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Defense minister vows to meet terror with ‘iron fist’

Three Israelis injured in car attack revealed to be IDF troops; soldiers sweep through assailant's home village

Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Ya'alon speaks at the International Cyber Conference at Tel Aviv University on June 24, 2015. (Ariel Hermoni/Ministry of Defense)
Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Ya'alon speaks at the International Cyber Conference at Tel Aviv University on June 24, 2015. (Ariel Hermoni/Ministry of Defense)

A Palestinian assailant plowed his car into a group of Israeli soldiers in the West Bank on Thursday, seriously injuring two and lightly injuring another. The Times of Israel liveblogged the day’s events as they unfolded.

Hamas to execute ‘collaborator’ with Israel

A Hamas military court in the Gaza Strip has sentenced a Palestinian to be hanged to death after finding him guilty of collaborating with Israel, a court source says.

The defendant, identified only by his initials A.S., was “sentenced to death by hanging after being convicted of collaborating with the occupation,” the source says.

There are no further details on the allegations against him.

— AFP

Gaza blast kills four, injures dozens

An explosion tore through a house in the Gaza Strip earlier, killing at least 4 and injuring at least 30, according to a Hamas government spokesman.

The cause of the blast is not yet clear, but unconfirmed reports suggest it was unexploded ordnance from the war in Gaza last summer.

Officials in the Palestinian territory say an investigation is underway to determine the cause.

Rivlin warns Netanyahu not to ‘butt heads’ with US

President Reuven Rivlin says he’s warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against butting heads with the US over Iran at the expense of Israeli interests, noting that close ties with Washington are of utmost importance to Israeli foreign policy.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) seen with President Reuven Rivlin at the opening session of the 20th Israeli parliament, held at the Knesset on March 31, 2015. (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) seen with President Reuven Rivlin at the opening session of the 20th Israeli parliament, held at the Knesset on March 31, 2015. (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Speaking to Haaretz in one of a battery of interviews given to the Hebrew press, Rivlin criticizes Netanyahu’s behavior, saying that “conflicts, even just ones, which in the end can come at the expense of the State of Israel, are things that we must be very cautious about and hold back on personally.”

Sissi to inaugurate ‘new’ Suez Canal

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi inaugurates a “new” Suez Canal in a lavish ceremony, as Egypt seeks to boost its economy and international standing by expanding the vital waterway.

Security has been tightened ahead of the ceremony and the event is being showcased by authorities as proof that the country was safe.

An Egyptian flag flutters as a container ship crosses the new waterway of the Suez canal on July 23, 2015, in the Egyptian port city of Ismailia, east of Cairo (AFP/STR)

An Egyptian flag flutters as a container ship crosses the new waterway of the Suez canal on July 23, 2015, in the Egyptian port city of Ismailia, east of Cairo (AFP/STR)

The new section, built at a cost of $9 billion (7.9 billion euros) and funded entirely by Egyptian investors, runs part of the way alongside the existing canal connecting the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.

It creates what is effectively a “second lane,” expected to cut the waiting period for vessels from 18 hours to 11.

— AFP

Bombing kills at least 17 in Saudi Arabia

A bomb targeting a mosque used by Saudi police has killed at least 17 people in the southern city of Abha, state television El-Ikhbariya reports.

The explosion took place as worshipers were praying at a mosque used by Saudi special forces in Abha, the broadcaster says, describing it as a “terrorist” attack.

An interior ministry spokesman says it is too early to say who may have carried out the attack. Saudi Arabia has been on alert for attacks by the jihadist Islamic State group.

— AFP

Two Israelis said wounded in West Bank car-ramming attack

Two Israelis have reportedly been wounded in a car-ramming attack in the West Bank, northeast of Ramallah.

Israel National News reports that the car has tipped over and its driver has been shot by security forces.

Details as they come.

3 hurt in West Bank, 2 in serious condition

Three Israelis have been wounded near the settlement of Shilo, north of Ramallah.

Two are in serious condition. Another has suffered light injuries only.

The driver of the attacking car is said to have been shot by soldiers, causing the vehicle to overturn and crash. His condition is unclear.

Palestinian driver critically injured after hitting Israelis

The Palestinian driving the car which hit the three Israelis was critically injured after being shot and crashing the car, Ynet news reports.

Magen David Adom teams are at the scene. The two seriously wounded Israelis reportedly suffered injuries throughout their bodies, including head wounds.

A large contingent of military forces has been dispatched to the area.

IDF confirms shooting, hitting suspected attacker

The Israel Defense Forces confirm “a vehicle ran over pedestrians at the Sinjil junction” near the Shilo settlement and that three were injured.

The army further says troops “fired towards the vehicle in order to prevent the suspect’s escape, confirming a hit.

