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

Erdogan: Turkey has proof of Russian involvement in IS oil trade

As the war of words over the downing of a Russian jet continues, Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey has proof that Moscow is involved in illegal oil trade with Islamic State in Syria, countering Russian allegations that Ankara was importing oil from the jihadists.

“We have the proof in our hands. We will reveal it to the world,” the Turkish leader says in a televised speech in Ankara.


Netanyahu sends condolences to Sandy Berger’s family

Benjamin Netanyahu praises former president Bill Clinton’s national security adviser Sandy Berger, who died Wednesday.

“It was with great sorrow that I learned of the passing of Sandy Berger. I had the opportunity to work closely with Sandy in the 1990s, when he served as national security adviser to president Clinton,” the prime minister says. “I was always impressed with his intelligence and keen understanding of global issues. I extend my deepest condolences to his family.”

‘PA intelligence officer carried out Hizme attack’

Palestinian sources say the terrorist who carried out the attack at the Hizme checkpoint earlier today was a Palestinian intelligence officer.

The terrorist, who was killed in the attack, was a resident of the Abu Dis neighborhood of East Jerusalem, Channel 10 says.

Putin: World must form ‘powerful fist’ against terror

Vladimir Putin says world must set aside prior disputes and unite under a broad international front against terrorism.

“We must leave all arguments and disagreements behind and make one powerful fist, a single anti-terror front, which would work on the basis of international law under the aegis of the United Nations,” he says in his televised state of the nation speech.

“That means no shelter to bandits, no double standards, no contacts whatsoever with any terrorist organizations, no attempts to use them for some other goals, no criminal, bloody business with terrorists.”

He doesn’t address a peace process in Syria.

— AP

Kerry: Ground troops key to defeating IS — but not Western ones

John Kerry says air power alone will not be enough to defeat Islamic State, and specifies that the campaign will require local Syrian and Arab ground forces, not Western troops.

He tells a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation event in Serbia that IS can be defeated in “a matter of months” of a ceasefire between Syria’s government and moderate rebels, and urges the world to come together behind a peace strategy recently hashed out by the United States, Russia and other countries.

— AP

Father of Riham Dawabsha: Israel never told me about the arrests

The father of Riham Dawabsha, who was killed with her husband and baby son in a suspected Jewish terror attack on their home in July, says he heard about the recent arrests in the investigation from the media.

“I knew about the arrests of my family’s murderers from the media. No Israeli official informed me about the arrests,” Hussain Dawabsha said.

An unspecified number of people, whose identities are under gag order, have been arrested for the July 31 attack.

Dawabsha said he would rather die than confront his daughter’s killers.

One of the suspects arrested in connection with the Dawabsha murder. Under the government's gag order the identities of the suspects cannot be revealed. (Screen capture)

One of the suspects arrested in connection with the Dawabsha murder. Under the government’s gag order the identities of the suspects cannot be revealed. (Screen capture)

Trump: Mideast peace depends on whether Israel wants it

Donald Trump says that if he’s elected president, he’ll know within six months whether he can achieve a peace accord between Israelis and Palestinians, but says he has doubts about each side’s commitment to the peace process.

“I have a real question as to whether or not both sides want to make it,” the Republican presidential front-runner says.

Saying his concerns are greater regarding “one side in particular,” Trump declines to reveal whether he is referring to Israel or the Palestinians, but does insist the chances for a lasting peace rest with the Jewish state.

“A lot will have to do with Israel and whether or not Israel wants to make the deal — whether or not Israel’s willing to sacrifice certain things,” he says. “They may not be, and I understand that, and I’m OK with that. But then you’re just not going to have a deal.”

The real estate magnate said yesterday that he was planning a trip to Israel soon to meet Benjamin Netanyahu.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a town hall meeting at the Ben Johnson Arena on the Wofford College campus, Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Spartanburg, S.C. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a town hall meeting at the Ben Johnson Arena on the Wofford College campus, Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Spartanburg, S.C. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

— AP

Yesha council welcomes arrests in ‘heinous’ Dawabsha killings

The Yesha Council of Settlers welcomes the arrests of suspects in the Dawabsha murder investigation, Channel 2 reports.

Three members of the Dawabsha family were killed when their home in the West Bank village of Duma was firebombed by suspected Jewish terrorists on July 31.

In a statement, the council says that the crimes “violate the values of the State of Israel and its settlement. We are confident that the judicial and security mechanisms of the State of Israel will follow the letter of the law when it comes to all of those who were party to this heinous act.”


