The Times of Israel liveblogged Tuesday’s events as they unfolded.
Iran nuke sanctions to end within 2 months, Rouhani says
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says he expects the sanctions on his country over its nuclear program to be lifted by the end of the year, Reuters reports, citing Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency.
“According to our plans, the oppressive sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran will be lifted by the end of 2015,” IRNA quotes Rouhani as saying at a welcoming ceremony for Spain’s new ambassador to the Islamic Republic.
Bomb scare briefly shuts down Tel Aviv street
Police in Tel Aviv briefly close Bograshov Street in the center of the city following reports of a “suspicious object” in a trashcan, spokeswoman Luba Samri says.
A pedestrian calls the police after finding a number of bottles filled with an unknown liquid and what appeared to be a gas canister in the trashcan on the corner of Bograshov and Ben Yehuda streets.
A police bomb disposal unit finds that the object was not, in fact, an explosive, Samri says.
— Judah Ari Gross
Hundreds of Palestinians riot in Hebron area
Around 500 Palestinians are rioting in two different locations in the Hebron area of the West Bank, the Walla news website reports.
Around 200 people are throwing stones in the village of Beit Anun, east of the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, the report says. IDF and Border Police forces are using riot dispersal measures, including firing rubber bullets.
In addition, some 300 Palestinians are throwing stones in the city of Hebron, where IDF and Border Police forces are also employing riot dispersal measures.
Court halts demolition of terrorist’s home
The High Court freezes the demolition by Israel of the home belonging to the family of the terrorist who carried out a car-ramming attack in Jerusalem two weeks ago, the Ynet news website says.
Alaa Abu Jamal, an East Jerusalem resident and employee of the Bezeq phone company, killed one person and wounded another in the October 13 attack on Malchei Yisrael Street. He was subdued by security forces, but not killed.
Jamal’s wife, who lives in the house in the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood with their three children, petitioned the court on the grounds that she and the children are not culpable in the attack.
France to host Syria crisis meeting with allies
France is hosting a meeting on the Syria crisis with Western and Arab allies later today, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius says.
The “working dinner” at the French foreign ministry will include “the main partners engaged with France in dealing with the Syrian crisis: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Qatar, Turkey, Germany, the United States, Italy and Britain,” Fabius says in a statement.
Detained Arab teens ‘wanted to stab a religious Jew’
Two Arab Israeli teenagers arrested earlier this month tell investigators they planned to stab a religious Jewish man in retaliation for what they perceive as Israeli aggression on the Temple Mount, the Shin Bet security service says.
The two 16-year-olds were arrested in the northern Israeli city of Migdal Ha’emek on suspicion of planning to carry out a stabbing attack.
They also admit that they were inspired by the numerous stabbing attacks carried out against Israeli civilians, police and soldiers.
“This incident again proves that young men and women who choose to carry out violent actions are influenced by the violent atmosphere, the inciting messages they receive through social networks and indeed the recent terror attacks,” the Shin Bet says in a statement.
The Northern District Court is indicting the two teenagers for attempted murder, being in possession of a knife and intent to commit a felony.
— Judah Ari Gross
Islamic Movement head loses appeal, will serve jail time
The head of the Islamic Movement’s northern branch, Sheikh Raed Salah, loses his appeal in Jerusalem District Court against a 2007 conviction for incitement, and will serve an 11-month jail sentence.
Report: Dozens wounded as Hebron clashes escalate
Dozens of Palestinians have been wounded in clashes with security forces in the Hebron area, the Palestinian news agency Ma’an reports, quoting medics at the scene.
The Palestinians are marching to protest Israel’s refusal to return the bodies of 11 Palestinians killed while carrying attacks on Israelis, Ma’an says.
Richard Lakin’s son: He was killed by the hatred he always fought
The son of Richard Lakin blames online incitement for the death of his father, who succumbed earlier today to injuries sustained in a Jerusalem terror attack two weeks ago.
“It cannot be that the world’s most powerful social network, whose influence is probably greater than that of heads of state… allows terrorists to call for the murder of innocent Jews,” Micha Lakin tells Channel 2 television, in a likely reference to Facebook. “He died as a result of the same incitement and hatred he fought against his entire life.”
Richard Lakin was named as lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit against Facebook accusing the social media platform of ignoring widespread Palestinian posts calling for violence against Jews.
