps necessary to prevent a one-state reality of perpetual conflict,” Ban says. “No solutions to the conflict will be possible without the recognition that both Palestinians and Jews have undeniable historic and religious connection to this land. No solutions can come through violence. It must be based on mutual respect and recognition of the legitimate aspirations of both peoples.”
Ban also backs the Israeli position of direct talks being the only way to solve the conflict, though he says the international community can help.
“No solutions can be imposed on the outside. It must be based on direct talks,” he says, adding that he will work until his last day in office toward a solution.
Prominent Emirati woman jailed in Abu Dhabi for Hezbollah spying
An Abu Dhabi court has jailed the wife of a prominent Emirati for 10 years after convicting her of spying for Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah movement, local media reports.
The Emirati woman of Lebanese origin was found guilty of “handing over classified information about top leaders, including how political and economic decisions are made at the highest authorities in the country, to two members of the intelligence wing of Hezbollah,” Gulf News reports.
She had also provided “sensitive information” on meetings of senior officials in the United Arab Emirates, exploiting her marriage to “a very important person and her relationships with men and women in political circles close to the decision-making authority in the country,” the daily adds.
Local media said the woman was a 48-year-old television presenter and identified her by the initials R.M.A.
They did not elaborate on her husband’s position but said he had been unaware of her activities.
6 fresh arrests for Temple Mount rioting — police
A Waqf guard and five other people have been arrested on the Temple Mount for causing disturbances on the holy site, police say, bringing the total of people detained at the site Tuesday to 17.
Police say the six are suspected of taking part in violent riots on the compound.
The Waqf is the Muslim religious trust that administers the site.
Police earlier closed off the site following the third straight day of clashes, which have come as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan entered its final phase, often marked by increased visits to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the site.
UK anti-immigration leader predicts others to follow Brexit
At the European Parliament, Nigel Farage, the leader of the anti-Europe UK Independence Party, says that the British “now offer a beacon of hope” to the rest of the European continent” after they voted to leave the European Union last week.
Farage predicts that “the UK will not be the last member state to leave the European Union.” In the wake of last Thursday’s vote, opposition parties in the Netherlands, France and Finland have already called for similar votes on whether to stay or leave the EU.
Farage says that he wanted negotiations to start swiftly but insisted that “even no deal is better for the United Kingdom than the current rotten deal that we got.”
European Council chief Donald Tusk says the EU will hold a meeting in the Slovak capital, Bratislava, in September to assess the European Union’s future in the wake of Britain’s vote to leave the bloc.
Speaking in Brussels, he says the union would, however, not be able to begin negotiations on the exit until the British government has formally declared its intention to go. That “is the only legal way,” he said.
Farage is booed and jeered when he urged the EU to give Britain a good trade deal when it leaves, saying that jobs in Germany’s auto sector might be at stake if it didn’t.
UN human rights czar tells Brits to stop attacking foreigners
The UN human rights chief is urging British authorities to stop “xenophobic attacks” that have surged in number following Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.
Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein says he is “deeply concerned” about reports of attacks targeting minority communities and foreigners in Britain. Concerns about immigration were a key factor in Britain’s vote Thursday to leave the 28-country bloc.
The rights chief urges British authorities to prosecute those behind the attacks, saying racism and xenophobia are “completely, totally and utterly unacceptable in any circumstances.”
— Cambridge News (@CambridgeNewsUK) June 28, 2016
Britain’s National Police Chiefs’ Council on Monday reported a 57 percent rise in hate-crime complaints over the past four days compared to the same period in May. Police are investigating vandalism at a Polish cultural center in west London, among other incidents.
Livingston stands by Hitler Zionism remarks, but regrets brouhaha
Former London mayor Ken Livingston has filed a supplementary statement to his testimony on a parliamentary committee into anti-Semitism, saying he is sorry for saying Hitler supported Zionism not because he disagrees with it, but because of the hubbub it created.
“I therefore do regret raising the historical points about Nazi policy in the1930s when the specific issue of Hitler was raised by [BBC presenter] Vanessa Feltz,” he writes. “I regret it because there was an hysterical response from opponents of the Labour Party and of its current leadership, which will not have aided Labour’s campaign for the 5 May elections. I am horrified by the way my remarks have been interpreted and twisted. I cannot think of a worse insult than to be called a racist or an anti-Semite. And I am sorry if what I said has caused Jewish people, or anyone else, offence. That was not my intention.”
