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Younger MKs take top spots in Labor primaries; ministers Barlev and Shai lose out

Lawmakers Naama Lazimi, Gilad Kariv, Efrat Rayten, Ram Shefa and Emilie Moatti clinch places likely to keep them in next Knesset

MK Naama Lazimi casts her vote in the Labor primaries, at a polling station in Tel Aviv, August 9, 2022 (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
MK Naama Lazimi casts her vote in the Labor primaries, at a polling station in Tel Aviv, August 9, 2022 (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

The Times of Israel liveblogged Tuesday’s events as they unfolded.

Kicking off election campaign, far-right Noam declares war on ‘postmodern culture’

The ultra-conservative Noam party holds an election campaign launch event in Jerusalem Tuesday night, with its leading lights denouncing the “poison” and “destruction” wrought by “postmodern culture” in a war against everything that is holy.

The Noam party, which is part of the far-right Religious Zionism Knesset faction, is fiercely opposed to LGBT rights and rails against what it says are efforts to undermine Jewish identity and nationhood in Israel.

Rabbi Tzvi Tau, president of the radical Har Hamor yeshiva and Noam’s spiritual leader, says at the conference that the forces of postmodernism “corrupts the nature of life, humanity, and basic biological mental health which is the platform for living a life of holiness,” and put humanity itself “at the edge of the abyss.”

Noam’s lone MK Avi Maoz declares that the party and its supporters are in “an obligatory war for the soul of our beloved country” and notes that in Jewish law “everyone is obliged to go out to fight, everyone is conscripted.”

Finance minister urges US, EU to help increase competition on imports to Israel

Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman speaks during a Yisrael Beytenu faction meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, June 13, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman speaks during a Yisrael Beytenu faction meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, June 13, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman has written to the heads of the US Federal Trade Commission and the European Union’s commissioner for competition to ask them to take steps to help increase import competition in Israel and lower consumer costs.

Channel 12 airs details of a letter sent to the two officials, in which Liberman says restrictive deals between American and European manufacturers and official Israeli importers make it difficult for parallel importers to bring in products.

“Additionally,” he says, “Israeli importers have occasionally been subjected to unfair pricing and distribution practices,” contributing to higher product costs.

These issues, he says, have discouraged competition in Israel and disadvantaged Israeli consumers.

He asks the officials to work together to encourage greater competition on Israeli imports for the benefit of Israeli consumers.

Labor primaries: Younger MKs take top spots; Barlev and Shai likely out

Labor MK Naama Lazimi. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
Labor MK Naama Lazimi. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Younger MKs secure top spots in Labor’s primary, while ministers Omer Barlev and Nachman Shai will likely be bumped from the 25th Knesset.

Lawmakers Naama Lazimi, Gilad Kariv, Efrat Rayten, Ram Shefa, and Emilie Moatti clinch the second-through-sixth spots behind Labor party leader Merav Michaeli.

Placing seventh on the list, newcomer Yaya Fink wins the highest spot for a new candidate. Labor is currently polling at between five and six seats, placing him within striking range of a seat if Labor’s position improves.

Ibtisam Mara’ana, a sometimes controversial MK who held the seventh spot on the 2021 slate, has fallen to eighth place.

Public Security Minister Barlev takes a huge hit, falling from the second spot in the previous election to the ninth one in the upcoming vote — possibly in connection with his various gaffes.

Iran unlikely to agree to a return to nuclear deal, Israeli officials tell media

A number of Hebrew media outlets, citing unnamed Israeli diplomatic officials, report that Jerusalem believes Iran is unlikely to agree to a return to the 2015 nuclear deal.

An official tells Ynet anonymously that European expressions of optimism in recent days were “manufactured optimism intended to pressure the Iranians to make a decision, but the Iranians don’t want to accept the deal as it is.”

An unnamed source tells Haaretz: “There’s no strategic change for the Iranians… It will be very difficult for them to accept a deal that is not a significant improvement [from their perspective] on the original accord.”

The source added that while some of Iran’s nuclear negotiators are interested in a deal, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is seen as strongly opposed.

Canine killed in Nablus operation laid to rest at police dog cemetery

Members of police's elite Yamam unit stand by the grave of Zili, a K9 killed during an operation in Nablus, August 9, 2022. (Israel Police)
Members of police's elite Yamam unit stand by the grave of Zili, a K9 killed during an operation in Nablus, August 9, 2022. (Israel Police)

A dog belonging to the elite Yamam counterterrorism police unit, killed by Palestinian terrorists this morning, is laid to rest at the unit’s dog cemetery.