The 76-year-old former American school principal was shot in the head and stabbed in the chest in the October 13 attack on a Jerusalem bus.
“From the start we understood that his chances of coming out of this were low,” Micha Lakin says.
“Dad believed in coexistence and before immigrating to Israel in the 1980s he worked in the United States to promote dialogue and equality. He was a social activist and marched alongside Martin Luther King to protest against racism.”
Arab group slams court decision to jail Islamic Movement leader
The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee slams a Jerusalem court’s decision to reject an appeal by the head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement against a 2007 conviction for incitement.
The rejection of Raed Salah’s appeal is a move “against the entire Arab population,” says Mohammed Barakeh, the head of the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee and a former Hadash MK.
“Salah was sentenced over a legitimate political statement in defense of the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” Barakeh says, according to the Walla website. “This decision is not only against Salah, but against the entire Arab population as it challenges [Israeli] actions on the Temple Mount.”
Electric Corp faces fines over slow response to power cuts
The government’s Electricity Authority says it is exploring the option of fining the Electric Corporation over the ongoing power outages at thousands of Israeli homes, more than two days after fierce storms caused damage to infrastructure.
The authority says no decision has yet been made, Channel 10 reports.
Salah defiant after court nixes appeal
The head of the Islamic Movement’s northern branch, Raed Salah, takes a defiant stance following the rejection of his appeal against an 11-month conviction for incitement to violence.
“Jerusalem is under occupation and we will not give up our veneration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” he says, according to the Walla news website.
“The US Secretary of State John Kerry gives legitimacy to the Zionist occupation of the mosque. When the court says we have no right to defend Al-Aqsa Mosque and talks of incitement, we say that we will continue to defend Al-Aqsa in our own way, [and] we will win.”
Jerusalem terror victim to be buried tomorrow
Richard Lakin, the US-born Israeli who earlier today succumbed to wounds from an October 13 terror attack in Jerusalem, will be buried tomorrow.
His funeral will take place at 11 a.m. at the Eretz HaHaim cemetery in Beit Shemesh.
Palestinians: 10 shot and wounded in Hebron protest
At least 10 Palestinians have been shot and wounded by Israeli security forces during a protest in the West Bank city of Hebron, the Palestinian news agency Ma’an reports, citing the head of a local hospital.
The protest is being held over Israel’s refusal to return the bodies of Palestinians killed while carrying out recent attacks.
Ma’an says IDF troops are using rubber and live bullets to disperse the protesters.
An IDF spokeswoman says in response that “hundreds of Palestinians are currently rioting in Hebron, throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at IDF troops in the area.”
She adds: “Israeli forces are still trying to disperse the crowd using non-lethal means, including rubber bullets and tear gas. However, the demonstration is still ongoing.”
— Judah Ari Gross
Russia says soldier kills himself in first loss of Syria campaign
Russia’s military says a soldier has killed himself while on duty in Syria, the first confirmed death of a serviceman in the war-torn country since Moscow launched its bombing campaign last month.
The defense ministry in Moscow does not identify the soldier who it says committed suicide, but says the serviceman appears to have taken his life due to problems with his girlfriend.
The official announcement comes after two people close to the family of a young soldier serving in Syria tell AFP that he has died from unknown causes while on duty in the country, with one of the sources casting doubt on the idea that he might have killed himself.
2 people killed in Gush Etzion road accident
Two people are dead in a collision between a car and a truck in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc in the West Bank.
The Magen David Adom rescue service says that the accident occurred at around 4:30 p.m. next to the Elazar settlement in the bloc. The service says that the two people killed are a man and a woman in their 50s, who were declared dead at the scene.
The driver of the truck is lightly hurt in the crash and receives treatment at the scene.
8 hurt in bus smash in Jerusalem
Eight people are hurt when a bus skids on a wet road and hits a wall on Moshe Zilberg Street in Jerusalem. Magen David Adom rescue personnel are on the scene and treating the injured, Channel 10 television reports.
France proposes Netanyahu-Abbas talks in Paris
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is trying to set up a meeting between Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas in Paris, the Haaretz daily reports.
The move is part of current international efforts to stem the ongoing violence between Israel and Palestinians.
An Israeli official says Netanyahu was immediately responsive to the idea, while Abbas has yet to reply.
