Live updates (closed)Latest: Hillary Clinton: ‘I stand in solidarity with the Israeli people’

2 terrorists kill 4 in Tel Aviv; Hamas vows more Ramadan attacks

18 hospitalized after shooting spree at Sarona Market; Netanyahu, Liberman meet security chiefs; world condemns horrific killings

  • The scene of the Tel Aviv shooting attack on the Sarona market on June 8, 2016 (Judah Ari Gross/Times of Israel)
    The scene of the Tel Aviv shooting attack on the Sarona market on June 8, 2016 (Judah Ari Gross/Times of Israel)
  • The scene of the shooting attack near the Sarona market in Tel Aviv on June 8, 2016 (Judah Ari Gross/Times of Israel)
    The scene of the shooting attack near the Sarona market in Tel Aviv on June 8, 2016 (Judah Ari Gross/Times of Israel)
  • Israeli security forces at the scene where two terrorists opened fire at the Sarona Market shopping center in Tel Aviv, on June 8, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
    Israeli security forces at the scene where two terrorists opened fire at the Sarona Market shopping center in Tel Aviv, on June 8, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

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

Trump promises not to let GOP down as leaders grow worried

Donald Trump labors to convince fellow Republicans that he can broaden his appeal and move beyond controversy, tamping down his caustic attacks and divisive remarks in a noticeably muted speech after his final presidential primary wins.

“I understand the responsibility of carrying the mantle” of the Republican Party, Trump says, reading from a teleprompter to supporters gathered at one of his golf courses. “I will never, ever let you down.” He adds: “I will make you proud of our party and our movement.”

Trump’s pitch comes on one of the toughest days of his unpredictable campaign, as top Republican leaders and donors denounce as racist and troubling his comments about a federal judge’s ethnicity.

And it comes as Democrat Hillary Clinton, at a rally in Brooklyn, claims her place as the country’s first major party female presidential nominee by quickly invoking Trump as a contrast. “This election is about who we are as a nation. It’s about millions of Americans coming together to say, ‘We are better than this.'”

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waves at supporters as he leaves the stage with his wife Melania after a news conference at the Trump National Golf Club Westchester, Tuesday, June 7, 2016, in Briarcliff Manor, New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waves at supporters as he leaves the stage with his wife Melania after a news conference at the Trump National Golf Club Westchester, Tuesday, June 7, 2016, in Briarcliff Manor, New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

While Trump seeks to portray himself as a unifier during his evening speech — drawing plaudits from Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus for taking “exactly the right approach” — hours earlier he continued to be strikingly defiant.

In an interview on Fox News, Trump said Republicans angry at him should “get over it.” In his statement on the matter earlier, he said he’d been “misconstrued” and that he was “justified in questioning” treatment by the judge.

— AP

Clinton sweeps California to win Democratic primary

Hillary Clinton crowns a precedent-shattering quest for the Democratic presidential nomination with a strong victory in delegate-rich California.

For Clinton, it was the fourth victory in half a dozen contests Tuesday. Although she had already garnered enough delegates to assume the mantle of leadership for the party at its convention in Philadelphia next month, the electoral triumphs gave her even greater momentum heading into the fall general election campaign against real estate mogul Donald Trump, who’s set to be named the Republican standardbearer at the GOP convention in Cleveland.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton greets supporters at a presidential primary rally, Tuesday, June 7, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton greets supporters at a presidential primary rally, Tuesday, June 7, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Clinton’s rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, pledges anew to “continue the fight” all the way to the Philadelphia convention. But at the same time, he acknowledges that overcoming Clinton at this juncture would be a “very, very steep fight.”

— AP

Iraqi forces push deeper into Islamic State-held Fallujah

Iraq’s elite counterterrorism forces push deeper into Islamic State-held Fallujah, more than two weeks after the operation to retake the city from the militant group started, a senior military official says.

After securing the southern edge of the city on Sunday, Iraqi special forces enter the neighborhood of Shuhada Wednesday morning, Maj Gen Hadi Zayid Kassar, deputy commander of the counterterrorism forces in Fallujah, tells The Associated Press.

