The Times of Israel liveblogged Monday’s developments as they unfolded.
Army prepares for West Bank clashes
The army is on high alert in the West Bank ahead of the funeral of firebombing victim Riham Dawabsha.
Dozens of Palestinians hurl stones at Israeli cars near the village of Duma, according to the Ynet news website. The army responds with riot dispersal means.
Dawabsha, a teacher who turned 27 on Sunday, died overnight at a hospital in Tel Aviv, where she was being treated for severe burns she sustained in the July 31 arson attack in Duma.
The attack by suspected Jewish extremists also killed her 18-month-old son, Ali Saad Dawabsha, who died on the night of the attack, and her husband, Saad, who succumbed to his wounds in early August.
— AFP contributed
UN ‘concerned’ by standstill in Duma probe
Nickolay Mladenov, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, says he is “concerned by the lack of progress in identifying and prosecuting the perpetrators of this outrage.”
“The tragedy of the Dawabsha family serves as a shocking example of the destructive nature of extremism,” he says.
“It is incumbent upon political, religious and community leaders to speak out and to act decisively against those who incite and perpetrate hatred on all sides.”
2 Jewish extremists charged for torching tent
Two alleged right-wing extremists — 19-year-old Avi Gafni and an unidentified minor — have been charged over the arson of a Bedouin tent last month, Israeli police announce on Monday. Gafni is a resident of Beit Shemesh, according to Channel 10.
A tent was torched and Hebrew-language graffiti sprayed in a West Bank Bedouin village last month in what residents and an NGO said was another suspected attack by extremists.
The village is near a wildcat Jewish settlement outpost where police detained several people in raids linked to a July firebombing in the West Bank Palestinian village of Duma before later releasing them. Three members of the Dawabsha family were killed in that attack, with the third, the mother, Riham, succumbing to her wounds last night.
The graffiti, which read “administrative revenge,” seemed to refer to the internment without charge — known as administrative detention — of three suspected Jewish extremists after the Duma firebombing attack.
— AFP contributed
London’s Islamophobic, anti-Semitic attacks up
Islamophobic and anti-Semitic hate crimes in London have soared over the last year, official figures released on Monday show, with global events apparently contributing to the rise.
Police record 816 Islamophobic offenses in the 12 months to July, up more than 70 percent from 478 in the previous 12 months.
Anti-Semitic crime surges 93 percent over the same period, with 499 incidents recorded compared with 258 the previous year.
London’s Metropolitan Police say “world events” may have contributed to the increase, while there was also a rise in incidents on holy days when Muslim and Jewish communities were more “visible.”
A willingness by victims to report such crimes and improved ability of police to identify them were also factors, Scotland Yard says.
“In light of recent world events, we know communities in London are feeling anxious,” a spokesman for the force says.
“Local Neighborhood Policing Teams are providing a more targeted presence in key areas at key times, such as school routes, holy days and prayer times to give extra reassurance.”
Arab MK accuses MK Shaffir of ‘racism’
Joint (Arab) List MK Jamal Zahalka accuses Zionist Union MK Stav Shaffir of racism, telling the Knesset that the lawmaker has never said hello to him.
The Arab lawmaker says the Zionist Union as a whole is guilty of racism, but singles out Shaffir. “You never say hi to me in the hallway,” he says to Shaffir, and adds that the “rich Ashkenazim have stolen our lands.”
Shaffir takes to the podium to condemn the gas deal a few minutes later, but does not address the personal attack.
France to take in 24,000 refugees
President Francois Hollande says France will take in 24,000 refugees over the next two years and warns that without a united EU policy to share the burden of migrants, the borderless Schengen system would collapse.
Hollande also offers to host an international conference on Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War II.
The president says the European Commission is preparing to unveil a proposal for mandatory quotas for EU states to relocate 120,000 refugees, “which for France will represent 24,000 people. We will do it.”
Speaking at his bi-annual press conference, Hollande warns that without a properly functioning EU mechanism to share migrants among member states, the borderless Schengen zone risks collapse.
“If there is not a united policy, this mechanism will not work, it will collapse, and it will lead to a considerable influx and undoubtedly the end of Schengen (and) the return of national borders,” he tells reporters in Paris.
PLO weighs delay of internal leadership election
Two officials say the Palestine Liberation Organization is considering a last-minute delay of its internal leadership elections due next week, in a sign of growing disarray.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had called for the vote by the PLO parliament, and a postponement until the end of the year would be a blow to his leadership.
Such a delay was being discussed Monday by the PLO Executive Committee.
