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Abbas: Boy killed in ‘cold blood’; Netanyahu says speech ‘lies’

Channel 10 says Jordan has already agreed to host bilateral talks to be overseen by John Kerry

  • Police and security after a stabbing attack outside Jerusalem's central bus station on October 14, 2015 (Police spokesman)
    Police and security after a stabbing attack outside Jerusalem's central bus station on October 14, 2015 (Police spokesman)
  • A still image from footage of knife-wielding Palestinian teens who stabbed and wounded two Israelis in Jerusalem on Monday, October 12, 2015. (screen capture: Israel Police)
    A still image from footage of knife-wielding Palestinian teens who stabbed and wounded two Israelis in Jerusalem on Monday, October 12, 2015. (screen capture: Israel Police)
  • An image released by Israel Police of a Palestinian arrested on October 14, 2015 on suspicion of trying to smuggle a knife into Jerusalem from Shuafat refugee camp (Israel Police)
    An image released by Israel Police of a Palestinian arrested on October 14, 2015 on suspicion of trying to smuggle a knife into Jerusalem from Shuafat refugee camp (Israel Police)
  • The scene of Wednesday's attempted stabbing outside Jerusalem's Old City in which a Palestinian was shot by Israeli forces (screen capture: Channel 2)
    The scene of Wednesday's attempted stabbing outside Jerusalem's Old City in which a Palestinian was shot by Israeli forces (screen capture: Channel 2)
  • File: Mahmoud Abbas speaks with journalists at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah on October 6, 2015. (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)
    File: Mahmoud Abbas speaks with journalists at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah on October 6, 2015. (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)
  • Still image from footage showing knife-wielding terrorist (circled) Khaled Basti stabbing Israelis as they wait at a bus stop on Jerusalem Boulevard in Ra'anana on October 12, 2015. (screen capture)
    Still image from footage showing knife-wielding terrorist (circled) Khaled Basti stabbing Israelis as they wait at a bus stop on Jerusalem Boulevard in Ra'anana on October 12, 2015. (screen capture)
  • The home of Palestinian terrorist Abdelrahman al-Shaludi in East Jerusalem after it was destroyed by Israeli authorities on November 19, 2014. (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)
    The home of Palestinian terrorist Abdelrahman al-Shaludi in East Jerusalem after it was destroyed by Israeli authorities on November 19, 2014. (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)
  • Saudi emergency personnel stand near bodies of Hajj pilgrims at the site where at least 717 were killed and hundreds wounded in a stampede in Mina, near the city of Mecca, at the annual hajj in Saudi Arabia on September 24, 2015. (STR/AFP)
    Saudi emergency personnel stand near bodies of Hajj pilgrims at the site where at least 717 were killed and hundreds wounded in a stampede in Mina, near the city of Mecca, at the annual hajj in Saudi Arabia on September 24, 2015. (STR/AFP)
  • Indian President Pranab Mukherjee visits the Knesset, October 14, 2015 (Photo courtesy of Knesset Spokesman)
    Indian President Pranab Mukherjee visits the Knesset, October 14, 2015 (Photo courtesy of Knesset Spokesman)

The Times of Israel liveblogged Wednesday’s developments as they occured.

New footage emerges of Ra’anana stabbing attack

New footage of yesterday’s attack in Ra’anana shows the terrorist walking calming toward a crowd of people at a bus stop on Jerusalem Boulevard before striking out with his knife.

He manages to wound four people, as they try to flee. Two people are seen to be knocked down from the impact of the attacks.

The terrorist leaves one person in serious condition with wounds to the upper body. The three other victims were lightly injured. The attacker is arrested.

The attack came just hours after a similar assault in the city that left one man lightly injured on the central Ahuza thoroughfare.

Israel to revoke residency of 19 East Jerusalem terrorists

Interior Minister Silvan Shalom tells Israel Radio that the state will revoke the residency status of 19 East Jerusalem residents over their involvement in terror attacks.

The move means that the families of those 19 will lose all benefits granted to them due to that status, Israel Radio reports.

Shalom says Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked will soon present a proposal to deny benefits to the families of terrorists with Israeli ID cards who were killed while carrying out an attack; terrorists who are wounded while carrying out an attack will also be denied disability benefits. Israel will also confiscate the land upon which terrorists’ demolished homes were built.