“Forces are currently providing emergency medical care to the injured.”

Liberman: Netanyahu failing to deter terrorism

Yisrael Beytenu party leader Avigdor Liberman writes on his Facebook page that “the prime minister and the defense minister are not acting decisively against terrorism and are not deterring (terrorists), but rather the opposite.”

He commends the military forces at the scene for “responding correctly and shooting the terrorist.”

Liberman, a former ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is currently sitting in the opposition.

Police stop suspect car in Tel Aviv

Police have stopped a suspect vehicle on the Ayalon North highway in Tel Aviv, and are inspecting it, citing security concerns.

Traffic on the major traffic artery has been stopped.

Zionist Union: PM must restore security

The Zionist Union party is also responding to the apparent car attack in the West Bank, saying Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “must restore security for the citizens of Israel.”

The statement commends the actions of soldiers at the scene, who shot the suspected assailant, calling the ramming of three Israeli pedestrians “a vile terrorist incident.”

The Zionist Union calls on the military to find and capture any other individuals involved in the attack “so that every terrorist knows that the State of Israel will not allow any terrorist to escape.”

Photo of car that hit 3 Israelis in West Bank

Channel 2 news has published a photo of the car involved in the likely attack.

Driver being treated at the scene

Channel 10 news reports the Palestinian driver involved in the apparent terror attack near Shilo is still alive and is being treated by paramedics at the scene.

Ayalon Highway reopens after suspicious car cleared

The Ayalon Highway has been reopened to traffic, with police saying the suspicious car they had detained earlier does not pose a security risk.

Officials say three Palestinian Gaza residents were in the vehicle. It is not clear whether the three had permits to be in Israel.

An eyewitness who works at a Tel Aviv office overlooking the highway tells Ynet: “Policemen undressed (a man) and two women who were inside the vehicle. A police sapper arrived at the scene and all north-bound lanes were closed off.”

PM slams silence of those who condemned Jewish terror

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has joined the chorus of commendations for the actions of IDF troops who shot the Palestinian driver. He sends well wishes to the injured.

In a barb apparently directed at the Palestinian leadership, who have yet to respond, he says: “It is surprising to me that those who were quick to condemn terrorism against Palestinians, are silent when terrorism is directed at Jews.”

Victims airlifted to hospitals

Two of the three injured Israelis have been airlifted to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, and one to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva.

 

YouTube video shows aftermath of car-ramming

A video posted to YouTube shows Israeli troops apparently tending to the wounded immediately after they were hit.

The video is filmed from within another car near the scene of the incident.

West Bank’s Route 60 reopened for traffic

Approximately two hours after the terror attack near the Shilo settlement, Route 60, the main north-south road in the West Bank, has been reopened.

Security forces had closed off the road as they checked that the vehicle involved in the attack was not booby-trapped.

Rivlin vows ‘no tolerance for terrorism’

President Reuven Rivlin says, “There will be no tolerance for terrorism” in Israel.

“I am proud of our soldiers who reacted immediately and hit the terrorist,” he adds. “I support the prime minister and the security establishment in the fight for our right to lead normal lives, and yearn for health for the injured.”

President Reuven Rivlin on July 5, 2015 (Mark Neyman/GPO/Flash90)

President Reuven Rivlin on July 5, 2015 (Mark Neyman/GPO/Flash90)

3 arrested after Ayalon security scare

Police tell Ynet the three passengers of a vehicle detained on the Ayalon Highway earlier have been taken in for questioning.

Officials say two woman traveling in the vehicle were Gaza residents who were in Israel illegally. The driver was a male, an Israeli resident of the Bedouin town of Arara in the Negev.

Injured Israelis seen arriving at hospital

Israelis wounded in the car-ramming attack in the West Bank have arrived at Hadassah Ein Kerem medical center in Jerusalem after being airlifted there by a military helicopter.

Israeli soldiers evacuate by helicopter a wounded Israeli at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, after the man was injured in a vehicular terror attack on Route 60, in the West Bank, on August 6, 2015 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israeli soldiers evacuate by helicopter a wounded Israeli at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, after the man was injured in a vehicular terror attack on Route 60, in the West Bank, on August 6, 2015 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israeli soldiers evacuate by helicopter a wounded Israeli at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, after the man was injured in a vehicular terror attack on Route 60, in the West Bank, on August 6, 2015 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israeli soldiers evacuate by helicopter a wounded Israeli at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, after the man was injured in a vehicular terror attack on Route 60, in the West Bank, on August 6, 2015 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

West Bank attacker said to be around 20

The Palestinian driver who rammed into three Israelis earlier has been evacuated to Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem, Channel 10 reports.

He is reportedly a young man, around 20 years old, and has suffered a bullet wound to the chest after being shot by Israeli troops.