Two participants said most of those present favored the delay, with some saying preparations were insufficient. They spoke on condition of anonymity because a final decision hasn’t been made.
Abbas’ critics say he had sought the internal vote to sideline rivals.
The parliament was also to have considered a more confrontational policy toward Israel, after years of impasse in negotiations on Palestinian statehood.
Zarif criticizes calls to remove Assad
Iran’s foreign minister criticizes demands for the resignation of Syrian President Bashar Assad, saying such calls will prolong the Arab country’s civil war.
Mohammad Javad Zarif says those demanding Assad’s ouster “are responsible for the bloodshed in Syria.”
Zarif doesn’t name any specific country but is likely referring to Turkey’s and Saudi Arabia’s repeated calls for Assad to step down. The two Sunni Muslim countries have supported rebels fighting against Assad.
Zarif was speaking a press conference on Monday with his visiting Spanish counterpart, José Manuel García-Margallo. The top Iranian diplomat also says the Syrian crisis has no military solution.
Migrant crisis could ‘tarnish’ Europe’s image — Spanish FM
Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Maria Garcia-Margallo warns that the migrant crisis could “tarnish” Europe’s image and pledges his country will take in refugees despite its economic woes.
“From an ethical and practical point of view, so as not to tarnish the image of Europe and therefore favor extremism, we must make the maximum effort” to help refugees, Garcia-Margallo says in Iran.
He says Spain will do its part “to welcome a maximum number of refugees, offer them a roof over their heads and social services” despite its financial difficulties.
Garcia-Margallo does not say how many refugees Spain is willing to receive.
Teen badly hurt in Manchester anti-Semitic attack
A 17-year-old Jewish teenager was beaten unconscious at a train stop in Manchester in a suspected anti-Semitic attack on Saturday night, the Manchester Evening News reports.
Three other Jews — two 18-year-olds and a 20-year-old — were also hurt in the assault. Police are treating the incident as an anti-Semitic attack.
The first victim is still hospitalized and is “suffering from a suspected bleed to the brain,” according to the report.
No suspects have been apprehended.
Thousands arrive in Duma for Dawabsha funeral
Thousands of people arrive in Duma to attend the funeral of Rihad Dawabsha in Duma, Channel 2 reports.
The procession is reportedly held up by the autopsy.
According to the TV report, mourners wave Palestinian and Hamas flags at the event, which is being held under tight security.
Knesset voting on controversial gas deal
The Knesset begins its vote on the contentious gas deal.
Knesset approves gas deal 59-51
After hours of debate, the Knesset narrowly approves the gas deal, with 59 lawmakers in favor, and 51 opposed.
Homeland Security warns of ‘high’ terror threat
A report by the Department of Homeland Security sounds the alarm on the terror threat to the US.
“The terror threat level in the US homeland is high, and the situation is getting steadily worse. There have been more US-based jihadist terror cases in 2015 than in any full year since 9/11,” it says.
The report says that globally, the situation is dire, and the US-backed coalition has failed to weaken the Islamic State.
“Globally, ISIS is fueling the Islamist terror wildfire—and at unprecedented speed,” it says.
“America and its overseas partners have largely failed to rollback the ISIS terror safe haven. Despite a year of airstrikes, US intelligence agencies have reportedly concluded that the group is no weaker than it was before and can still muster 20,000 to 30,000 foot soldiers. ISIS has drawn fighters from more than 100 countries, and dozens of Americans are currently believed to be embedded in its ranks. These foreign fighters continue to recruit online and across borders to inspire new generations of extremists to join them overseas and to conduct attacks in their home countries.”
The report also address sanctions relief under the Iranian nuclear deal.
“The recent nuclear agreement with Iran is set to ease sanctions on the world’s leading state sponsor of terror and include hundreds of billions of dollars in economic relief as well as loosened restrictions on weapons trafficking,” it says.
Netanyahu sends condolences to Dawabsha family
The prime minister sends his condolences to the Dawabsha family.
“The Prime Minister said that the security forces are doing their utmost to apprehend the assailants and bring them to justice,” a statement from his office says.
Germany expects 10,000 refugees today
Germany expects at least 10,000 more refugees to arrive Monday, after 20,000 came at the weekend, an official in the southern state of Bavaria says.
The estimate of migrants coming mostly on trains and buses from Hungary via Austria to the southern city of Munich was “10,000 plus,” says Upper Bavaria district president Christoph Hillenbrand.
Knesset won’t vote on transferring Deri’s authority
The Knesset will not vote Monday to bypass Economy Minister Aryeh Deri and transfer his authority to the cabinet after Netanyahu failed to secure a majority in the Knesset to approve the bid.
