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Israeli national youth soccer team makes first ever European final, upsetting France

After under-19 squad made history by qualifying for semifinal match, team hangs on to beat undefeated France 2-1 in UEFA European Championship

Israel's midfielder Oscar Gloukh celebrates scoring the opening goal with his teammates during the UEFA Under-19 European Championship semi-final football match between France and Israel at the DAC Arena in Dunajska Streda, Slovakia on June 28, 2022. (VLADIMIR SIMICEK / AFP)
Israel's midfielder Oscar Gloukh celebrates scoring the opening goal with his teammates during the UEFA Under-19 European Championship semi-final football match between France and Israel at the DAC Arena in Dunajska Streda, Slovakia on June 28, 2022. (VLADIMIR SIMICEK / AFP)

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

Chicago man pleads guilty to illegally exporting US technology on orders from Central Bank of Iran

A dual US-Iranian citizen has pleaded guilty in a federal Brooklyn court of conspiring to illegally export US goods, technologies and services to the government of Iran.

Kambiz Attar Kashan, 44 violated the International Emergency Economic Powers Act by obtaining these items from US companies without necessary licensing or approval from the US Treasury Department.

He faces up to 20 years in prison and has already agreed to pay a $50,000 fine.

According to the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, Kashan acted at the direction of a department within the Central Bank of Iran, which is under Treasury Department sanctions over its alleged support for terror.

Kashan was arrested in Chicago last January.

Israeli under-19 soccer team wins semis, reaches its first-ever European final

Israel’s under-19 men’s soccer team has reached its first-ever European final game, defeating France Tuesday in the semifinals in Slovakia by a score of 2-1. It will play England in Friday’s final.

The national youth soccer team had made history on Saturday night by qualifying for the semifinal of the UEFA under-19 championships, the furthest an Israeli squad had ever advanced in the contest.

The achievement also came with a ticket to participate in the under-20 soccer World Cup, which is to be held next year in Indonesia.

‘There was ketchup dripping down the wall’: Ex-aide tells Jan. 6 panel Trump threw lunch after AG denied election fraud

Then-US Attorney General William Barr listens as then-US president Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Republican state attorneys general in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, September 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
Then-US Attorney General William Barr listens as then-US president Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Republican state attorneys general in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, September 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Testifying before the House’s January 6 Committee, an aide to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows says former US president Donald Trump was so mad after reading his attorney general Bill Barr had denied there had been any election fraud that Trump threw his lunch across the room.

“I first noticed there was ketchup dripping down the wall and there was a shattered porcelain plate on the floor,” Cassidy Hutchinson solemnly tells the committee. “The valet had articulated that the president was extremely angry at the attorney general’s AP interview and had thrown his lunch against the wall.”

Hutchinson tells the House committee investigating the violent insurrection that Trump was informed the supporters he addressed the morning of January 6 had weapons but he told officials to “let my people in” and march to the Capitol.

Trump demanded to accompany them, she says, and at one point he aggressively grabbed the steering wheel in the presidential limousine after he was told by security officials that it wasn’t safe.

Hutchinson quotes Trump as directing his staff, in profane terms, to take away metal-detectors he thought would slow down supporters who’d gathered in Washington.

In videotaped testimony played before the committee, she recalls the former president saying words to the effect of: ”“I don’t f-in’ care that they have weapons.”

“They’re not here to hurt me. Take the f-in’ mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here,” Hutchinson testifies.

Turkey lifting objections to Sweden, Finland joining NATO

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg arrives for a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels, June 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg arrives for a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels, June 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

Turkey has agreed to lift its opposition to Sweden and Finland joining NATO, a breakthrough in an impasse clouding a leaders’ summit in Madrid amid Europe’s worst security crisis in decades triggered by the war in Ukraine.

After urgent top-level talks, alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says “we now have an agreement that paves the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO.”

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted Sweden and Finland to abandon their long-held nonaligned status and apply to join NATO. But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had blocked the move, insisting the Nordic pair change their stance on Kurdish rebel groups that Turkey considers terrorists.

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö says the three countries’ leaders signed a joint agreement after talks today.

Turkey says it had “got what it wanted” including “full cooperation… in the fight against” the rebel groups.

The agreement comes at the opening of a crucial summit dominated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. US President Joe Biden and other NATO leaders arrived in Madrid for a summit that will set the course of the alliance for the coming years. The summit kicks off with a leaders’ dinner hosted by Spain’s King Felipe VI at the 18th-century Royal Palace of Madrid.