New count shows hajj stampede was deadliest in its history

Figures from foreign officials bring the death toll in last month’s hajj stampede near Mecca to at least 1,633, making it the deadliest incident in the pilgrimage’s history.

Saudi Arabia is yet to provide an updated death toll, after saying that 769 Muslim pilgrims had died in the tragedy. Saudi authorities are still to provide a breakdown by nationality.

Hundreds of pilgrims are also not accounted for following the September 24 stampede at the hajj, one of the largest annual gatherings in the world.

But figures from many foreign governments on pilgrims killed from their countries and an AFP tally show the death toll overtakes the 1,426 pilgrims who died in the hajj’s worst previous incident — a tunnel stampede in July 1990.

— AFP

Kerry, Fabius to meet on wave of terror in Israel

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius will meet today with his US counterpart John Kerry to discuss ways to avoid an escalation in Israel and the Palestinian territories after the wave of terror attacks in the Jewish state, a French government spokesman says.

“The situation has deteriorated sharply and France will do everything to avoid an escalation,” the spokesman says.

— AFP

Cathay halts flights over Iran due to missile fears

Hong Kong’s flagship carrier Cathay Pacific suspends flights over Iran and the Caspian Sea after the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issues a warning about missiles being fired at Syria.

The air safety fears come as investigators issue their final report into the fate of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, concluding it was shot down by a Russian-made BUK missile fired from war-torn eastern Ukraine.

The Boeing 777 was downed last year, killing all 298 people on board.

Cathay says it had suspended flights in response to the dangers.

“In view of the situation in the region, Cathay Pacific suspended all flights over Iran and Caspian Sea since last Thursday until further notice,” it says in a statement.

— AFP

Israeli arrested over support for Islamic State

Police arrest a 40-year-old man from a village near the northern town of Nahariya for suspected support for the Islamic State terror group, Walla news reports.

The man will appear in an Acre court today for a remand hearing.

Police investigate over 200 Palestinians in past 2 weeks

Judea and Samaria police have investigated more than 200 Palestinians during the last two weeks, Ynet reports.

The Palestinians were interrogated over riots and throwing stones, Molotov cocktails and explosive devices.

One third of those questioned are minors, Ynet says.

German, Iranian FMs to meet on Syria, nuclear deal

The foreign ministers of Germany and Iran are taking part in a conference in Tehran on Saturday to discuss the situation in Syria and Iran’s future role in the region following the nuclear agreement.

The meeting is organized by the Munich Security Conference and the Institute for Political and International Studies.

The organizers say in a statement that German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif will meet with some 60 other participants for “an informal exchange.”

They said those attending include the foreign ministers of Afghanistan and Iraq, the prime minister of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish Regional Government and the UN’s deputy peace envoy for Syria.

— AP

Appeal for mourners at funeral for terror victim without family

Israelis are being asked to attend the funeral for terror victim Alon Govberg, who was killed yesterday in the bus attack in Jerusalem.

He will be buried at 5 p.m. this evening at Har Hamenuhot (Givat Shaul) cemetery in Jerusalem.

WATCH: Policeman proposes to cop girlfriend in Jerusalem

Amid the videos of violence in Jerusalem, footage of a different kind from the capital has gone viral in Israel.

The video is of a marriage proposal between two police officers working in Jerusalem, and shows special patrol unit officer Shay Levy as he gets down on bended knee, clad in his riot gear, outside the Western Wall plaza to ask longtime sweetheart Ayana Yitzhaki to marry him.

She says yes, and their colleagues break out into whistles, song and applause as the two embrace.

Abbas making ‘important speech to the nation’ tonight

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is giving an “important speech to the nation” at 8 p.m. tonight, the Walla website quotes Palestinian news agency Wafa as saying.

The speech comes as Israel reels from a wave of terror attacks that have killed nine people and wounded dozens more. PM Netanyahu has accused Abbas of inciting violence as the security situation has deteriorated.

20-year-old arrested for Facebook incitement

A 20-year-old man is arrested by police in the Dead Sea area on suspicion of incitement to violence on social media.

The Walla website says that the man, a 20-year from the Bedouin town of Kuseife who is an employee of a factory at the Dead Sea, wrote on Facebook, “The intifada has started, and I am sure that afterwards there will not be one Jewish pig here.”

He is now being questioned by police in Arad, Walla says.

Attempted stabbing at Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate

Police are investigating an attempted stabbing at the Damascus Gate entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem.