IS said to capture oilfield in central Syria
Activists say members of the Islamic State group have captured an oilfield in central Syria.
The activists say the extremists captured the Jazal oilfield late Sunday after intense clashes with government forces in the area in the central province of Homs. Syria-based activist Bebars al-Talawy says via Skype that IS fighters first attacked army posts around the Jazal field then stormed it.
Rami Abdurrahman, who heads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, says that all the engineers working in the field moved to the nearby government-controlled Shaer gas field.
He says government troops withdrew from the field but now overlook parts of it.
IS fighters control much of Syria’s oilfield, which are mostly in the eastern regions bordering Iraq.
Hailing gas deal, PM vows to overcome last ‘obstacle’
Netanyahu hails the Knesset passage of the gas deal.
“We improved the outline, we passed it in the Knesset, and we passed it today with an overwhelming majority in the Knesset,” he says. “There is another obstacle, but when I want to achieve something, I get it.”
“I want this for the citizens of Israel, to lower the cost of living, to stream huge amounts of money into the state treasury,” he adds.
“Now there is one more obstacle, and we will overcome it because this is the right thing for the citizens of Israel,” he says, likely referring to the transfer of Deri’s ministerial powers to the cabinet.
Egyptian minister arrested in graft probe
Egypt’s agriculture minister was arrested in Cairo on Monday after being told to resign in connection with an investigation into corruption at his ministry, judicial and media sources say.
Salah Halal “resigned on the orders of the president,” a statement from the prime minister’s office says.
He was detained on leaving the premier’s office, a judicial source tells AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“He was arrested as part of an investigation into a major case of corruption in his ministry,” the official MENA news agency reports.
Officials at the ministry are alleged to have taken bribes to help businessmen illegally acquire state land, a prosecution official and media reports say.
65-year-old Israeli said missing in unspecified Muslim country
The Walla news website reports that a 65-year-old Israeli man traveled to an unspecified Muslim country and has not been heard from in three months.
The Ashkelon resident, who moved to Israel 20 years ago, went to visit his brother, the report says.
According to his daughter, the man traveled to Jordan in June with three Arab men who promised to find him flights to his destination for free.
“I told him it was dangerous, but he told me not to worry and that it will be okay,” she says.
The man’s name and the destination country are not mentioned in the report.
Ethiopian-Israelis to hold rally in Jerusalem
Police are gearing up for a large Ethiopian-Israeli protest in Jerusalem on Monday afternoon.
Organizers say the rally will draw some 4,000 protesters. Police turnout estimates are lower, but the cops are nonetheless preparing for possible road closures should protesters block traffic.
The demonstration comes several days after policeman were filmed tasing an Ethiopian Israeli man during what appears to be a routine arrest in central Israel.
The Ethiopian-Israeli community held massive protests over the summer against institutionalized racism and police brutality.
‘Much work’ needed to clarify Iran’s past military work — IAEA
The head of the IAEA says “much work needs to be done” if the UN atomic agency is to determine by the end of the year if Iran’s nuclear program had past military dimensions.
“With regard to clarification of PMD [possible military dimensions], much work needs to be done,” Yukiya Amano says, according to Reuters.
“I do not have a particular concern that we will not be able to complete our assessment by the 15th of December,” Amano adds.
UK to take 20,000 Syrian refugees over 5 years
Britain will take 20,000 Syrian refugees from camps near the war-torn country’s borders over the next five years, Prime Minister David Cameron says.
“We are proposing the UK should resettle up to 20,000 refugees over the life of this parliament,” Cameron says in a statement in the House of Commons.
Cyprus ready to take 300 preferably Christian refugees
EU member Cyprus says it is willing to take in up to 300 refugees to help ease the crisis facing the European Union but prefers them to be Christians.
“We have already stated that 260, a maximum of 300, people can be taken in” by the small eastern Mediterranean island, Interior Minister Socrates Hasikos tells state radio.
“We would seek for them to be Orthodox Christians … that’s what we would prefer,” he says, adding that this would allow them to “integrate better” with the island’s predominantly Greek Cypriot population.
Libya rescues 121 migrants adrift at sea
Libya’s coastguard says it rescued more than 100 migrants Monday after the engine on their rubber dinghy broke down as they tried to reach Europe across the Mediterranean.
“We rescued 121 migrants on a rubber boat which broke down” off the town of Qarabulli, 60 kilometres (35 miles) east of Tripoli, Lieutenant Mohammed Dandi, a coastguard commander, tells AFP.
It was the second such operation in a matter of days, after 104 migrants were rescued on Thursday in the same area under similar circumstances.