Ghislaine Maxwell sentenced to 20 years for helping Epstein

In this courtroom sketch, Ghislaine Maxwell, right, is seated beside her attorney, Christian Everdell, as they watch the prosecutor speak during her sentencing, Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Williams)
In this courtroom sketch, Ghislaine Maxwell, right, is seated beside her attorney, Christian Everdell, as they watch the prosecutor speak during her sentencing, Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Williams)

Ghislaine Maxwell, the jet-setting socialite who once consorted with royals, presidents and billionaires, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for helping the financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse underage girls.

The stiff sentence was the punctuation mark on a trial that explored the sordid rituals of a predator power couple who courted the rich and famous as they lured vulnerable girls as young as 14, and then exploited them.

Prosecutors said Epstein, who killed himself in 2019 while awaiting trial, sexually abused children hundreds of times over more than a decade, and couldn’t have done so without the help of Maxwell, his longtime companion and onetime girlfriend who they said sometimes also participated in the abuse. In December, a jury convicted Maxwell of sex trafficking, transporting a minor to participate in illegal sex acts and two conspiracy charges.

US District Judge Alison J. Nathan, who also imposed a $750,000 fine, says “a very significant sentence is necessary” and that she wanted to send an “unmistakable message” that these kinds of crimes would be punished. Prosecutors had asked the judge to give her 30 to 55 years in prison, while the 60-year-old Maxwell’s defense sought a lenient sentence of just five years.

Maxwell, wearing a blue prison uniform and a white mask to conform with coronavirus rules, looked to one side as the sentence was announced, but otherwise did not react.

“We will continue to live with the harm she caused us,” says Annie Farmer, one of the four accusers who testified against Maxwell at trial, inside the courtroom before the sentencing.

When she had a chance to speak, Maxwell says she empathized with the survivors and that it was her “greatest regret of my life that I ever met Jeffrey Epstein.” Maxwell calls him “a manipulative, cunning and controlling man who lived a profoundly compartmentalized life,” echoing her defense attorneys’ assertions that Epstein was the true mastermind.

Maxwell, who denies abusing anyone, says she hoped that her conviction and her “unusual incarceration” bring some “measure of peace and finality.”

Nathan refuses to let Maxwell escape culpability, making clear that Maxwell was being punished for her own actions, not Epstein’s. She called the crimes “heinous and predatory” and said Maxwell as a sophisticated adult woman provided the veneer of safety as she “normalized” sexual abuse through her involvement, encouragement and instruction.

With PM’s residence still under construction, Lapid will reportedly stay in nearby compound

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid speaks alongside his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, in Ankara on June 23, 2022. (Boaz Oppenheim/GPO)
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid speaks alongside his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, in Ankara on June 23, 2022. (Boaz Oppenheim/GPO)

Unlike Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who continued to live in his family’s private residence in Ra’anana this past year, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid plans on moving into the official prime minister’s residence on Balfour Street after he is sworn in as premier later this week.

However, the Balfour residence remains under heavy construction. As a result, Lapid will stay in a nearby compound known as Villa Salameh until the work is complete, Hebrew media reports.

Police say they arrested suspect who fled after attempting to stab cops in Old City

The Palestinian man who allegedly attempted to stab officers in Jerusalem’s Old City has been arrested on the Temple Mount.

Video footage shows officers taking him for questioning.

It is not clear if the knife or other sharp object he allegedly used in the attack was found.

Police arrest suspect who called to ‘eliminate’ finance minister in Facebook post

Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman speaks during a Yisrael Beytenu faction meeting at the Knesset on May 30, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman speaks during a Yisrael Beytenu faction meeting at the Knesset on May 30, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Police announce that they have arrested a resident of northern Israel who allegedly called to murder Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman on social media.

Police say they were tipped off several hours ago about a Facebook post written by the suspect in which he called to “eliminate” Liberman.

The 33-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of trying to carry out the act, police say.

Police will ask the court to extend the suspect’s remand tomorrow.

Coalition advances Climate Bill through 1st reading in Hail Mary attempt to save legislation

Illustrative. Heatwave. (iStock by Getty Images)
Illustrative. Heatwave. (iStock by Getty Images)

The coalition has advanced Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg’s Climate Bill through a first reading.

However, supporters of the bill will have to race against the clock to pass it through two more readings before the Knesset is expected to disperse later this week.

