The Times of Israel liveblogged Thursday’s events as they happened.
Glass bottle thrown at Channel 13 reporters during right-wing protest in Jerusalem
A glass bottle is thrown at reporters from Channel 13 news as they cover the mass right-wing rally in Jerusalem.
In a video, correspondents Moriah Asraf Wolberg and Yishai Porat are seen talking as the bottle lands between them. The short clip doesn’t show who threw it.
The network says the bottle was hurled at the pair after a group of demonstrators interrupted and cursed them, while calling on police “to bring these violent criminals to justice.”
“Violence toward journalists in general, and Channel 13 personnel in particular, has already become a regular occurrence,” it said in a statement.
תגובת חדשות 13: ההתנהגות הביריונית והאלימה של קומץ מהמפגינים לא תרתיע אותנו ולא תפגע במחויבות שלנו לצופינו. אנו מצפים מהמשטרה לחקור במהירות ובנחישות את המקרה ולהביא את העבריינים האלימים לדין, ביודעם שאלימות כלפי עיתונאים בכלל וצוותי חדשות 13 בפרט, כבר הפכה לעניין שבשגרה ממש
— חדשות 13 (@newsisrael13) April 27, 2023
Likud minister says he was attacked in Tel Aviv; 2 arrested
Economy Minister Nir Barkat of Likud says he was attacked by anti-government protesters in Tel Aviv.
According to Barkat, the demonstrators accosted him and his security team as they headed to the car after dinner. He says that they also attacked officers who arrived at the scene, injuring one of them.
Two suspects are arrested.
Anti-overhaul demonstrators say they’ll ramp up protests after mass right-wing rally
Organizers of the demonstrations against the judicial overhaul say they plan to ramp up protests, following the mass rally in favor of the far-reaching proposals held in Jerusalem.
“We are intensifying the protests in light of the coalition leaders’ announcement that they intend to pass the judicial coup. This coming Saturday we will demonstrate for the 17th straight week,” the protest leaders said in a statement.
“Starting this Sunday, as the Knesset recess ends, only one vote separates Israel from becoming an ultranationalist dictatorship. This is a clear and immediate danger to Israel’s democracy. The negotiations headed by the president have proven to be deceptive,“ they continue. “Israel is on the brink of economic crisis and international isolation. Only hundreds of thousands of Israelis protesting in the streets can stop the judicial coup.”
They also say at the weekly rallies on Saturday evening, they’ll declare “new measures to stop the oncoming dictatorship.”
Right-wing rally in Jerusalem disperses after singing of ‘Hatikva’
After final messages of love for the Israeli and Jewish people, the right-wing rally in Jerusalem ends with the singing of “Hatikva.”
The crowd moves calmly toward the train station and buses, as well as for pizza at nearby Cinema City.
Anti-coalition figures say no faith in compromise talks as right rallies
A statement from a group calling itself “leaders of the opposition against the dictatorship” calls talks aimed at reaching a compromise on the judicial overhaul a “fraudulent feint,” accusing the coalition of planning on steaming ahead with its controversial legislation.
“Starting from Sunday Israel will be a borderline dictatorship, with just one vote separating us from a dangerous corrupt dictatorship.”
On Twitter, former Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar, an opposition lawmaker and one-time proponent of more modest judicial reforms calls a speech by current Justice Minister Yariv Levin at a pro-overhaul rally “among the most severe instances of incitement against the judicial system he heads.”
“His purpose is two-fold: purposefully sabotaging the [compromise] talks at the President’s Residence and continuing to delegitimize the judicial system in order to dismantle it as an independent entity and turn it into a tool of the regime and its whims,” he says on Twitter.
Teen detained at right-wing rally after alleged attack on guard
The crowd at the right-wing rally begins to thin after Itamar Ben Gvir delivers his address, with thousands beginning to stream toward a nearby train station and energy wanes.
At Cinema City, police are seen tracking down four teens suspected of involvement in an attack on a security guard at the mall, one carrying a flag of the extremist Lehava group.