Britain kills IS fighters in first drone strike
An RAF drone strike has killed three Islamic State militants in Syria, two of them British, Prime Minister David Cameron says Monday, the first time Britain has carried out such an attack.
“In an act of self-defense… Reyaad Khan was killed in a precision air strike carried out on August 21 by an RAF remotely piloted aircraft while he was traveling in a vehicle in the area of Raqqa in Syria,” he tells parliament.
20 Ethiopian-Israelis rally in Jerusalem
An Ethiopian-Israeli rally begins with some 20 protesters gathering outside the national police headquarters in Jerusalem, according to the Walla news website.
Turkey PM vows to ‘wipe out PKK terrorists’
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Monday vows to “wipe out” Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants from their mountain strongholds after 16 soldiers were killed in a rebel attack Sunday.
“These terrorists must be wiped out from the mountains; whatever happens they must be wiped out. The mountains of this country must not be handed over to terrorists,” he says in televised comments in Ankara.
German intelligence has evidence IS used mustard gas
Germany’s foreign intelligence agency BND has collected evidence of mustard gas use by the Islamic State group.
German daily Bild reports that BND intelligence agents collected blood samples from Kurds who were injured in clashes with IS and quotes BND chief Gerhard Schindler as saying that the agency has “information that IS used mustard gas in northern Iraq.”
Schindler tells the paper that the mustard gas either came from old Iraqi stockpiles produced under Saddam Hussein’s rule or was manufactured by IS after it seized the University of Mosul.
A senior German intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly, confirms the comments attributed to Schindler. He declines to confirm that the BND collected blood samples or discuss the agency’s methods.
UN: Syria neighbors need more money for refugees
The head of the UN’s Geneva office says 4 million Syrian refugees will “get up and leave and come” toward Europe unless the world community gives money to three neighboring countries of Syria where they now live.
Michael Moeller says UN members need to offset costs paid by Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, and says the influx of Syrian refugees heading toward Europe is part of a larger, broader trend of mass migration worldwide.
In an interview Monday with The Associated Press, Moeller urges a change in “the narrative” in receiving countries: “Not every refugee is a terrorist, or a criminal, or a job-stealer or whatever.”
He also cautions migrants and refugees against thinking that they’ll “end up — all of them — in Germany.” Germany has been among the most welcoming countries among EU states.
Ex-Mossad chief urges end to Iran deal criticism
Former Israeli Mossad spy chief Meir Dagan says it is time for Israel to stop criticizing the United States over the nuclear deal it and world powers struck with Iran.
Speaking Monday at the International Institute for Counterterrorism’s annual conference in the coastal city of Herzliya, Dagan says: “The problem is Iran, not President Obama.”
Dagan has been a fierce critic of Netanyahu’s hard-line policies regarding Iran. He vocally opposed the prospect of an Israeli military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities that Netanyahu is said to have supported.
Dagan says Israel made a “strategic decision” to adopt a policy against the United States and “it is time to end it.”
Dagan is a retired military general who headed Israel’s secretive Mossad agency from 2002-2011.
New envoy to Jordan submits credentials to king
Israel’s new ambassador to Jordan Einat Shlein presented her letter of credence to King Abdullah in a ceremony in Amman, the Foreign Ministry says.
Shlein, a Foreign Ministry employee of over 20 years, is Israel’s first female ambassador to an Arab country.
French chief rabbi urges solutions for refugees
The chief rabbi of France calls on his country and the European Union to find solutions for the tens of thousands of immigrants streaming in from the Middle East.
Rabbi Haim Korsia spoke of the immigrants – among them many refugees from Syria – at an annual ceremony in the Great Synagogue of Paris on Sunday in memory of approximately 76,000 Jews whom Nazi authorities and local collaborators deported to death camps in Eastern Europe during the Holocaust.
“France is a land of asylum and hospitality; France, the cradle of human rights, cannot ignore these women and men who fall at the gates of our borders, with the only hope — that of living,” says Korsia. “France, which radiates around the world through its values of humanism, universality and sharing, cannot be silent while facing the trial of its fellow human beings.”
Stopping short of calling for France to offer asylum to the refugees, Korsia urges “strong gestures from our country and the European Union, so that solutions can be found as quickly as possible.”
Referencing French non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews or speak out against the Nazi genocide, Korsia also says, “We must be the Saliege and Theas, the Trocme and Boegner of our time and say, in memory of our dead and loyalty to our values. Migrants are our brothers in humanity.”