The operation to retake Fallujah is expected to be one of the most difficult yet — this city in Iraq’s western Anbar province is symbolically important to the militant group and has been a bastion of support for anti-government militants since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.

Iraqi counterterrorism forces load a Humvee with rockets to take to a front line position in their fight to oust Islamic State fighters from Fallujah, Iraq, Tuesday, June 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

Iraqi counterterrorism forces load a Humvee with rockets to take to a front line position in their fight to oust Islamic State fighters from Fallujah, Iraq, Tuesday, June 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

Artillery and rocket fire clear the way and a single column of black Humvees is seen moving in between the low rise buildings of Shuhada, a southern neighborhood in Fallujah. After Iraqi forces begin their advance, a quick succession of coalition airstrikes followed, filling the sky above Fallujah with dark grey smoke.

— AP

Defense ministers of Russia, Syria, Iran to meet in Tehran

The defense ministers of Russia, Syria and Iran are to meet in Tehran, the official Iranian news agency Fars reports.

The three, Russia’s Sergei Shoigu, Syria’s Fahad Jassim Freij and Iran’s Hossein Dehghan, will discuss the “shared fight against terror,” according to Iranian reports.

The meeting was convened by the Iranian minister.

Russia and Iran both back Syrian strongman Bashar Assad in that country’s five-year-old civil war.

Youth, 14, seriously hurt in explosion in Tel Aviv, cause unknown

A teenager is seriously hurt in an explosion next to a Tel Aviv kindergarten, the Magen David Adom rescue service reports.

MDA medics are caring for the boy, age 14.

Initial reports say an object exploded on Aliyat Hanoar Street in the metropolis shortly before 2:10 p.m.

The cause of the explosion is not yet known.

Families evacuated due to brush fire in south Jerusalem

Firefighters are battling a blaze near Jerusalem’s Givat Hamatos neighborhood.

Several families are reportedly evacuated from the area, which lies on the road south toward Bethlehem.

Youth hurt in Tel Aviv explosion taken to Ichilov Hospital

The 14-year-old boy seriously hurt in an explosion in Tel Aviv is taken by paramedics to the city’s Ichilov Hospital. According to hospital officials, he is hospitalized in the trauma center with injuries to his upper torso.

The circumstances behind the explosion, which took place on Aliyat Hanoar Street on the metropolis’s eastern edge, are still unclear.

Magen David Adom paramedics say the youth was in his home, which borders a kindergarten, when an object exploded.

Police are investigating.

British Jewish leaders condemn Trump rhetoric ahead of visit

Ahead of Donald Trump’s planned visit to Britain, leaders of that country’s Jewish community condemn what they say is the Republican presidential nominee’s “divisive and troubling” rhetoric.

Trump is coming to Britain for the opening of a new hotel he owns in Scotland.

Jonathan Arkush, the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, says Trump’s “recent comments” on the Mexican heritage of a federal judge “have been divisive and troubling,” the London-based Jewish News reports. “The world has long looked to the United States as a beacon of progress, tolerance and free thinking. Some of Mr. Trump’s remarks undermine these values.”

Trump, Arkush adds, “has not moved decisively enough to distance himself from extremist supporters” and “should now be considering the far-reaching consequences of his remarks and policy proposals before more damage is done.”

Laura Janner-Klausner, a well-known Reform rabbi, calls Trump’s statements “naked appeals to bigotry.” British Jews, she says, “strongly support American liberal Jews in challenging Donald Trump and stand in solidarity with our sister movement the Union for Reform Judaism” on this issue.

The chief executive of Britain’s Liberal Judaism association, Rabbi Danny Rich, tells The Jewish News: “I fear that some of Donald Trump’s rhetoric is part of a growing intolerance, and inability to discuss things rationally, that we are currently seeing in political debate all around the world.”

In New York last month, a 500-strong alliance of liberal Jews announced that they would be campaigning against Trump throughout the summer and autumn months.


