The Times of Israel liveblogged Tuesday’s events as they happened.
7 still hospitalized after London mosque attack
British health authorities say seven people remain hospitalized after a driver plowed into a crowd spilling out of north London mosques after Ramadan services.
NHS England says three of the injured remain in critical care.
British leaders, including Prime Minister Theresa May, have moved swiftly to ease concerns in the Muslim community following the attack in London’s Finsbury Park neighborhood, which is home to a large Muslim population.
The incident is being treated as a terror attack. One man died at the scene, although he was receiving first aid at the time and it wasn’t clear if he died as a result of the attack or from something else. The attacker has been arrested and is from the Welsh city of Cardiff.
Two-year-old dies after being run over by tractor in Negev village
A two-year-old girl is killed in the Negev village of Tarabin after she is run over by a tractor, rescuers say.
The driver of the tractor has fled the scene, police say. A manhunt is underway.
Magen David Adom paramedics at the clinic in Tarabin say they were forced to pronounce her dead when resuscitation efforts failed.
Weapons stash said found at Champs-Elysees attacker’s home
PARIS, France — Investigators find a stash of weapons at the home of a man killed while ramming a car loaded with guns and a gas canister into a police van on Paris’s Champs-Elysees on Monday, a source close to the probe says.
Adam Djaziri, a 31-year-old who had been on a watchlist for radical Islamists, had at least nine weapons, including two pistols and a Kalashnikov-type assault rifle, the source says.
The revelation of the discovery comes after Prime Minister Edouard Philippe expresses dismay that Djaziri was able to have a gun permit despite being on a jihadist watchlist.
“What I know at this stage is that the first weapons permit was given before this individual was flagged up,” he says in an interview with BFM television and RMC radio.
He adds that “nobody can be satisfied — and certainly not me” that Djaziri was still able to possess dangerous weapons.
Man arrested outside UK parliament charged over weapons possession
LONDON — A man arrested outside the gates of Britain’s parliament is to appear in court Tuesday charged with possessing an offensive weapon and assaulting a police officer.
Eniola Mustafa Aminu, 27, from London, was arrested on Friday outside the gates of the Palace of Westminster in the British capital.
He appeared in court on Monday charged with “possession of an offensive weapon and assault on a constable in the execution of his duty,” Scotland Yard police headquarters says.
He is remanded in custody to appear at the same court on Tuesday “following a mental health assessment.”
PA: New settlement ‘an attempt to thwart Trump’s peace effort’
The Palestinian Authority says Israel’s groundbreaking on the first new settlement in the West Bank in 25 years is a bid to undermine the new US-led peace effort.
“This is a serious escalation, an attempt to thwart the efforts of the US administration and to frustrate the efforts of US President Donald Trump,” says Nabil Abu Rudeineh, in a press statement posted on the official PA news site Wafa.
Rudeineh argues that the timing of the start of construction on the new settlement, coinciding “with the arrival of the US president’s emissaries [Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt] to the region, is that Israel is not interested in the US efforts, and is serious about thwarting them as it has with previous US administrations.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Tuesday that ground had been broken for the construction of the new settlement, to be known as Amichai, to accommodate residents of the illegal Amona outpost, which was evacuated in February in line with court orders because it was built on private Palestinian land.
— Dov Lieber
Billionaire Haim Saban backs bill to slash funds to PA
WASHINGTON — Haim Saban, a major donor to the Democratic Party, is backing a bill that would slash funding to the Palestinian Authority unless it stops payments to Palestinians jailed for attacks on Israelis.
The participation of the Israeli-American entertainment mogul in the initiative of the lobbying affiliate of the Israeli-American Council is significant because Democrats have until now been reluctant to back the bill as it stands.
A statement Monday evening from the Israeli-American Coalition for Action says the campaign to pass the Taylor Force Act will draw on a “nationwide grassroots network of activists” and on the IASC’s “relationships with prominent Israeli-Americans and Jewish-Americans, including Sheldon Adelson, Shawn Evenhaim, Haim Saban and Adam Milstein — who have advocated for the legislation with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.”