The draft legislation seeks to commit the government to cutting global warming emissions by at least 27 percent by 2030, compared with a 2015 benchmark, and to reach net-zero by 2050.

The bill provides for the establishment of a Ministerial Committee on Climate Affairs, to be headed by the prime minister, for the purpose of ensuring smooth coordination between various government bodies.

It commits the environmental protection minister to producing a National Emission Reduction Plan for government approval.

It orders government ministries and other bodies to compile climate change preparation plans, implement them and report on them once a year. These plans are to be approved within two years of the bill becoming law, and are to be updated every five years.

Within one year of the bill becoming law, the government will have to create a framework and targets to allow all relevant plans submitted for government or ministerial approval to be assessed for their climate impact.

Police say Palestinian attempted to stab cops in Old City before fleeing

Illustrative: Police at the scene of a suspected stabbing attempt in Jerusalem's Old City, May 11, 2022. (Israel Police)
Illustrative: Police at the scene of a suspected stabbing attempt in Jerusalem's Old City, May 11, 2022. (Israel Police)

Police close off the entrances to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City after a Palestinian allegedly attempts to stab officers in the area and flee.

According to police, no officers are hurt in the incident.

Officers have launched a manhunt for the suspect who fled onto the Temple Mount compound after attacking officers near one of its entrances, police say.

Palestinian media reports say police opened fire into the air amid the alleged attack.

75% of Israelis fear getting into an accident, half drive 10 km above the limit — poll

Illustrative: An aggressive driver. (SanneBerg, iStock by Getty Images)
Illustrative: An aggressive driver. (SanneBerg, iStock by Getty Images)

Over 75 percent of Israelis fear getting into a car accident and more than half of drivers regularly floor it ten kilometers above the speed limit, according to new data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics.

CBS survey results also show that about a quarter of respondents text messages while driving and 41 percent of respondents got behind the wheel when they were very tired.

CBS polled 7,416 people aged 20 and over for the survey.

Hamas said to propose trading al-Sayed for all sick Palestinians in Israeli jails

The ID card of Hisham al-Sayed, who is being held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, in footage published by the terror group on June 28, 2022. (Screen capture/Twitter)
The ID card of Hisham al-Sayed, who is being held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, in footage published by the terror group on June 28, 2022. (Screen capture/Twitter)

Hamas is ready to conduct an “urgent humanitarian prisoner exchange” to swap Israeli captive Hisham al-Sayed for the release of all sick Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, the Al-Mayadeen news agency reports.

Al-Mayadeen, a Lebanese television network, is widely seen as close to the Hezbollah and Hamas terror groups.

The reported Hamas demand is an apparent departure from the Islamist group’s classic approach to negotiating. Hamas has often demanded the release of prisoners for proof of life footage alone.

But today, Hamas released a video of al-Sayed without publicly demanding anything in exchange from Israel.

Israel would likely hesitate before agreeing to the reported Hamas condition for al-Sayed’s release.

The list of sick Palestinians includes many convicted of serious security offenses, including Nasser Abu Hmeid, a Palestinian prisoner with cancer who masterminded terror attacks during the Second Intifada.

Channel 12 speculates that there are likely dozens of sick Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

Israel said to warn Hamas it’ll hold group responsible if al-Sayed’s health worsens

Footage of a man who Hamas claims is Israeli captive Hisham al-Sayed published on June 28, 2022. (Screen capture/Twitter)
Footage of a man who Hamas claims is Israeli captive Hisham al-Sayed published on June 28, 2022. (Screen capture/Twitter)

Israel has passed along messages to Hamas through various channels that it will hold the terror group responsible if the health of the two Israeli captives being held in Gaza worsens, Channel 12’s Nir Dvori reports, without citing any sources.

The message was passed along after Hamas released footage of captive Hisham al-Sayed showing him hooked up to oxygen and claiming his health has deteriorated.

Channel 12 says Israel believes the clip was filmed eight days ago.

The network’s Palestinian Affairs correspondent Ohad Hemo speculates that the timing of the footage could be for three reasons. One possibility is that al-Sayed’s health is indeed worsening, leaving Hamas with a narrowing window to push for a prisoner swap.

Hemo also notes that the footage was released amid growing pressure on Hamas from its prisoners in Israeli jails and their families to do more to release them.

The other possibility is that Hamas is trying to exploit the fragile political situation in Israel, Hemo says.

