The Times of Israel liveblogged Saturday’s events as they happened.
In a major shock upset, Israel upsets global soccer powerhouse Brazil 3-2 in extra time at the Under-20 World Cup, advancing to the semifinals and continuing the team’s Cinderella run.
A man critically hurt in a shooting in Ramle this evening has died of his wounds.
He is identified as Ismail al-Shamali, 47, a resident of the central city’s Juarish neighborhood.
Police arrest a demonstrator for starting a fire as protesters briefly blocked the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv.
Three people are seriously injured, including one critically, in separate violent incidents around the country.
In the central city of Ramle, a 60-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy were both hurt in a shooting, the former critically. They were both taken to a local hospital.
Down south, in the Bedouin town of Tel Sheva, a 45-year-old man was seriously wounded in what reports also described as a violent incident. Paramedics brought him to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba.
Far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir expresses support for police after accusations of excessive force at a protest yesterday near Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s home in Caesarea, during which over a dozen demonstrators were arrested and several hurt.
A statement from Ben Gvir’s office accuses the demonstrators of “acting illegally, embittering residents’ lives, refusing police orders and ultimately pouncing upon officers who sought to enforce the law, attacking officers and even going to police stations to try to block them.”
“Zero tolerance should be shown toward whoever attacks officers, and our role is to defend officers and democracy,” Ben Gvir is quoted as saying.
Anti-overhaul protesters run onto Tel Aviv’s Ayalon Highway, blocking traffic in both directions.
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) June 3, 2023
Several coalition lawmakers express support for Religious Zionism MK Simcha Rothman after he was filmed forcefully snatching away a protester’s megaphone in New York City.
Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, the leader of the far-right Religious Zionism party, charges that “violence against him long ago crossed all the red lines.” He says he hopes local authorities bring charges against the protesters, who filed a police complaint against Rothman, denouncing them as a “handful of violent trolls who are eroding the foundations of our democracy.”
Smotrich adds that Rothman will continue to be a leading figure in the judicial overhaul push from his perch as chairman of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee
MK Tally Gotliv of the ruling Likud party claims the use of a megaphone near Rothman was an “assault in all senses” and praises him for his “quick instinct.”
“Oh, the hypocrisy of the left,” she tweets.
For the 22nd week in a row, a mass protest is held in Tel Aviv against the government’s push to overhaul the judicial system.
Some 95,000 people are demonstrating at the main rally on the coastal city’s Kaplan Street, according to a Channel 12 news estimate.
At the beginning of the protest, demonstrators commemorated three soldiers shot dead by an Egyptian policeman along the border this morning.
The third soldier killed in this morning’s deadly shootings on the Egyptian border is named as Staff Sgt. Ori Yitzhak Iluz.
Iluz, 20, from the northern city of Safed, served as a combat soldier in the Bardelas Battalion.
Dahan was killed in the initial attack by the Egyptian policeman on a guard post along the border.
He was posthumously promoted from the rank of sergeant to staff sergeant.
In a statement expressing condolences to the families of three Israeli troops killed by an Egyptian policeman, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledges the “grave and serious” incident “will be investigated to the end.”
“I want to praise our forces who strove for contact and killed the terrorist,” he says.
With the end of Shabbat, President Isaac Herzog issues a statement expressing condolences for the families of three IDF soldiers killed by an Egyptian policeman this morning.
“There are no words to describe the pain and loss,” Herzog says. “We will preserve their members and continue to determinedly defend our borders.”
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant speaks with his Egyptian counterpart Gen. Mohamed Ahmed Zaki, following this morning’s deadly shooting on the border, in which three Israel soldiers were killed by an Egyptian policeman, his office says.
“The cooperation in the investigation of the serious attack is of great importance for the relationship between the countries,” Gallant is quoted as saying.
Gallant’s office says he “expressed his appreciation for the Egyptian defense minister’s commitment to a joint investigation of the details of the serious incident, and emphasized the importance of cooperation in the investigation of the attack to prevent further incidents in the future.”
The Israeli defense minister tells his Egyptian counterpart that “the relationship between Israel and Egypt is very important to both countries, and that both sides must make sure that the difficult incident does not harm the good security relationship between the countries.”
“At the end of the conversation, the two agreed to continue the direct relationship between them, to prevent terrorist incidents in the future and to strengthen the relationship between the countries,” Gallant’s office adds.
The Israeli military believes the Egyptian policeman who killed three soldiers in southern Israel infiltrated into the country using an emergency gate.
The small gate is used by the Israel Defense Forces to cross the border when necessary, in coordination with the Egyptian army.
The attacker likely entered alone through the gate in the early hours of Saturday morning, following drug smuggling nearby. The Egyptian army claimed the officer sought to chase after suspects involved in the drug smuggling incident.
Soldiers stationed at an army post that was attacked by the officer did not return fire, according to the IDF’s initial investigation.
The pair had last radioed in at around 4:15 a.m., and were found dead by an officer at 9 a.m.
An army drone later identified the attacker some 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) from the border, which led to clashes in which he and a third soldier were killed.
Citing an Israeli source, the Kan public broadcaster reports that Egypt has sought to distance itself from the policeman who killed three Israeli soldiers before being shot dead by troops, with Egyptian officials saying they were unaware of his intentions.