Taylor Force was an American killed last year in a stabbing attack in Tel Aviv.
Two bills, in the Senate and the US House of Representatives, have until recently had almost solely Republican backing. However, Democrats in Congress have in recent days suggested they may back the bill.
The bill would cut all but US funding to the PA except that earmarked for the Palestinian police, some $60 million in 2013, a fraction of the approximately $500 million Palestinians have received annually from the United States.
UK police question ‘troubled’ anti-Muslim van attacker
LONDON — Police question a man suspected of deliberately mowing down Muslims in London in a Monday van attack on worshipers leaving the Finsbury Park Mosque.
The family of Darren Osborne, the man suspected of deliberately driving into the Muslim group, says he was “troubled,” describing his action as “sheer madness.”
Osborne, 47, a father of four from Cardiff, was arrested.
Police believe he acted alone and searches were being conducted at a residential address in the Welsh capital.
Police are treating the incident as a terror attack and British Prime Minister Theresa May described it as “sickening,” vowing Monday to fight extremism in all its forms.
Jailed former PM Olmert hospitalized after suspected heart attack
Former prime minister Ehud Olmert is taken to Tel Hashomer Hospital after reportedly suffering a heart attack, according to preliminary Hebrew-language reports.
Olmert’s physician was summoned to his cell in Ma’asiyahu Prison shortly before the report after Olmert told his jailers he felt unwell.
Iran protests against Tillerson ‘transition’ remarks
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran calls in the Swiss charge d’affaires, who looks after US interests in the country, to protest against comments by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson backing “peaceful transition” in the Islamic Republic.
The administration of US President Donald Trump has taken an increasingly hawkish position towards Iran since taking office in January but Tillerson’s testimony to a Congressional committee last week appeared to be the first expression of support for a change of government.
“The Swiss charge d’affaires was summoned to the foreign ministry to be a handed a strong protest from the Islamic Republic of Iran against the comments by the US secretary of state…. which were contrary to international law and the UN charter,” ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi tells Iranian media.
In last Wednesday’s testimony to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Tillerson accused Iran of seeking “hegemony” in the Middle East at the expense of US allies like Saudi Arabia.
“Our policy towards Iran is to push back on this hegemony… and to work toward support of those elements inside of Iran that would lead to a peaceful transition of that government,” the US top diplomat said. “Those elements are there certainly, as we know,” he added, without elaborating on the groups he was referring to.
Rep. Jacky Rosen, Nevada Democrat, reportedly eyeing Senate seat
US Rep. Jacky Rosen, a Jewish freshman Democrat from Nevada, reportedly is eyeing a Senate run next year.
Politico reports that Rosen, a software developer whose only elective experience prior to her successful congressional run last year was as president of Ner Tamid, a Reform synagogue in Las Vegas’s suburbs, is favored by Harry Reid as the likeliest challenger to unseat Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller.
Reid, a former US senator from Nevada who retired last year as the party leader in the Senate, remains a powerhouse in Nevada politics, and still has a say in whom the party advances.
In its report, Politico said Reid favored Rosen because she is a fresh face, making it harder for Heller and Republicans to attack her.
Nevada is considered one of the few likely Senate pickups for Democrats in 2018. Heller is the only Republican incumbent whose state voted for Hillary Clinton in the presidential election in November.
US, Israeli peace envoys meet
Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump’s peace envoy, meets with his Israeli counterpart Yitzhak Molcho, a top adviser on peace talks to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Greenblatt tweets: “Before my meeting with @netanyahu, I met with Yitzhak Molcho this morning. He shared his experience in how to build #peace.”
— Jason D. Greenblatt (@jdgreenblatt45) June 20, 2017
Trump slams North Korea after US student’s death
US President Donald Trump slams the “brutal regime” in Pyongyang following the death of Otto Warmbier, the US student released in a coma last week after nearly 18 months in detention in North Korea.
The 22-year-old was medically evacuated to the United States last Tuesday, suffering from severe brain damage. He died six days later surrounded by relatives in his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Warmbier was on a tourist trip when he was arrested and sentenced in March last year to 15 years hard labor for stealing a political poster from a North Korean hotel, a punishment US officials decried as out of proportion to his alleged crime.