PM: We could destroy Al-Aqsa if we wanted to, but we don’t

Benjamin Netanyahu has told his Likud faction that Israel could easily destroy the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, but chooses not to as it contradicts Israeli values.

“If we wanted to destroy Al-Aqsa, it would not require a great effort… but it goes against everything we stand for,” the prime minister tells his party’s MKs, in a recording played by Army Radio.

Head of Republicans in Israel: Trump can’t and won’t be president

Marc Zell, the head of the Republican Party in Israel, tells Army Radio that he believes Donald Trump will not be elected president.

“The voters understand that to lead the United States, you need a person who knows more than how to sell products, with all due respect to Donald Trump, and everything he has achieved in his career,” Zell says.

“In my opinion, he is cannot be president of the United States.”

We’ll police Iran deal, Senate Dems tell US Jewish leaders

Senate Democrats tell Jewish organizational leaders that they will to police the Iran nuclear deal and applaud Jewish backing for resettling Syrian refugees.

Yesterday’s off-the-record meeting in the Capitol sees 26 of the 46 senators who caucus with the Democrats sit with leaders from a cross-section of Jewish organizations.

Participants say leaders of at least two organizations — AIPAC and the OU — express disappointment in the caucus for blocking bids to kill the nuclear deal during the summer.


Jewish Republicans pick rallying cry for conference WiFi password

The Republican Jewish Coalition chooses a definitive WiFi password for a presidential candidates conference, according to an image posted on Twitter.


WATCH: Newly sworn-in police chief prays at Western Wall

New Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich heads to the Western Wall shortly after he is sworn in at a ceremony at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem.

Kerry, Clinton joining MKs at annual Saban Forum

Two secretary of states, John Kerry and predecessor Hillary Clinton, are appearing at this year’s Saban Forum at the Brookings Institution’s Center for Middle East Policy in Washington, DC.

This year’s meet, which starts tomorrow, is being held under the banner “Israel and the United States: Yesterday, today and tomorrow.”

Leading Israeli politicians from across the spectrum are also attending, among them Education Minister Naftali Bennett, opposition leader Isaac Herzog, Yesh Atid chair Yair Lapid, Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman, Meretz chair Zehava Galon, and Zionist Union MKs Tzipi Livni and Stav Shaffir.

Herzog bites back at PM: He’s only good at talking

Isaac Herzog lashes out at Benjamin Netanyahu over leaked tapes in which the prime minister mocks the head of the opposition for a lack of defense credentials.

“Netanyahu is weak, very weak in acting, and, I am sorry to say, only strong on talking,” Army Radio quotes Herzog as saying.

The opposition chief also presents himself as a better option to lead the country:

“I would not only bring security, but I would also strengthen Israel’s international standing and even bring recognition for the Etzion [settlement] bloc,” he says.

Half of Israelis think more can be done to fight Jewish terror

Almost half of Israelis (47 percent) think the security forces are not doing enough to combat Jewish terrorism, according to a new poll published by the Knesset Channel.

The poll, conducted by Panels, also finds that more than a third of Israelis (40%) think political considerations play a part in the way Jewish terrorism is handled in Israel.

Duma firebomb victim ‘dreams about his parents’

The five-year-old boy who lost his family when suspected Jewish terrorists firebombed their home in the West Bank village of Duma “dreams about his parents,” says Joint List MK Yousef Jabareen after a visit to Ahmed Dawabsha’s hospital bedside.

Ahmed’s mother Riham, father Saad and baby brother Ali were all killed in the July 31 attack. Israel has made some arrests, but all details of the investigation are under a strict gag order.

Riham’s father, Hussein Dawabsha, tells Jabareen that the occupation is the root cause of the deadly attack on his family.

Activists: Russia installing second Syria air base

Russian troops are expanding a military base in central Syria, adding fortifications and developing its runways in a sign they intend to use it as their second air base in the country, Syrian activists say.

Shaayrat air base is about 40 kilometers (25 miles) southeast of the city of Homs, and could signal Moscow’s intention to step up airstrikes in the central region where Islamic State is active.

US military spokesman Steve Warren told reporters yesterday that the Russians have expanded out from the main base in Latakia and now have “facilities in about four, maybe five different spots in and around the Latakia area.”

— AP

Turkey, Russia FMs meet for first talks after plane crisis

The foreign ministers of Turkey and Russia meet on the sidelines of an international gathering in Belgrade, an official says, in the first high-level bilateral talks since the downing of a Russian warplane by Turkish jets sparked an unprecedented crisis.

“The meeting between the two foreign ministers has begun as scheduled,” says the Turkish foreign ministry official.