The network notes reports of a recent offer by Israel to trade hundreds of Palestinian prisoners without blood on their hands in exchange for the bodies and captives being held by Hamas. The terror group rejected the proposal though and talks have since stalled.

Hisham al-Sayed’s parents: We’re glad to see his face, but worried about his wellbeing

Screen capture from vide of Sha'aban al-Sayed, father of Hisham al-Sayed, held captive by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, on June 28, 2022. (Screen capture/Ynet)
Screen capture from vide of Sha'aban al-Sayed, father of Hisham al-Sayed, held captive by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, on June 28, 2022. (Screen capture/Ynet)

Hisham al-Sayed’s parents have released statements to the press following the release of footage by Hamas showing their captive son lying in bed and hooked up to oxygen.

“It’s the first time that I’ve seen him in seven years,” says Sha’aban al-Sayed.

He says that his son looks okay but was not sure if the oxygen is a psychological warfare tactic by Hamas.

“I’m first of all happy to see him… but there are confused emotions,” he says.

Hisham’s mother Manal says, “I was relieved to see him, and I cried when I saw the video, but I also saw that he is not well.”

“I don’t know if he is getting the treatment he needs. I think about him day and night, and I just want my son to come back to me.”

Hisham suffers from mental illness along with Avera Mengistu, who also crossed into Gaza on his own volition and has since been held by Hamas.

Mengistu’s mother Agarnesh tells Channel 12 that the government has failed to update her on its efforts to bring her son back.

“Where’s my son? Why won’t they say where he is?” she asks while holding back tears.

Russian oligarchs in, refugees out: Ukraine embassy slams Israeli immigration policy

An ad from Ukraine's Embassy in Tel Aviv slamming Israeli immigration policies on June 28, 2022. The ad reads, 'no entry to Ukrainian women and children. Russian oligarchs enter freely.' (Ukraine Embassy in Israel/Twitter)
An ad from Ukraine's Embassy in Tel Aviv slamming Israeli immigration policies on June 28, 2022. The ad reads, 'no entry to Ukrainian women and children. Russian oligarchs enter freely.' (Ukraine Embassy in Israel/Twitter)

Ukraine’s Embassy in Tel Aviv slams Israel over its immigration policy in a new tweet, claiming Jerusalem unilaterally decided to walk back on previous agreements and bar entry to women and children from Ukraine who don’t have an electronic visa.

“This decision endangers lives. Meanwhile, Russian and Belarusian oligarchs are able to enter Israel freely,” the embassy tweets.

Israel has largely avoided joining international sanctions campaigns against Russia and its oligarchs.

Bulgaria to expel 70 Russian diplomatic staff

Bulgaria will expel 70 Russian diplomatic staff, the EU country’s prime minister announces, the largest number ordered out at once from the Balkan nation.

“Bulgaria is going to expel 70 Russian diplomats… Our services identified them as people who worked against our interests,” Prime Minister Kiril Petkov tells reporters.

IDF says it foiled arms smuggling attempt from Jordan near Dead Sea

Firearms seized by Israeli soldiers during an alleged smuggling attempt on the border with Jordan, near the Dead Sea, on May 22, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)
Firearms seized by Israeli soldiers during an alleged smuggling attempt on the border with Jordan, near the Dead Sea, on May 22, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israel Defense Forces announces that on the night of May 22, troops foiled an attempt to smuggle several firearms into Israel from Jordan near the Dead Sea.

Soldiers monitoring surveillance cameras identified suspects approaching the Israeli border and dispatched troops to the scene.

Two men from a Bedouin village near the southern city of Dimona were arrested, and a bag containing four handguns and four M16 rifles was seized, the IDF says. Israeli authorities suspect the weapons were intended for terror purposes.

The pair were questioned by the Shin Bet security agency, which has led to the arrest of two other suspects, who allegedly led the gun-running operations on the Jordanian border. All four are expected to be indicted in the coming days.

Likud MK walks back assertion that Ra’am is a potential coalition partner

Likud MK David Amsalem addresses the Knesset plenum, June 1, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Likud MK David Amsalem addresses the Knesset plenum, June 1, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Following immense uproar from within his own party, Likud MK David Amsalem walks back his assertion earlier this week that the Islamist Ra’am party would be welcome to join a Likud-led coalition so long as the bloc already has 61 other right-wing MKs.