While he continues to defend his remark that Hitler supported Zionism in the 1930s as a fact, he also highlights his belief that Israel’s policies, including what he terms “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinians, are not analogous to Nazi policies.
“To avoid any other misunderstanding, I do not believe that Zionism or the policies of Israeli governments are at all analogous to Nazism. Israeli governments have never had the aim of the systematic extermination of the Palestinian people, in the way Nazism sought the annihilation of the Jews,” he writes.
Police say they have evidence top Netanyahu aide broke law
Police say they’ve collected evidence of fraud and breach of trust against top Netanyahu adviser Perach Lerner, following a year-long investigation.
“Evidence has been collected showing apparent illegal activity and the passing of non-public information to a relative of hers, having to do with actors who were involved in business with him,” the statement reads.
The evidence has been passed along to the state prosecution for a decision on how to move forward, a police statement says.
The statement does not say whether police called for Lerner’s prosecution, though Hebrew media reports police have made the recommendation.
Obama tells world to chillax over Brexit
US President Barack Obama is warning against international “hysteria” following last week’s vote for Britain to leave the European Union.
In an interview with National Public Radio, the US president says that he respected the results of the referendum.
However for Obama, the vote means that “a pause button has been pressed on the project of full European integration.”
“I would not overstate it,” he adds. “There’s been a little bit of hysteria post-Brexit vote, as if somehow NATO’s gone, the trans-Atlantic alliance is dissolving, and every country is rushing off to its own corner. That’s not what’s happening.”
The president says he doesn’t anticipate “major cataclysmic changes” as a result of the vote.
Benghazi report finds Obama at fault over deadly 2012 attack
Republicans on the House Benghazi Committee have faulted the Obama administration Tuesday in a long-awaited report on the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.
The panel’s chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, and other Republicans accuse the Obama administration of stonewalling important documents and witnesses in the 800-page document.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who helped write the Republican report, tells CNN that “too little effort was made to protect” ambassador Chris Stevens and the others who were killed. “We didn’t move Heaven and Earth to get help to the people who were fighting for their lives,” he said.
Democrats say the panel’s primary goal is to undermine Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid.
Clinton was secretary of state during the attacks, which killed four Americans, including US Ambassador Chris Stevens, in two assaults at the diplomatic facility and CIA annex.
Democrats released a report Monday saying that while the State Department’s security measures in Benghazi the night of September 11, 2012, were “woefully inadequate,” Clinton never personally turned down a request for additional security.
On Tuesday, the panel’s Democrats denounced the Republicans’ report as “a conspiracy theory on steroids — bringing back long-debunked allegations with no credible evidence whatsoever.”
The State Department also issues a statement Tuesday, saying the “essential facts” of the attacks “have been known for some time,” and have been the subject of numerous reviews, including one by an independent review board.
UN chief meets with families over returning soldiers’ remains from Gaza
The families of presumed killed Israeli soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin have met with Benjamin Netanyahu and UN head Ban Ki-moon in Jerusalem to discuss freeing the remains from Gaza, Army Radio reports.
The meeting comes after Netanyahu publicly urged Ban to use his position to push for the release of the remains of the soldiers, killed in the 2014 war, along with two other Israelis held in Gaza captivity.
At a joint press conference ahead of their meeting together at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, Netanyahu told Ban that returning the bodies is a basic humanitarian need and thanked the UN chief for agreeing to meet with the families of the two deceased soldiers later in the day.
Ban and Netanyahu met separately as well.
There was no immediate official word on what was said in the meetings.
Lebanon arrests 103 in sweeps after wave of bombings
Lebanese troops have detained 103 Syrians for illegal entry into the country in a security sweep Tuesday, a day after a series of deadly bombings struck a village near the Syrian border, the military says.
The government warned of a mounting challenge in tiny Lebanon, which abuts the war-torn Syria, underlining the magnitude of Monday’s attack that saw nine bombings, eight of them from suicide attackers, strike in the small Christian village of Qaa, killing five people.
“The attack on the Lebanese national security and the unfamiliar manner in which it was executed usher in a new kind of phase in the state’s confrontation with the dark forces of terrorism,” a cabinet statement says.
