The Times of Israel liveblogged Monday’s events as they unfolded.
Prime Minister Yair Lapid speaks with Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, thanking him for his country’s role in negotiating a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinain Islamic Jihad terror group, which went into effect last night.
According to the Prime Minister’s Office, the two spoke for a long time, not only about Gaza but about the general situation with the Palestinians and the region.
“Prime Minister Lapid said that Egypt has a highly significant position in preserving regional stability and security,” the PMO says.
According to the Israeli readout, the two also discussed Israel’s ongoing normalization efforts with other countries in the region.
“[El-Sissi] raise the issue of the Palestinians and the prime minister stressed his vision for strengthening the economic situation of the Palestinians,” Lapid’s office says.
Film and music star Olivia Newton-John has died following a decades-long “journey with breast cancer,” her husband says.
In a Facebook post on her official page, Newton-John’s husband, John Easterling, says she “passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends.”
Newton-John, who was born in Cambridge, England, was the granddaughter of the Nobel Prize-winning German-Jewish physicist Max Born, who fled to the UK during Nazism’s rise in Germany.
Best known around the world for her role in the hit musical Grease and for her solo music career, the 73-year-old was diagnosed with breast cancer over 30 years ago.
“Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer,” her husband writes.
Newton-John is survived by her husband and daughter Chloe Lattanzi.
The head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group threatens to resume its attacks if two of its members currently being held by Israel are not released, a day after a ceasefire went into effect, following three days of fighting.
In an interview aired on the Islamic Jihad’s Palestine Today television network, Ziad Nakhaleh said the organization had made the ceasefire contingent upon Israel releasing two members of the group: Bassam al-Saadi, the head of the organization’s activities in the West Bank, and Khalil Awawdeh, who is currently on a hunger strike in protest of his administrative detention by Israel.
“From the very beginning, we insisted that the two leaders be freed — the brother on hunger strike, and Bassam Al-Saadi. The enemy tried to proceed slowly in agreeing to this demand, but in the end it has conceded to these demands, with explicit Egyptian guarantees — that our mujahid brother Khalil Awawdeh will set out for the hospital tomorrow, and then he will go home. As for Bassam Al-Saadi, we received an explicit promise, in writing, that Egypt pledges to follow up on his release in the shortest possible time frame,” Nakhaleh says.
Israeli officials have denied this arrangement, saying they did not intend to release either man early.
In his speech, Nakhaleh says his organization told the Egyptians that Israel has one week to release the prisoners or it will call off the ceasefire.
“I want to make it clear that if Israel, the enemy, does not abide by these demands that it agreed to, then we would treat this as if there was no [ceasefire] at all, the [ceasefire] agreement was void, and we will resume the fighting, inshallah. If the enemy does not carry out its obligations according to the agreement, we will not hesitate for a moment to resume the fighting, and then Allah can do with us as He wills,” he says.
The United States indicates it is willing to adopt a new European Union proposal for a mutual return to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
In a statement, the US State Department describes the tabled draft as “the best and only basis on which to reach a deal.”
“For our part, our position is clear: we stand ready to quickly conclude a deal on the basis of the EU’s proposals,” the State Department says, indicating the deal’s restoration was up to Iran.
“They (Iran) repeatedly say they are prepared for a return to mutual implementation,” the spokesperson added. “Let’s see if their actions match their words.”
Iran, for its part, sounded guarded, raising skepticism about the chances for a breakthrough after a months-long stalemate.
“Naturally, the cases require comprehensive study,” IRNA quotes an anonymous senior Iranian Foreign Ministry official as saying. “We will transfer our views and supplementary points.”
But Western diplomats have warned that time is running short, as Iran’s nuclear program rapidly advances under diminishing international oversight. They also worry that looming midterm elections in the US could empower Republicans who oppose the accord.
Ben & Jerry’s is seeking an injunction in a New York court against its parent company, amid ongoing legal fallout over the ice cream maker’s attempted boycott of West Bank settlements last year.
The ice cream maker wants to prevent its parent company Unilever from transferring intellectual property to Ben & Jerry’s Israel, which Unilever granted independence in a settlement earlier this year.
Ben & Jerry’s argues that Ben & Jerry’s Israel could usurp the company’s image by taking a new flavor and changing its branding. For example, Ben & Jerry’s could make a pro-Palestinian flavor, and the Israeli branch could take the same flavor, and brand it as pro-settlement, the lawyers argue.
Ben & Jerry’s considers the branding surrounding its social mission and activism as key to its business success.
As evidence, the plaintiff’s lawyers point to the Ben & Jerry’s Israel website, which displays company branding in English, and an interview Israeli franchise owner Avi Zinger gave to Haaretz, in which he said he “can do what he wants” with the company.
Lawyers representing Conopco, the main US branch of Unilever, say Ben & Jerry’s does not have the authority to make such claims because the intellectual property is owned by Unilever, and Unilever’s agreement with Ben & Jerry’s Israel is already closed.
The Ben & Jerry’s board, which is pressing the case, only has limited power related to its social mission, and does not have the authority to force business decisions, the lawyers argue.
They also say there is no imminent threat to Ben & Jerry’s branding, calling the suspicions “highly speculative and remote,” and that the agreement with Ben & Jerry’s Israel only allows the use of Hebrew and Arabic branding anyway.