Teen critically hurt in Jerusalem stabbing goes home
The 13-year-old boy who was critically wounded in a stabbing attack by two Palestinian teens in Jerusalem is released from the hospital.
The boy sustained life-threatening injuries in the October 12 attack in the Jerusalem suburb of Pisgat Ze’ev and was rushed to Hadassah Medical Center on Mount Scopus, where he remained until today.
29 hospitalized in Jerusalem bus crash
Three Jerusalem hospitals are treating a total of 29 people injured in a bus crash in the Ramat Sharett neighborhood of the capital.
Shaare Zedek hospital is treating 14 people; 12 people are hospitalized in Hadassah hospital in Ein Kerem and three people are at Hadassah on Mount Scopus, the Walla website says.
Palestinian woman hit by car in West Bank, in serious condition
A Palestinian woman suffers serious head wounds when she is hit by a car near the West Bank settlement of Halamish. The woman, in her 50s, is airlifted to Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem.
The cause of the incident is being investigated, the military says.
— Judah Ari Gross
Egypt’s president holds talks in UAE on regional crises
Egypt’s president is visiting the United Arab Emirates, a major backer of his government, for talks on crises currently affecting the Middle East.
The UAE’s state-run WAM news agency says President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi met today with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the powerful crown prince of Abu Dhabi.
WAM says discussions between the two focused on regional issues including the war in Yemen. Both countries are in a Saudi-led coalition targeting Shiite rebels there.
The report says the two also discussed the ongoing civil war in Syria, as well as recent tensions between Israel and the Palestinians.
Egypt’s state media says Sissi later will travel to India and Bahrain as part of his three-nation trip before returning to Cairo.
Attempted stabbing in West Bank settlement bloc
An attempted stabbing is reported in the Etzion settlement bloc in the West Bank.
The attacker is subdued by security forces.
There are no details yet on casualties.
Israeli moderately hurt in West Bank stabbing
An Israeli is moderately wounded in the stabbing attack in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc in the West Bank.
The victim is approximately 19 years old and in moderate condition with a wound to the head.
Magen David Adom paramedics are treating him on the scene before sending him to Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem for further treatment, the emergency medical service says.
— Judah Ari Gross
West Bank stabbing perpetrators shot by security forces
Initial reports say that two attackers stabbed the Israeli man wounded in a West Bank attack as he stood at a bus stop at the entrance to the Etzion settlement bloc, Channel 10 says.
The attackers were shot by nearby security forces, the television says. One of the men is dead and the other wounded.
Security forces scouring area of West Bank stabbing
Israeli security forces are searching the area of a West Bank stabbing attack this evening that left an Israeli man moderately wounded, Channel 2 television reports.
The searches are being carried out to ensure that there are no further attackers in the area, which is currently closed to traffic.
The victim is being treated for wounds to the upper body.
US, Israel only ‘no’ votes in Cuba embargo condemnation
The US and Israel are the only two nations to vote against a UN General Assembly condemnation of the American trade embargo on Cuba. This is the 24th year that Washington votes against the resolution, despite warming ties and a push by President Barack Obama to remove the economic restrictions.
Today’s resolution is adopted by the 193-member General Assembly with 191 votes in favor. While such resolutions are non-binding, they can carry political weight.
In July, the United States and Cuba restored diplomatic relations after a 54-year break. The resolution welcomes the renewed ties and recognizes “the expressed will” of Obama to end the embargo.
IDF confirms that stabbing victim is Israeli soldier
An IDF spokeswoman confirms that the 19-year-old man wounded in today’s stabbing attack in the West Bank is a soldier.
She says that a group of soldiers approached two suspicious-looking Arab men at a bus stop in the Etzion Bloc. As they got closer, the two Palestinian men attacked one of the soldiers, stabbing the 19-year-old soldier in the head and moderately wounding him.
Forces on the scene responded to the attack, firing at the two assailants, the spokeswoman says.
Although the IDF would not confirm the deaths of the two attackers, reports from the scene indicated that the men did indeed die from the gunshot wounds they sustained.
— Judah Ari Gross (@JudahAriGross) October 27, 2015
— Judah Ari Gross
US officials: Iran invited to next round of Syria talks
Iran has been invited to participate for the first time in international talks over Syria’s future, US officials said Tuesday, a shift in strategy for the United States and its allies as they seek to halt the four-year civil war and eventually ease President Bashar Assad out of power. Iran has yet to reply, the officials said.