The bombings triggered fear and panic among Qaa’s residents and a deepening sense of foreboding in Lebanon, which has grappled for over five years with spillovers from Syria’s civil war.
Tuesday was declared a national day of mourning and authorities postponed funerals for the five killed in Monday’s bombings, citing security reasons. A major religious event scheduled in the capital, Beirut, by the Hezbollah group was also postponed.
Israel and Turkey to appoint envoys this week — Ankara
Turkey and Israel this week will begin the process of exchanging ambassadors after the former allies signed a deal to normalize ties following a bitter row in 2010, Ankara says.
“This week we will start the process of ambassador appointment” between Turkey and Israel, presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin tells reporters in Ankara.
Kalin, making the announcement, also says Turkey and Russia’s foreign ministers will meet in the Russian resort of Sochi on July 1 after months of acrimony, as Ankara seeks to strengthen regional ties.
There has been no official word from Israel on who will be appointed ambassador to Turkey or when that will take place.
Families lobbying for soldiers’ bodies positive after Ban meet
The parents of soldiers killed in Gaza whose bodies remain in Hamas hands say a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “strengthened” them, but call on ministers to vote against a rapprochement agreement with Turkey when it goes before the top-level security cabinet tomorrow.
Simcha Goldin, father of Hadar Goldin, says Ban recognized that the issue was a humanitarian one. Goldin called on Israel to define the return of the bodies and two other Israeli captives as a humanitarian issue.
“This has given us a lot of strength,” he tells a press conference.
The families have been rallying for the release to be included in a deal with Ankara to normalize ties, though all Israel secured in the agreement was a Turkish promise to do what it could.
Zahava Shaul, whose son Oron’s remains are also being held, said ministers need to take the matter into account when they discuss the deal.
“You need to know if this is a humanitarian issue, we can move forward, so don’t sign the deal,” she says at the same press conference outside the Prime Minister’s Office. “If you sign, from our view, we wont think [well] of you anymore.”
Netanyahu is expected to face stiff opposition during the vote, which is non-binding.
According to Channel 2, only the prime minister, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and Housing Minister Yoav Galant support the agreement, while Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked are opposed.
Still on the fence are three of Netanyahu’s Likud colleagues: Interior Minister Gilad Erdan, Jerusalem Minister Zeev Elkin and Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz.
Woman hit by rock at Western Wall released from hospital
The 73-year-old woman who was lightly injured from a rock thrown by rioters on the Temple Mount has been released from Hadassah Hospital, a spokesperson for the medical center says.
The woman suffered a minor head wound when she was struck by the stone, apparently hurled from atop the esplanade during clashes between Muslim worshipers and police, while visiting the Western Wall.
Her wound was bandaged on the scene, but she was brought to the hospital for additional treatment.
— Judah Ari Gross
Mengistu brother tells ministers to squash Turkey deal
Ilan Mengistu, the brother Gaza captive Avraham Mengistu, also speaks to the press following a meeting with Netanyahu and Ban, criticizing the Turkey rapprochement deal for not including guarantees to free his brother, another captive and the bodies of two soldiers killed during the 2014 war.
“It’s not possible that they should give Gaza a prize while my brother is still there,” he says according to Ynet, referring to a number of Israeli concessions allowing for infrastructure projects and aid shipments into the Strip.
He expresses little confidence in the government’s promises to work toward return of the captives and the solders’ remains.
“The prime minister made certain assurances I can’t detail. We still think that there’s a complete disregard for our sons. You can’t give up citizens. Don’t support the agreement.”
“Freeze the agreement until the return of our sons is in order,” he adds, addressing cabinet ministers who will discuss in tomorrow.
In shakeup, Iran appoints Revolutionary Guard vet as army head
Iran’s supreme leader has chosen a Revolutionary Guard general to serve as chief of staff of the armed forces.
State TV reports Tuesday that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has appointed Gen. Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, a 55-year-old veteran of the 1980-1988 war with Iraq, to the post.
He replaces Gen. Hassan Firuzabadi, who held the post for the past 14 years. Bagheri was previously the deputy chief of staff.
— Abas Aslani (@abasinfo) June 28, 2016
Bagheri’s older brother died in the Iran-Iraq war, which claimed the lives of 1 million people on both sides.