The judge has not yet ruled on the injunction. The hearing takes place in the federal Southern District Court of New York.
The Israeli Air Force has completed its evaluation of its F-35 fleet, after an issue with the fighter jet’s ejector seat was discovered by the US.
According to the military, the problem was not found in any of the Air Force’s 33 jets, and they have been returned to full service.
The Israel Defense Forces adds that the fleet also participated in recent airstrikes against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz – speaking after Prime Minister Yair Lapid in a joint press conference – articulates the three clear objectives Israel achieved in Operation Breaking Dawn: removing the “immediate threat” against residents of the Gaza border region, “maintaining operational freedom of action,” and preserving deterrence against enemies who threaten Israel’s citizens and sovereignty.
“In the future, if necessary, we will conduct preemptive strikes in order to protect the citizens of Israel, its sovereignty and infrastructure. This is true on each of the fronts, from Tehran [Iran] to Khan Yunis [Gaza],” the defense minister adds.
Polls taken today after three days of conflict with the Islamic Jihad in Gaza indicate that the Israeli public thinks that Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Defense Minister Benny Gantz did a good job, but the support is not translating into a bump in the polls for them.
According to a Channel 12 poll, 68 percent of Israelis think Israel won the conflict with a similar number approving of Lapid’s handling of the conflict. Gantz gets a 73% approval rating.
However, the approval is not translating into better numbers in the upcoming elections, according to surveys taken by all three major networks.
Channel 12 foresees Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud getting 34 seats and Lapid’s Yesh Atid with 24 seats.
Gantz’s Blue and White gets 12; Religious Zionism 10; Shas 8; United Torah Judaism 7; Joint List 6; Ra’am 5; Labor 5; Yisrael Beytenu 5 and Meretz 4.
Ayelet Shaked’s Zionist Spirit fails to cross the threshold.
This again leaves the 120-seat Knesset deadlocked, with the pro-Netanyahu bloc on 59 seats, the current coalition on 55, and the Joint List on 6.
Similar results are seen in Channel 13’s poll that gives Likud 34; Yesh Atid 22; Blue and White 11; Religious Zionism 11; Shas 7; United Torah Judaism 7; Joint List 6; Yisrael Beytenu 5; Labor 5; Meretz 4; Ra’am 4; Zionist Spirit 4.
This is the only poll that sees Zionist Spirit making it in, possibly giving Netanyahu a majority if they go with him, with the pro-Netanyahu bloc on 59, the anti-Netanyahu bloc on 51, and Zionist Spirit possibly playing the kingmaker with 4 seats.
The Kan public broadcaster meanwhile, forecasts Likud with 33; Yesh Atid on 23; Blue and White 12; Religious Zionism 11; Shas 8; United Torah Judaism 7; Yisrael Beytenu 6; Joint List 6; Labor 5; Meretz 5, and Ra’am 4.
This again puts the pro-Netanyahu bloc at 59, the anti- Netanyahu bloc at 55, and the Joint List at 6.
Transitioning back into campaign mode, Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu says that, had the coalition that includes the Islamist party Ra’am not fallen, Israel would not have been able to “fight terror” in the Gaza Strip.
“Only after this government with Ra’am fell, and only after Knesset dispersed, was it possible to go out to this operation,” says Netanyahu in a video message minutes after a joint statement by Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Defense Minister Benny Gantz.
“Only a stable government that’s not reliant upon Ra’am and the [majority Arab] Joint List can fight terror,” he continues.
Netanyahu is campaigning against Lapid and Gantz in the upcoming November elections. Much of his Likud party’s messaging says that neither of them will be able to assemble the necessary 61 minimum of the Knesset’s 120 seats to form a coalition without including an Arab party.
In a last whiff of unity, Netanyahu includes a rare congratulations to a government he lambasted for being weak against terror, saying that “we are all united” when fighting terrorism.
“I congratulate the government, the Shin Bet, and our beloved IDF soldiers on another successful operation against terror in Gaza. In the fight against terror, we are all united. There’s no opposition, there’s no coalition,” the opposition leader says.
Prime Minister Yair Lapid thanks opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu for putting politics aside and “backing the government” during the Friday-Sunday Gaza conflict.
In addition to thanking the security establishment and Egyptian mediators, Lapid says: “I would also like to thank the opposition and opposition leader Netanyahu, who showed responsibility and backed the government throughout the operation.”
Despite the mudslinging characteristic of election campaigning, political rivals from across the blocs unified in support for the state and its military, as is characteristic of most Jewish Israeli politicians during a security event.
Yesterday, Netanyahu broke his year-long embargo on receiving security briefings from the outgoing government’s prime ministers. He is entitled to the briefings as the opposition leader.
He immediately came out in support of the military — but not the government — when the operation launched on Friday, and then explicitly backed the government in comments after his briefing from Lapid yesterday.
In his first public statement since the close of the three-day military operation against Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Yair Lapid reaches out to the residents of Gaza, offering them a different path going forward.
In a statement to the nation after the end of 66 hours of fighting, Lapid says all Israel’s targets in the operation were achieved and Israel’s deterrence has been restored.
But he also turns to the residents of Gaza and tells them it can be very different if they reject violence.
“During the entire operation, a special effort was made to prevent harming those not involved. The State of Israel will not apologize for protecting its residents using force, but the death of innocents, especially children, is heartbreaking,” Lapid says in the prime-time address.