Iowa state senator quits GOP over Trump, wonders if he’ll target Jews

An Iowa state legislator who quit the Republican Party because of Donald Trump wonders if the candidate’s next target will be Jews.

David Johnson, a state senator, tells The Guardian on Tuesday that his breaking point was Trump’s racially tinged attacks on a judge of Mexican parentage presiding over a lawsuit alleging that a defunct Trump enterprise, Trump University, defrauded clients.

“I haven’t supported Mr. Trump at any point along the way but what I am calling his racist remarks and judicial jihad is the last straw,” says Johnson, who says he would now register as not having a party.

Johnson, who says his father was among the first soldiers to liberate Nazi prison camps at the end of World War II, says he also was offended by Trump’s call to keep Muslims out of the United States, and wonders whether Jews are next.

“I was raised without hearing any racial slur, any racial epithet. It’s something that if we’re going to exclude Muslims from traveling to the United States, who’s next?” he says. “Are we going to come down on Jews?”


New anti-Semitism definition replaced EU version: US official

The new international definition of anti-Semitism that mentions Israel hatred was adopted in part to replace a similar one scrapped by the European Union, an initiator of the new text says.

Robert Williams, a delegate of the United States at the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, or IHRA, tells JTA on Tuesday that his intergovernmental agency of 31 Western nations adopted its new definition of anti-Semitism last month partly as a response to the 2013 removal from the website of the EU’s anti-racism agency of a definition that also mentioned the demonization of Israel as an example of anti-Semitism.

“After that happened, we decided at IHRA to have discussions about adopting a definition, and the result was the adoption of a text very similar to the definition abandoned” by the European Union, Williams says.

Manifestations of anti-Semitism, the new definition reads, “might include the targeting of the State of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity,” though “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.”

Like the abandoned EU definition, the IHRA text also lists comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany as anti-Semitic.


Syrian rebels re-open key supply route after ousting IS

Syrian rebels oust the Islamic State group from two villages near the Turkish border on Wednesday, re-opening a key supply route for opposition forces in northern Aleppo, a monitor says.

IS had captured several villages between the rebel-held northern towns of Marea and Azaz on May 27, cutting off rebel forces in Marea from their supply line with Turkey and forcing thousands to flee.

But on Wednesday morning rebels including several Islamist groups launch simultaneous attacks from the two towns to squeeze IS fighters out, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.

IS “did not fight hard, but rather withdrew, as they are facing attacks on numerous fronts in northern Syria,” says Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.


IDF may evacuate soldiers as brush fire nears West Bank base

A brush fire is threatening an IDF base east of Jerusalem.

Several firefighting teams are battling the blaze, near the Yishai military base in the Mishor Adumim area north of West Bank city of Maaleh Adumim.

Firefighters say the fire is not yet under control.

The army is reportedly preparing to evacuate soldiers from the base.

Brush fire hits IDF armory, sets off explosions

Explosions are reported from an IDF base in the West Bank after a brush fire reached the base’s ammunition storage facility.

No one is reported hurt in the explosions, as the ammunition is stored some distance from the Yishai military base north of Maaleh Adumim.

At least ten firefighting squads are battling to contain the blaze, with the IDF preparing to evacuate soldiers.

Registration opens for Gaza’s ‘Jerusalem intifada’ summer camps

Hamas announces the start of registration for “Jerusalem Intifada” summer camps.

The camps will open across the Gaza Strip following the end of Ramadan, roughly from July 7, according to a press release from the terror group.

The camps are named “in honor of the continuing intifada in the West Bank and Jerusalem, which is led by young boys and girls,” the statement says, referring to a months-long wave of terror attacks against Israelis that began in October.

File: Palestinian girls from summer camps attend a protest calling for the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, in front of the International Red Cross, Gaza City, the northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, June 4, 2014. (AP/Adel Hana)

File: Palestinian girls from summer camps attend a protest calling for the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, in front of the International Red Cross, Gaza City, the northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, June 4, 2014. (AP/Adel Hana)

— Dov Lieber

Austrian right party challenges presidential vote results

Austria’s far-right party is formally challenging the result of the presidential election that was narrowly lost by its candidate, legal officials say.