The hard-line Revolutionary Guards is an elite force separate from the regular army, and is charged with defending the Islamic Republic.
No reason is given for the shuffle.
Liberman in West Bank says he won’t punish innocent Palestinians
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman visits the IDF’s Central Command, meeting with military commanders and representatives from the Civil Administration.
IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot and Central Command chief Maj. Gen. Roni Numa accompany Liberman on his visit through the West Bank’s regional brigades.
During his meetings with commanders, Liberman “instructed [them] to carry out a policy of differentiation,” his office says in a statement, referring to the strategy of trying to only punish the people and communities directly involved in criminal activity, while leaving innocent Palestinians alone.
“That way everyone knows there are consequences for both ways of acting,” the minister says in a statement.
Liberman’s announcement of this differentiation policy, championed by predecessor Moshe Ya’alon, comes just a few weeks after his ministry revoked the travel permits for 83,000 West Bank Palestinians during the month of Ramadan in response to the Sarona terror attack on June 8. The move was decried internationally as a form of collective punishment against Palestinians.
Liberman, who lives in the Nokdim settlement in the West Bank, also extended a personal thank you to the IDF commanders for their work protecting settlers.
“As a resident of the Judea region, who has lived for years in the area and traveled on the highways and byways of Judea and Samaria, I thank you for the great effort you have invested and are investing in providing security for the residents,” Liberman says, using the biblical name for the West Bank.
— Judah Ari Gross
Egypt defense minister to visit Ramallah — report
Egyptian Defense Minister Sameh Shoukry will visit Ramallah on Wednesday and meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Sky News in Arabic reports.
The visit will mark the highest level visit by an Egyptian official in years, and comes as Cairo has redoubled efforts to push for peace talks based on the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002.
According to the report, Shoukry will deliver a message from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi to Abbas.
There is no official confirmation of the report.
Hundreds attend funeral for formerly religious woman who killed self
Hundreds are attending the Petah Tivka funeral of Esti Weinstein, a formerly ultra-Orthodox woman who was found dead in an apparent suicide over the weekend.
Weinstein, 50, was discovered at the Hakshatot Beach in the coastal city of Ashdod Sunday, bringing to an end a week of searches after she went missing. In the car with her body police discovered a short note.
“In this city I gave birth to my daughters, in this city I die because of my daughters,” Weinstein, once a member of a prominent family in Hasid Gur sect, wrote.
Eight years ago Weinstein, who had seven daughters, left the ultra-Orthodox fold, in which she had grown up and which had seen her married at 17. Only one daughter maintained contact with her
She also penned an autobiography about her experiences leaving the religious world.
Her daughter Tami Montag had asked mourners to bring flowers and songs to the funeral, fulfilling her mother’s last wish, according to the Ynet news website.
“I love you so much and will always love you,” her daughter says in a eulogy. “You were everything to me, a friend and mother.”
Members of Weinstein’s family from the Hasidic sect are also at the funeral, and as expected the sorrow is tinged with tensions between the religious and secular parts of Weinstein’s life.
“It’;s hard for me to speak about you. For me, you will always be like your first 43 years, when you were pure,” her father Rabbi Menachem Orenstein says, according to Ynet.
Weinstein’s boyfriend, though, uses his eulogy to criticize the religious community for cutting off contact with her.
“At the heart of every religion is a kernel of unity, and that’s the source of life. But unfortunately it’s turned into ideology. Don’t let any rabbi lead you to hatred and to alienation. The pain from being cut off by your kids is massive,” he says. “Those who leave religion choose freedom but the path is not easy.”
UK Labour leader Corbyn eviscerated in no-confidence vote
British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn lost a confidence vote on Tuesday, with 172 of his Labour Party’s lawmakers voting against him and 40 in favor amid political turmoil in Britain following a vote to leave the European Union.
The vote is non-binding and his removal would still have to go before party members but experts say he is struggling to survive after a slew of criticism of his lukewarm campaigning for Britain to stay in the bloc.
Corbyn vows to stay on after shellacking by Labour MPs
Jeremy Corbyn has released a statement following his blistering defeat in a no-confidence vote, saying he will stay on his post and calling the poll illegitimate.