“I want to address the residents of Gaza and tell them: there is another way. We will know how to protect ourselves from anyone who threatens us, but we also know how to give work and livelihood and a life of dignity to everyone who wants to live in peace by our side,” Lapid says.
“There is another way to live. The path of Abraham Accords, of the Negev summit, of innovation and economy, of regional development and joint projects. The choice is yours. Your future depends on you,” Lapid says.
The Gaza Strip is controlled by the Hamas terrorist organization, which sat out Operation Breaking Dawn. Rather, Israel operated against Islamic Jihad, which Lapid says posed a concrete terror threat.
Housing Minister Zeev Elkin says the government is not prepared to free thousands of Palestinian prisoners to get back Israeli captives held in Gaza.
“There won’t be a release of thousands of prisoners in return for the captives and the missing,” Elkin tells the Kan public broadcaster, amid reports that there was a chance to forge a deal in the wake of the ceasefire agreement.
The Hamas terror group holds two living Israelis — Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed — as well as the bodies of two Israeli soldiers: Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin.
Israel and Hamas have held indirect talks in an attempt to reach a prisoner exchange deal. A similar deal in 2011 to release Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit from Hamas’s clutches saw 1,027 Palestinian security prisoners released, many of them convicted terrorists.
However, Elkin says that “there are constant efforts to move the negotiations forward.
Spain has never had a month as hot as July in more than six decades, the national weather office AEMET said Monday.
For the first time since weather records started in 1961, July registered an average temperature of 25.6 degrees Celsius (78 degrees Fahrenheit), that was 2.7 C (36 F) above the recorded average for any month of July.
The southern Andalusian town of Morón de la Frontera posted the highest temperature of the month with 46 C (115 F) on July 24. The northwest Galicia region posted a record temperature of 44 C (111 F) in Ourense city.
The extreme heat and lack of rain has caused many wildfires and worsened drought in many areas. The European Forest Fire Information System says 2022 has been the worst year so far, in terms of scorched territory and the number of fires for Spain. The body says some 240,000 hectares (585,00 acres) have been razed in more than 370 fires.
Neighboring Portugal’s weather service IPMA also said July was the hottest since national records began in 1931. The average temperature was 25.1 degrees Celsius (77.3 degrees Fahrenheit), it said. That was almost 3 degrees C higher than the expected July average.
Zofia Posmysz, a Polish World War II-era resistance fighter who survived the Auschwitz and Ravensbrück concentration camps and later became a journalist and novelist, has died at 98.
The Auschwitz-Birkenau state memorial museum says Posmysz died today in a hospice in Oświęcim, the southern Polish town where Auschwitz was located during Nazi Germany’s wartime occupation of Poland.
She would have turned 99 in two weeks.
Posmysz, a Roman Catholic Pole, was born on August 23, 1923, in Krakow.
She was 18 when she was arrested in 1942, for her association with the Polish resistance in Krakow. After spending more than two years at the Auschwitz death camp, she was deported to Ravensbrück and then later to Neustadt-Glewe, where she was liberated at the war’s end in 1945, the Auschwitz memorial says.
She returned to Poland after the war, working as a journalist, including for Polish radio, and writing several novels. Her most famous work was titled “The Passenger,” a novel that she first wrote as a radio play, titled “The Passenger in Cabin 45.” It tells the story of an Auschwitz survivor who meets her former concentration camp guard on a ship voyage, and was the basis of a film and an opera.
In 2006, she was among the former prisoners who welcomed the German-born Pope Benedict XVI to the former Auschwitz camp.
China, which currently holds the UN Security Council presidency, has agreed to a request from the Palestinian mission to open today’s emergency session on the recent Gaza escalation.
The Security Council meeting was originally scheduled to take place behind closed doors with no participation from the Israeli and Palestinian ambassadors. Both Israeli envoy Gilad Erdan and Palestinian envoy Riyad Mansour will now address the live-streamed session at 3 p.m. local time (10 p.m. IST).
The hearing was originally requested while the fighting was still taking place on Saturday by Security Council members China, France, Ireland, Norway, and the UAE.
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan calls on the world body to condemn Islamic Jihad rocket fire at civilians and contrasts it with the IDF, which he says aborted an airstrike in Gaza three times at the last minute upon determining that it could result in civilian casualties.
Erdan makes the revelation during a press statement ahead of the UN Security Council’s emergency closed-door meeting to discuss the recent escalation between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza.
The envoy calls on the Security Council to issue a condemnation of Islamic Jihad, saying that failure to do so “will only motivate them to continue in their destructive ways.”
Erdan insists that Israel worked extensively to avoid civilian casualties during the 66-hour escalation in which 45 people were killed, according to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry. The IDF estimates that 11 of those casualties were innocent civilians caught in the line of fire during airstrikes targeting PIJ fighters.
The Israeli army says 16 Palestinians were killed by failed PIJ rocket launches that landed inside Gaza.
During the press conference, Erdan shows footage of an Israeli Air Force operation that was aborted due to fears that it would lead to civilian casualties. “Israeli Air Force aborted the mission three times, I repeat, three times, due to the presence of children in the area.”
A senior official tells Army Radio that Israel could face a funding crunch to replenish the Iron Dome interceptor rockets.
Hundreds of interceptors were fired in recent days to defend Israeli towns and cities against the more than 1,000 rockets fired by Islamic Jihad.