The broadcaster also says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office briefed ministers to say how irregular the incident was and stress that it doesn’t reflect Israeli-Egyptian ties.
A 45-year-old man is killed in an ATV vehicle crash in southern Israel.
Paramedics pronounce the man’s death at the scene, after the ATV flipped over in the Lachish Regional Council.
A 17-year-old girl he was with is checked by paramedics but doesn’t require medical care.
Thousands protesting against the government’s plans to shake up the judiciary are marching in Haifa ahead of a planned demonstration in the northern coastal city this evening.
— Ben Caspit בן כספית (@BenCaspit) June 3, 2023
Addressing an anti-overhaul rally in Ramat Hasharon, opposition leader Yair Lapid denounces the arrest of protesters during a demonstration last night near Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s home in Caesarea.
“We won’t accept violence toward Israeli patriots who go out to protest,” he says. “We are waving the flag against an extremist government. This flag belongs to all those who believe in a state that’s Jewish and democratic, nationalist and liberal.”
A non-commissioned officer who was lightly wounded in a clash with an Egyptian policeman on the border this morning was released from the Soroka Medical Center, the hospital says.
The hospital says the NCO arrived with a gunshot wound to his arm.
The NCO was hurt when the Egyptian policeman opened fire at troops near the border in southern Israel, hours after killing two soldiers at a guard post, according to the IDF. A third soldier was killed during the later clash.
Military chief Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi says the Israel Defense Forces will “thoroughly” investigate the circumstances surrounding this morning’s deadly shootings on the Egypt border and “draw the necessary lessons.”
“This is a difficult incident, during which three IDF soldiers, from our best sons and daughters, fell in an operational activity to maintain security on the Egyptian border. At the end of an exchange of fire, in which IDF fighters engaged [the suspect], the terrorist was killed,” Halevi says in remarks provided by the IDF.
“The incident takes place at the border where operational activities are carried out every night,” Halevi says following a briefing at the scene of the attack, which left three soldiers dead.
“We are investigating the incident in a thorough and in-depth manner, together with the Egyptian army, and will draw the necessary lessons,” he says.
“The male and female fighters fulfilled their role and prevented further harm to Israeli forces and the home front. I am asking here to strengthen the families for the loss,” Halevi adds.
Chief of the military’s Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Eliezer Toledano says the Israel Defense Forces won’t leave any question unanswered, following this morning’s deadly shootings on the Egypt border.
“We are in a joint investigation with the Egyptians, and it will be sharp, clear, and we will not leave any question unsolved,” Toledano tells reporters at the Egyptian border.
He says the IDF is probing a possible connection between an attempted drug smuggling incident nearby, to the initial deadly attack this morning at an army post.
“We will investigate all directions, the incident happened after the smuggling, we will check the connection between the incidents,” he says.
Several hundred protesters against the judicial overhaul rally near Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s house in Caesarea, after 17 were arrested and several injured during a demonstration there last night that police claimed was illegal.
Protesters chant “the police officers are a disgrace” and “we won’t give up,” according to the Ynet news site.
BRUSSELS — One Dane and two Austrian-Iranian citizens released from detention by Tehran have arrived in their home countries, after the latest in a series of prisoner swaps.
The three Europeans landed early this morning at Melsbroek military airport just outside Brussels.
They flew there from Muscat, the capital of Oman which helped broker their release.
Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib welcomed them at the airport along with Danish and Austrian diplomats.
The trio’s release, as well as that of a Belgian aid worker a week earlier, were part of a prisoner swap in which Tehran got back an Iranian diplomat convicted and incarcerated in Belgium on terrorism charges.
Vienna reacts with relief at the release of its two citizens, named as Kamran Ghaderi and Massud Mossaheb, who it says had been arrested “unjustly” by Iran in January 2016 and January 2019, respectively.
Thanking Belgium, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg says: “Our years of diplomatic efforts to secure their release have borne fruit… Today is a very emotional day for all of us.”
The Danish man, identified as Thomas Kjems, landed at Copenhagen airport at around 11:00 a.m. local time, telling reporters that he had been treated well in Iran, without being subjected to torture.
Kjems had been arrested in Iran in November 2022 on the sidelines of a demonstration for women’s rights, according to Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.
The second of three soldiers killed in this morning’s deadly shootings on the Egyptian border is named as Staff Sgt. Ohad Dahan.
Dahan, 20, from the southern city of Ofakim, served as a combat soldier in the Caracal Battalion.
Dahan was killed during clashes with the gunman, an Egyptian policeman, several hours after he killed two soldiers at an army post.
Military chief Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi has held an assessment at the scene of this morning’s deadly shootings on the Egyptian border.
The Israel Defense Forces says Halevi is briefed on the attacks by an Egyptian policeman which left three soldiers dead.
The assessment is held with the chief of the IDF’s Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Eliezer Toledano and commander of the 80 Division, Brig. Gen. Itzik Cohen.
As The Times of Israel’s political correspondent, I spend my days in the Knesset trenches, speaking with politicians and advisers to understand their plans, goals and motivations.
I'm proud of our coverage of this government's plans to overhaul the judiciary, including the political and social discontent that underpins the proposed changes and the intense public backlash against the shakeup.
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