Migrants break through Hungary police lines near Serb border
Several hundred Arabs, Asians and Africans tired of waiting for buses break through Hungarian police lines near the Serbian border Monday and march north on the main highway to Budapest as authorities once again demonstrate an inability to control the human tide passing through Hungary.
Police repeatedly tried to form lines blocking roadways around a migrant holding center near the border village of Roszke, but the asylum seekers vastly outnumbered police and were able to go around authorities, racing through farm fields to reach the M5 motorway linking Hungary to Serbia.
Syrian refugees in Uruguay demand permission to leave
A group of Syrian refugees welcomed to Uruguay last year protest outside the presidency building on Monday demanding that authorities let them leave the South American country.
Uruguay welcomed five families of 42 Syrian refugees fleeing civil war in October 2014. Two of the families are protesting, saying local officials promised more than they could deliver. They say Uruguay is expensive and there are no jobs.
Maher Aldees, the head of one family, says he wants to travel to Syria or Lebanon, and that he and his relatives will continue protesting outside the presidential offices until authorities take them to the airport. The Aldees family returned to Montevideo a week ago after attempting to travel abroad. They spent 20 days in the airport in Istanbul, Turkey, where their documents were not accepted.
“They told us Uruguay was something else, and they lied to us,” Maheer Aldes says.
The Ashebli family, arrive outside the building with suitcases and bags carrying their belongings, and say they would remain until their demands are met. They traveled from Juan Lacaze, a small Uruguayan city some 75 miles (120 kilometers) west of Montevideo.
“They told us a lot of things that never came true,” says Ibrahim Ashebli. “They told us this country was cheap, and it’s expensive. Money is not enough. There’s no work.”
Israel, Bosnia Herzogovina tied at end of regular time
Israel and Bosnia Herzegovina are tied at 75 apiece at the end of regular time in EuroBasket group play, after Bosnia’s Elmedin Kikanovic hits a heartbreaking three-point buzzer beater in traffic.
Israel has won its previous two games and was expected to easily handle Bosnia, which crawled back from a double-digit deficit to send the game into overtime.
Israel loses to Bosnia 86-84 in Eurobasket
Israel has fallen to Bosnia 86-84 in the EuroBasket tournament, with a double strike from center Elmedin Kikanovic.
Israel had led for much of the game, but Bosnia managed to tie the match with a three-point buzzer beater from Kikanovic at the end of regulation play. Kikanovic hit a two-pointer layup as time expired at the end of overtime to win the game.
Israel is now 2-1 in group play, after beating Russia and Finland earlier this week.
— Joshua Davidovich
Hungarian minister quits over delays in building border fence
Hungarian Defense Minister Csaba Hende has resigned amid delays in the construction of a border fence meant to keep out migrants.
A statement Monday from Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government didn’t explicitly blame him for the failure to complete the building of a 4-meter (13-foot) fence along Hungary’s 175-kilometer (110-mile) border with Serbia, but it was supposed to be completed last month and remains largely incomplete.
Only several strands of razor wire have been placed along the full length of the border, while the higher barrier is standing only in a few areas. The fence was initially meant to be built by the end of November, but in July Orban set an August 31 deadline. “Any other time is null and void,” Orban said on July 25.
The fence is being built by soldiers with assistance from people in state work programs, while some of the materials, including the steel posts, are being prepared at factories by prison inmates.
Hende will be replaced by Istvan Simicsko, currently the state secretary for sports.
UK minister ‘appalled’ by anti-Semitic attack
Communities Minister Baroness Williams of Trafford says “anti-Semitism and hate crimes of any sort are totally unacceptable,” following the anti-Semitic attack in north Manchester.
“I am appalled to hear of this weekend’s attack in Manchester and would urge anyone with information to come forward. Let me be clear, this government takes fighting anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim hatred seriously and anyone found guilty of these vile crimes will feel the full force of the law.”
The condition of the 17-year-old victim of the attack was reportedly improving.
—Raphael Ahren contributed
Hamas leader says no long-term truce reached with Israel
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal says the Gaza terror group has not reached a long-term ceasefire deal with Israel.
“We clarified to the parties that we want a mutual ceasefire, only in Gaza, in exchange to a resolution of all the Strip’s problems,” says Mashaal, according to Channel 10.
Most Israelis against absorbing Syrian refugees — poll
A poll by Channel 10 shows that Israelis are overwhelmingly opposed to absorbing Syrian refugees in the Jewish state.
According to the survey, 80 percent of respondents are against such a move, while 11% support it.
Nearly half of Israelis (43%) feel Europe ought to absorb the influx of refugees, while 35% said European countries had no obligation to do so.