“Without a budget law, there is no doubt there will be problems in the future with production and acquisition of Iron Dome interceptors,” the senior official says.
“There will be limitations we will have to deal with,” he says.
A senior official tells the Kan public broadcaster that Qatar played a significant role in helping to bring about a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
The unnamed official credits the good relations developed over the last year with Egypt, which was the major mediator in the conflict, but also with Qatar.
Israel does not have formal relations with Qatar, but frequently works with the Gulf nation on Gaza.
The official says that Israel believes that Qatar has great potential to help rehabilitate Gaza and ensure stability in the region.
An Israeli family who thought they had lost their cat in a rocket attack were shocked when he came home several hours after being buried.
The family who live in the Eshkol region near Gaza, tells Channel 12 that their cat Jewel disappeared after a rocket landed near their home.
They searched for him and were upset to discover his body under a car that had been destroyed by the rocket. They then buried him in their garden.
However, several hours later Jewel nonchalantly walked into the home, leaving the family to wonder whose cat they had buried.
Former health minister Yaakov Litzman is sentenced to eight months’ probation and a NIS 3,000 ($900) fine for using his position to try to thwart the extradition to Australia of Malka Leifer, a former principal of an Orthodox girls school in Melbourne accused of sexually assaulting minors.
A judge accepts the plea deal under which Litzman pleads guilty to fraud and breach of trust for pressuring a state psychiatrist to deem Leifer unfit for extradition.
The ultra-Orthodox politician, who has announced he is not running in the next elections, avoids the charge of obstruction of justice and he is not convicted of moral turpitude in the case.
Leifer was eventually extradited to Australia last year, nearly 13 years after she fled Melbourne as allegations against her were coming to light and after a six-year legal process, during which a court determined that she had feigned mental illness in order to avoid facing justice. She is now facing trial in Australia for sexually abusing girls at a Jewish school.
The European Union has submitted a “final text” at talks to salvage a 2015 deal aimed at reining in Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, a European official says.
“We worked for four days and today the text is on the table,” the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, tells reporters. “The negotiation is finished, it’s the final text… and it will not be renegotiated.”
The High Court of Justice flatly rejects a petition to ban abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy.
“Pregnancy is an occurrence of much importance and many consequences in a woman’s life. Gauging the risks involved in pregnancy and in terminating one is a professional (medical and psychological) one of the first order and decided, according to the law, by a professional committee made up of medical specialists and a social worker,” the court writes.
“As such, setting up any artificial limit or test, as the plaintiffs ask, is not only arbitrary but clearly against the clear intent of the law,” the court says.
In a rare interview with Israel’s Channel 12 news, a woman who lives in the Gaza Strip describes her terror during Israeli strikes and says public support for Hamas and Islamic jihad is fading.
Speaking in English and on condition of anonymity out of fear of reprisals from Hamas, which rules the Strip, the woman says there has been a change in public feelings.
“The view, the perspective, the thought of Gaza people has changed completely. In the previous wars they were with the resistance, with Hamas and Jihad, but now people are calling for the stop of war,” she says.
“The only one who gets demolished and (are) losing is the people of Gaza, not the leaders,” she says.
Asked what she tells her children during the airstrikes, she says she lies to them.
“I lie to them and tell them that it is a celebration, not a bombing, they try to believe me but look at my face and see how I’m scared and know that I’m not giving the truth,” she says.
She tells Israeli TV of her most fearful moment.
“The moment I felt was most scary was the moment when I was in the kitchen and my child was in another room, I felt a sudden bombing happen, I felt like my child would go with this bombing,” she says.
Greece’s prime minister says he was unaware that the country’s intelligence service had been bugging an opposition politician’s mobile phone for three months, insisting that he wouldn’t have allowed it had he known.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who faces elections next year, makes the remarks in a televised address to the nation three days after a wiretapping scandal led to the resignations of the head of the National Intelligence Service, Panagiotis Kontoleon, and the general secretary of the prime minister’s office, Grigoris Dimitriadis.
“What happened might have been in accordance with the letter of the law, but it was wrong,” Mitsotakis said. “I didn’t know about it and obviously, I would never have allowed it.” The National Intelligence Service, known by its acronym EYP, answers directly to the prime minister’s office, a change Mitsotakis brought about himself after winning 2019 elections.
Mitsotakis says the mobile phones of Nikos Androulakis, who had been running for the leadership of the socialist PASOK opposition party at the time, had been placed under “legal surveillance” from Sept. 2021 for three months. The wiretaps had been halted “automatically” a few days after Androulakis won the party leadership race, he said, but did not elaborate on why the opposition politician was targeted.
Androulakis filed a complaint with prosecutors at Greece’s Supreme Court on July 26 saying there had been an attempt to bug his cellphone with spyware named Predator.
Predator was originally developed in North Macedonia and subsequently in Israel.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slams Israel for carrying out strikes in the Gaza Strip against Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
“There can be no excuse for killing children, Turkey stands by the Palestinian people,” the Anadolu news agency quotes him as saying in a speech.
Erdogan’s criticism comes despite a recent rapprochement with Israel after more than a decade of strained ties.
Several Palestinian children are among the dead after three days of fighting, although Israel says some of them were killed when Islamic Jihad rockets fell short and exploded in residential areas inside Gaza.