Policeman badly hurt in stabbing in Jerusalem

A policeman is seriously injured in a stabbing near the Damascus Gate outside the Old City of Jerusalem, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says.

— Judah Ari Gross

Jerusalem stabber shot dead after attack on policeman

Security forces have shot dead the attacker who stabbed and wounded an Israeli policeman in an attack outside the Old City of Jerusalem, Israeli media reports.

Report: Stabbing victim hit by friendly fire

The policeman in moderate to serious condition in a Jerusalem stabbing attack was hit by friendly fire as security forces brought down the assailant, Channel 2 reports.

Stabbing victim stable, in Jerusalem hospital

The policeman stabbed and moderately wounded in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem is stable and being treated at Shaare Zedek hospital in the capital, the Magen David Adom rescue service says.

— Judah Ari Gross

Graham: Trump ‘race-baiting’ in remarks on immigrants

Senator Lindsey Graham accuses Donald Trump of “race-baiting” at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s presidential candidates forum.

The South Carolina lawmaker says that “there’s a little bit of race-baiting” in Trump’s comments that most immigrants are racist.

— Rebecca Shimoni Stoil

UN refugee agency ‘deeply concerned’ by border violence

The United Nations refugee agency says it’s “deeply concerned” about the violence at the border between Greece and Macedonia, where scuffles have broken out between different migrant groups.

UNHCR also expresses sadness at the death at the border of a Moroccan man, under unclear circumstances, saying the incident underlines the need for authorities to restore security.

— AP


Ted Cruz: California shooting may be ‘Islamic terrorism’

Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz says he fears yesterday’s mass shooting in California may be an act of “Islamic terrorism.”

The Texas senator tells the audience at a Republican Jewish Coalition presidential forum that “all of us are deeply concerned that this is yet another manifestation of terrorism, radical Islamic terrorism here at home.”

Cruz begins his appearance with a moment of silence for the victims of the San Bernardino attack.

— AP

Obama: San Bernardino shooting could be terrorism

Barack Obama says it’s possible that yesterday’s mass shooting in California is terror-related, but the authorities still don’t know. He also says it’s possible it was workplace-related or that there were mixed motives.

Speaking from the Oval Office, the president assures Americans that authorities will get to the bottom of what happened and urges people to wait for facts before making judgments.

He says that while many Americans feel there’s nothing they can do about mass violence, “we all have a part to play.”

The president says the nation must make it harder to carry out violence, but acknowledges that the threat can’t be eliminated completely.

— AP

Jerusalem stabber identified as West Bank Palestinian

The attacker who stabbed and wounded a policeman near the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem this evening was a Palestinian from the West Bank, Channel 10 says.

The man was shot dead by security forces after stabbing the cop.

Israel wins second medal at European swimming championships

Israeli swimming star Gal Nevo wins the bronze medal at the European Short Course Swimming Championships, being held in Netanya.

Nevo takes the medal in the finals of the 400 meter individual medley. It is the second medal for Israel, after Yakov Toumarkin claims the silver in yesterday’s 200 meter backstroke final.

Jewish porn star: James Deen made me fear for my safety

Jewish porn star Joanna Angel says she feared for her safety during her six-year relationship with fellow adult movie actor James Deen, and calls him a “scary person,” the Daily Beast says.

Angel’s claims come less than a week after another of Deen’s ex-girlfriends, the porn actress Stoya, accuses him of raping her. Two other adult film actresses are also alleging that Deen sexually assaulted them.


Jerusalem police win praise for response to latest stabbing

Jerusalem District police chief Moshe Edry praises cops’ “speedy response, determination and professionalism” during this evening’s terror attack, saying that they had prevented more serious injuries to the victim and innocent bystanders.

“The police deployed in the field prove time and again that they are a human shield for citizens,” he says.

Edry also praises the doctor who rushed from a nearby office to administer first aid to the victim until the arrival of paramedics.

— Judah Ari Gross

San Bernardino gunman ‘radicalized, in touch with foreign terrorists’

CNN quotes law enforcement officials as saying that San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook was in touch by phone and on social media with “more than one international terrorism subject who the FBI were already investigating.”

Other law enforcement officials tell CNN that Farook was apparently radicalized, although that may not have been his sole motive in deciding to gun down 14 people at a center for the developmentally disabled.

Trump to Jewish Republicans: I’m a negotiator like you folks

Donald Trump falls back on stereotypes to win over the audience at a Republican Jewish Coalition forum, telling them: “I’m a negotiator like you folks were negotiators.”

He also asks the crowd, “Is there anyone in this room who doesn’t negotiate deals? Probably more than any room I’ve ever spoken.”