The attacker was reportedly shot dead.

There are no reports of victims as of now.

— Judah Ari Gross

Police: Jerusalem attacker shot while trying to stab guard

Israel Police say the terrorist shot by security forces in Jerusalem was a knife-wielding Palestinian who ran to attack a security guard protecting a family walking through the Damascus Gate.

Officers on the scene who saw the Arab man with the knife shot him.

No other injuries besides those of the attacker are reported.

— Judah Ari Gross

Changing of the guard in IDF Southern Command

Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir officially enters the position of GOC Southern Command, replacing Maj. Gen. Sami Turgeman.

The ceremony had been delayed due to the recent violent demonstrations on the Gaza-Israel border, in which dozens of Palestinians breached the security fence and entered Israeli territory.

“The events of the past few days have proven the security challenges of the State of Israel,” IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot says, paying tribute to the outgoing commander.

“Sami, for more than two years you have led the Southern Command with wisdom and determination,” he says.

“Eyal, today we are putting in your hands the right and the great responsibility that goes along with leading the Southern Command,” Eisenkot says.

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot oversees the entrance of Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir as head of the IDF Southern Command, and the exit of Maj. Gen. Sami Turgeman from the position at the command's base in Beersheba on Oct. 14, 2015. (IDF Spokesperson)

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot oversees the entrance of Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir as head of the IDF Southern Command, and the exit of Maj. Gen. Sami Turgeman from the position at the command’s base in Beersheba on Oct. 14, 2015. (IDF Spokesperson)

— Judah Ari Gross

Deputy FM: Islamic State ‘mentality’ has reached Palestinians

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely tells the BBC that the use of Palestinian children to attack Israeli children shows that the mindset of the Islamic State has infiltrated into the Palestinian consciousness.

“With these brutal knifings of Israeli children by Palestinian children we are seeing the IS mentality entering the Palestinian arena,” she says.

Hotovely disputes arguments that the recent violence was down to a failure to make progress in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.

“This abuse of children is a crossing of a red line. Palestinian terror has nothing to do with the stalled political process as has been claimed. The most horrific attacks occurred during the heyday of the Oslo Accords in the 1990s and following Israel’s far reaching proposals at Camp David in 2000.”

The deputy minister also accuses the Palestinian leadership of indoctrinating children, which she says is tantamount to aiding those who set out to kill Israelis.

“By condoning these acts of terror and following years of indoctrination of Palestinian children toward hatred of Israel and Jews, the Palestinian leadership is acting as an accomplice to murder,” she says.

— Raphael Ahren

Police: Jerusalem attacker tried to stab cops

An Israel Police spokeswoman says an initial investigation into the thwarted terror attack in Jerusalem a short time ago shows that the attacker was shot while trying to stab Border Police officers at the Damascus Gate.

The spokeswoman says Border Police officers spotted the young camouflage-clad Palestinian sitting near the Damascus Gate .

He appeared to be nervous, and the suspicious officers approached him to investigate. But as they got closer he pulled out a knife and tried to stab them.

The officers responded immediately, opening fire in his direction, the police say.

The attacker continued running towards them with the knife in his hand, and the officers shot and killed him, the spokeswoman says.

The knife used in an attempted stabbing attack at the Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem on Oct. 14, 2015. Police officers shot the attacker as he allegedly charged them with the knife drawn. (Israel Police)

The knife used in an attempted stabbing attack at the Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem on Oct. 14, 2015. Police officers shot the attacker as he allegedly charged them with the knife drawn. (Israel Police)

— Judah Ari Gross

Report: Jerusalem attacker was 14-year-old Palestinian boy

The Palestinian news agency Ma’an says the Palestinian shot dead at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem while trying to stab Border Police officers was a 14-year-old boy.

The boy has yet to be named, Ma’an said.

Israeli supermarket magnate: I’m pulling knives from my stores

Rami Levy, the owner of the eponymous Israeli supermarket chain, says he will take knives off the shelves in his stores, the Israel National news website reports.

The announcement comes as Israel struggles to deal with an ongoing spate of Arab knife attacks, primarily in Jerusalem.

Jews and Arabs in northern Israel rally for peace

Dozens of Jews and Arabs are taking part in a pro-peace rally in northern Israel. The participants are joining hands and calling for an end to violence, the Walla website says.