Further details have emerged on how the attack occurred, based on a preliminary investigation by security forces.

According to Channel 10 news, the car was driving north on Route 60 when the driver saw several Israelis at the Sinjil junction, near Shiloh. He then made a U-turn, veered toward the curb and hit the three Israelis. Officials believe the car, which carried an Israeli license plate, had been stolen or was using forged plates.

According to Walla News, officials are checking whether the attacker recently joined the Hamas terror group.

Herzog: No respite for those who harm Israelis

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog says “there will be no rest and no respite for anyone who dares harm Israeli citizens.”

Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog speaks during a party meeting at the Knesset  on July 27, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog speaks during a party meeting at the Knesset on July 27, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

He says Israel must use the various tools at its disposal to combat vehicular attacks and other terrorist methods “without compromise.”

UN to vote on Syria chemical weapons probe

The UN Security Council will vote on Friday on a draft resolution that would set up a panel to determine who is responsible for deadly chlorine gas attacks in Syria, diplomats say.

The vote was scheduled after US Secretary of State John Kerry won backing from Russia for the measure, in a rare sign of cooperation from the Damascus ally over how to address the conflict in Syria.

US Secretary of State John Kerry in Singapore, August 4, 2015. (AFP/POOL/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI)

US Secretary of State John Kerry in Singapore, August 4, 2015. (AFP/POOL/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI)

Under discussion for months, the US-drafted resolution will set up a team of experts who will identify the perpetrators of the chemical weapons attacks, paving the way for possible sanctions.

— AFP

Lithuania’s chief rabbi may face deportation

Lithuania’s chief rabbi has been threatened with deportation, possibly due to his opposition to the establishment of a convention center at a former cemetery in Vilnius, a Jewish Lithuanian web journal reports.

According to DefendingHistory.com, Rabbi Chaim Burshtein was told by a customs official while traveling to Israel that he would not be allowed to return to the country, though no reason was given.

“The only reason for this attempt to deport me that I can discern is the rabbinic opposition, and that of many of the Jews in the country, to the destruction of the old Jewish cemetery in Vilnius for the construction of a congress and convention center complex,” he writes on Facebook.

3 injured Israelis are soldiers

The three Israelis hurt in today’s attack in the West Bank are all IDF soldiers, it has been cleared to report.

The army routinely places gag orders on soldiers being seriously hurt until their families are notified.

Ynet reports that though the condition of two of the soldiers remains serious, they are stable and their lives are not in danger. A third soldier suffered light injuries in the attack.

A-G urged to indict radical activist who backs burning churches

Zionist Union party Knesset Member Nachman Shai is calling for a radical right-wing leader to be put on trial for incitement, after he publicly advocated the burning of churches in Israel.

Shai says Bentzi Gopshtain’s statements Tuesday were “clear-cut, unambiguous” incitement and is calling on Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to press charges against Gopshtain.

Bentzi Gopshtain, head of Lehava, in Jerusalem's Old City on October 30, 2014 (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Bentzi Gopshtain, head of Lehava, in Jerusalem’s Old City on October 30, 2014 (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Gopshtain is the head of the right-wing Lehava group, which opposes Jewish-Arab integration.

Asked during a panel on Jewish religious law if he supported burning churches as advocated by 12th century Jewish sage Maimonides, Gopshtain answered “Of course I do.”

Ben Gurion Airport strike called off

A strike at Ben Gurion International Airport planned for Friday has been called off, Channel 2 news reports, after progress was made in negotiations between employees and the airport administration.

Workers protesting employment conditions at the airport had threatened earlier to shut down the airport for 24 hours, forcing flights departing on Shabbat to be rescheduled.

But the airport will now operate normally, and talks between the sides will resume Sunday.

Ya’alon promises ‘iron fist’ against terror

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon says Israel will meet Palestinian terrorism with “an iron fist” and “zero tolerance.”

Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Ya'alon at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on February 08, 2015. (Alex Kolomoisky/POOL)

Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Ya’alon at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on February 08, 2015. (Alex Kolomoisky/POOL)

The minister says Israel “employs its top people and capabilities to prevent terror attacks” and is mostly successful in thwarting attacks that target “Jews just because they are Jews.”

Sadly, he says, “sometimes the terrorists achieve their goals.”

Meretz leader: Only way out of bloodshed is peace

Meretz leader Zahava Gal-on says the only way to prevent further bloodshed is two reinvigorate the long-dormant Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Meretz leader MK Zahava Gal-on, June 2013. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Meretz leader MK Zahava Gal-on, June 2013. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

She writes on Facebook: “We’ve had it with the cycle of bloodshed. We’ve had it with terrorism and violence, we’ve had it with revenge and hatred.

