The Times of Israel liveblogged Monday’s events as they unfolded.
PM to Obama: Don’t back unilateral UN moves on peace process
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he expects US President Barack Obama to stick to his position opposing unilateral measures by the UN Security Council regarding the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.
Netanyahu made the remarks at a state memorial in Jerusalem for the fallen IDF soldiers of the 1956 Suez Crisis, Israel Radio reports.
PM: Abbas told me sending PA firefighters was ‘right thing to do’
Netanyahu says Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told him that sending PA firefighters to help battle a wave of wildfires across Israel “was the right thing to do.”
Netanyahu called Abbas yesterday to thank him for dispatching the dozens of firefighters. The prime minister says Abbas also told him: “Let’s not start fires, let’s put them out and walk together toward peace.”
Man arrested at Ben Gurion airport with 6.5 kg of cocaine
Police arrest a man who arrived at Ben Gurion International Airport carrying more than 6.5 kilograms (14 pounds) of a substance believed to be cocaine.
The suspect, who is now being questioned, will appear in court for a remand hearing, a police spokesman says.
— Judah Ari Gross
Tel Aviv terrorist given two life sentences
A Palestinian terrorist who stabbed two Israelis to death in Tel Aviv last year is sentenced to two life sentences.
Raed Masalmeh, 36, was found guilty at Tel Aviv District Court in July of the murders of Reuven Aviram and Aharon Yesiav in a south Tel Aviv office building synagogue on November 19, 2015.
Masalmeh, who was also convicted of three counts of attempted murder, is also sentenced to an additional 20 years in jail.
El Al reaches deal with pilots, ending labor dispute — union
The Histadrut labor federation says the El Al airline has reached an agreement with pilots over working conditions, ending a two-week labor dispute.
The dispute led to the cancellation of some 15 flights and caused serious delays for the flag carrier’s passengers across the globe. The company says the row was triggered by a management decision to end a practice that allowed pilots not to have to work on a return flight, and instead travel back to Israel in business class.
The deal is expected to be inked today, the Histadrut says.
Under the agreement, pilots will get a 7.35 percent raise and a pledge that management would no longer charter planes from foreign companies, as it did during the dispute.
“This agreement will put an end to the crisis, and management and employees will cooperate to make the company operate in a completely normal way,” Histadrut chief Avi Nissenkorn says in a statement.
High Court ends freeze on appointment of new IDF chief rabbi
The High Court lifts an interim freeze on the appointment of Eyal Karim as the next IDF chief rabbi, as opponents to the move drop their petition against the nomination stemming from years-old remarks seen to condone the assault of non-Jewish women during wartime.
Meretz MKs Zehava Galon and Tamar Zandberg, who filed the petition, say they no longer see a legal objection to the appointment, after Karim issued an affidavit last week clarifying his remarks.
Karim told the High Court that he never said, wrote or thought that it was permissible for Israeli soldiers to rape women during battle, after he was ordered to clarify controversial comments he made over a decade ago.
“It is a shame that the respondent’s clear words in his affidavit were not said sooner,” writes Chief Justice Miriam Naor as the injunction is lifted, according to Channel 10.
Air Supply gives free concert tickets to firefighters’ spouses
Soft rock band Air Supply gave away 200 tickets to the spouses of Israeli firefighters for a concert in Haifa last night.
The concert was meant to take place on Friday, but was rescheduled due to the fire that swept the city.
“This is a gesture to wives of firefighters, who went through incredibly difficult days and nights. We decided to give them an evening away from it all with some good music. I invite firemen’s wives to come enjoy with us,” says concert producer Dudi Berkowitz, according to Ynet.
Air Supply also performed two concerts in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem last week.
Livni: Regulation Bill may end chance for two-state solution
MK Tzipi Livni slams proposed legislation to retroactively legalize West Bank settlements and outposts built on privately owned Palestinian land, warning that it could destroy chances for a two-state solution.
“We have to lay it on the table: the majority in the Knesset is overriding the law and [our] constitutional values,” the former justice minister and foreign minister says during a parliamentary debate on the Regulation Bill, according to Channel 2.
She says the proposed law exposes Israel to legal, diplomatic and defense risks.
Members of the opposition also call on Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein to delay the vote on the bill, set for later this week, arguing that further discussion is required on the diplomatic and security implications of the law.
Liberman: Israel will respond with full force to IS attacks
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman says that Israel will respond to provocations by Islamic State militants with “full force,” without coordinating with other countries engaged in military operations in Syria.