Trump condemns Pyongyang following news of his death.
“It’s a brutal regime,” he says during a White House event. “Bad things happened but at least we got him home to his parents.” He then added with no explanation: “We’ll be able to handle it.”
In a separate written statement, Trump says, “Otto’s fate deepens my Administration’s determination to prevent such tragedies from befalling innocent people at the hands of regimes that do not respect the rule of law or basic human decency.”
Summer break begins for 700,000 high schoolers
Some 700,000 high schoolers began their summer vacation moments ago as the last school day of the academic year came to an end.
For 7th to 12th grades, summer break will last until the first day of school on September 1, 2017.
“Take advantage of the vacation to move forward and grow,” Education Minister Naftali Bennett rather optimistically advises the students, according to Channel 2.
The rest of the education system, an estimated 1.5 million students up to 6th grade, will start their vacation on July 1.
US shoots down Iranian drone in Syria, CNN says
The US shoots down an Iranian-made Shahed 129 pro-regime in the skies over Syria, CNN reports.
According to the US-based news outlet, the drone was armed and within firing range of US troops.
This would be the second Iranian-made drone shot down by the US-led coalition. On Sunday, the US also downed a Syrian jet.
First on CNN: US F-15 shot down a 2nd Iranian made drone near At Tanf, Syria Monday. Armed drone was assessed to pose a threat to US forces
— Ryan Browne (@rabrowne75) June 20, 2017
— Judah Ari Gross
‘Wonder Woman’ rakes in $500m, Gal Gadot just $300,000
Israeli newspapers are returning today to the question of Gal Gadot’s salary in the widely praised blockbuster superhero film “Wonder Woman.”
The film earned some $500 million in its first month. But the salary of Israeli actress Gal Gadot, who plays the titular character, was just $300,000.
Gadot signed a three-movie contract totaling $900,000 — for last year’s “Batman vs. Superman,” “Wonder Woman” and “Justice League” slated for release in November.
The figure highlights the wage disparity in Hollywood between male and female actors, critics say.
Olmert still undergoing medical tests after chest pains
Jailed former prime minister Ehud Olmert is conscious, communicating with doctors and undergoing medical tests at Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, according to Prof. Arnon Afek, deputy head of the hospital, speaking to Channel 2.
Olmert is in the hospital after experiencing chest pains and feeling unwell, but the hospital says it has not yet determined a medical cause for the 72-year-old’s condition.
Sources close to Olmert say he has felt unwell for several days.
Attempted stabbing reported north of Jerusalem, assailant shot
A Palestinian attempts to stab soldiers at the Adam Junction outside the Adam settlement north of Jerusalem, the IDF says.
There are no Israeli injuries, according to initial reports. The assailant is shot. His condition is unknown.
The IDF is investigating the incident.
IDF confirms Palestinian stabber is killed
The IDF confirms the alleged assailant in the attempted stabbing of soldiers near Adam north of Jerusalem has died.
The Palestinian man attempted to stab soldiers at a pillbox guard post on the road between Qalandiya and Adam. He was shot by soldiers during the attempt. No Israelis were hurt in the incident.
Immigrant advocate David Lubell awarded $100,000 Charles Bronfman Prize
David Lubell, founder and executive director of Welcoming America, is honored for his work creating welcoming communities for immigrants and refugees with the 2017 Charles Bronfman Prize.
Welcoming America works in 190 communities across the country to help them eliminate the institutional barriers that make it harder for immigrants to fully integrate, and works to address the concerns and needs of longtime residents in cities and towns where the newcomers settle. The organization’s model is also being applied in countries around the world such as Australia and Germany.
The annual prize, which carries a $100,000 award, goes to a Jewish humanitarian under age 50 whose work is informed and fueled by Jewish values and has broad, global impact that can potentially change lives.