The four are apprehended on the compound roof, but three are sent off while the remaining teen, wearing an Israeli flag around his neck, is detained and interrogated by two policewomen.
Ben Gvir: Left can’t handle that they lost
Public Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir takes the stage to a roar of excitement and chants of his name.
He says the left refused to accept that they lost, chanting “Shame! Shame!” The word has become a rallying cry for anti-government protesters.
He also blames the opposition for trying to ruin Memorial Day, as the crowd boos. Ben Gvir insisted on showing up at a memorial ceremony at a cemetery despite pleas from bereaved families and others that his appearance was unnecessary and would invite protests, turning the event into a circus.
“What did they not try in recent weeks? What did they not say,” he asks. “What happened in Beersheba on Yom Hazikaron teaches one lesson – we must not give up, we must not surrender.”
Police reportedly say crowd size nearing 200,000
Channel 12 news cites a police source who puts turnout at the right-wing rally in Jerusalem at between 150,000 to 200,000 people, much smaller than the 500,000 or million that organizers had hoped for, but larger than other forecasted estimates based on turnout at previous rallies.
The Walla news site also cites a police estimate that the crowd size is reaching 200,000.
At rally, Rothman wrangles with left to reclaim mantle of democracy
MK Simcha Rothman receives even louder cheers than Levin as he steps us to the microphone.
“Rothman! Rothman!” The crowd chants.
“So many lies,” he says, “but we all came to say and hear just a bit of truth. Just like a little light chases away a lot of darkness.”
He says that democracy is on the government’s side, even though the opposition’s supporters use the term as their rallying cry.
“More than two million people voted for the nationalist camp to fix the judicial system, that’s democracy,” he says.
He gets the crowd to chant “democracy.”
“Without a judicial reform, we will continue passing laws to take away citizenship from terrorists, and the Supreme Court will say no. Without a judicial reform, we will continue passing laws to bring security to the residents of south Tel Aviv and deal with illegal immigrants, and the Supreme Court will say no,” he says.
“It’s important to fix and it’s important to reach an agreement, but we must not give up.”
Levin pumps up crowd, says compromise on overhaul possible
Justice Minister Yariv Levin takes the stage to wild cheers as music pumps out of the speakers and a cool wind begins to pick up.
The crowd chants that it wants the judicial reform.
“The nation voted for a judicial reform,” he says as the crowd erupts, and boos when he mentions the Supreme Court.
But he also mentions support for compromise talks, seemingly rebuffing those calling for the judicial overhaul to be passed as is.
“I’m convinced that we can reach a fix and agreement,” he says. “We want a Supreme Court for everyone.”
“We are told that if the reform passes, there’ll be a dictatorship,” he tells the crowd. “There is no greater lie than this. Show me one democracy where legal advisers make decisions instead of the government,” he adds, referring to a part of the overhaul package which will allow ministers to appoint their own legal counsel, to avoid having to deal with legal opinions from someone other than a trusted ideological compatriot.
He adds that he wants a court that defends the lives of Israeli soldiers, not the lives of terrorists or rapists.
“The attacks only strengthen me,” he says to cheers, pledging that he will continue to do whatever he can to see the judicial changes through.
Netanyahu thanks rally attendees for showing up en masse
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanks supporters for rallying in Jerusalem, saying they “warmed my heart a lot.”
“I am deeply excited by the amazing support of the national camp which ascended to Jerusalem en masse this evening,” he writes on Twitter, including pictures showing the large turnout.
“All of us, 64 Knesset seats that brought the win, first-class citizens,” he adds.
אני מתרגש עמוקות מהתמיכה האדירה של המחנה הלאומי שעלה הערב לירושלים בהמוניו.
כולנו, 64 מנדטים שהביאו את הניצחון, אזרחים סוג א׳!
חיממתם את ליבי עד מאוד ואני מודה לכל אחד ואחת מכם ????????❤️ pic.twitter.com/xgrdnJCbuy
— Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו (@netanyahu) April 27, 2023
Right-wing coalition supporters have taken to calling themselves “second-class citizens” as the nation was swept up in overwhelming protests against the government’s judicial overhaul plans.