The Freedom Party is claiming numerous irregularities in the May 22 election, particularly for the absentee vote count, says Constitutional Court spokesman Christian Neuwirth.

Freedom Party candidate Norbert Hoffer led after polls closed. But final results after a count of absentee ballots put former Green party politician Alexander Van der Bellen ahead with only a little more than 30,000 votes.

The final count showed Van der Bellen with 50.3 percent, compared to 49.7% for Hofer.

The court challenge could result in at least a partial recount if the court rules in favor of the party, which had suggested it might contest the results shortly after they were announced.

The elections are viewed Europe-wide as a proxy fight pitting the continent’s political center against its growing populist and Euroskeptic movements.

— AP

Shas to skip Knesset votes over Channel 10 appointee’s remarks

The Sephardi Orthodox Shas Party says it refuses to participate in any Knesset meetings or votes over statements made by the new chairman of Channel 10.

Rami Sadan, who is reportedly close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was named to the position on Monday.

He is reported to have made racist comments against Shas several days ago during a Channel 10 directors meeting.

“Let’s admit the truth, I, like you, am in the elite, hate the Shas movement and the thief Aryeh Deri. But we, as the elite, need to expand the channel’s circles, and appeal to Shas’s audience, to Massuda from Sderot,” Sadan is quoted as saying.

Deri is Shas chairman and currently serves as interior minister. “Massouda from Sderot” is a derogatory way to describe a woman of Mizrahi descent living on Israel’s periphery.

Sadan denies making the comments, though Channel 10 News CEO Golan Yochpaz reportedly confirms the remarks.


Palestinian pelt Israeli bus with stones in northern West Bank

Palestinians throw stones at an Israeli bus near the northern West Bank settlement of Kedumim, Israel Radio reports.

No one is reported hurt in the incident, though damage was done to the bus.

100 families evacuated as brush fire reaches Kiryat Arba

Firefighters reportedly contain a blaze as it nears the Givat Harsina neighborhood in Kiryat Arba, the Jewish settlement adjacent to the West Bank city of Hebron.

Some 100 families are evacuated from the area. At least three firefighting squads are battling the blaze.

Kiryat Arba is the third reported site of a brush fire today. A fire near the Yishai military base north of Maaleh Adumim saw flames reach an ammunition depot, causing explosions. A fire was also reported earlier today in southern Jerusalem.

Libyan navy rescues 117 migrants, including pregnant women

A Libyan navy spokesman says 117 migrants, including six pregnant women, have been rescued off the North African country’s Mediterranean coast.

Col. Ayoub Gassim tells The Associated Press on Wednesday that the coast guard received a distress call the previous day northeast of Tripoli, the Libyan capital, near a district called al-Garabouli.

He says two boats from the Libyan coast guard rushed to the site and found a tug boat packed with migrants. The migrants were handed over to the anti-trafficking force in Tripoli and the women were taken to hospital.

Last week, more than 110 bodies washed ashore in Libya after a smuggling boat sank, carrying mostly African migrants.

— AP

Iran bans goalie for infractions including ‘SpongeBob’ pants

A semi-official news agency in Iran is reporting that the country’s football federation has suspended a goalkeeper for six months for a series of offenses, including wearing yellow pants reminiscent of “SpongeBob SquarePants.”

The ISNA news agency reports Wednesday that Sosha Makani, formerly a goalie for Persepolis Football Club, can appeal his suspension.

An image of Makani smiling and wearing the dotted yellow pants that showed his ankles circulated online last month. Those pants are apparently too close to “SpongeBob SquarePants,” a yellow sponge character on a popular children’s animated television show.

Athletes and celebrities in Iran have been targeted by hard-liners in the judiciary and elsewhere for what they wear and how they behave. Iranian hard-liners view much of Western culture as corrupt and un-Islamic.

— AP

Police to choose funeral sites for East Jerusalem terrorists

The Israel Police says it will choose the site of funerals for Palestinian terrorists hailing from East Jerusalem.