The nine-year-old Belgian Malinois, Zili, was killed during a gunbattle in the West Bank city of Nablus, during which three Palestinians were also killed, including Ibrahim Nabulsi, a wanted Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades member.

“The Yamam soldiers paid their last respects to man’s best friend,” police say in a statement.

Kyiv behind huge blast at Russian airbase in Crimea, Ukrainian official tells NYT

A senior Ukrainian military official tells The New York Times that Kyiv was behind the blasts at Russia’s Crimea airbase that caused huge explosions there earlier.

He does not say how Ukraine attacked the base.

So far one person is confirmed to have been killed and five wounded in the explosions.

“This was an air base from which planes regularly took off for attacks against our forces in the southern theater,” the official tells the Times.

He adds cryptically that “a device exclusively of Ukrainian manufacture was used.”

Ilan Omar faces centrist rival in today’s primary

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., speaks to reporters in the wake of anti-Islamic comments made last week by Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., who likened Omar to a bomb-carrying terrorist, during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, November 30, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., speaks to reporters in the wake of anti-Islamic comments made last week by Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., who likened Omar to a bomb-carrying terrorist, during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, November 30, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Rep. Ilhan Omar, one of the biggest stars of the left and a fierce critic of Israel, is facing a challenge from the center in her congressional primary in Minnesota today.

Former Minneapolis City Council member Don Samuels’ north Minneapolis base suffers from more violent crime than other parts of the city, and the moderate Democrat helped defeat a ballot question that sought to replace the city police department with a new public safety unit.

Omar has defended calls to redirect public safety funding more into community-based programs. The congresswoman, who crushed a similar primary challenge two years ago from a well-funded but lesser-known opponent than Samuels, has said she expects to win easily.

Turkish drone strike kills 4 in northeast Syria: monitor

A Turkish drone strike has killed at least four people in a northeast Syrian city held by Kurdish forces, the latest in a flurry of attacks, a war monitor says.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the attack struck near a hospital in Qamishli, the de facto capital of a semi-autonomous Kurdish administration that runs large parts of the country’s northeast.

The four victims, all affiliated with the administration, were killed while they dug trenches near Turkey’s border in anticipation of a new offensive that Ankara has threatened to launch since May, the monitor says.

Russia says ammunition detonated at Crimea base, no victims

Ammunition detonated at an airfield in Moscow-annexed Crimea earlier but there were no victims, the Russian defense ministry says.

The blasts at the Saki airfield took place on the 167th day of Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine.

“Several aviation munitions detonated” near the settlement of Novofyodorovka, the defense ministry says in a statement carried by Russian news agencies. “As a result of the explosion, no one was hurt.”

The Russian defense ministry says it is looking to establish the reason for the explosions but indicates that the airfield was not targeted in an attack.

According to dramatic footage on social media, vactioners left the local beach in panic as large plumes of black smoke billowed into the sky. Cars rushed to leave Novofyodorovka, as ambulances were dispatched to the scene.

Footage shows troops surrounding wanted man’s home in Nablus this morning

Police publish headcam footage of the Yamam counterterrorism unit operation in the West Bank city of Nablus this morning.

Amid the raid, three armed Palestinians, including Ibrahim Nabulsi, a wanted Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades operative, were killed.

The footage shows troops surrounding the home and launching missiles at it.

In the first few seconds of the video, Zili, a 9-year-old Belgian Malinois, can be seen in his last moments. The Yamam canine was killed by the gunmen.

Palestinian teen dies after being shot in clashes with IDF in Hebron

A Palestinian teen has been killed as a result of clashes with Israeli troops in the West Bank city of Hebron, according to media reports.

The clashes are ongoing. Earlier, the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry said 17-year-old Moamen Yassin Jaber was critically hurt by live gunfire that hit his chest.

Palestinian media reports say the teen succumbed to his injuries a short while ago.

https://twitter.com/NewpressPs/status/1557008589398630400

2 tech firms fire dozens of Israeli employees

Israeli website-building platform Wix has announced it is firing some 100 employees, amid a wave of layoffs in the usually lucrative tech sector.

Some of the workers being let go are abroad, but many are in Israel.

Dozens of Israeli workers are also being let go from Kaltura, a New York-based cloud video company.

The country’s most successful sector has lost thousands of workers in recent months amid the global economic downturn.

With high salaries and exorbitant perks, Israel’s tech sector has been breaking records in recent years, though some observers have warned of a bubble in the market, given the investment frenzy and the sky-high valuations.

