The Times of Israel liveblogged Sunday’s events as they unfolded.
In scenes resembling the events of January 6, 2021, in the US Capitol, masses of Brazilian supporters of defeated far-right former president Jair Bolsonaro are seen breaking into the country’s Congress building, presidential palace and Supreme Court.
In social media videos, many demonstrators are seen breaching the buildings, climbing on top of the Congress roof and breaking the glass in its windows, also vandalizing objects inside.
The dramatic scenes unfold following days of protests against the allegedly flawed election result, which returned left-winger Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to power.
Bolsonaro supporters have been protesting against Lula’s electoral win since October 30, blocking roads, setting vehicles on fire and gathering outside military buildings, asking armed forces to intervene.
BREAKING: Bolsonaro supporters break into the National Congress in Brazil pic.twitter.com/EHyEbqf2FE
— BNO News (@BNONews) January 8, 2023
— Breaking News 24/7 (@Worldsource24) January 8, 2023
BREAKING: Supports of Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro have breached barriers and are storming the National Congress. pic.twitter.com/VuSyAjw4qJ
— Upward News (@UpwardNewsHQ) January 8, 2023
????HAPPENING NOW: Supporters of Jair Bolsonaro storm Brazil’s National Congress. pic.twitter.com/Z5GCCuPpDy
— Upward News (@UpwardNewsHQ) January 8, 2023
AP contributed to this report.
Israeli security forces foil an attempt to smuggle 22 handguns from Jordan into the West Bank, officials say.
According to the Israel Defense Forces, soldiers monitoring surveillance cameras spotted a suspect along the border, close to the settlement of Yafit.
The man, a Palestinian from Jericho, has been arrested by IDF troops and police officers dispatched to the scene, and the 22 handguns in their possession are seized, police say.
Incidents of weapon smuggling on the border with Jordan are frequent.
Public Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir has ordered Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai to remove Palestinian flags wherever they fly in public areas in Israel, Channel 13 news reports.
The network cites unnamed police officers saying they do not know what to make of the new directive by the far-right politician, since cops are currently only allowed to remove the banners if they are deemed to risk causing public disturbance.
As part of recent coalition negotiations, Ben Gvir has received unprecedented control over police policy.
The three drivers in the prime minister’s motorcade who were recently fired are prosecution witnesses in the ongoing trial against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Channel 13 news reports.
All three gave police testimonies against the premier in his corruption trial and are slated to soon give testimony before the Jerusalem District Court, the report says.
The government’s far-reaching judicial reform will reportedly overhaul the Judicial Selection Committee, giving the coalition absolute control over the selection of Israel’s judges, including those appointed to the Supreme Court.
According to an unconfirmed report by Channel 12 news, the plan is to expand the committee from its current nine members, adding another minister and another lawmaker selected by the government, while also replacing the two Bar Association representatives with two “public representatives” to be appointed by the justice minister.
As before, a majority of seven panel members will be required to nominate a judge, which means that in the new situation, the government will have a free hand to select whoever it wants using the three ministers, two coalition-appointed MKs and two public representatives.
As it stands, before the change, the three Supreme Court justices on the panel have an effective veto over candidates, and judges must be selected via agreement between them and the coalition representatives. The other panel member is an opposition member.
In addition, the report says the High Court of Justice will only be able to strike down laws passed by the Knesset with the support of 12 of its 15 justices.
The majority needed to override such a decision will be only 61 lawmakers in the 120-member Knesset; this override would not be possible only if the High Court decision was made unanimously.
About 400 items believed to have been hidden in the ground by their Jewish owners during World War II have been uncovered during home renovation work in a yard in Lodz in central Poland, media reports say.
Unbelievable that it will be told 80 years have passed!!!! The Polish construction workers at Polnoczna 23 in Lodz…
History experts say that the objects include Hanukkah menorahs and items used in daily life, TVN24 reports.
They are mostly silver-plated tableware, menorahs, and glass containers for cosmetics, according to the regional office for the preservation of historic objects. The office’s experts said on Facebook last week that the objects would be handed over to the city’s archaeology museum.
The stash was found in December and two of the menorahs were lit on December 22, during Hanukkah, an event organized by the city’s Jewish community.
The house at 23 Polnocna Street, where the objects were found, was just outside the perimeter of the Litzmannstadt Ghetto that the occupying Nazi Germans established in Lodz in February 1940 and until August 1944 held about 200,000 Jews from across Europe. Most inmates died there or in concentration camps.
A 48-year-old woman has been killed in a collision between her car and a truck on Highway 70 in northern Israel, medics say.
The woman is found trapped inside her vehicle, with medics unable to save her life and pronouncing her dead at the scene.
In a separate incident around the same time, a man in his 40s, riding an electric bicycle, is killed after being hit by a bus on Road 6403, near Pardes Hanna-Karkur.
The man, identified by Hebrew media as a foreign worker, is pronounced dead at the scene by medics.