Amsalem tells the plenum that his remarks in a Channel 12 interview were taken out of context while admitting that he could’ve chosen his words more carefully.

“Ra’am and the Joint List are anti-Zionist. They can not be in any government,” Amsalem now declares.

Likud and its leader Benjamin Netanyahu aggressively courted the Islamist party after the previous election, but their efforts were thwarted by the far-right Religious Zionism party, which refused to sit in a coalition with the Arab party.

Bennett: Distributing footage of sick person is a heinous, desperate act by Hamas

Manal al-Sayed holds up a picture of her son Hisham, who is believed to be held captive in Gaza by the Hamas terrorist group, in 2016. (Yoav Lemmer/AFP)
Manal al-Sayed holds up a picture of her son Hisham, who is believed to be held captive in Gaza by the Hamas terrorist group, in 2016. (Yoav Lemmer/AFP)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett issues his own response to the release of footage by Hamas of who the terror group purports is ailing Israeli captive Hisham al-Sayed.

“Distributing a video of a sick person is a heinous and desperate act,” Bennett says.

“The State of Israel considers Hamas responsible for the health of the captured civilians.”

“In addition, Hamas is holding the bodies of two fallen IDF soldiers, Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul — also in violation of international law,” he continues.

“Hisham al-Sayed is not a soldier, but a mentally ill Israeli citizen who crossed the border into the Gaza Strip.”

“Hamas is delaying any chance for a prisoner swap. Hamas’s actions are proof that this is a cynical and criminal terrorist organization,” Bennett adds.

“The State of Israel will continue its efforts to return the fallen soldiers and missing persons at all times with responsibility and determination.”

Lapid slams ‘inhumane’ Hamas after terror group releases footage of purported Israeli captive

The ID card of Hisham al-Sayed, who is being held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, in footage published by the terror group on June 28, 2022. (Screen capture/Twitter)
The ID card of Hisham al-Sayed, who is being held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, in footage published by the terror group on June 28, 2022. (Screen capture/Twitter)

Yair Lapid tears into Hamas after the terror group releases footage of whom it purports is Israeli captive Hisham al-Sayed in bed hooked up to oxygen.

“Israel considers Hamas directly responsible for the plight of its citizens [whom it’s holding] in violation of international law. These are two people suffering from mental illness who Hamas has held captive for years in an act of inconceivable cruelty.”

“Hamas is also holding the bodies of two fallen IDF soldiers, Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, while trampling on all boundaries of morality and international law.”

“Hamas’s actions are proof that it is a despicable terrorist organization that holds the citizens of Gaza hostage who pay the price for its actions.”

“I call on the international community, including the World Health Organization, the International Committee of the Red Cross and organizations dealing with the mentally ill to condemn Hamas for its inhumane behavior and demand that it act in accordance with international law and release the civilians and bodies it is holding.”

“The State of Israel will continue to make every effort to bring back the fallen soldiers and Israeli citizens who are being held captive by Hamas,” Lapid concludes.

Knesset advances bill formally recognizing bereaved siblings of fallen soldiers

An Israeli soldier places flowers on the graves of fallen Israeli soldiers at the Mount Herzl military cemetery hours before the start of Memorial Day, in Jerusalem on April 20, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
An Israeli soldier places flowers on the graves of fallen Israeli soldiers at the Mount Herzl military cemetery hours before the start of Memorial Day, in Jerusalem on April 20, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A bill to recognize bereaved military siblings passes its first reading in the Knesset after the coalition and opposition came to an agreement to allow its passage.

The bill will put siblings of Israel’s military fallen on par with other immediate family members in the eyes of the Defense Ministry, making them eligible for benefits and adding them to invite lists for memorial events. Siblings will now also receive official notices of death from military officials.

Only a month ago, the bill’s primary champion — New Hope MK Michal Shir — broke down in tears after being heckled by opposition MKs during the bill’s preliminary reading. Shortly before the vote on the bill, the opposition had declared its intention to oppose all coalition legislation, despite its ideological resonance, in order to pressure the government toward collapse.

Egypt says it sentenced 10 jihadists to death, jailed 205 others in same case

A photo shared by the Egyptian military shows a weapons cache seized from IS-linked jihadists in the Sinai Peninsula, July 2, 2015. (Facebook/Egyptian army)
A photo shared by the Egyptian military shows a weapons cache seized from IS-linked jihadists in the Sinai Peninsula, July 2, 2015. (Facebook/Egyptian army)

An Egyptian court on Tuesday sentenced to death 10 Islamist militants found guilty of terror-related charges, a judicial source says.