Pro-government crowd swells as right rallies for judicial reform
From atop the Cinema City mall near the government quarter in central Jerusalem, one can see the crowd of right-wing protesters extending in all four directions as far as the eye can see. Massive screens are dispersed throughout the crowd.
According to reports, much of the rally was funded by the Likud and Religious Zionism parties.
Estimates now put the number of attendees at 80,000 or more. Channel 13 guesses 92,000. The right-wing Channel 14 puts the number at 200,000.
A Channel 12 anchor says the turnout “is the largest we’ve ever seen,” though it’s unclear if that also includes anti-government rallies, which have drawn hundreds of thousands.
מטורף!! הפגנת המיליון כעת בירושלים דורשים רפורמה משפטית!
שר המשפטים יריב לוין החל לנאום כעת: למעלה משני מיליון ישראלים יצאו לפני מספר חודשים למשאל עם והצביעו בעד רפורמה משפטית קיבלנו 64 מנדטים כדי לתקן את העוול לא עוד בית משפט ששופטיו נמצאים מעל הכנסת ומעל הממשלה. pic.twitter.com/PBOdDR6oAB
— יענקי כהן | Yanki Coen (@yankicoen) April 27, 2023
Energy rises as the crowd lights their cellphone flashlights to welcome Justice Minister Yariv Levin. The masses chant, “The nation demands judicial reform,” drowning out the speakers.
US CENTCOM head tours commando unit, meets Halevi, Gallant
Gen. Michael Erik Kurilla, head of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), visits the Israeli Navy’s elite Shayetet 13 commando unit amid a trip to Israel focused on strengthening relations between the armies.
The Israel Defense Forces says the visit comes following joint operational activity and exercises the Israeli military and CENTCOM held.
Kurilla, who is being hosted by IDF chief Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, visits the Shayetet 13 headquarters for a briefing with the unit’s head, Cpt. A. The briefing focused on the unit’s operations, joint activity with the US Navy, and recent intelligence assessments, the IDF says.
After the visit, Kurilla and Halevi held a separate meeting during which they discussed the “continued expansion of the cooperation and sharing of operational capabilities between the two militaries,” the IDF says.
The IDF says that in the coming weeks, discussions will be held between the deputy IDF chief, Maj. Gen. Amir Baram, and his CENTCOM counterpart, Lt. Gen. Gregory M. Guillot, in order to “continue shared operational planning between the militaries.”
“We are actively following the changes in the region, with an emphasis on the increase in Iranian hostility and terror activity. Precisely in this sensitive time period, there is great importance in the close relationship between the IDF and the US Armed Forces, we will continue the cooperation and the common commitment to the security in the Middle East,” Halevi says in remarks published by the IDF.
“As with every visit to the IDF, I was thoroughly impressed by the combat readiness I saw here. Our military-to-military relationship with Israel remains ironclad,” Kurilla says.
The IDF also publishes footage of recent joint Israeli-US naval activity in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait.
IDF publishes footage of recent joint Israeli-US naval activity in the Bab al-Mandeb strait. IDF chief Halevi: “We are actively following the changes in the region, with an emphasis on the increase in Iranian hostility and terror activity." pic.twitter.com/JBoWWvuztz
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) April 27, 2023
Kurilla also meets with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant today.
“The parties discussed developing regional challenges, with a focus on Iran’s malign activities in the Middle East region. This includes Iranian aggression in the maritime arena and the delivery of weapons to terror organizations and proxies in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, and the wider region,” the Defense Ministry says.
“During the discussion, Minister Gallant expressed the concerns of the State of Israel in regards to Iran’s progress in its nuclear program and aims to achieve nuclear military capabilities,” the statement adds.
Over 80,000 estimated at rally as protesters take aim at judges
The crowd at the pro-judicial reform tilts noticeably toward young religious Israelis, with a significant percentage below the voting age.
Channel 12 news estimates the crowd at 80,000, citing the Israeli firm Scitex, with many more still arriving.