The decision, announced Wednesday, follows the publication of videos showing funerals for young Palestinians who were killed as they stabbed Israelis, which turned into mass rallies celebrating their actions and calling for new attacks.

In future, funerals will not take place in the deceased attackers’ villages and neighborhoods, police say, but in Muslim cemeteries elsewhere. Police officials will limit participation to close family members.

Last month, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan froze the return of assailants’ bodies to their families after the funeral of one attacker in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber turned into a demonstration in support of his actions.

Two Palestinian families from East Jerusalem are already appealing to the High Court of Justice against the decision.

In Russia, Netanyahu receives IDF tank captured in 1982 war

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, visiting Moscow on a state visit, formally receives an IDF Magach-3 tank captured by Syria in the 1982 Lebanon War.

The tank was taken during the June 11, 1982, battle of Sultan Yacoub, considered one of Israel’s worst failures in the war, in which 30 IDF soldiers were killed and another three, who were assigned to the captured tank, went missing.

Netanyahu thanks Russian President Vladimir Putin Wednesday for the “warm humanitarian gesture” and vows Israel will not relent until it finds its lost soldiers: Zvi Feldman, Yehuda Katz and Zachary Baumel.

IDF tank captured by Syrian forces in 1982, returned by Russia on June 8, 2016. (Raphael Ahren/Times of Israel)

IDF tank captured by Syrian forces in 1982, returned by Russia on June 8, 2016. (Raphael Ahren/Times of Israel)

Syria handed the tank over to Russia so it Russia could use it to study Israeli tank construction. It has been housed at a museum some 70 kilometers from Moscow ever since.

Missing-in-action Israel Defense Forces soldiers Zachary Baumel, Zvi Feldman and Yehuda Katz. (The International Coalition for Missing Israeli Soldiers)

Missing-in-action Israel Defense Forces soldiers Zachary Baumel, Zvi Feldman and Yehuda Katz. (The International Coalition for Missing Israeli Soldiers)

The tank is now being transferred to Israel’s Armored Corps museum at Latrun.

— Raphael Ahren and Times of Israel staff

4th brush fire of the day damages homes in Mevasseret Zion

Damage was reported to three homes in Mevasseret Zion, west of Jerusalem, as firefighters struggle to rein in a brush fire.

The blaze is at least the fourth such fire reported today, with firefighters deployed to Mishor Adumim east of Jerusalem, Kiryat Arba near Hebron and in southern Jerusalem.

Odeh: Treasury promised NIS 50m to Arab towns by Sunday

Arab Joint List leader MK Ayman Odeh says Treasury officials have promised to transfer some NIS 50 million ($13 million) to several Arab municipalities by Sunday.

In a Facebook post, Odeh praises a handful of Arab mayors who have lobbied the Finance Ministry for the funds.

The statement did not detail the purpose of the funds.

Israeli-founded companies said to bring $9.3b to Massachusetts

Israeli-founded companies based in Massachusetts brought in $9.3 billion to the state last year, continuing to outpace the state’s economy in overall revenue and job growth, according to a new report Wednesday by the New England-Israel Business Council.

When factoring in the impact of spending on goods and services, such as office space, marketing and other business needs, that figure nearly doubles, to $18.1 billion, the report finds.

Some 200 companies employ nearly 9,000 people in Massachusetts, up from some 6,600 employees three years ago, when NEIBC released a similar study. Both studies were conducted by Stax, Inc, a strategic management consulting firm, with support from the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston.

In that time, the revenue from the Israeli-founded companies grew twice as fast as the Massachusetts economy overall and now represents nearly 4 percent of the state’s entire economy.


US House urges Germany to increase aid for survivors

The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly approves a resolution urging Germany to increase funding for Holocaust survivors.

The nonbinding resolution, which passes by a vote of 363-0 on Tuesday, urges Germany to “ensure that every Holocaust victim receives all of the prescribed medical care, home care, mental health care, and other vital services necessary to live in dignity” and to provide “additional financial resources to address the unique needs of Holocaust victims.”