“To uproot the motivation for terror, to lower the flames and to create hope, the prime minister must ‘change discs’ and understand that ending the conflict with the Palestinians is first and foremost an Israeli interest.”

IDF commander says troops acted properly

Brigadier General Lior Carmeli, commander of the military’s Judea and Samaria Division, toured the site of today’s attack a short time ago.

Carmeli said the troops at the scene “responded quickly and appropriately to neutralize the terrorist.”

Iran says Parchin cover-up claims ‘preposterous’

Iran is dismissing as “preposterous” claims that it is cleaning up its suspected nuclear military site at Parchin ahead of inspections agreed under a historic nuclear deal with world powers.

Iran’s mission to the United Nations says in statement that “extensive construction work” is underway to repair a road near the Parchin complex but denies this amounts to a “hasty cover-up.”

Satellite image of the Parchin facility in April (photo credit: Institute for Science and International Security/AP)

Satellite image of the Parchin facility, April 2012. (AP/Institute for Science and International Security)

The statement comes in response to media reports quoting US members of Congress who said the work at the military complex could complicate inspections by the UN nuclear watchdog that are a key provision of the deal.

“These claims are preposterous and the repetition of the similar unfounded claims that reappear from time to time and have been disproved each time,” says the Iranian statement.

–AFP

Hamas: Attack is ‘appropriate response’ to occupation

The Islamic terror group Hamas says today’s car-ramming attack in the West Bank that injured three Israeli soldiers is an “appropriate response” to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories.

The group did not take credit for the attack.

–AFP

Islamic State claims Saudi bombing that killed 15

The Islamic State group is claiming responsibility for a suicide bomb attack on a mosque inside a Saudi special forces headquarters that killed 15 people.

The claim, made in an online statement by a group affiliated to IS calling itself “Al-Hijaz Province”, says that one of its members detonated an explosive vest inside the mosque in the southern city of Abha.

–AFP

Troops sweep through assailant’s home village

Security officials tell Channel 2 the man who carried out today’s attack is a resident of the village of Bidu in the West Bank, north of Jerusalem.

Though officials believe the man was a ‘lone wolf’ attacker and not part of a larger terror cell, IDF troops have entered Bidu and are likely to question his family and others who may have been involved in the incident.

 

Bennett slams lack of Palestinian condemnation

Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett tells Army Radio: “While in Israel the entire leadership obviously condemns a very rare terror attack by Jews against Arabs, on the Palestinian side there is no one to condemn murderous terrorism directed at Jews.”

Soldier who shot attacker recounts incident

Lieutenant Daniel Elbaz, the officer who was lightly injured in today’s attack and who shot the Palestinian assailant who plowed into the three soldiers, recounts the incident.

Security forces inspect the car used in a vehicular terror attack in the West Bank on Thursday, August 6, 2015. The terrorist was trapped inside. (screen capture: Channel 2)

Security forces inspect the car used in a vehicular terror attack in the West Bank on Thursday, August 6, 2015. The terrorist was trapped inside. (screen capture: Channel 2)

“At 15:00 I was carrying out my tasks (on patrol) in the sector, providing backup to forces in Judea and Samaria. At around 15:15 a vehicle approaches me at high speed. Just before it reaches me it swerves sharply, hits me along with two of my soldiers,” he tells Channel 2.

“I realize…it’s hostile terrorist activity. I see the terrorist trying to exit the vehicle, shoot and neutralize (him).”

West Bank assailant named as Mohammed Badwan

Palestinian security officials name the Palestinian attacker as Mohammed Badwan, confirming Israeli reports that he is a resident of Bidu, near Jerusalem.

They say Israeli forces later searched his home.

–AFP

Former Argentine president on trial for bombing cover-up

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — More than 21 years after a bomb ripped through a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, ex-President Carlos Menem, a former top judge and several other officials are on trial today for allegedly derailing the investigation into the South American nation’s worst terrorist attack.

Prosecutors have accused Iranian officials of being behind the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association, which caused the organization’s main building to collapse, killing 85 and leaving hundreds more injured amid the rubble. But no one has been convicted in the attack, which many Argentines believe has come to symbolize an inept and corrupt justice system that operates at the whims of politicians and can be bought off.

–AP

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Lithuania’s chief rabbi may face deportation

Lithuania’s chief rabbi has been threatened with deportation, possibly due to his opposition to the establishment of a convention center at a former cemetery in Vilnius, a Jewish Lithuanian web journal reports.

According to DefendingHistory.com, Rabbi Chaim Burshtein was told by a customs official while traveling to Israel that he would not be allowed to return to the country, though no reason was given.

“The only reason for this attempt to deport me that I can discern is the rabbinic opposition, and that of many of the Jews in the country, to the destruction of the old Jewish cemetery in Vilnius for the construction of a congress and convention center complex,” he writes on Facebook.