Signs calling for judicial reform and promoting the state’s Jewish character are interspersed among a sea of Israeli flags waving as the sun sets.
Several props take aim at Supreme Court justices. In one area, a picture of Court President Esther Hayut is seen being trampled on in a tweet that goes viral, but later the same picture is revealed to be part of a poster showing her and other judges being held aloft by a group of protesters in prison uniforms.
השלט שפורסם ש"דורכים עליו", נישא אל על.
מה יהיה? pic.twitter.com/j5xTUKPA0d
— שירית אביטן כהן Shirit Avitan Cohen (@Shiritc) April 27, 2023
Many aspects of the rally have religious overtones given the makeup of the crowd.
Protesters begin chanting “we want judicial reform!” as attendees bang on drums and blow into horns and then switch to “Hear O Israel, God is our God, God is one.”
Attorney general met with Netanyahu defense team to explore possible deal
Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara met with members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s defense team earlier this week to explore the possibility of an arbitration process toward a plea bargain, according to several simultaneous reports in Hebrew-language media.
The meeting came after a judge in Netanyahu’s criminal trials suggested the sides try non-binding mediation to reach an agreement on a plea deal. Netanyahu’s attorneys sought to convince Baharav-Miara to back such a process, which would accelerate the years-long trial, according to the reports.
Baharav-Miara is needed to sign off for talks to proceed, but has yet to weigh in on the matter, Ynet reports. According to Channel 12, prosecutors said Baharav-Miara was not interested.
Neither side confirms the meeting.
Last week, the Justice Ministry dismissed a TV report that said Baharav-Miara was not interested in non-binding mediation, calling it “speculation” and saying that no decision has been reached on the matter.
Netanyahu is facing charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three cases currently being tried.
High turnout reported at flag-heavy rally
High turnout is seen at the pro-government rally in Jerusalem as it gets underway, with many more still expected.
Flags are omnipresent, perhaps to an even larger degree than at anti-government protests. The display is likely helped by the fact that Wednesday was Independence Day, when flags are handed out like candy.
Many at the rally are chanting slogans in favor of passing the judicial overhaul without agreeing to any compromises and without waiting, Channel 12 news reports. The legislation is currently frozen while the Knesset is off anyway, to allow for compromise talks, but negotiations have yet to produce any results and the Knesset will soon be back from recess.
Jerusalem streets seize up as masses make way to pro-government rally
Police are closing off streets in Jerusalem as thousands make their way toward the Knesset for a highly touted rally in support of the coalition.
Heavy traffic is reported all around the capital’s government quarter and the Cinema City mall, as well as much of Givat Ram and other areas adjacent to the Knesset.
Near Ammunition Hill, a group of IDF vets has begun a symbolic march to the protest site near the Knesset.
Organizers have predicted turnout as high as 500,000 for the so-called million-person march, but most estimates forecast fewer than 250,000, an impressive number, but short of the crowds anti-government protesters have claimed for their largest gatherings.
Adding to the expected chaos in the capital, a sinkhole has opened up on a street near Pat Junction in the southeast of the city.
Authorities say one lane and a sidewalk on Nicanor Street in the working-class Katamonim neighborhood have been closed off. The street is a fairly minor thoroughfare and unlikely to affect many attempting to reach the rally zone.
Palestinian attack suspect dead; attempted ramming before knifing, army says
The Palestinian suspect who allegedly attempted to carry out an attack near the West Bank settlement of Ariel has been shot dead, medics say.
The Israel Defense Forces says the suspect attempted to carry out a car-ramming attack initially.
“The terrorist was holding a knife and IDF forces neutralized him,” the military says.
The Rescuers Without Borders emergency service says the suspect has died.
The service adds that one Palestinian is lightly hurt after the suspect crashed his car into a Palestinian-owned vehicle following the ramming attempt.
Palestinian shot after attempted stabbing — reports
A Palestinian man has been shot after allegedly attempting to carry out a stabbing attack in the West Bank, according to initial reports.