In his speech, Erogan also reiterates his support for a two-state solution with a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
He also calls issues surrounding the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City a “red line” for Turkey but does not elaborate.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz wraps up an assessment with senior military and security officials, as a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad holds since last night.
Gantz expresses “great appreciation” to the Israel Defense Forces and Shin Bet security agency, his office says.
“The defense minister instructed the security forces to continue operational readiness in all areas, and to work to take advantage of the achievements of the operation to achieve stability and peace,” a statement adds.
Gantz also instructs officials to prepare a task force to strengthen defenses in towns in southern Israel, especially those close to the border with the Gaza Strip.
The death toll during the three days of violence in the Gaza Strip has risen to 45, Hamas authorities say.
Israel has denied responsibility for some of the deaths, which it says were caused by Palestinian Islamic Jihad rockets fired at Israel that landed short inside the coastal enclave.
The Hamas Government Information Office in Gaza says another 360 people were wounded amid the fighting, which ended with a ceasefire last night.
The Gazan officials do not say how many of the total killed were affiliated with terror groups. The PIJ, Hamas, and another terror group have claimed 15 of the deaths as members.
Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman meets with community leaders in southern Israel who were affected by the latest round of fighting with terror groups in Gaza.
Liberman promises financial compensation to all those who missed work due to the fighting and the lockdown that preceded it.
Liberman says he is expanding the compensation to those in a 40-kilometer radius from the border, up from the previously agreed-on 7 kilometers.
Liberman also notes that money has already been set aside to improve the bomb shelters in the area.
Kyiv is calling for the establishment of a demilitarized zone around a nuclear power station in east Ukraine where recent fighting with Russian forces has raised fears of a nuclear accident.
Zaporizhzhia — Europe’s largest atomic power complex — was occupied by Russia early in its invasion.
In recent days, it has been the scene of strikes that have damaged several structures, forcing the shutdown of a reactor.
“What needs to be done is to remove occupying forces from the station and to create a de-militarized zone on the territory of the station,” says Petro Kotin, president of Ukraine’s nuclear energy company, Energoatom.
“The fact that they are there is the greatest danger going forwards, towards an accident with radiation or even to a nuclear catastrophe,” he adds in a statement distributed by the agency.
Former US president Donald Trump clashed repeatedly with his generals over his desire to hold a huge military parade in Washington DC, the New Yorker reports.
According to the report, Paul Selva, an Air Force general and the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Trump it was a bad idea and that “it’s what dictators do.”
Trump also angered the military leaders by telling them he didn’t want any injured vets taking part in the parade. “I don’t want them,” Trump reportedly said. “It doesn’t look good for me.”
Later, as Trump grew frustrated that the generals were not exhibiting blind loyalty to him, he exclaimed to his chief of staff, John Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general: “You fucking generals, why can’t you be like the German generals?”
“Which generals?” Kelly asked.
“The German generals in World War II,” Trump responded.
“You do know that they tried to kill Hitler three times and almost pulled it off?” Kelly said.
Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara says she gave Prime Minister Yair Lapid the go-ahead to carry out the killing of a Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader without convening the security cabinet because she was assured the act would not lead to war.
In response to a question from Channel 12 as to why she did not insist the cabinet be convened in accordance with the law, Baharav-Miara says that the security establishment had assured her the strike would not lead to war, so it was not necessary to convene the top level security body.
Baharav-Miara notes that every case was judged individually.
“In this case, given the intelligence information assessment meetings, the professional security officials unanimously said that the military action that had been decided on given the circumstances was not a military action that could lead to war,” she says
“Given the professional assessment, the judicial decision was made,” she adds.
The Labor party says its registered party members shot up by 5,000 in the 5 weeks since the Knesset dispersed and snap elections were called.
A total of 40,000 eligible party members can now vote in the Labor party’s primary tomorrow to set its Knesset slate under leader Merav Michaeli.
Michaeli is credited with rebuilding the party since taking the helm in 2021. Recovering from its flirtation with the electoral threshold, Labor joined the outgoing coalition with seven seats and contributed three ministers.
Michaeli has promised to continue growing Labor as a party that aspires to lead the center-left.
Army Radio reports that passengers boarding flights at Ben Gurion Airport were rushed off the aircraft sleeves and back into the terminal amid a rocket attack in central Israel last night.
The passengers took shelter in the terminal’s reinforced area as a rocket siren sounded, but the Israel Airports Authority later said no rocket was heading their way.
After investigating the matter, the IAA confirmed no rockets came close to the airport, and none were intercepted over the area — despite some Hebrew media reports that said one rocket was indeed shot down over the airport.
Flights resumed after around 11 minutes, after checks revealed that no shrapnel from a potential rocket or interception had damaged the runways.
Flights inbound to Israel held their positions as the rocket sirens sounded in Tel Aviv, a standard procedure.
The barrage came shortly before a ceasefire went into effect.
At least six Iranian and Lebanese advisers were killed in Yemen by a ballistic missile that exploded while being redeployed at a camp run by the Iran-backed Houthi rebel group, according to Arabic-language reports.
The reports carried by Saudi broadcaster Al Arabiya and Al-Hadath say dozens of Houthi fighters were also killed, and that the blast triggered a second explosion in a nearby factory and weapons dump near Yemen’s capital Sa’ana.