Days after announcing his judicial reform aimed at significantly weakening the Supreme Court, Justice Minister Yariv Levin meets Chief Justice Esther Hayut in Jerusalem.
Hebrew media reports say the meeting was held in the late afternoon in Hayut’s office in the Supreme Court and was characterized as an introductory meeting.
Levin said before laying out his plans that he hadn’t consulted with Hayut when drafting it, saying the legal overhaul plan has no surprises that weren’t previously known.
Israel Prisons Service chief Katy Perry places a senior officer on forced leave as a complaint from a staffer of verbal abuse is probed.
The IPS says in a statement that information has been received regarding the officer — ranked junior commissioner, the equivalent of colonel — raising suspicion of “inappropriate behavior,” while noting that he has the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise.
Hebrew media reports say the statement comes after a civilian working in a jail facility in the south commanded by the officer complained that he verbally harassed her.
The move comes after the IPS was shaken by a scandal that saw senior officers allegedly “pimp out” female prison guards to Palestinian inmates.
Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich holds a press conference to formally sign a decree withholding NIS 139 million ($39.6 million) in tax revenue from the Palestinian Authority and redirecting it to families of terror victims, a punitive measure announced over the weekend in response to the PA’s international legal action against Israel.
During the press conference, Smotrich is asked whether he’s concerned the move could bring about the collapse of the PA, answering: “As long as the Palestinian Authority encourages terror and is an enemy, I have no interest for it to continue to exist.”
Hailing a years-long campaign to offset the PA’s regular payments to terror convicts and to families of dead Palestinian attackers, which Israel and others say offer a direct incentive for terror, Smotrich calls it “one of the just struggles not only in doing retroactive justice, but also as a deterrent.”
“There is no solace for the families of those murdered, but there is justice,” Smotrich says.
Ron Alon, a relative of terror victims killed in a Jerusalem attack, calls it “a historic day,” echoing Smotrich’s words about both doing justice for terror victims and potentially deterring future would-be-assailants.
The Economy Ministry refuses to bow to pressure to halt routine railway maintenance work on Shabbat after a letter from United Torah Judaism party head Yizhak Goldknopf demanded the works cease during the weekly Jewish day of rest.
In a statement, the Economy Ministry says the maintenance program “is and always was carried out within the framework of the annual permit that Israel Railways [has in order to] carry out maintenance and safety work.”
“There is no intention to cancel” the work, the ministry adds.
National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir orders Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai to open a probe into the public celebrations that were held for a Palestinian terror convict released last week, despite a directive to prevent that from happening. It is the first implicit rebuke of police by the new far-right minister, who demanded and received extensive powers over police policy during the recent coalition negotiations.
Karim Younis, the longest-serving prisoner jailed for security-related offenses, was released from Hadarim Prison, north of Tel Aviv, on Thursday after serving 40 years behind bars. Younis, an Arab Israeli, was convicted of terrorism offenses for the murder of an Israeli soldier in 1980. The now 64-year-old was met by hundreds of supporters singing the Palestinian national anthem in his home village of ‘Ara in northern Israel.
Ben Gvir’s office releases a statement saying his instructions to prevent celebration tents from being erected in Younis’s honor were “only partially fulfilled,” with Younis’s family and friends putting up such a tent and Palestinian Authority officials paying visits to honor him.
Ben Gvir subsequently held a phone call with Shabtai and ordered an internal police probe, which will be presented to the minister, his office says.
“The purpose of the probe is to ensure such events do not repeat in the future,” the statement says.
Ben Gvir himself says the events held in Younis’s honor “are celebrations of incitement and explicit support for terrorism, and it’s unacceptable for such events to happen in our home. The State of Israel has no place for terror-supporting celebrations, and I will do everything in my power to prevent them, until we pass a law on death penalty for terrorists.”
Eight deans of law schools in Israeli universities and colleges pen an open letter slamming Justice Minister Yariv Levin’s planned judicial reform, claiming it would alter the country’s constitutional structure and threaten Israel’s democratic character and its basic judicial principles.
“The extreme change in the constitutional structure that the new government wants to implement would remove important checks and balances on the government and Knesset, which are demanded and in place for every democratic country acting in accordance with the principle of separation of powers,” they write.
“This extreme change could harm each and every one of us,” they add. “The proposals’ implementation could turn Israel into a state in which there is, in practice, only one branch of government, since the Knesset and the executive are already controlled by the coalition.
“The far-reaching proposals might sideline the value of equality, critically harm defense of minorities and individual liberties, and gravely reduce the critical independence of the court system.”
The reform may enable discrimination against various groups and disproportionately favor Judaism over other religions, the deans caution, warning against the “flawed and hasty” manner in which Levin plans to advance the reform.
The letter is signed by the deans of the law schools at Bar Ilan University, Tel Aviv University, the Hebrew University, Reichman University, University of Haifa, the College of Management, the College of Law and Business, and Sapir College.