Iran says it has gotten first data from newly launched satellite

Iran says it has received first telemetry data from its newly launched Khayyam satellite.

The purpose of Khayyam is to “monitor the country’s borders,” enhance agricultural productivity and monitor water resources and natural disasters, the space agency said.

IDF says it ‘significantly’ damaged Islamic Jihad during Gaza operation

An F-35 fighter jet is seen during Operation Breaking Dawn, in an image published by the military on August 9, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)
An F-35 fighter jet is seen during Operation Breaking Dawn, in an image published by the military on August 9, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israeli military believes it inflicted “significant” damage on the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror group during the recent 3-day conflict, destroying infrastructure including a tunnel into Israel described as a “flagship” project and eliminating its top brass.

Read Emanuel Fabian’s full report here.

Russia halts US inspections of its nuclear arsenals

Russia has announced a freeze on US inspections of its nuclear arsenals under a pivotal arms control treaty, claiming that Western sanctions have hampered similar tours of US facilities by Russian monitors.

The move reflects soaring tensions between Moscow and Washington over Russia’s military action in Ukraine and marks the first time the Kremlin halted US inspections under the New START nuclear arms control treaty.

In declaring the freeze on US inspections, the Russian Foreign Ministry says the sanctions on Russian flights imposed by the US and its allies, visa restrictions and other obstacles effectively have made it impossible for Russian military experts to visit US nuclear weapons sites, giving the US “unilateral advantages.”

The Biden administration has no immediate public response to the move.

‘Several explosions’ reported near Russia air base in Crimea: local officials

Several explosions have taken place near a Russian air base in Moscow-annexed Crimea, which is a popular tourist destination, local officials said.

“I can confirm the fact of several explosions in the area of Novofyodorovka. The circumstances are being clarified,” Oleg Kryuchkov, an aide to the Moscow-installed head of Crimea, says on messaging app Telegram.

Australian state begins legislating to ban the swastika

Illustrative: A swastika is daubed on a car in Bristol, UK on September 28, 2020 (via President Reuven Rivlin's official Twitter account)
Illustrative: A swastika is daubed on a car in Bristol, UK on September 28, 2020 (via President Reuven Rivlin's official Twitter account)

Australia’s most populous state takes a major step toward banning Nazi symbols, with the New South Wales Parliament’s lower house passing a bill that would criminalize their display.

The bill must pass the upper chamber to become law.

Victoria, Australia’s second-most populous state, in June became the first in Australia to pass a law banning the public display of Nazi swastikas.

Queensland and Tasmania states have foreshadowed similar laws, which would mean half Australia’s eight states and territories and most of the Australian population were banned from displaying Nazi symbols.

Bus driver forces dozens of Palestinians off at demand of Jewish passenger

The Tnufa bus company has apologized after a driver forced dozens of Palestinian laborers off one of its buses at the demand of a Jewish passenger who boarded the bus.

One of the workers, who spoke on condition of anonymity to the Haaretz daily, said some 50 workers traveling from Tel Aviv toward the settlement of Ariel in order to return to their homes were told by the driver to disembark in Bnei Brak, after one of three Jewish passengers who boarded demanded it.

The company says the passenger in question impersonated a Transportation Ministry official and told the driver Palestinians could no longer travel on the line. The driver said he was threatened by the passenger with the loss of his job if he did not comply.

Tnufa says it has filed a complaint with police and will emphasize to drivers that it is illegal to discriminate among passengers.

Iran allows prison leave for detained French academic — supporters

Fariba Adelkhah. (France 24 screenshot)
Fariba Adelkhah. (France 24 screenshot)

Iranian authorities have allowed a French-Iranian academic held in the country for the last three years to take a brief leave from prison, her supporters say.

Fariba Adelkhah has been given a five-day furlough, which can be extended, from Tehran’s Evin prison where she is being held in a case that has raised tensions between Tehran and Paris, a statement from her support group says.

Activists say that at least 20 foreign and dual nationals are being held by Tehran on baseless charges, in a deliberate policy of hostage diplomacy aimed at extracting concessions from the West.

“We are delighted… but can only emphasize that this unacceptable deprivation of liberty is within the framework of a public policy of hostage-taking by Iran,” the supporters add.

Thousands take part in funerals of 3 gunmen killed in firefight with Israeli forces

Thousands of people take part in the Nablus funerals for three gunmen killed in exchanges of fire with Israeli forces this morning, among them terrorist Ibrahim Nabulsi of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

Mourners chant, fire into the air and call “God is Great” as they lead the bodies to burial.