“I was democratically elected leader of our party for a new kind of politics by 60% of Labour members and supporters, and I will not betray them by resigning. Today’s vote by MPs has no constitutional legitimacy,” he says in the statement, according to the Guardian. “We are a democratic party, with a clear constitution. Our people need Labour party members, trade unionists and MPs to unite behind my leadership at a critical time for our country.”
Sweden clinches UN Security Council seat
Sweden has won election to a seat on the UN Security Council in the first round of voting, defeating the Netherlands and Italy who must now fight for a second open Europe seat.
Neither Kazakhstan nor Thailand gained the required two-thirds majority of those voting in the 193-member General Assembly on Tuesday so they must face each other again in a second round of voting for one Asian seat.
Ethiopia and Bolivia, who faced no opposition, were also elected to the U.N.’s most powerful body.
Sweden has been one of Europe’s most strident critics of Israel, becoming the continent’s first country to recognize Palestine in 2014.
The 15-member Security Council includes five permanent members with veto power — the US, Russia, China, Britain and France — and 10 non-permanent members elected for two-year terms. Seats are allocated by region, and regional groups nominate candidates.
— AP, with Times of Israel
MKs again banned from Temple Mount as tensions spiral
Members of the Knesset will again be forbidden from going up to the Temple Mount, in light of the recent unrest there, according to a new decision by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan.
Erdan and Netanyahu met earlier in the day to discuss the recent riots and violent demonstrations at the holy site, which resulted in the injury of one 73-year-old woman who as struck by a rock thrown by protesters.
Dozens of Muslim protesters have been arrested in recent days as well.
A similar decision was made toward the end of last year when similar riots took place on the Temple Mount.
Erdan and Netanyahu will discuss the issue again next week and will determine how to proceed based off a “situational assessment,” Erdan’s office says in a statement.
Erdan has already informed Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein of the decision.
— Judah Ari Gross
France sends Egypt black box data from crashed jet
France’s BEA air safety agency has sent to Cairo the data file from one of the black boxes from the EgyptAir plane that crashed into the Mediterranean last month, authorities say.
Terrorism has not been ruled out as a cause of the crash on May 19, when the Airbus A320 operating Flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo went down killing all 66 people on board.
The two black boxes from the aircraft were retrieved damaged from the bottom of the Mediterranean and sent to Paris, where the electronic board from the flight recorder was repaired on Monday.
The file was “transferred to Cairo for decoding, validating and studying” at the civil aviation ministry, says the Egyptian Aircraft Accident Investigation Committee.
The process “might take several days to ensure the accuracy of reading the data recorded,” it adds.
The repair work of the cockpit voice recorder, the second black box, has also begun.
Rebels backed by jets charge at IS on Iraq-Syria border
Syrian rebels aided by US-led airstrikes have launched an offensive against an Islamic State stronghold near the Iraqi border, hoping to sever one of the extremists’ main transit links between the two countries, a rebel spokesman said.
The spokesman for the New Syrian Army group and a Syrian opposition activist say the operation will be coordinated with Iraqi tribesmen and Iraqi forces battling IS on the other side of the border. The extremist group has suffered a string of setbacks in both countries in recent weeks.
“The time has come to punish all those who were unjust to children and women, those who executed or tortured men and women,” the New Syrian Army says in a statement. It called on residents of the Syrian border town of Boukamal to stay away from IS positions during the operation.
Rebel spokesman Mozahem al-Saloum says warplanes from the US-led coalition launched several airstrikes on IS positions in the area Tuesday afternoon ahead of the ground offensive.
“Our aim is to cut Syria from Iraq” by capturing Boukamal and surrounding areas, al-Saloum says by telephone.
No dropping legal suits over Marmara raid, Turkish prosecutor says
The Turkish prosecutor tasked with seeking justice against Israeli soldiers and officials over the deaths of 10 activists during a military raid on the Mavi Marmara tells Israel’s Channel 10 that dropping legal claims over the incident will not happen.
Under the rapprochement deal inked between Israel and Turkey Tuesday, Israel agreed to pay $21 million to the families of those killed and injured in the raid aboard the Gaza blockade-busting ship in 2010. However, the money will only be released if Turkey passes legislation dropping any legal claim against Israel.
“I can say the families of the victims don’t want Israeli government money, they want to punish these criminals,” the prosecutor is quoted saying.