“In Nazareth, Nazareth Illit and the area Jews and Arabs live side by side in peace and good neighborliness,” says organizer Inbal Perach, a resident of Nazareth Illit.

“We will not let violence and the extremists ruin it. We gathered here because the time has come to make the sane voices heard – enough violence, terror and racism,” she says.

Police release new footage of teen terrorists who stabbed 2 Israelis

Police release new security camera footage showing the two teenage Palestinians who stabbed and seriously wounded a 13-year-old Israeli boy in Pisgat Ze’ev on Monday.

The video shows the two, each brandishing a large knife, as they chase a man down the street in Jerusalem.

The two boys, aged 13 and 15, also stabbed and wounded a 25-year-old man before they were stopped. The 13-year-old attacker is in serious condition after being hit by a car while fleeing, and the 15-year-old was shot dead by security forces.

Police nab would-be stabber en route to Jerusalem

Border Police detain a Palestinian who smuggled a knife onto a minibus heading from Shuafat refugee camp into Jerusalem, Israel Police say.

According to police spokeswoman Luba Samari, Border Police officers at a checkpoint on the road inspected the vehicle using a dog trained to find explosives, and discovered a knife wrapped in clothing hidden under one of the seats.

The security forces suspected that the knife belonged to one of the passengers, who had embarked with a young boy in his arms.

The suspect, a 24-year-old resident of the refugee camp, was taken in for questioning and the boy was handed over to family members.

— Judah Ari Gross

Hamas calls for W. Bank clashes after Friday prayers

The Gaza Strip’s Islamist rulers Hamas are calling for Palestinians to engage in violent confrontations with Israeli security forces in the West Bank after Friday prayers.

An official statement from the group urges Palestinians across the West Bank to clashes with Israeli forces “in response to the crimes of the occupation and out of loyalty to Al-Aqsa [Mosque], the martyrs, the prisoners and the wounded,” the Walla website reports.

Jordan: Israeli ‘provocations’ at Temple Mount will harm ties

Jordanian PM Abdullah Ensour is warning that Jordanian-Israeli ties will be harmed if the ongoing “Israeli provocations” at the Al-Aqsa Mosque continue, Jordan’s Petra news agency reports.

Ensour says that Jordan is keeping “all legal and diplomatic options open” with regards to “Israeli assaults on Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

Speaking to the pan-Arab, London-based newspaper Al-Hayat, Ensour says that Israel, as the occupying power, is responsible for maintaining the status quo in Jerusalem, and accuses the Jewish state of trying to violate international law.

Report: Terrorist shot at Jerusalem central bus station

Shots are reported in the area of Jerusalem central bus station, close to the entrance to the city.

Channel 2 television says that a terrorist who tried to stab people at the station has been shot.

Magen David Adom: One wounded in Jerusalem attack

One person is wounded in a stabbing attack at Jerusalem central bus station, the Magen David rescue service says.

Channel 2 says the terrorist has been shot.

Woman stabbed in Jerusalem bus station attack

One person is injured after a stabbing attack at Jerusalem central bus station.

The victim, a woman in her 60s, has light to moderate wounds after she was stabbed at the entrance to the bus station, Channel 2 says.

Magen David Adom: Stabbing victim hospitalized in serious condition

The woman wounded in a stabbing attack at Jerusalem central bus station is in moderate to serious condition and has been evacuated to Shaare Zedek hospital in the city, the Magen David Adom rescue service says.

Police say the woman is 70 years old.

MDA says the terrorist tried to get on an Egged bus outside the station, after which he apparently stabbed the woman. A riot police officer who arrived at the scene and shot and neutralized the terrorist.

Dr. Yoni Elstein, who was on the bus where the attack occurred, says he treated the woman. He says she was “sitting next to the driver, bleeding but fully conscious, with stab wounds to her upper body. We gave her medical treatment and sent her to the hospital. She is in moderate to serious condition.”

A number of people at the scene of the attack are suffering from shock, MDA says.

— Judah Ari Gross

Witness: Bus station terrorist came at me with his knife

Sarah Bloom, an eyewitness to today’s terror attack at Jerusalem bus station tells The Times of Israel that she was walking down Jaffa Street after leaving the bus station with her mother, when she saw the terrorist approach her with his knife.

“The guy came at me when I was on the phone, and [my mother] saw him, just yards away, with his hand pulling a knife from his side.”

Bloom says she leaped off the sidewalk, screaming “terrorist, help, terrorist, help!”