Speaking at his Yisrael Beytenu’s weekly faction meeting at the Knesset a day after IDF troops came under fire from an Islamic State-affiliated terrorist group along the northern border, Liberman says any attack will be met with a “powerful response.”
“For the first time an Islamic State force attacked our soldiers and we replied appropriately — with a powerful response,” he says. “Israel is not looking for a fight but when we are faced with provocation — in Gaza, on the Syrian or Lebanese borders — we will respond forcefully, as was done here.”
Asked if Israel had coordinated with other countries fighting in Syria or planned to in the future, Liberman says that Israel had no need to coordinate with anyone else when attacked on its sovereign soil, and will respond “immediately.”
“When we identify the source of fire, we respond to it. If not, then the sovereign is Assad’s army and we will respond there,” he adds.
— Raoul Wootliff
PM: Israel won’t let Islamic extremists open new front
Netanyahu tells his Likud faction that Israel will not allow any Islamic extremist groups to open a new front on the country’s borders.
“There have been several attempts to attack Israel’s forces along the border,” the prime minister says, a day after IDF troops killed four Islamic State fighters in a confrontation along the northern border with Syria. “We will not allow any drizzle [of assaults], and if necessary, we will attack the enemy.”
Fire service reduces alert level across most of Israel
Israel’s Fire and Rescue Service reduces its level of alert across the country, with the exception of two districts in the north and along the coast.
The service also starts to release IDF Home Front Command reservists who were called up to help fight the wave of fires across the country.
A firefighting plane sent by Cyprus also returns home; the rest of the planes sent by foreign nations will leave tomorrow, after a special ceremony at Hatzor air base in central Israel, to be attended by Netanyahu.
Trump threatens to end US-Cuba thaw without ‘better deal’
US President-elect Donald Trump threatens to put an end to the thaw in ties with Cuba unless Havana makes concessions on human rights and opening up its economy.
“If Cuba is unwilling to make a better deal for the Cuban people, the Cuban/American people and the U.S. as a whole, I will terminate deal,” Trump says on Twitter.
If Cuba is unwilling to make a better deal for the Cuban people, the Cuban/American people and the U.S. as a whole, I will terminate deal.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2016
Soviet Jewish chess legend Taimanov dies at 90
Mark Taimanov, a Jewish chess grandmaster who was ostracized by the Soviet authorities after losing to American Bobby Fischer during the Cold War, has died aged 90, Russia’s chess federation says.
Taimanov was born in 1926 in Kharkiv, Ukraine, and moved to Leningrad, now Saint Petersburg, where he studied piano at the prestigious music conservatory. He became a chess grandmaster at the age of 26, kicking off a career which flourished throughout the 1950s and 60s.
In 1956 he became the Soviet champion, and participated in the Soviet championship more than 20 times while pursuing a professional career as a concert pianist. Yet he is best known for his stinging 0-6 loss to American grandmaster Bobby Fischer in 1971 at the World Championship Candidates match.
Soviet authorities during the Cold War viewed the US-Soviet chess matches as having symbolic importance, and punished Taimanov for the embarrassing failure, suspecting that he had lost on purpose. Following this, officials stripped Taimanov of his titles and forbade him from going abroad for a year and a half, making it impossible for him to earn a living.
“I was a victim of our regime because of that match, they could not forgive me for losing,” Taimanov said in a 2009 interview. “They suspected me of treason… I was subjected to a public execution.”
Active shooter reported on Ohio State campus
The Ohio State University Police issue an alert for an active shooter on campus.
The alert reads: “Buckeye Alert: Active Shooter on campus. Run Hide Fight. Watts Hall. 19th and College.”
Ohio State Police just sent out an alert that there is an active shooter on Campus! pic.twitter.com/G9JVek5HoO
— Tino Bovenzi (@OSUTINO) November 28, 2016
At least one person is taken to a local hospital, NBC reports.
The Ohio State student newspaper, The Lantern, tweets that here is “at least one body bag” on campus. “OSU police still advising to take shelter. Situation not under control,” it says.
There's at least one body bag present in front of Koffolt Labs. OSU police still advising to take shelter. Situation not under control. pic.twitter.com/fIdvjpwbzD
— The Lantern (@TheLantern) November 28, 2016
IDF troops mistakenly enter Palestinian village, get PA escort to safety
Four IDF troops mistakenly enter a Palestinian village in the northern West Bank, and are escorted to safety by Palestinian police in collaboration with the Defense Ministry’s Civil Administration, the army says.