“At a time when the US and countries around the world face unprecedented polarization, David Lubell’s work creates understanding and connectivity between Americans and immigrants,” Charles Bronfman says in a statement. “By ensuring they are made to feel welcome in their new homes, Welcoming America shows us how we can all benefit from the resilience, talent and positive impact of these new Americans – which has forever been the experience of our nation of immigrants.”
Paris attacker, on terror watchlist, had gun license
PARIS — Questions arise Tuesday over how a known radical Islamist who rammed a car laden with weapons and gas canisters into a police van on Paris’s Champs-Elysees was able to hold a firearms license.
Adam Djaziri, a 31-year-old who had been on a watchlist for radical Islamists since 2015, was killed on Monday afternoon as his car smashed into the van on the French capital’s most famous avenue.
Two handguns and a Kalashnikov-style assault rifle were found in the car, while a weapons stash was found at the home of the assailant, who died in the incident.
Djaziri’s father, who has since been detained, tells AFP his son practiced shooting as a sport, and a source close to the probe says he had nine registered weapons including pistols and an assault rifle.
Netanyahu meets Trump peace envoy Greenblatt in Jerusalem
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is meeting with US peace envoy Jason Greenblatt in Jerusalem to discuss ways to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Earlier today, Greenblatt met with Netanyahu confidante and former peace envoy Isaac Molcho.
Greenblatt also met with Palestinian officials earlier in the day.
Jerusalem saw the most Jewish divorces of any Israeli city in 2016
The Israeli rabbinate reports on divorce figures through its rabbinic courts in 2016, showing that Jerusalem leads the country in real numbers of divorces annually.
That figure doesn’t necessarily reveal much about the health of marriages in the capital, as Jerusalem is also the largest city in Israel by population.
According to the figures, Jerusalem saw 725 divorces filed with the rabbinate in 2016, the same figure as the previous year.
Next in line is Tel Aviv, with 701 in 2016 and 714 in 2015.
The next three: Rishon Lezion with 441, Haifa with 429 and Petah Tikva with 379.
Police arrest suspect in tractor hit-and-run that killed 2-year-old girl
Police officers arrest a 19-year-old resident of the Bedouin city of Rahat on suspicion of driving the tractor that crushed to death a two-year-old girl earlier today in the nearby village of Tarabin.
The driver fled the scene after the apparent accident, sparking a manhunt.
DC Jewish community to hold vigil for Muslim teen killed in attack
WASHINGTON — The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington will hold a vigil in memory of Nabra Hassanen, a 17-year-old Muslim girl killed after leaving her mosque with friends in northern Virginia.
“Now it is time for us to express our deepest sympathy and stand with our brothers and sisters in the Muslim community as we all come to terms with this tragic event,” the JCRC says in a statement Monday.
The vigil will take place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Lake Anne Plaza in Reston, Virginia.
The JCRC “has enjoyed a decades-long relationship with the ADAMS Center, working hand-in-hand to promote interfaith understanding and combat bigotry against any faith or ethnicity,” the release says.
ADAMS is the acronym for the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, the mosque that Hassanen had worshiped at in suburban Washington, DC, in the pre-dawn hours Sunday before heading to a restaurant with friends for breakfast. Muslims fast from dawn to dusk during the month of Ramadan.
Police in Fairfax County do not believe bias was involved in the killing, describing it instead as a road rage incident. The Washington Post quoted family members as saying they remain convinced it was a hate crime against Muslims.
Oscar winner Marlee Matlin wins award for disability inclusion activism
Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin receives an award in Israel for her activism in support of people with disabilities.
Matlin, who is deaf, is given the $100,000 Morton E. Ruderman Award in Inclusion, which the Ruderman Family Foundation describes as an award for individuals who show “an exemplary commitment in fighting for equality for people with disabilities,” according to a statement from the foundation.
Matlin has appeared in over 60 films and TV shows, won an Academy Award for “Children of a Lesser God,” and appeared in 17 episodes of the West Wing.
At the award ceremony in Tel Aviv, Matlin says, “No matter what barriers we face, I believe we all have a unique gift to share. I also believe we have an obligation to impact the world, beyond what society thinks we can and can’t do, particularly on behalf of those who don’t have access to the resources to realize their dreams or help themselves. It’s unfortunate that for every step I’ve taken forward, there are still millions out there who face discrimination, misunderstanding and rejection.”