She says the stabber turned and fled, and was chased down the street by passersby.

— Ilan Ben Zion

Shin Bet names Damascus Gate attacker

The Shin Bet names the Palestinian who was shot dead trying to stab security forces at the Damascus Gate earlier today as Bassem Sadr, aged 19, from the West Bank city of Hebron.

He was not previously known to the Israeli security forces, the service says.

— Judah Ari Gross

IDF building new stretch of Gaza security fence

The IDF is building a new stretch of fence along the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

In the coming days, the army will build a new 62-kilometer (40-mile)long fence after hundreds of meters of the fence were breached by Palestinian demonstrators in recent days, Ynet says.

The new fence will be similar to the one erected along the border with Sinai, the report says.

Australia issues new travel warning for Israel

Australia is advising its nationals to “reconsider their need to travel” to Jerusalem in the wake of the ongoing violence in the capital.

A new statement on the Foreign Affairs Ministry website also says: “The overall level of advice for Israel remains at ‘exercise a high degree of caution’. Higher levels apply in some parts of the country.”

Shin Bet: Bus station terrorist was East Jerusalem resident

The Shin Bet security service names the terrorist who stabbed a woman at the Jerusalem central bus station today as Ahmad Sha’aban, a 23-year-old from the Ras al-Amud neighborhood of East Jerusalem.

Sha’aban was in prison in Israel from 2012 to 2015 for terrorist activity, the Shin Bet says.

— Judah Ari Gross

Jerusalem municipality to outfit inspectors with stab-proof vests

Jerusalem city hall is outfitting its inspectors with padded vests that will protect them from knife attacks, Army Radio reports.

The decision comes as the capital is suffering from a string of knife attacks, including an attack this evening that left a 70-year-old woman with moderate to serious wounds. The vests will be issued to inspectors working in the center of the city and other areas deemed to be high risk.

The municipality says it hopes the vests will give the inspectors a sense of security as they work.

Peres unites religious leaders in call for peace

The Peres Center for Peace says former president Shimon Peres on Tuesday convened an emergency meeting of religious leaders in Israel, among them chief rabbis, Muslim and Christian leaders and the heads of the Druze community, in a call for peace.

“Now is the time to join hands, to extinguish the flames, and to call out for tolerance and mutual respect,” says the center in an emailed statement.

Abbas backs ‘peaceful and popular’ struggle against Israel

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas says he backs a ‘peaceful and popular’ struggle against Israel.

The comments come in an address from the West Bank city of Ramallah that was earlier today described as “an important speech to the nation.”

— AFP

Abbas: We won’t accept execution of Palestinian children

In a speech from Ramallah, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas attacks the actions of Israel during the current wave of violence.

“We are peaceful, but we will not accept the actions of the settlers and the executions of Palestinian children under occupation,” he says, according to Channel 2 television.

US working on Netanyahu-Abbas summit

The United States is preparing for a peace summit in Jordan between Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, Channel 10 television says. Secretary of State John Kerry will lead the meeting.

The report says Jordan has already agreed to host the talks, which come as the US expresses concern over the escalation in violence in Israel.

US warns of rise of anti-Semitism, Islamist extremism

The United States releases a bleak report on the state of religious freedom around the world, decrying a rise in European anti-Semitism and jihadist attacks on Middle East minorities.

In its annual survey of religious discrimination, the State Department report notes a rise in anti-Semitic rhetoric and attacks in France, Germany and elsewhere in Europe despite efforts by local authorities to contain it.

Some of the hostility towards European Jews has been associated with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but Washington thinks much of this has crossed the line into outright bigotry.

The report also says that while many governments have worked harder to end abuses, extremist non-state actors like the Islamic State are on the rise.

“No nation can fulfill its potential if its people are denied the right to practice, to hold, to modify, to openly profess their innermost beliefs,” Secretary of State John Kerry says as the report is unveiled.

“We hope to give governments an added incentive to honor the religious dignity of their citizens.”

— AFP

Nasrallah: Hezbollah supports Palestinian resistance

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah calls on all Arabs in the Middle East to “aid the Palestinians,” and says his group offers unconditional backing for the Palestinian “resistance.”

“We in Hezbollah support all forms of resistance by the Palestinian nation against the Israeli enemy,” Nasrallah says, according to Channel 10.