It was not clear from the reports if the Lebanese were linked with Hezbollah, another armed faction supported by Tehran.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Gaza’s sole power plant restarted today after fuel trucks crossed from Israel into the Hamas-run enclave following the start of a truce ending three days of deadly conflict between the Israeli military and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the electricity company says.
“The plant has started working to generate electricity,” Mohammed Thabet, spokesman for the company, tells AFP. The plant had shut on Saturday after running out of fuel following Israel’s closure of the goods crossing.
Israel’s Erez border crossing with the Gaza Strip could be reopened to Palestinian laborers as soon as tomorrow, according to Army Radio.
Citing security sources, the radio station says any decision to again allow in workers from Gaza depends on continued calm. A decision is expected in the coming days.
Earlier, Israel’s military liaison to the Palestinians announced the reopening of border crossings to allow fuel and humanitarian aid into Gaza, but has continued to bar the entry of pedestrians through Erez.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad identifies 12 members of its military wing killed in fighting with Israel, including two of the terror group’s top commanders in Gaza.
PIJ’s Al-Quds Brigades releases a graphic with photos of the 12 fighters, among them Tayseer Jabari and Khaled Mansour, the respective leaders of Islamic Jihad’s northern and southern brigades in Gaza. The former was killed in an Israeli strike Friday that kicked off the conflict, while the latter was targeted on Saturday night.
Hamas, the terror group that controls Gaza, said two members of its military wing were killed in the fighting between Israel and Islamic Jihad, while the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine said one of its fighters was killed.
The three-day conflict ended last night with a ceasefire that has held into today.
PIJ confirms 12 members killed in Gaza fighting. Hamas confirms 2 members of military wing killed. DFLP military wing confirms 1 killed. pic.twitter.com/kPwBAqAdUt
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) August 8, 2022
The military announces that as of noon, all security measures the Home Front Command put in place across the south and center of the country have been lifted after the ceasefire last night to end the fighting in Gaza with Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
A statement from the Israel Defense Forces says the move follows a situational assessment it held.
The restrictions were largely related to gatherings. In towns closer to the border, residents were asked to remain close to bomb shelters.
Prosecutors file murder charges against a 17-year-old Palestinian for fatally ramming a police officer at a checkpoint in central Israel last month.
The suspect is accused of entering Israel illegally and driving well over the speed limit in a stolen car, with which he ran over Master Sergeant Barak Meshulam.
The indictment includes a charge of aggravated murder, along with illegally entering Israel and driving a stolen car without a license, among others.
MK Yair Golan, a member of the outgoing coalition’s left-wing Meretz party, accuses Defense Minister Benny Gantz of making hay out of Israeli operations in Gaza against Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Golan, who served as a top IDF officer when Gantz headed the military between 2011 and 2015, bristles over a video of the defense chief meeting with officials to approve a targeted killing of a senior PIJ commander.
“Let’s keep the IDF out of politics. Let’s prevent the exploitation of operational activities for political needs. Let’s not be Bibi,” Golan tweets in a swipe at both Gantz and former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
אישור הסיכול הממוקד אתמול אצל שר הבטחון גנץ pic.twitter.com/Gk9ui0sEJH
— Ben Caspit בן כספית (@BenCaspit) August 7, 2022
President Isaac Herzog meets with southern municipal leaders as he visits the rocket-hit city of Sderot after a ceasefire took effect last night to end fighting between Israel and Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
“Without this region, there would be no State of Israel. You are the gateway to the State of Israel and you are the wall protecting the State of Israel,” Herzog says, according to a statement from his office.
The president hails the “incredible resilience” of Israelis in communities near the Gaza border and “everyone who engaged in defense together with you.”
“I hope and pray that we will now see calm and that Israel’s citizens will know calm and security. We must always be ready for any threat that might arise,” he sats.
The Eshkol Regional Council informs residents of the southern Israeli region, which was battered heavily by rockets from Gaza during Operation Breaking Dawn, of a “full return to routine” after last night’s ceasefire.
A statement from the council says limits on gatherings and workplaces will be lifted, roads will be reopened and that educational activities and agricultural work can resume. It adds that regular train service will resume at noon and says public swimming pools can also reopen.
Israel did not agree to release Khalil al-Awawda, a Palestinian Islamic Jihad member who is hunger-striking in protest of his detention by Israel without any charges, nor the terror group’s West Bank leader Bassam al-Saadi, who was arrested last week in a move believed to have sparked the round of violence in Gaza.
Israel has no intentions to release the prisoners early as demanded by PIJ following the ceasefire in Gaza last night, The Times of Israel has learned.
Meanwhile, senior Israeli officials point out the intensive and, in their eyes, successful ongoing contacts with Egypt, Qatar, the United States and other countries during the fighting in Gaza.
“They knew all the elements of our decision-making beforehand and also our efforts to avoid acting, and to ensure [the conflict] was as limited as possible,” says one of the officials.
“The Qataris have an important role here as a player that creates economic stability,” the official says.
These efforts helped in the ceasefire process, which began on Saturday.
The fact that Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s general-secretary Ziad Nakhaleh was in Tehran meeting the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps made it harder to him to agree to a ceasefire, according to the officials.
Officials were especially pleased with Egypt’s role. “Egyptian mediation was very intensive. Our relationship with them is extremely close.”
Israel’s political leadership initially wanted the ceasefire to come into effect yesterday afternoon, but had to give a few more hours to allow the IDF to complete operations, say the officials.