PA identifies Qalandia assailant as 23-year-old Bahaa Samir al-Harbawi
The Palestinian Health Ministry identifies the assailant who attempted to stab IDF soldiers near Qalandia earlier Tuesday as Bahaa Samir al-Harbawi, 23, from al-‘Eizariya near East Jerusalem.
Harbawi was killed by the soldiers during the attempted stabbing.
Netanyahu-Greenblatt meeting ends
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US peace envoy Jason Greenblatt end their meeting in Jerusalem.
Greenblatt tweets that the talks come “ahead of Jared Kushner’s visit tomorrow.”
— Jason D. Greenblatt (@jdgreenblatt45) June 20, 2017
US confirms killing of top Islamic State cleric
The US military confirms it killed a top Islamic State cleric in an airstrike.
Central Command says Tuesday that Turki al-Binali was killed on May 31. Activists and IS supporters reported his death at the time, but the military is only confirming it now.
The Bahraini cleric wrote religious justifications for the enslavement of thousands of women from Iraq’s Yazidi minority and helped establish the IS branch in Libya. He rose to be one of the extremist group’s leading ideologues.
The military says Binali was killed in Mayadeen, an IS-held Syrian town near the Iraqi border.
Several senior Islamic State figures have been killed in recent years as the group has been driven from large parts of Syria and Iraq. US-backed forces recently pushed into Raqqa, the northern Syrian city that served as the group’s de facto capital.
Egypt army says 12 militants killed in North Sinai
CAIRO — Egypt’s military says its air force has killed 12 “extremely dangerous” militants in airstrikes in northern Sinai.
In a Tuesday statement, the armed forces say the strikes also destroyed four vehicles as it targeted a “terrorist stronghold” of the local Islamic State affiliate, formerly known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis.
Egypt has in recent years been battling a stepped-up insurgency in northern Sinai, mainly by militants from the IS affiliate. The militant campaign accelerated after the military ouster of elected Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in 2013.
The military claims to kill hundreds of militants in the area each year, although it rarely offers proof and journalists and non-residents are banned from the area. Hundreds of security forces have been killed.
Hamas calls for ‘day of rage’ Friday over ‘holy sites,’ Gaza siege
The Hamas terror group calls for Gazans to gather at the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip on Friday to show anger toward Israeli policies.
“We stress our call for a popular rally this Friday to go out towards the border fence [with Israel] to express anger at the aggression against holy sites…the people…and the siege [of Gaza].”
This “day of rage” coincides with international “Jerusalem day,” an annual event initiated by Iran to oppose Israeli control over Jerusalem.
— Dov Lieber
IDF chief downplays ‘operational achievement’ of Iranian missile strike
IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot downplays the significance of an Iranian missile strike against the Islamic State in Syria earlier this week, saying its “the operational achievement was less than what was reported in the media.”
This appears to confirm comments made by anonymous Israeli security sources who said Monday that only one or two of the missiles launched actually hit their target.
The military chief does acknowledge that the missiles “made a statement” to the world about Iran’s preparedness to use its ballistic missiles, something it hadn’t done since 1988.
— Judah Ari Gross
Eisenkot says Hamas does not want another war in Gaza
Speaking at the Herzliyah Conference, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot downplays the possibility of war with Gaza.
He says he doesn’t “see Hamas having an interest in an offensive operation” against Israel, citing the serious blow suffered by the terror group in the 2014 Gaza war.
The army chief also apparently denies recent reports that Israel is supporting rebel groups in southern Syria that are fighting in the civil war there.
“Israel is not involved in the fighting for one side or another,” he says.
A recent report by the Wall Street Journal did not claim the IDF was directly involved in the fighting, but said it was giving material aid to groups in Syria.
Eisenkot notes that the Israel is providing medical treatment to thousands of Syrians, including hundreds of children, and that it has sent “tons of humanitarian aid” to the war-torn country.
— Judah Ari Gross
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