PM to Obama: Don’t back unilateral UN moves on peace process
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Report: PM warns outposts bill could trigger ICC probe

8 hurt in Ohio State attack, suspect said killed; Tel Aviv terrorist gets 2 life terms; court okays Karim as IDF chief rabbi; Netanyahu says Abbas told him sending PA firefighters was 'right thing to do'

  • An IDF Merkava tank drives near the border with Syria on the Golan Heights, on November 28, 2016. (AFP PHOTO/JACK GUEZ)
    An IDF Merkava tank drives near the border with Syria on the Golan Heights, on November 28, 2016. (AFP PHOTO/JACK GUEZ)
  • Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales (R) and wife Gilda Marroquin visit the Hall of Names at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem on November 28, 2016. (AFP PHOTO/GALI TIBBON)
    Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales (R) and wife Gilda Marroquin visit the Hall of Names at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem on November 28, 2016. (AFP PHOTO/GALI TIBBON)
  • President Reuven Rivlin (2nd R) and his wife Nehama (R), Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales and his wife Patricia Marroquin review an honor guard during an official welcoming ceremony at the presidential compound in Jerusalem, on November 28, 2016. (AFP PHOTO/GIL COHEN-MAGEN)
    President Reuven Rivlin (2nd R) and his wife Nehama (R), Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales and his wife Patricia Marroquin review an honor guard during an official welcoming ceremony at the presidential compound in Jerusalem, on November 28, 2016. (AFP PHOTO/GIL COHEN-MAGEN)
  • A state official inspects the damage at the remains of Nafat restuarant Rama's Kitchen following a wildfire, on November 28, 2016. (Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
    A state official inspects the damage at the remains of Nafat restuarant Rama's Kitchen following a wildfire, on November 28, 2016. (Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tours the village of Beit Meir in the Jerusalem hills, which was ravaged by a wildfire overnight on Friday, November 25, 2016 (Kobi Gideon / GPO)
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tours the village of Beit Meir in the Jerusalem hills, which was ravaged by a wildfire overnight on Friday, November 25, 2016 (Kobi Gideon / GPO)

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.”

Palestinian firefighters arrive in the Jerusalem hills village of Nataf to help extinguish an ongoing fire in the area, on November 26, 2016. (AFP PHOTO/AHMAD GHARABLI)

Palestinian firefighters arrive in the Jerusalem hills village of Nataf to help extinguish an ongoing fire in the area, on November 26, 2016. (AFP PHOTO/AHMAD GHARABLI)

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.

Israeli police at the scene where two Israelis were killed in a stabbing attack by a Palestinian terrorist at the Panorama building in southern Tel Aviv , on November 19, 2015. (Moti Karelitz/ZAKA TEL AVIV)

Israeli police at the scene where two Israelis were killed in a stabbing attack by a Palestinian terrorist at the Panorama building in southern Tel Aviv, on November 19, 2015. (Moti Karelitz/ZAKA TEL AVIV)

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.

— AFP

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.

— JTA

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.”

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman arrives at the weekly government meeting, November 20, 2016. (Photo by Emil Salman/POOL)

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman arrives at the weekly government meeting, November 20, 2016. (Emil Salman/POOL)

“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.

— AFP

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 Jewish chess grandmaster Mark Taimanov, who died on November 28, 2016 at the age of 90 (Wikimedia Commons, Stefan64, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Soviet Jewish chess grandmaster Mark Taimanov, who died on November 28, 2016, at the age of 90 (Wikimedia Commons, Stefan64, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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.”

— AFP

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.”

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.

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.

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.

— AFP

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.

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.

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.

SWAT teams and police respond to reports of a shooting on campus at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio on November 28, 2016. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

SWAT teams and police respond to reports of a shooting on campus at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio on November 28, 2016. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

— AP

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.

Syrian pro-government forces gather in front of a water pumping station in the Suleiman al-Halabi neighborhood of Aleppo on November 28, 2016, after they took control of the area from rebel fighters. (AFP PHOTO/GEORGE OURFALIAN)

Syrian pro-government forces gather in front of a water pumping station in the Suleiman al-Halabi neighborhood of Aleppo on November 28, 2016, after they took control of the area from rebel fighters. (AFP PHOTO/GEORGE OURFALIAN)

“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.

— AFP

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.

Former Israeli prime minister and Defense minster Ehud Barak speaks during a launching event of the Reporty App in Tel Aviv, March 16, 2016. (Photo by Flash90)

Former Israeli prime minister and defense minster Ehud Barak speaks during a launching event of the Reporty App in Tel Aviv, March 16, 2016. (Flash90)

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.

— AFP

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.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally at Grand Valley State University on November 7, 2016 in Allendale, Michigan. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP)

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally at Grand Valley State University on November 7, 2016 in Allendale, Michigan. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP)

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.

— AP

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.

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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.