Senior Israeli officials indicate that there is an opening for further agreements with Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the wake of the ceasefire to end fighting in Gaza.
“There are absolutely aware that there is an opportunity in the aftermath that we don’t want to miss,” says an official, pointing at the ongoing attempts to arrange for the return of Israeli civilian captives and bodies of IDF soldiers held by Hamas, among other opportunities.
“The signals from Hamas in recent weeks have been received,” an official says.
“We want to take things forward, and not make do only with a ceasefire with PIJ,” says one of the officials.
The return to Israel’s regular policies toward Gaza will happen gradually and in a way that “sends a message about the future,” says one of the officials.
These policies are expected to be put back in place over the next couple of days.
Hamas was in touch with Egypt throughout Operation Breaking Dawn and pressured Palestinian Islamic Jihad to agree to a ceasefire, say senior Israeli officials this morning.
“We knew throughout that Hamas wanted to stay out” of the conflict, the officials say.
However, the officials say that Hamas failed in its responsibility to head off a conflict, which it should have done by pressuring PIJ before it started: “That is an expectation we have of someone who presumes to rule the Strip and its population.”
The officials argue that Hamas stayed out of the fight because of Israel’s military and civil policies over the past year. “That includes Operation Guardian of the Walls and the important economic incentives for the population,” they say.
Israeli officials pleased with Gaza ceasefire, say knew from start Hamas wouldn’t join Islamic Jihad
Senior Israeli officials say that they are pleased with the way the ceasefire with Palestinian Islamic Jihad has held up overnight.
“We can now start looking toward the next phase,” says one of the officials who briefed Israeli reporters Monday morning.
The officials stress that Israel embarked on the three-day operation “not by our choice.”
They say that Islamic Jihad terrorists, especially the two regional commanders assassinated during Operation Breaking Dawn in Gaza, were preparing to intensify their operations against Israel.
Israel was aware that the arrest of senior PIJ commander Bassam al-Saadi in Jenin would increase tensions, but did not expect it to be the spark that set off such a serious escalation, according to the officials.
De-escalation was Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s primary concern. Diplomatic efforts by other countries to pressure PIJ to rein in its threats against Israel did not play out initially, say the officials. Israel also limited movement near the Gaza border in an attempt to reduce friction and to avoid providing targets for PIJ snipers.
“But we couldn’t keep holding the Gaza border area in that situation, and our prior efforts failed to prevent the intention to carry out shooting attacks, and we understood we were moving toward an operation,” says an official.
“Then we realized that Islamic Jihad does not intend to leave this issue without operating, and operating in a significant way.”
Israel understood from the outset that Hamas would not join in the fighting and that it would be fighting only against PIJ.
The operation was designed to stop planned anti-tank and sniper attacks. “There was also an opportunity [to strike] the commander of their northern sector,” says an official.
RAFAH, Gaza Strip — Fuel trucks are entering Gaza this morning as an Egypt-brokered truce between Israel and Islamic Jihad terrorists in the Palestinian enclave holds, an AFP journalist at the crossing says.
The trucks pass from Israel through the Kerem Shalom goods crossing to southern Gaza, the AFP journalist says, hours after a ceasefire deal came into effect ending three days of deadly conflict.
The Labor party announces its primaries will go ahead tomorrow as planned, after saying yesterday it was considering delaying the vote before the Gaza ceasefire took force last night.
Party members will be able to vote digitally or at a polling booths in Haifa, Beersheba, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon says it provided medical treatment to 60 people during the fighting in Gaza between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which ended with a ceasefire last night.
According to the hospital, it treated 21 people who suffered anxiety and 39 who were lightly hurt as they ran to bomb shelters amid rocket fire.
It says 53 of those injured have since been released from the hospital.
Internal Security Minister Omer Barlev says that the ceasefire deal did not include an agreement to release two high-profile members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad who are in Israeli custody.
The Cairo-mediated ceasefire between Israel and Islamic Jihad was said to have included an Egyptian promise to work toward the release Khalil al-Awawda, a Palestinian Islamic Jihad member who is hunger-striking in protest of his detention by Israel without any charges, and the terror group’s West Bank leader Bassam al-Saadi, who was arrested last week in a move believed to have sparked the round of violence in Gaza.
“Israel did not agree to anything, we responded negatively to the demands,” Barlev tells the Kan public broadcaster.
“Al-Saadi is like any prisoner, and the administrative detainee [al-Awawda], like any other administrative detainee. Toward the end of the detention period, the Shin Bet will assess the situation and decide whether to release him. Most of the times the Shin Bet extends [detention],” Barlev says.
The Israel Defense Forces says in a statement that crossings between Israel and Gaza will reopen for humanitarian aid at 9 a.m., subject to a security assessment.
The statement by Israel’s military liaison to the Palestinians, widely known by its acronym COGAT, says that if the situation remains calm, an assessment will be held on the potential full reopening of the crossings.
The border points have been shuttered for a number of days.
The Defense Ministry said Sunday that three mortars fired by Palestinian Islamic Jihad hit the Erez Crossing between Israel and Gaza. The terminal roof was damaged as a result of a fire, and shrapnel fell into the entrance hall, the ministry said. There were no injuries.
After the ceasefire held overnight, the Israel Defense Forces says in a statement that it will begin to lift restrictions imposed on residents of the Gaza border area.