The men, charged with “leading a group known as the Helwan Brigades,” were found guilty of having committed acts of terror, including opening fire at a police vehicle, the judicial source told AFP.

Their verdicts are subject to appeal.

They were convicted in relation to events that took place between August 2013 and February 2015 — a period that saw a spike in attacks, particularly targeting security forces, following the military ouster of Islamist former president Mohamed Morsi.

The court also handed down jail sentences to 205 others in the same case, ranging from 10 years to life imprisonment.

Since taking power in 2014 a year after leading Morsi’s ouster, President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi has led a mass crackdown on Islamists and dissidents, jailing thousands.

Egyptian courts have routinely handed down death sentences or long jail terms after mass trials that have drawn condemnation from the United Nations and rights organizations.

Egypt carried out the third highest number of known executions in the world last year, after China and Iran, according to Amnesty International.

Hamas publishes footage purporting to show Israeli captive whose health is deteriorating

Footage of a man who Hamas claims is Israeli captive Hisham al-Sayed published on June 28, 2022. (Screen capture/Twitter)
Footage of a man who Hamas claims is Israeli captive Hisham al-Sayed published on June 28, 2022. (Screen capture/Twitter)

Hamas publishes a video purporting to show Hisham al-Sayed, one of two Israeli men being held by the terror group in the Gaza Strip.

Yesterday, the terror group said the health of one of the Israeli captives was deteriorating.

The video shows al-Sayed lying on a bed hooked up to an oxygen mask. The group also publishes an image of his Israeli ID card.

There is no immediate comment from Israel on the new footage.

Al-Sayed, a Bedouin Israeli, crossed into the Gaza Strip voluntarily in 2015. His family says he suffers from mental illness.

Hamas falsely calls al-Sayed, and the second captive Avera Mengistu, soldiers.

Zelensky: People in Russian bombed mall deserve same right to security as those in Tel Aviv

In this image made from video provided by Ukrainian State Emergency Service, firefighters work to extinguish a fire at a shopping center burned after a rocket attack that was allegedly carried out by Russia in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, on June 27, 2022. (Ukrainian State Emergency Service via AP)
In this image made from video provided by Ukrainian State Emergency Service, firefighters work to extinguish a fire at a shopping center burned after a rocket attack that was allegedly carried out by Russia in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, on June 27, 2022. (Ukrainian State Emergency Service via AP)

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said Tuesday Russia must be labeled a “state sponsor of terrorism” after a missile strike on a crowded shopping mall in the city of Kremenchuk killed at least 20 people.

“People in a mall in Kremenchuk have the same right to security as people at a mall anywhere in the world — be it Philadelphia or Tel Aviv,” he says, adding that Ukraine needs a credible defense system against Russian missiles.

“Only total insane terrorists, who should have no place on Earth, can strike missiles at civilian objects,” Zelensky said on his Telegram channel, accusing Russia of carrying out “calculated strikes” at civilian infrastructure.

“Russia must be recognized as a state sponsor of terrorism. The world can and therefore must stop Russian terror,” Zelensky added.

On Monday, a Russian missile strike hit a shopping center in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk while there were around a thousand people inside.

The Ukrainian president’s deputy chief of staff, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, told a press briefing on Tuesday that “over 20 people” died in the attack, updating an earlier death toll of 18.

He added that over 40 people were still missing.

UAE court vacates death sentence handed down to Israeli convicted of drug trafficking

Fidaa Kiwan. (Courtesy)
Fidaa Kiwan. (Courtesy)

An Abu Dhabi court has vacated the death sentence given to an Israeli citizen, accepting an appeal from her attorney after she was convicted of drug trafficking.

Fidaa Kiwan will instead receive a prison sentence, Hebrew media reports.

Kiwan has instisted the drugs she was caught with were not hers, but rather belonged to the owner of an apartment where she had been staying.

The United Arab Emirates is known for its strict anti-drug laws, with those convicted of drug trafficking facing a possible death sentence. However, the death sentences are not rigorously enforced in many cases and tend to be converted into heavy prison sentences.

Kiwan, a 43-year-old Haifa resident who owns a photography studio, came to Dubai for work at the invitation of a Palestinian acquaintance a year ago. She was arrested a short while later, on March 17, 2021, after a search of her apartment turned up the drugs. She has remained behind bars since.