The resolution, initiated earlier this year by Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Florida, and Ted Deutch, D-Florida, estimates the number of survivors worldwide at 500,000, with 100,000 in the United States, and tens of thousands living in poverty.

Holocaust survivors “shouldn’t have to worry about their medical, mental health or home care needs, but the assistance promised to them by Germany has been slow [in] coming and inadequate to cover the full range of their unique needs,” Ros-Lehtinen tells JTA in an email.


Mevasseret Zion brush fire under control

Firefighters successfully rein in a blaze that has already claimed three homes on the outskirts of Mevasseret Zion, a western suburb of Jerusalem.

Bernie Sanders, not aids, said to drive campaign’s bitter tone

Bernie Sanders drove much of his campaign’s bitter rhetoric toward Hillary Clinton and the Democratic establishment in recent months, according to an exposé.

“At the heart of the rage against Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, the campaign aides closest to him say, is Bernie Sanders,” Politico reports in the article posted Tuesday night, just as Clinton, the former secretary of state, claims the Democratic presidential nomination.

The article quotes aides speaking on the record and on background as well as internal emails. Reporting until recently had attributed the increasingly bitter campaign tone to Sanders aids. The candidate started out on a positive note last year, praising Clinton for her leadership on some issues and pledging to run an issues-driven campaign.

Bernie Sanders, D-Vermont, speaking to supporters at an election-night rally in Santa Monica, California, June 7, 2016. (Scott Olson/Getty Images via JTA)

Bernie Sanders, D-Vermont, speaking to supporters at an election-night rally in Santa Monica, California, June 7, 2016. (Scott Olson/Getty Images via JTA)

Sanders, the independent Senator from Vermont and the first Jewish candidate to win major party nominating contests, was behind the decision not to apologize for heated exchanges between his followers and Clinton’s at a Nevada convention, instead sharpening a campaign statement blaming the state party leadership for the unrest. He made the decision to target Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Florida, the Jewish chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, after she criticized his campaign’s response to the Nevada controversy, endorsing her primary opponent. He chose to call Clinton “unqualified” to be president ahead of the New York primary, a sobriquet that the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump, has embraced with glee.

Sanders is still hopeful, the article says, without citing sources, that Clinton would be indicted before the convention on charges linked to her use of private email while she was secretary of state in President Barack Obama’s first term.


Two Jewish 25-year-olds bidding to be youngest member of Congress come up short

Erin Schrode and Alex Law, Jewish 25-year-olds running to become the youngest lawmakers in Congress, both lost to incumbents in their respective Democratic primary races Tuesday for a House of Representatives seat.

Schrode, an environmentalist and entrepreneur, garnered 7 percent of the vote in Northern California’s 2nd District in falling to two-term incumbent Jared Huffman, who had nearly 75%.

Days before the election, Schrode was flooded with anti-Semitic social media and cellphone messages. The progressive activist called the messages “pure evil” and told Buzzfeed that people contacted the FBI on her behalf.

This photo posted May 29, 2016 shows Erin Schrode hot on the campaign trail in Humboldt County, northern California (facebook/Erin Schrode)

This photo posted May 29, 2016 shows Erin Schrode hot on the campaign trail in Humboldt County, northern California (Facebook/Erin Schrode)

Law, a former IBM consultant, won 30% of the vote in Southern New Jersey’s 1st district in his loss to Donald Norcross, who had 70%.

Both of the young candidates — who each told JTA they support Bernie Sanders — had made national headlines for their upstart efforts but were projected as heavy underdogs.


Police continue probe into Herzog campaign finance accusations

Police are continuing to investigate accusations that opposition leader Isaac Herzog allegedly received illegal primary campaign contributions in 2013.

Channel 10 reports today that Herzog was called in for another round of questioning ten days ago. The questioning lasted about an hour, Channel 2 says.

Police sources tell Channel 10 they do not expect the investigation to lead to an indictment.

The suspicions surfaced in late May, and hinge on direct payments made by donors to members of Herzog’s leadership campaign. According to media reports, police have acquired invoices that show Herzog may have known about the allegedly illicit transactions.