The Rescuers Without Border emergency service says there are no injuries to intended victims in the suspected attack at Gitai Avisar Junction near the West Bank settlement of Ariel.
According to initial reports, the Palestinian suspect allegedly tried to carry out a ramming attack, then got out of his car and pulled out a knife.
The service says the suspect was shot by a soldier. His condition is not immediately clear.
There is no immediate comment from the Israel Defense Forces on the incident.
Iran claims seized tanker was involved in maritime hit-and-run
Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency says it seized a ship flying the Marshall Islands flag after “an unknown ship collided with an Iranian vessel last night in the Persian Gulf, causing several Iranian crew members to go missing and get injured.”
It claims the ship left the scene and tried to “run away,” but Iran’s navy chased it down and “directed it to Iranian waters.”
The US Navy, which first reported on the seizure, initially said Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard captured the vessel, but an American naval aircraft later confirmed that Iran’s navy captured the ship, 5th Fleet spokesman Cmdr. Timothy Hawkins says.
The 5th Fleet says the Iranian seizure was at least the fifth commercial vessel taken by Tehran in the last two years.
“Iran’s continued harassment of vessels and interference with navigational rights in regional waters are a threat to maritime security and the global economy,” it adds.
The manager of the Advantage Sweet, a Turkish firm, did not respond to requests for comment. Its listed owner appeared to be a Chinese company.
The Advantage Sweet had been in the Persian Gulf on Wednesday, but its track showed no usual behavior as it transited through the Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of all oil traded passes. Iran has made allegations in other seizures that later fell apart as it became clear Tehran was trying to leverage the capture as a chip to negotiate with foreign nations.
Iran’s “harassing activity within the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman is commensurate with an established pattern of behavior that has seen Iran target vessels as a result of ongoing disputes,” maritime security firm Dryad Global says.
Jerry Springer, Ohio mayor and king of trash TV, dies at 79
Jerry Springer, the onetime mayor and news anchor whose namesake TV show featured a three-ring circus of dysfunctional families willing to bare all on weekday afternoons including brawls, obscenities and blurred images of nudity, died Thursday at 79.
At its peak, “The Jerry Springer Show” was a ratings powerhouse and a US cultural pariah, synonymous with lurid drama. Known for chair-throwing and bleep-filled arguments, the daytime talk show was a favorite American guilty pleasure over its 27-year run, at one point topping Oprah Winfrey’s show.
Springer called it “escapist entertainment,” while others saw the show as contributing to a dumbing-down decline in American social values.
Springer was born February 13, 1944, in a London underground railway station being used as a bomb shelter. His parents, Richard and Margot, were German Jews who fled to England during the Holocaust, in which other relatives were killed in Nazi gas chambers. They arrived in the United States when their son was 5 and settled in the Queens borough of New York City, where Springer got his first Yankees baseball gear on his way to becoming a lifelong fan.
He studied political science at Tulane University and got a law degree from Northwestern University. He was active in politics much of his adult life, mulling a run for governor of Ohio as recently as 2017.
He entered the arena as an aide in Robert F. Kennedy’s ill-fated 1968 presidential campaign. Springer, working for a Cincinnati law firm, ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1970 before being elected to city council in 1971.
Yesh Atid MK erases tweet backing right-wing rally
Yesh Atid MK Moshe Tur-Paz raises a ruckus after first tweeting then deleting a post expressing support for the right-wing pro-government rally in Jerusalem, according to Hebrew media reports.
Tur-Paz had taken to Twitter to blast out a message expressing backing for the rally and for political demonstrations in general, while remaining silent on the aims of the so-called march of the million planned for Thursday night.
“The march of the million is an important thing. Even if it ‘only’ draws a quarter-million. I’ll have more than a few friends there. That’s what it’s like to live between worlds. The public that goes out to protest for its values buys the right to demand more from elected officers,” he tweets, according to a screenshot shared by right-wing lawmakers.
Still feeling the Independence Day love, he ended the note wishing the marchers luck and expressing love for them. “We’re all brothers.”