— Rebecca Shimoni Stoil

Ben Carson to Jewish Republicans: Hummus rules in Gaza

Ben Carson makes a small slip of the tongue at a Republican Jewish Coalition presidential forum, saying that the Gaza Strip is ruled by hummus.

The former neurosurgeon is apparently confusing the chickpea paste with the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which seized power in the coastal area in a bloody 2007 coup.

Lawyer: Jewish terror suspects denied access to attorneys

The attorney for one of the suspects in the attack on a Palestinian home that killed three family members tells Army Radio that they have not been given sufficient access to their legal representation.

“Most of the suspects have been barred from meeting with their lawyers, in fact not only barred from meeting them, but at least some have not seen a judge in recent days,” Adi Kedar says. “There has been unprecedented handling of the case by law enforcement agencies, but not in a positive way.”

Foreign Ministry document: Settlements are legal

A new document drafted by the Foreign Ministry determines that Israel’s settlements in the West Bank are legal under international law, Channel 2 reports.

Foreign Ministry: Jewish link to Judea and Samaria centuries old

The new Foreign Ministry document declaring Israel’s settlements legal under international law states that the Jewish connection to Judea and Samaria — the Hebrew term for the West Bank — dates back thousands of years, Channel 2 says.

The document also calls Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip a unilateral political step that was not implemented out of any legal obligation.

Shots fired at Israeli car in West Bank; no injuries

An Israeli car driving in the West Bank comes under fire north of Jerusalem. There are no injuries reported.

The driver keeps the vehicle moving and informs the security forces, prompting a search of the area, NRG reports.

Security forces find several bullet casings near the scene.

‘Police to investigate sexual harassment claims against ex-MK’

Former MK Yinon Magal will face a criminal investigation over allegations of sexual harassment, a senior police official tells the NRG website.

The official says that the testimonies against Magal, who stepped down this week as a lawmaker for the Jewish Home party, cannot be disregarded without an investigation.

Defense chief to US Army: open all combat roles to women

US Defense Secretary Ash Carter says he is ordering the military to open all combat jobs to women, rebuffing requests by the Marine Corps to exclude women from certain front-line combat jobs.

Declaring that “we are a joint force,” Carter says that while moving women into these jobs will present challenges, the military can no longer afford to exclude half of the population from grueling military jobs. He says any man or woman who meets the standards should be able to serve, and gives the armed services 30 days to submit plans to make the historic change.

Carter’s order opens the final 10 percent of military positions to women, and allows them to serve in the military’s most demanding and difficult jobs, including as special operations forces, such as the Army Delta units and Navy SEALs.

— AP

10 bullet holes found in car after West Bank shooting

At least 10 bullet holes are found in the Israeli car hit in a shooting attack in the West Bank, north of Jerusalem.

The security forces are in the process of determining whether the gunfire came from a terror cell or from the village close to the site of the attack, the Walla website says.

Reform leader to RJC: Ask candidates about gun violence

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the president of the Union for Reform Judaism, calls on Jewish Republican leaders to ask the party’s presidential candidates about gun violence.

Jacobs makes his appeal in an open letter to the Republican Jewish Coalition on the day of its forum for all 14 GOP presidential candidates.

In the letter addressed to the RJC’s national chairman and executive director, Jacobs calls on the organization to ask each candidate what they would do to end the “epidemic” of American gun violence.

“As you know, yesterday’s brutal slaughter of 14 people in San Bernardino is, to our great national shame, only the latest mass shooting. There is certainly room for disagreement about the best way to end gun violence. But I hope we can all agree that there is no room for disagreement that the status quo is flatly unacceptable,” Jacobs writes, calling it an “appropriate issue” for the American Jewish community.


Israel extends benefits to Holocaust survivors from Arab states

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon tells the head of the Holocaust Survivors’ Rights Authority that he intends to extend the payment of benefits to survivors from Iraq, Algeria and Morocco, Channel 2 reports.

The benefits are to be given to Jews from Algeria and Morocco who suffered from anti-Semitism between 1940 and 1942, and to Jews from Iraq who were targeted in the “Farhud” pogroms in Baghdad in June 1941. These survivors are entitled to an additional annual payment of NIS 3,600 (approx. $950) and will be exempt from paying for medication.

Ban: New round of Syria talks to be held in New York

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announces a new round of international talks on ending the war in Syria to be held in New York, just weeks before a ceasefire and peace negotiations are to be launched.

Ban does not announce a date for the meeting, but diplomats say it is likely to be held on December 18.

“Member-states are very closely coordinating to have the third Vienna process meeting here in New York,” Ban tells reporters. “I’m looking forward to that.”


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