In late May, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit officially approved launching a preliminary investigation into the case.

Herzog has rejected the accusations, welcoming the investigation and calling the suspicions the product of “delusional political muckraking” promoted by the rival Likud party and “frustrated activists.”

JDate closes its Israel offices

The Jewish matchmaking website JDate is closing its offices in Israel.

Spark Network, which operates the site, recently laid off its 25 employees in Israel and closed its offices in Herzliya, the Israeli business daily Calcalist reports this week.

The Israeli JDate website will continue to be maintained from the United States and include Hebrew-language content, according to Calcalist.

The closure of the Israel offices is part of a reduction in the company’s operations worldwide, according to Calcalist, following declining revenues over at least the last year.

JDate, the first Jewish dating website, was established in the United States in 1997 and began operating in Israel in 2002. The website has about 750,000 subscribers, including an estimated 350,000 in Israel.


Israeli author Etgar Keret awarded $100,000 Bronfman Prize

Israeli author Etgar Keret is named the recipient of the 2016 Charles Bronfman Prize.

The prize recognizes Keret’s work “conveying Jewish values across cultures and imparting a humanitarian vision throughout the world,” the prize committee says in an announcement Wednesday.

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.

Keret, 48, best known for his short stories, graphic novels, and film and television projects, has been one of Israel’s most popular writers since his first collection of short stories was published in 1992.

Hailed as the voice of young Israel, Keret is one of the most successful Israeli writers worldwide. His work has been published in 46 countries and translated into 41 languages, including Farsi, and has been featured in outlets including The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, The Paris Review and National Public Radio.


IDF to evacuate northern villages in war exercise

The IDF is planning a major war exercise on the northern border next week that will see the residents of several Jewish villages along the Lebanese border evacuate to the Jordan Valley, Channel 2 reports.

The exercise comes a decade after the 2006 Second Lebanon War, when hundreds of Hezbollah rockets landed on Israeli cities and towns, forcing some 300,000 Israelis to flee to the center of the country.

The exercise is a joint effort of the Defense Ministry, Upper Galilee Regional Council and National Emergency Authority.

Shooting attack reported in central Tel Aviv

Initial reports are coming in of a shooting at the Sarona Market on Kaplan Street in Tel Aviv.

There is no immediate word on casualties.

‘Several wounded’ in Tel Aviv shooting attack

Wounded are being evacuated from Sarona Market in central Tel Aviv after reported shooting.

Eli Bin, CEO of the Magen David Adom rescue service, says “several are wounded, we don’t yet know the exact number. Many ambulances are on the scene.”

‘We heard many shots fired,’ says bystander in Sarona Market in Tel Aviv

One bystander reports “many shots fired” in shooting attack near Sarona Market.

“We heard many shots. We understood it was terrorists,” says another bystander.

Police are not confirming the nature of the attack.

Army Radio says medics are attempting to resuscitate a woman in the street outside the market.

IDF and police forces are patrolling the site.

Police said to catch one shooting suspect, residents told to stay indoors

Initial reports suggest there may be two shooters in the Tel Aviv shooting attack.

Police are reported to have caught at least one suspect near the Sarona Market in the city’s center.

Residents are told to stay indoors.

Five wounded in Sarona Market shooting, says MDA

Magen David Adom CEO Eli Bin says five people are thought to be wounded in the shooting minutes ago at Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market.

“Most” are seriously wounded, says Bin.

MDA: 9 wounded, one critically, from gunshot wounds

Magen David Adom CEO Eli Bin says the rescue service took nine people to Ichilov Hospital.

Two were unconscious, one was in critical condition.

All were wounded from gunfire.

Video emerges of police taking shooting suspect into custody

Video emerges purportedly of police taking a shooting suspect into custody near Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market.

Bystander: Tel Aviv shooters dressed as Haredi men

One bystander tells Israel Radio the Sarona Market shooters were dressed as Haredi men.

The report has not been confirmed from other sources.