All the roads in the region that have been shut for a number of days will be reopened, the IDF says in a statement. The roads had been shut since last Tuesday amid fears of attack ahead of the latest round of fighting.
In addition, residents of border communities are no longer required to stay in close proximity to a protected area.
Trains will be restarted between Sderot and Ashkelon at noon.
In a briefing to reporters, an Israel Defense Forces spokesperson says the military believes 51 people were killed in Gaza during the most recent round of fighting, 24 of them from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group.
The military says its figures are estimates.
According to the military, 16 people people uninvolved in the hostilities were killed by Gazan rockets which fell short.
A further 11 people were killed who were not affiliated with terror groups, meaning that a total of 27 Gazan civilians — including a number of children — were killed in the fighting.
The military believes it killed 24 terrorists from the Islamic Jihad terror group.
“More Palestinians were killed by the failed firing by Islamic Jihad than by the firing of the IDF,” spokesman Ran Kochav says.
Kochav says “lessons will be learnt” in the wake of the killing of the 11 people not directly involved in the fighting.
The military also says approximately 1,100 rockets were fired toward Israel by terrorists in the Gaza Strip.
Approximately 200 rockets fell short of their targets and landed in the Gaza Strip, the military says.
The Iron Dome missile defense system had a 96 percent success rate, the IDF says.
The IDF says it carried out strikes on approximately 170 targets linked to Palestinian Islamic Jihad, including senior officials and activists of the terror group.
The Israel Defense Forces says that most of the military aims during Operation Breaking Dawn were achieved.
In a briefing to reporters, a spokesperson says that a “careful and gradual policy of returning to normal routine is required.”
Despite the ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad holding for the entire night, many restrictions still remain in place for those living in communities closest to the border with Gaza.
This means educational facilities in towns near the Gaza Strip will remain closed, gatherings will be largely banned and residents will still need to remain close to bomb shelters.
Slightly looser restrictions are in place for the rest of the northern Negev and part of the Lachish region.
UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland welcomes the ceasefire between Israel and the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group, which has gone into effect after over three days of fighting.
“I welcome the ceasefire in Gaza and Israel after days of conflict. Deeply saddened by the loss of life & injuries, including children,” Wennesland tweets.
“I commend Egypt for its crucial role in establishing the ceasefire and for the strong support from Qatar, US & others,” he says.
“The situation is still very fragile, and I urge all parties to observe the ceasefire.”
Ziad Nakhaleh, the leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group, says that its members dealt with Israel’s “aggression” with “steadfastness,” adding that he “salutes the Palestinian nation.”
In a statement, Nakhaleh also warns that “if the enemy doesn’t stick to what we agreed upon via the Egyptian mediator, we will resume fighting.”
The IDF is due in the coming hours to reassess the necessity of special safety instructions currently in place for residents of areas near the Gaza Strip.
Despite the ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad holding for the entire night, the restrictions still remain in place. This means educational facilities in towns near the Gaza Strip will remain closed, gatherings will be largely banned and residents will still need to remain close to bomb shelters.
Slightly looser restrictions are in place for the rest of the northern Negev and part of the Lachish region.
Officially, the restrictions are valid until 6 p.m. Monday, but they could be canceled earlier.
US President Joe Biden welcomes the ceasefire between Israel and the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group, which has gone into effect after over three days of fighting.
Biden says the US has been in contact with officials from Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Qatar and Jordan in order to bring a swift end to the fighting, and he thanks Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi along with Qatari Emir Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani for their central roles in the effort.
The president also commends Prime Minister Yair Lapid and his government’s “steady leadership throughout the crisis.”
As the White House did on the first day of the conflict, Biden expresses his support for Israel’s right to defend itself against “indiscriminate” PIJ rocket fire and adds that the US “is proud of our support for Israel’s Iron-Dome, which intercepted hundreds of rockets and saved countless lives.” Earlier this year, the US approved an additional $500 million in funding for Iron Dome replenishments following the May 2021 Gaza conflict.
Biden laments the civilians whose lives were cut short by the conflict, “whether by Israeli strikes against Islamic Jihad positions or the dozens of Islamic Jihad rockets that reportedly fell inside Gaza.”
He says his administration supports “timely and thorough investigation[s]” into those deaths.
“We also call on all parties to fully implement the ceasefire, and to ensure fuel and humanitarian supplies are flowing into Gaza as the fighting subsides,” the president says.
As has been the case in just about every Biden administration statement regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Biden closes by asserting that “Israelis and Palestinians both deserve to live safely and securely and to enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity, and democracy.”
“My Administration will remain engaged with Israeli and Palestinian leaders to support that vision and to implement the initiatives launched during my [recent] visit to improve the quality of life for Palestinians and Israelis alike,” he adds, apparently referring to the package of steps announced last month aimed at improving Palestinian livelihood, but which have yet to be implemented and require Israeli follow-through.
The Sdot Negev Regional Council announces that after a security assessment and despite a ceasefire taking effect, communities in the Gaza-area region won’t resume educational activities tomorrow.
This means there won’t be shuttles to special education institutions, daycares won’t be opened, and summer camp activities won’t be held.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas praises the ceasefire reached between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group, ending more than three days of fighting.
“We welcome the Egyptian efforts that led to the halting of the occupation’s aggression in Gaza,” Abbas says.
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