The next diplomatic round starts Thursday in Vienna, with Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and several top European and Arab diplomats attending.
Washington had held out the possibility of Iran joining the discussions in future, but is only now offering Tehran a seat after days of behind-the-scenes negotiation, particularly with its regional rival Saudi Arabia.
AG: Ex-defense minister will stand trial for graft
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein says former Labor Party defense minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer will stand trial for corruption.
Ben-Eliezer, who was the oldest MK until his retirement in 2014, faces charges for tax offenses, fraud and breach of trust, Army Radio reports.
In 2014, police conducted a six-month investigation into allegations that Ben-Eliezer accepted funds from businessmen for unspecified financial favors in 2006, when he served as national infrastructure minister.
Carter: US to boost anti-IS attacks in Iraq, Syria
US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter says the United States will ramp up attacks on Islamic State jihadists in Syria and Iraq, with additional air strikes and even direct action on the ground.
Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Carter says he expects more actions like the one last week that freed dozens of captives but left an American commando dead in Iraq.
“We won’t hold back from supporting capable partners in opportunistic attacks against ISIL, or conducting such missions directly, whether by strikes from the air or direct action on the ground,” Carter says.
Police grill brother of Rabin’s killer over Rivlin post
Haggai Amir, the brother of the extremist Jew who killed Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, is questioned by police on suspicion of incitement over a Facebook post in which he calls on God to decide that President Reuven Rivlin must “disappear from the world.”
Rivlin “cannot decide whether or not my brother is released, only the Almighty decides — as He decided that Rabin would drop dead,” Amir writes, according to Ynetnews. “[T]he Almighty decided that Rivlin would be president, and it’s time for Him to decide that Rivlin and the Zionist state must disappear from the world just as Sodom did because of the crimes they ‘lawfully’ committed against their people. Today that day is no longer far away.”
Yigal Amir is serving a life sentence for murdering the prime minister after a Tel Aviv peace rally 20 years ago. Rivlin said during this week’s commemorations for the prime minister that he would never grant a pardon for “that damned man.”
French Jewish politician: Marseilles stabbings due to biased Israel coverage
A French Jewish politician from Marseilles suggests that the recent assault against three Jews there was connected to hostile media coverage of Israel in France.
Hagay Sobol, a regional alderman for the Socialist Party and vice president of Marseilles’ Edmond Fleg Jewish Community Center, makes the claim on Twitter in reference to Saturday’s stabbing of a Jewish man by an attacker who also hit and accosted a rabbi and his 19-year-old son. The stabbing victim, 44, was seriously hurt but is no longer in danger.
“In this anti-Semitic attack, we cannot exclude the media coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict,” Sobol writes.
— hagay sobol (@hagaysobol) October 24, 2015
Beitar Jerusalem fans chant name of Rabin’s killer at match
Channel 2 television shows footage of fans of Beitar Jerusalem soccer team chanting the name of Yigal Amir, the extremist Jewish Israeli who shot and killed prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995.
The incident took place during a match against Maccabi Tel Aviv at Bloomfield Stadium on Monday night.
The video, which appears to show dozens of yellow-clad Beitar fans joining in the chant, was filmed by someone at the game.
Suspects in mob attack on Eritrean get hearing before indictments
Four suspects in the mob attack on an Eritrean asylum seeker mistaken for a terrorist are summoned to a hearing before they are indicted, Channel 2 television reports.
The four were caught on film in Beersheba central bus station attacking 29-year-old Haftom Zarhum as he lay on the ground after he was shot by a security guard, who had also believed him involved in the deadly attack on a soldier moments earlier.
Zarhum died shortly afterward in hospital from what coroners determined to be internal bleeding from the gunshots.
Mogherini urges Netanyahu, Abbas to meet Quartet ‘in days’
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini urges Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authgority President Mahmuud Abbas to meet Quartet representatives “within days” in the hope of kick-starting stalled peace talks.
“I have asked both Netanyahu and Abbas to receive the Quartet envoys in the coming days, not weeks,” Mogherini says, stressing the need for speed if an upsurge in violence between Israelis and Palestinians is not to spiral out of control.
The Quartet comprises the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia and was set up in 2002 to promote the Middle East peace process.