One of the soldiers is very lightly wounded by rocks thrown at his vehicle as they were leaving the village of Anabta, east of Tulkarem.
The army does not detail how the soldiers came to enter the area, but previous such incidents occurred when troops relied on smartphone navigation apps.
“The incident is being investigated,” an army spokesperson says.
— Judah Ari Gross
At least 7 said hospitalized in Ohio State shooting
At least 7 people are said to be hospitalized following an active shooter situation on Ohio State University campus.
NBC quotes Columbus Fire Department as saying that two of the seven are in stable condition. The are no details on the conditions of the other victims.
BREAKING: Columbus Fire: 7 people transported to local hospitals after shooting incident reported at Ohio State. https://t.co/KrvUoLMtS4
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) November 28, 2016
Herzog calls on Kahlon to thwart Regulation Bill
Opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog tells Army Radio that he hopes Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and his Kulanu party will vote against the Regulation Bill, which is due to have its first reading on Wednesday.
“I expect Kahlon to block the legislation, [or will] the geniuses in the Knesset pass an illegal law?” Herzog says of the bill, which would legalize outposts and settlements built on private Palestinian land.
CNN: At least 8 hurt in Ohio State shooting
At least eight people are injured following an apparent shooting at Ohio State University, CNN reports, with the Columbus campus still on lockdown and on alert.
One person is in critical condition, CNN says, citing the Columbus Fire Department. Other reports say at least two people are in stable condition.
The university’s emergency management service urges students and staff to shelter in place.
Ohio State is one of the largest universities in the United States, with roughly 60,000 students on the main campus in Columbus.
— CNN (@CNN) November 28, 2016
Arizona teens bring ‘swastika cupcakes’ to Jewish friend’s party
Teens at a Jewish girl’s birthday party in Arizona reportedly decorate cupcakes with swastika symbols, saying they did it to “be funny.”
The birthday teen’s mother posts a photo of one of the cupcakes on Facebook and called for it to be a teaching moment for parents, the Arizona NBC affiliate 12 News reports. She reportedly removes the post, but the photo spreads on social media.
Carlos Galindo-Elvira, director of the Anti-Defamation League in Arizona, in an interview with 12 News calls on parents to talk to their children about hate symbols such as the swastika.
“When you joke with symbols like the swastika, you begin to normalize them and make it very casual within our society,” Galindo-Elvira says.
— 12 News (@12News) November 28, 2016
Suspect said killed in Ohio State campus shooting
CNN quotes local media as saying that a suspect is dead in the shooting at Ohio State University.
At least eight people are hospitalized, and one person is reportedly in critical condition.
— CNN (@CNN) November 28, 2016
2 killed in West Bank road accident
Two people are killed when a car collides with a horse on a road in the northern West Bank, the United Hatzalah rescue service says.
Channel 2 says one of the dead was Israeli and the other Palestinian.
The incident occurs close to the settlement of Barkan, some 25 km east of Tel Aviv.
Ohio State spokesman: Some victims stabbed, hit by car
A spokesman for Ohio State University says the eight people injured in an attack on campus include some who were stabbed or struck by a vehicle.
Ben Johnson says there were also other injuries that are being evaluated.
He says campus will remain open, but classes will be canceled for the rest of the day.
In major blow, Syria rebels lose all northeast Aleppo
Syria’s rebels lose all of the northern neighborhoods of their stronghold in east Aleppo, as the army makes significant advances in its offensive to recapture the entire city.
The regime gains have prompted an exodus of thousands of desperate civilians, some fleeing to districts held by the government or Kurdish forces, others heading south into areas still under opposition control.
“The situation is disastrous,” says Ibrahim Abu Al-Leith, a spokesman for the White Helmets rescue group in the Ansari neighborhood.
“There is mass displacement and morale is in the gutter,” he said, his voice cracking with emotion.
“People are sleeping in the streets. They don’t have anything to eat or drink, but neither do we,” he says.
The loss of eastern Aleppo would be a potentially devastating blow to Syria’s rebels, who seized the area in 2012. The opposition has steadily lost territory since Russia began an intervention to bolster President Bashar Assad in September 2015.
PM warns Regulation Bill could lead to ICC probe — report
Netanyahu warns his security cabinet that the passage of a bill to retroactively legalize settlements and outposts built on private Palestinian land could lead to a war crimes investigation against senior Israeli officials.