‘Put Israelis first’: US envoy urges lawmakers not to block bill needed for US Visa Waiver Program entry

US Ambassador Tom Nides is interviewed by The Times of Israel at the US Embassy in Jerusalem, on January 7, 2022. (David Azagury/US Embassy)
US Ambassador Tom Nides is interviewed by The Times of Israel at the US Embassy in Jerusalem, on January 7, 2022. (David Azagury/US Embassy)

With opposition lawmakers refusing to back legislation necessary for Israel to enter the US Visa Waiver Program, US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides weighs in, urging them not to let politics get in the way of an initiative that will benefit all Israelis.

“I’ve been working around the clock since I arrived to help Israel meet all the requirements to join the #VisaWaiverProgram. Don’t lose momentum now. This will help Israeli citizens travel to the US – put them first!” Nides tweets.

The opposition is refusing to back a bill to grant the US limited access of Israeli criminal records — as required by all VWP members — because it doesn’t want to give the coalition a win on the eve of election season.

Germany sees over 2,700 reported antisemitic incidents in 2021, watchdog says

Illustrative: Neo-Nazis march in Berlin, Germany, on October 11, 2009. (AP/File)
Illustrative: Neo-Nazis march in Berlin, Germany, on October 11, 2009. (AP/File)

A group tracking antisemitism in Germany says it documented more than 2,700 incidents in the country last year, including 63 attacks and six cases of extreme violence.

In a report, the Department for Research and Information on Anti-Semitism, or RIAS, says the coronavirus pandemic with its anti-Jewish conspiracy narratives and the Middle East conflict with antisemitic criticism of Israel were the main drivers of the 2,738 incidents it documented.

The incidents include both criminal and non-criminal incidents, the group says.

The German government’s commissioner to combat antisemitism, Felix Klein, calls the number of incidents — more than seven per day — frightening, but also says that “at the same time, each of the reported incidents is also a step toward reducing the dark figures.”

Right-wing extremists were responsible for 17% of the incidents, but more than half of all the antisemitic incidents could not be assigned to a specific political view, the report said.

Among cases of “extreme violence,” RIAS included an attack on a Jewish participant in a vigil for Israel in Hamburg and a shooting at a Jewish community center in Berlin.

Altogether, 964 people — both Jews and non-Jews — were directly affected by antisemitic incidents, Benjamin Steinitz, the head of RIAS, told reporters in Berlin.

Marina Chernivsky of the Ofek counseling center for victims of antisemitic violence and discrimination called the high number of cases “background noise” in the everyday lives of Jews in Germany.

Labor pushback throws wrench in compromise deal to increase campaign funding

Campaign posters prior to the upcoming Israeli general elections, in Tel Aviv, on March 17, 2021. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)
Campaign posters prior to the upcoming Israeli general elections, in Tel Aviv, on March 17, 2021. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

A Likud-proposed compromise to increase campaign funding by NIS 30 million ($8.74 million) for the upcoming election hits a stumbling block, as the Knesset’s House Committee decides to separate the funding increase bill from efforts to disperse the Knesset.

Although the coalition and opposition agreed on the funding increase in a late-Monday night compromise, Labor and Yisrael Beytenu party pushback led the committee to make the move.

The funding increase will be assessed by a public panel and delayed for vote until a later date.

Israeli election campaigns are mostly funded by public coffers, as private donations are tightly capped.

Likud MK David Bitan tells the committee that his party needs the funding because four election rounds in quick succession have bled its dry.

“We are facing difficulties after four elections,” says Bitan.

As the largest party in the Knesset with 30 seats, but also one of the few that holds primaries, Bitan says that the Likud has an additional NIS 10 million burden each election cycle.

“We have additional expenses related to democracy, like primaries. We have to spend NIS 10 million just on that,” Bitan tells the committee.

Israel eases Turkey warning, but non-essential travel still not recommended

Two Turkish riot police officers walk in front of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, on June 14, 2022. (Yasin Akgul/AFP)
Two Turkish riot police officers walk in front of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, on June 14, 2022. (Yasin Akgul/AFP)

Israel announces that it has lightened its travel warning for citizens traveling to Turkey to Level 3, or moderate.

The National Security Council Counter-Terrorism Bureau says in a statement that arrests and counterterror operations against Iranian-backed operatives led to the reduction.