But a short time later the tweet is removed, reportedly at the order of the party and its leader, opposition head Yair Lapid. The about-face sparks denunciations from across the aisle of Lapid’s singlehanded running of the party by fiat.
“Worryingly, the thought police of Yesh Lapid forbid the stating of an independent stance, to say nothing of running against the supreme leader,” tweets Likud MK Amichai Chikli.
Organs of baby killed in Wednesday crash donated to tissue bank
The National Transplant Center reports that before going into surgery for injuries sustained yesterday in a car crash on Route 40 in southern Israel, Ayala Domanovich requested that the organs of her one-year-old son killed in the collision be donated.
Maayan’s Domanovich’s heart valves were saved and will be kept at Sheba Medical Center’s tissue bank for future transplantation in an infant in need of valves of the same measurements.
Heart valves, which can remain in a tissue bank for up to five years, must be transplanted according to exact size.
Ayala’s husband Eyal Domanovich and their son Uri were both seriously injured in the crash, while she and two other children sustained moderate injuries.
Right-wing rally organizer estimates over 500,000 will show up
An organizer behind the right-wing rally planned for the coming hours says over 1,000 chartered buses are slated to ferry attendees to Jerusalem for the demonstration.
Organizers have dubbed the rally a million-person march, with the goal of putting on a display of popular support for the government and its judicial overhaul program.
Most estimates are that the number of attendees will top out at 250,000, and could be much smaller.
However, organizer Berale Crombie tells Channel 12 news that they expect the rally to attract over 500,000 people.
“On our bus system alone, we surpassed 1,000 buses coming to Jerusalem tonight,” he says. “Many more are coming by car or public transportation. We estimate we’ll surpass half a million attendees.”
One leading proponent of the overhaul says he is not sure if he will attend. Leading United Torah Judaism MK Moshe Gafni tells Army Radio that those mulling whether to attend should consult their local Orthodox rabbi for advice.
And will you attend, he is asked.
“I gotta ask my rabbi,” Gafni replies.
Iran seizes tanker passing through Gulf of Oman — US Navy
The US Navy says Iran seized a Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman today amid wider tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program.
The Navy’s Mideast-based 5th Fleet identified the vessel as the Advantage Sweet. Satellite tracking data for the vessel from MarineTraffic.com showed it in the Gulf of Oman just north of Oman’s capital, Muscat, on Thursday afternoon. It had just come from Kuwait and listed its destination as Houston, Texas.
NAVCENT statement on Iran's unlawful seizure of a merchant vessel in the Gulf of Oman today: pic.twitter.com/EJxcsynA1m
— U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. 5th Fleet (@US5thFleet) April 27, 2023
“The oil tanker issued a distress call during the seizure,” the 5th Fleet says. “Iran’s actions are contrary to international law and disruptive to regional security and stability. Iran should immediately release the oil tanker.”
The vessel’s owners cannot be immediately reached for comment. Iran does not immediately acknowledge the seizure.
Singer Noa Kirel tells prez she’ll put chutzpah on Eurovision stage
Days before she heads to Liverpool to compete at the Eurovision Song Contest, pop singer Noa Kirel tells President Isaac Herzog that she feels she is representing the entire nation.
“I really feel like I’m representing Israel in every way,” she tells the president and his wife, Michal. “It’s really an honor to represent the country. It feels very fun and fitting to me.”
Kirel says she plans to bring Israeli “chutzpah” to her performance — “but in a good way.”
Her ditty “Unicorn” talks about “being who we are, and accepting us how we are, loving ourselves, about being Jewish in front of the world. It’s a song that basically calls for diversity and acceptance,” Kirel says.
The president tells the singer that “the song is great, you’re great, I’m a huge fan… you’re the beautiful face of Israel.”
Kirel is slated to depart for the UK next week for rehearsals and activities ahead of her performance in the first Eurovision semifinal on May 9, where she will aim to get enough votes to advance to the grand final on May 13.
Vet released from rehab center two years after self-immolating
Two years and two weeks after setting himself on fire to protest the state’s treatment of PTSD-afflicted veterans, Itzik Saidyan has been released from Tel Hashomer rehab center, following a slow, odds-defying recovery.