‘Time to move on,’ Clinton says after Benghazi report
Hillary Clinton says the House Benghazi committee found nothing different than previous investigations into the 2012 attack that killed four Americans and says “it’s time to move on.”
Clinton says no one has lost more sleep than she has over the attack which occurred while she was secretary of state.
She says at a campaign stop in Denver that after more than two years, the committee “found nothing, nothing, to contradict the conclusions of the independent accountability board,” that previously investigated the attack.
The committee faulted the Obama administration Tuesday for lax security and a slow response to the attacks, but it produced no new allegations about Clinton.
Clinton’s campaign has slammed the report as partisan.
“I’ll leave it to others to characterize this report, but I think it’s pretty clear it’s time to move on,” she says.
UN head Ban tours new Palestinian city ahead of Abbas meet
After spending Tuesday in Gaza and Jerusalem, Ban Ki-moon has moved on to the West Bank, where he visited the recently opened Palestinian city of Rawabi, considered a sign of Palestinian statehood aspirations.
Ban tours the sparkling new city outside Ramallah with a number of Palestinian officials, according to official Palestinian media outlet WAFA.
Ban expresses astonishment at the beauty of the place, according to the report.
The UN head is also slated to meet with PA President Abbas in Ramallah following an iftar Ramadan break fast Tuesday night.
Abbas tells Ban settlement building thwarting peace efforts
PA President Abbas and Ban Ki-moon have held a press conference in Ramallah, with the Palestinian leader blaming Israeli settlement building for peace talks with Israel stagnating.
Abbas says his hands remain “outstretched for peace” but are thwarted by “continued Israeli occupation and settlements” in the West Bank, Palestinian state-run media outlet Wafa reports.
He repeats a claim that Israeli action increase Palestinian frustration and fuel “extremism and terror in the region and the world.”
He adds that he backs both the French and Arab initiatives to kick start peace talks.
Ban says he condemns the “humiliating Israeli occupation and settlement enterprise” in the West Bank.
He also says Palestinians are victims of suffering and degrading treatment, according to Wafa.
Multiple injuries as twin blasts rock Istanbul airport
A Turkish official says two explosions have rocked the Istanbul airport, leaving multiple people injured, the Associated Press reports.
Official says unclear if blasts caused by bombs
A Turkish official says Tuesday it is unclear whether the explosions at the airport are caused by bombs or a suicide attack.
The official speaks on condition of anonymity in line with government protocol.
Turkish media reports the sound of gunfire at the scene.
— CNN Türk ENG (@CNNTURK_ENG) June 28, 2016
Video footage from Istanbul airport emerges
— DAILY SABAH (@DailySabah) June 28, 2016
— Habertürk TV (@HaberturkTV) June 28, 2016
Foreign Ministry checking if Israelis hurt in Turkey blast
Israeli diplomats were unharmed by the blast in Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, the Foreign Ministry announces.
The ministry is currently checking whether any Israeli nationals were injured.
— Raphael Ahren
40 people said injured in airport explosions
Turkish media is reporting that 40 people have been injured in the explosions at the Ataturk airport.
UPDATE: Around 40 people wounded in Istanbul airport blast being transported to hospital: broadcaster Haberturk
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) June 28, 2016
Suicide bombings suspected behind airport blasts
CNN Turk is reporting that Turkish officials believe the explosions at the Ataturk airport were caused by suicide bombers.
2 suicide bombers said to detonate before a security check
Two suicide bombers detonated themselves before passing through a security check at the Ataturk airport, according to Turkish officials quoted by Reuters.
Police opened fire at the suspected bombers, according to the official.
10 reported dead in Istanbul airport attack
The Turkish justice minister says 10 people were killed in blasts at the Istanbul airport, according to local reports cited by AP.
Turkish Airlines halts check-ins at Tel Aviv after Istanbul bombings
Turkish Airlines halts check-ins at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv after 10 people are killed and dozens more wounded in twin bombings at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport.
“The only two flights from Ataturk to Tel Aviv this evening have already landed. A flight to Istanbul took off about an hour ago — and will surely land in a different airport,” Walla news quoted the Israel Airports Authority as saying. “Two Turkish Airlines flights are due to depart tonight to Istanbul, and we recommend that members of the public due to fly with the company keep updated online.”