Abbas: Current conflict could turn into religious war

Mahmoud Abbas warns that the current round of violence between Israel and the Palestinians — triggered by claims that Israel was seeking to change the status quo at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount — could escalate into religious war.

“We are in a conflict that could become a religious war, that would not just affect the region, but the entire world,” the Maariv website quotes Abbas as saying in a speech from Ramallah.

But, Abbas says, the Palestinians “cannot accept a change in the status quo at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.” The mosque sits on the Temple Mount, which is also revered by Jews as the site of the two Jewish Temples.

“We are people of peace and law, but we will not accept a continuation of the current situation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem,” Abbas says.

He also warns that the Palestinians “will not allow the current situation to continue. We are not aggressive, rather seekers of justice.”

Palestinians seeking UN protection force in E. Jerusalem

The Palestinians want the United Nations to consider deploying a protection force in East Jerusalem to help quell violence, the Palestinian envoy to the United Nations says.

The proposal will be included in a draft resolution aimed at defusing weeks of clashes between Israel and the Palestinians that are raising fears of a third Palestinian intifada.

Palestinian envoy Riyad Mansour tells reporters that the situation is “very explosive” and that the Security Council must find ways of “providing protection” to the Palestinians.

“The situation warrants providing protection for our people in the occupied territory starting in the Old City of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque,” Mansour says.

— AFP

Israel stops Islamic Movement chief from leaving country

Interior Minister Silvan Shalom is preventing the head of the radical Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement, Sheikh Raed Salah, from leaving the country, Channel 2 reports.

Shalom this evening signed an order stopping Salah and his deputy departing from Israel’s borders, the report says.

According to Channel 2, Shalom fears that the departure of the two from Israel could pose a threat to the security of the state.

Hundreds attend funeral for terror victim without family

Hundreds of Israelis attend the funeral of terror victim Alon Govberg, after an appeal for mourners goes out on social media.

Govberg, who had no family, was killed in yesterday’s bus attack in Jerusalem, and buried this evening at Har HaMenuchot cemetery in the capital.

“We are here, together with the people of Israel — religious, secular, Haredim, old-timers and new immigrants — and we cry,” Danny Hirschberg, the head of the Bnei Akiva religious youth movement, tells the Arutz 7 website.

“We cry over a Jewish man, and this is what connects us. And this is the answer [to terror] — not checkpoints, unity and all of us together, weeping over another Jew whose blood was spilled.”

State Dept: Kerry plans trip to Middle East ‘soon’

US Secretary of State John Kerry plans to travel to the Middle East soon to seek a return to calm after renewed clashes between Israel and the Palestinians, his spokesman says.

State Department spokesman John Kirby did not confirm the timetable nor the venue of any talks and played down the possibility of a revived peace process, but says Kerry hopes to talk to local leaders.

— AFP

PM rebuffs Abbas’s ‘cold blood’ charge as ‘lies’

Prime Minsiter Benjamin Netanyahu responds to PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s speech delivered on Palestinian television, saying they were “incitement and lies.”

Abbas accused Israel of killing Ahmed Manasra, who stabbed two Israelis including a 13-year-old on Monday along with his cousin Hassan, “in cold blood.”

“The youth he is talking about is alive & was hospitalized after he stabbed an Israeli boy,” the prime minister says in a statement. Apparently Abbas confused Hassan and Ahmed; Ahmed, 13, was hospitalized and Hassan was shot dead by police after attempting to stab them.

“While Israel maintains the status quo on Temple Mount, Abbas, with his incitement, makes cynical use of religion and thus brings about terror,” Netanyahu says.

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Live updates (closed)

US warns of rise of anti-Semitism, Islamist extremism

The United States releases a bleak report on the state of religious freedom around the world, decrying a rise in European anti-Semitism and jihadist attacks on Middle East minorities.

In its annual survey of religious discrimination, the State Department report notes a rise in anti-Semitic rhetoric and attacks in France, Germany and elsewhere in Europe despite efforts by local authorities to contain it.

Some of the hostility towards European Jews has been associated with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but Washington thinks much of this has crossed the line into outright bigotry.

The report also says that while many governments have worked harder to end abuses, extremist non-state actors like the Islamic State are on the rise.

“No nation can fulfill its potential if its people are denied the right to practice, to hold, to modify, to openly profess their innermost beliefs,” Secretary of State John Kerry says as the report is unveiled.

“We hope to give governments an added incentive to honor the religious dignity of their citizens.”

— AFP