Under the Level 3 warning, Israelis are still advised to avoid all non-essential travel to Turkey.

The highest travel warning had been in place since June 13. “It’s a return to the situation we knew several weeks ago,” says Yossi Adler, senior director for Intelligence at National Security Council, in a briefing to Israeli diplomatic reporters.

The NSC warns that Iran’s motivation to carry out attacks remains high, and that it assesses that “there are efforts to build infrastructure on the one hand and identify potential Israeli and Jewish targets on the other hand.”

Israelis are being asked to avoid publicizing details of upcoming trips to Turkey and posting photos while they are still in the country; to avoid wearing any clothes that could indicate they are from Israel; and to refrain from giving personal details to and having unnecessary contact with strangers.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett thanks Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkey’s security forces for foiling attempts by Iran to attack Israeli travelers.

“Our activities were successful, and succeeded in protecting human life,” says Bennett. “We will gradually return to normal.”

According to senior Israeli officials, significant intelligence had indicated that Iran was seeking to carry out attacks against Israeli tourists in the country to avenge a series of killings and strikes on Iranian military and nuclear targets that have been attributed to the Jewish state.

Adler underscores that recent reports in Israeli media that a decision to lift the highest warning had been made, but remained in place due to unspecified bureaucracy, were baseless.

“We didn’t hurry to remove it because we treated the area like a minefield, ” he explains. “Before people started walking around that area, we had to do extensive and deeper checks.”

The threat was “significant, immediate, and widespread,” according to Adler.

Turkish security forces arrested a number of suspects in recent weeks, including Turkish citizens, says Adler. He adds that information gleaned from the Turkish arrests is still being processed.

Police arrest suspect in disappearance of Haredi teenager last seen in March

Yeshiva student Moshe Klinerman, 16, who was last seen on March 25 at the tomb of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai on Mount Meron. (Courtesy)
Yeshiva student Moshe Klinerman, 16, who was last seen on March 25 at the tomb of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai on Mount Meron. (Courtesy)

Police have arrested a suspect tied to the disappearance of an ultra-Orthodox boy.

Moshe Klinerman, 16, was last seen on March 25 when he left his home in the Modiin Illit settlement with a few friends for a trip to northern Israel.

Klinerman and his friends arrived at the tomb of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai on Mount Meron, where Klinerman reportedly wanted to seclude himself and asked his friends to continue their trip without him.

He has not been seen since.

Border cops detain Palestinian in daytime raid in middle of Jenin

Israeli soldiers are seen operating in the West Bank city of Jenin on May 13, 2022. (Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP)
Israeli soldiers are seen operating in the West Bank city of Jenin on May 13, 2022. (Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP)

Undercover Border Police troops detained a wanted Palestinian during a rare daytime raid in the “heart of” the West Bank city of Jenin, police say.

“In broad daylight, the undercover officers entered a clothing store in the city, identified the suspect, and arrested him,” a Border Police spokesman says.

The man in his 20s, wanted for suspected “terror activities,” is taken to be questioned by the Shin Bet security agency.

He is identified by Palestinian media as Rayan Estiti.

US embassy lobbying Likud not to vote against bills needed for Visa Waiver Program

Illustrative photo of a customs officer checking a passenger's passport at Washington-Dulles International Airport. (James Tourtellotte/Department of Homeland Security)
Illustrative photo of a customs officer checking a passenger's passport at Washington-Dulles International Airport. (James Tourtellotte/Department of Homeland Security)

The US Embassy in Israel reached out to senior Likud MK Yariv Levin asking for his party not to vote against legislation that is critical for Israel to be able to join the US Visa Waiver Program, a source close to the lawmaker tells The Times of Israel, confirming a Walla news report

Likud had made clear it planned to vote against the legislation in order to stymie the coalition’s attempt to advance a highly popular initiative on the eve of election season.

The source close to Levin says Likud has not reached an agreement with the coalition that would see it assist in passing the legislation.

A similar plea was made to the Joint List party, whom US officials told that Israel’s entry into the VWP would also assist Palestinian Americans, Walla reports. The latter group is often subject to invasive security checks at Ben Gurion Airport and the Biden administration has conditioned Israel’s entry into the VWP on improved treatment for Palestinian Americans at all of Israeli border crossings.

The legislation in question would grant the US limited access to Israeli criminal records — a requirement of all countries that join the VWP. Failure to pass it would likely delay entry into the VWP by an additional year.

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