According to Haaretz newspaper, which quotes two people present at the marathon six-hour meeting, that experts from the Justice Ministry and National Security Agency, as well as Netanyahu and Liberman, presented the ministers with a series of international considerations, both legal and political, against passing the bill.
The report says Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and the head of a special Justice Ministry department on foreign lawsuits, Roi Sheindorf, both told ministers that the Regulation Bill runs contrary to international law, and its passage could give more weight to Palestinian complaints to the ICC, which are already under investigation.
120 rabbis urge public to prevent Amona evacuation
Dozens of national-religious rabbis are publishing an open letter calling on the Israeli public to go to the Amona outpost in the West Bank in order to prevent its anticipated demolition on December 25.
The 120 signatories include Rabbis Haim Drukman, the head of Bnei Akiva yeshivas; Yaakov Ariel, the chief rabbi of Ramat Gan; Shmuel Eliyahu, the chief rabbi of Safed; Dov Lior, the chief rabbi of Kiryat Arba; and Shlomo Aviner, the chief rabbi of Beit El.
The statement is the first of its kind by senior rabbis since the evacuation of the Gush Katif settlement bloc in Gaza in 2005.
Barak: Right-wing leaders dangerously obsessed with nationalism
Former PM Ehud Barak warns that the nationalist obsession by Israel’s right-wing leadership, headed by Netanyahu, is the main threat to the country’s future, identity, cohesion and strength.
Speaking at a launch for a new by book by ex-military intelligence chief Shlomo Gazit, Barak says he would like to see a mass movement for change based on clear values, in particular that of genuine dialogue, Israel Radio reports.
The movement would not try to be “more than Bibi than Bibi,” says Barak, referring to the prime minister by his nickname, adding that it would offer a sense of unity and hope.
White House says ‘no evidence’ of voter fraud, despite Trump claim
The White House pushes back on President-elect Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that “millions of people” voted illegally in the November election, saying there was “no evidence” of mass fraud.
“There has been no evidence produced to substantiate a claim like that,” says White House spokesman Josh Earnest.
Trump claimed in a tweet storm earlier today that he would have won the popular vote — in which he trails Hillary Clinton by more than 2 million votes — if all the people who voted illegally were disregarded.
IDF post comes under fire in West Bank; no injuries
An IDF post near the West Bank settement of Ofra comes under fire from a passing car.
There are no injuries, rescue personnel say.
The attackers flee the scene, heading in the direction of the nearby village of Silwad, the Hebrew-language media reports.
Jill Stein files Pennsylvania recount request
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein says a petition has been filed requesting a recount in the state of Pennsylvania.
“After a presidential election tarnished by the use of outdated and unreliable machines and accusations of irregularities and hacks, people of all political persuasions are asking if our election results are reliable. We must recount the votes so we can build trust in our election system,” Stein says in a statement, according to CNN.
Stein has raised more than $6 million to fund her efforts for a recount in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, three swing states all won by Trump on November 8.
Trump wins Michigan’s 16 electoral votes
President-elect Donald Trump has won Michigan’s 16 electoral votes, official say.
The Board of State Canvassers certifies Trump’s 10,704-vote victory nearly three weeks after the election. The two-tenths of a percentage point margin out of nearly 4.8 million votes is the closest presidential race in Michigan in more than 75 years.
Trump’s win in Michigan gives the Republican 306 electoral votes to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 232.
Trump is the first Republican presidential nominee to win Michigan since 1988.
Green Party candidate Jill Stein is expected to ask for a recount, and has until Wednesday to do so. Trump then has seven days to file objections to her request.
IDF probing shots fired at West Bank post
The IDF says it is investigating a suspected shooting attack at its post on the outskirts of the Ofra settlement in the West Bank.
“A short while ago, gunshots were heard near an IDF post outside the community of Ofra, south of Silwad,” the IDF said, adding that it “is investigating the reports.”
— Judah Ari Gross
Plea deal for bus driver who killed 6 in highway collision
An Egged driver who caused the deaths of six passengers when he plowed his bus into a truck on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway in February has reached a plea bargain with prosecutors, Channel 10 says.
Haim Bitton, who had only recently been allowed to drive intercity routes again after a 2013 crash on the same road, is thought to have hit the truck when he veered out of his lane on the highway.
According to the report, Bitton will serve just four years in jail.