Israeli security forces recently foiled an attempt to smuggle 10 handguns from Jordan into Israel, the military says.
According to the Israel Defense Forces, soldiers monitoring surveillance cameras on Thursday spotted two suspects along the border, close to Kibbutz Ashdot Ya’akov Ihud.
Both men were arrested by IDF troops and police officers were dispatched to the scene, and the 10 handguns in their possession were seized.
It is unclear why the military waited several days before announcing the incident.
Incidents of weapon smuggling on the border with Jordan are frequent.
Some 170 local council leaders send a strongly worded letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and Education Minister Yoav Kisch, protesting a clause in the coalition deals compelling them to dedicate funding to informal Haredi education institutions, which don’t teach the full range of secular studies currently required by the state.
“We won’t agree to benefit one population over others by circumventing the considerations of the local council,” the letter says, according to Hebrew media reports. “We won’t allow the state to expropriate the authority and responsibilities of the local councils on education.”
“Recognition of informal institutions is done by the state, and therefore it is the state that must fund these institutions,” it continues. “We won’t agree to impose this huge funding task on local councils, which are forced to fund their formal education services from their regular budgets.”
The Tel Aviv metro project moves another small step forward, as the Ministerial Committee on Legislation approves advancing legislation held over from the past Knesset.
Pushed by Transportation Minister Miri Regev (Likud) and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich (Religious Zionism), the so-called Metro Law will create the funding and oversight mechanism necessary to embark upon Israel’s most ambitious infrastructure project to date.
Although the bill won wide support and passed its first reading in the previous Knesset, it fell victim to politicking in the aftermath of the previous government’s collapse and the decision to call early elections. Likud and Religious Zionism at the time joined all parties in the current coalition in stonewalling the bill’s final passage.
Now, it has been cleared for its second and third — final — readings in the Knesset plenum.
On its first day of deliberations over expanding the so-called Norwegian Law to allow more government ministers to resign from the Knesset and hand their seats to party colleagues, the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee estimates that the proposed changes would cost taxpayers an additional NIS 8.5 million ($2.4 million) per year in the current Knesset, based on the marginal cost of five new MKs a year.
The bill would increase the maximum number of ministers allowed to quit as lawmakers — and then return to the Knesset when they no longer hold their ministerial role — from five to 10 for large parties only (one-third the total for parties that have at least 18 lawmakers). The only party in the current coalition to be affected by the legislation is the 32-member ruling Likud.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants the bill in order to ease the path of his senior Likud party members with ministries out of the Knesset, paving the way for less powerful backbench lawmakers to take their parliamentary seats. Lambasted by several of Likud lawmakers for the sweeping concessions he made in coalition negotiations with Likud’s far-right and religious partners, Netanyahu is wary of being legislatively squeezed by dissatisfied party members.
Moscow says its army has conducted a “retaliatory strike” in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk to avenge the deaths of 89 Russian troops killed in Makiivka.
“More than 600 Ukrainian servicemen were killed” as a result of a strike on Kyiv troops stationed in two buildings in Kramatorsk, the Russian defense ministry says in a statement.
The report cannot immediately be verified.
Police officers and Israeli troops seized several firearms during a raid in the West Bank city of Hebron this morning, the military and police say.
According to a spokesman for the Israel Police’s West Bank division, officers and troops searched the home of a Palestinian suspect in Hebron, finding three assault rifles, two handguns and several gun parts.
Police say two Palestinians were arrested at the scene and have been taken for further questioning.
The Israel Defense Forces says one of the suspects was wanted for questioning by the Shin Bet security agency over alleged involvement in terror activities.
Moves by Israel’s new hardline government over the past week have reportedly complicated Jerusalem’s ties with Cairo, specifically Egypt’s efforts to mediate a potential prisoner swap deal with the Hamas terror group which is holding two Israeli captives and the remains of two IDF soldiers in the Gaza Strip, a report says.
The Arabic-language, London-based newspaper Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, or The New Arab, cites Arab diplomatic sources with knowledge of the matter saying anger over the decision to impose a host of new sanctions on the Palestinian leadership, as well as far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir’s visit to the flashpoint Temple Mount holy site in Jerusalem, “have made it difficult for Egypt to mediate.”
The sources say that the failure to make recent progress toward a deal “is a strong indication that Egypt’s mediation efforts have been affected by the formation of the most extremist government in Israel’s history.”
The report says there is “resentment” and “embarrassment” in the office of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi due to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to allow Ben Gvir to enter the Temple Mount, days after Sissi spoke with Netanyahu on the phone, congratulated him on returning as premier and pressed him to prevent Ben Gvir from visiting the site.
The report says Netanyahu had promised during the call to “maintain the calm” and to prevent Ben Gvir’s visit. After Egypt expressed its discontent with the fact that the visit ultimately went ahead, Israel reportedly said this was due to considerations of preserving the coalition, and that Netanyahu remains committed to maintaining its close ties with the Egyptian leadership.
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