Saidyan, who was in a unit that saw fierce combat in the 2014 war with Gaza, expresses dismay that legislation meant to bolster care for vets with post-traumatic stress disorder like himself has become stuck.
“I ask the government not to forget us. There’s thousands like me. I was shut up at home for six years and each day was a war that’s impossible to explain in words. The isolation can kill you,” he says.
In April 2021, Saidyan arrived at the Defense Ministry’s Rehabilitation Department’s offices in Petah Tikva with a bottle full of a flammable liquid, doused himself with it, and then set himself on fire in the entryway, after being denied increased benefits for his mental health struggles.
He suffered extensive burns and was in an induced coma for several months as he slowly recovered, but the act brought the Defense Ministry’s treatment of wounded veterans under intense scrutiny.
Despite saying that “I am here to continue crying out on behalf of combat troops,” Saidyan expresses little appetite for the limelight.
“I’m not a celebrity and don’t want to be famous,” he says. “I want to go back to being the old Itzik. What I did was the worst thing someone can do and it can’t happen again.”
While Saidyan is released from the rehab center’s inpatient facility, he says he still faces a long road ahead, including more surgeries.
Greek neo-Nazis shut down North Macedonian artist
Masked nationalists claiming affiliation to Greek neo-Nazi group Golden Dawn say they disrupted a municipal exhibition of artworks by a North Macedonia painter in Thessaloniki.
In a video posted on YouTube, the Golden Dawn Youth Front says it “banned” the exhibition by artist Sergej Andreevski in the Thessaloniki suburb of Kalamaria.
The video apparently shot Wednesday shows several masked and hooded men marching into the municipal gallery to confront Andreevski, whom they accused of posting irredentist material online and “casting doubt on the Greekness of our homeland.”
“You have no right to be here,” one of the men says in the video.
“We have relatives and grandfathers who sacrificed their lives for the Greekness of Macedonia,” he adds.
Kalamaria Mayor Ioannis Dardamanelis says a group of 10 people disrupted the exhibition “on its final day.”
He calls the protesters “irredentist hotheads” seeking publicity ahead of next month’s national elections.
Army nabs Gazan who snuck into Israel
An unarmed Palestinian is arrested by Israeli troops after infiltrating into Israel from the Gaza Strip early this morning, the military says.
The Israel Defense Forces says the suspect, who crossed the security barrier in the northern part of Gaza, is taken for further questioning.
The IDF says the suspect was spotted by soldiers monitoring surveillance cameras, and troops dispatched to the scene detained him close to the security barrier.
The IDF does not elaborate on how the suspect managed to cross the barrier.
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip frequently attempt to illegally enter Israeli territory, often with hopes of fleeing the beleaguered enclave.
Gazans test-fire rocket into sea — reports
Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip test-fired a rocket this morning, according to Palestinian media reports.
An image published by Palestinian media outlets shows a trail and a small cloud of smoke in the sky, indicating the rocket exploded mid-air.
عاجل| مراسل شهاب: الانفجار الذي سُمع في مدينة غزة ناجم عن إجراء المقاومة تجربة صاروخية جديدة تجاه البحر. pic.twitter.com/67QGu5kf3B
— وكالة شهاب للأنباء (@ShehabAgency) April 27, 2023
Palestinian terror groups frequently test-fire rockets toward the Mediterranean Sea, in order to improve range and accuracy.
Blackouts strike several cities, electric company blames Haifa glitch
The Israel Electric Corporation says it is working to fix a malfunction at its Haifa power station that has caused power cuts in several regions around the country.
Outages are reported in parts of Tel Aviv, Bnei Brak, Lod, Rehovot, Tiberias, the Lower Galilee and elsewhere.
In Tel Aviv, police say that malfunctioning traffic lights at the intersection of Begin and Harekevet roads have sown chaos in the center of the city. Drivers are asked to find alternate routes.
According to the IEC, power has already been restored to some areas, and will soon be restored to the rest of the country.
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