Israeli officials said Nabulsi was part of a squad that had committed several shooting attacks against soldiers and civilians in the West Bank earlier this year. He and other gunmen fired at the troops as they came to arrest him.

Pilot program will let Palestinians fly abroad through Eilat airport

View of the new Ramon Airport before its opening, in Timna, near Eilat, in southern Israel, on October 18, 2019. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)
View of the new Ramon Airport before its opening, in Timna, near Eilat, in southern Israel, on October 18, 2019. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

The Israel Airports Authority has announced a pilot program to allow Palestinians to fly abroad through Israel’s Ramon Airport, near Eilat.

Flights to Turkey will run twice a week, in coordination with COGAT, Israel’s liaison to the Palestinians, which will facilitate the passengers’ travel between the West Bank and Ramon airport by bus.

Until now, Palestinians wishing to travel abroad were able to do so only via Jordan.

Taiwan warns China drills show ambitions beyond island

Taiwan's military conducts artillery live-fire drills at Fangshan township in Pingtung, southern Taiwan, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022 (AP Photo/Johnson Lai)
Taiwan's military conducts artillery live-fire drills at Fangshan township in Pingtung, southern Taiwan, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022 (AP Photo/Johnson Lai)

Taiwan warns that Chinese military drills aren’t just a rehearsal for an invasion of the self-governing island but also reflect ambitions to control large swaths of the western Pacific, as Taipei conducts its own exercises to underscore it’s ready to defend itself.

Angered by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to Taiwan, China has sent military ships and planes across the midline that separates the two sides in the Taiwan Strait and launched missiles into waters surrounding the island. The drills, which began Thursday, have disrupted flights and shipping in one of the busiest zones for global trade.

Ignoring calls to calm tensions, Beijing instead extended the exercises without announcing when they will end.

Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu says that beyond aiming to annex the island democracy, which split with the mainland amid civil war in 1949, China wants to establish its dominance in the western Pacific. That would include controlling the East and South China Seas via the Taiwan Strait and imposing a blockade to prevent the US and its allies from aiding Taiwan in the event of an attack, he told a news conference in Taipei.

Kremlin says Kyiv call to ban Russians from West is ‘off the charts’ irrational

The Kremlin says Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s proposal to ban all Russians from Western countries went off the charts and is seen “extremely negatively” in Moscow.

The Ukrainian leader told The Washington Post current Western sanctions against Moscow were too weak, adding the West should close its borders against Russians.

“The irrationality of thinking in this case is off the charts,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov tells reporters.

“This can only be viewed extremely negatively. Any attempt to isolate Russians or Russia is a process that has no prospects,” Peskov adds.

Shiite Muslims throng Iraqi shrine city to mark Ashura

Shiite Muslims take part in the 'Tuwairij run' ritual as they mark the peak of Ashura, a 10-day mourning period commemorating the seventh century killing of Prophet Mohammed's grandson Imam Hussein, in Iraq's holy city of Karbala, on August 9, 2022. (Sabah ARAR / AFP)
Shiite Muslims take part in the 'Tuwairij run' ritual as they mark the peak of Ashura, a 10-day mourning period commemorating the seventh century killing of Prophet Mohammed's grandson Imam Hussein, in Iraq's holy city of Karbala, on August 9, 2022. (Sabah ARAR / AFP)

Hundreds of thousands of Shiite Muslims mark the festival of Ashura in Iraq’s holy city of Karbala, the burial place of Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Mohammed.

The emotional event commemorates the 7th century battlefield martyrdom of Hussein, whom Shiites view as the rightful successor to the Prophet Mohammed, the issue at the heart of a schism with Sunni Islam.

To mourn his death in the year 680, Shiite worshipers wearing black cry and beat their chests in unison and some flagellate themselves with swords and knife-edged chains.

Shiites represent more than 10 percent of the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims, and Ashura is marked by millions of people from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Iran and Lebanon.

IDF commander after gunmen’s death in Nablus: We’ll get to every terrorist

Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades commander Ibrahim Nabulsi in an undated photograph. (Social media)
Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades commander Ibrahim Nabulsi in an undated photograph. (Social media)

The Israel Defense Forces’ commander in Nablus says the military “will not allow sanctuary cities” for terrorists in the West Bank.

Samaria Regional Brigade Commander Roy Zweig adds: “We will get to every terrorist and go anywhere we need to.”

He speaks after a morning raid in Nablus saw three Palestinian gunmen killed, including a wanted terrorist who was responsible for several shooting attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians in the West Bank, according to the military.

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