Eyewitness: Shooter fired until he ran out of bullets, then fled

An eyewitness tells Channel 2 that he saw the shooter open fire. When he ran out of bullets, he threw the firearm under a chair and fled toward Carlebach Street.

Six of the wounded arrive in Ichilov Hospital

Six of the nine wounded have arrived in Ichilov Hospital, reports Channel 2.

One woman is critically wounded, two seriously, says the report.

Photo of Sarona Market in central Tel Aviv moments after the shooting

A photo of Sarona Market in Tel Aviv moments after the shooting.

Police reportedly believe only one attacker in Sarona Market

Channel 2 says police believe only one attacker carried out the Sarona Market shooting in central Tel Aviv.

A manhunt is still underway for possible suspects, but police believe the incident has likely ended.

Police had warned that Sarona Market was not secure

In April, Israeli police moved to close down the upscale Sarona Market at the center of Tel Aviv over fears that the commercial center was not sufficiently secure, but the site’s management said it would stay open.

The popular compound is home to Israel’s largest indoor culinary market. Its 8,700 square meters (93,000 square feet) of market space hosts 91 shops of all varieties.

At the time, police asked the Tel Aviv Municipality to revoke Sarona’s business license, arguing that lax security put the visiting public at risk.

Police push bystanders away from shooting site, citing possible explosive devices

Police are pushing bystanders away from Sarona Market over fear of possible explosive devices.

Police Spokeswoman Merav Lapidot: “We’re asking the public not to come to the area, to listen to instructions from police. It’s possible there are explosive devices in the area. If you see something suspicious, call the emergency hotline 100 immediately.”

Police: Two shooters carried out Sarona attack, both neutralized

Police spokeswoman Merav Lapidot: “Two terrorists were involved, both were neutralized. One is wounded, the other’s condition is unclear at the moment. All these details are preliminary.”

MDA update: Nine wounded, 1 critically, five seriously

The Magen David Adom rescue service updates on the casualties from the Sarona Market attack.

Nine sustained gunshot wounds. One is critically hurt, five seriously and three moderately.

One is taken to Tel Hashomer Hospital, the rest to Ichilov Hospital nearby.

Three said dead in Sarona Market attack

Three of the wounded are said to have succumbed to their injuries in hospital.

VIDEO: Police chief visits shooting site at Sarona Market

Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich visits the Sarona Market, site of the terror attack in which three were killed about an hour earlier.

Netanyahu convenes security chiefs after Tel Aviv shooting

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has just landed at Ben Gurion airport from his visit to Moscow.

He is on his way to Tel Aviv, where he will be meeting with Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman, Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich and other security chiefs.

The meeting is slated to take place at the Kirya compound that serves as the IDF’s headquarters.

Suspected terrorist among those being treated at Ichilov

Channel 2 reports one of the suspected terrorists who opened fire on the crowd at the Sarona Market in central Tel Aviv is moderately wounded and being treated at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, where eight of the victims are also being treated.

Video: Police officer shoots, neutralizes suspected Tel Aviv terrorist

A video emerges of a police officer purportedly shooting one of the suspected terrorists at the Sarona Market shooting in central Tel Aviv, in which three people were killed.

Tel Aviv mayor asks public ‘to remain calm, terror won’t defeat us’

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai speaks from Ichilov Hospital.

The terrorists, he says, “fired indiscriminately. Ichilov received nine, three apparently already killed. I want to send condolences to the families.”

He continues: “I’m asking the public to stay calm. Tel Aviv-Jaffa has been for years a target of terror that tries to disrupt our lives. We’ll continue to live in this city, to create and build. No terror will defeat us. We will continue to seek peace.”

Police call off search for third suspect

Police say they are calling off a search for a third suspect in the Sarona Market shooting in central Tel Aviv.

Terrorists reportedly ate at a restaurant at Sarona Market before opening fire

Reports are surfacing that the terrorists who shot up the Sarona Market ate a meal at the Max Brenner restaurant on the premises before carrying out the attack.

The reports have not been confirmed by authorities.

MK at Sarona Market sees ‘uneaten birthday cakes, puddles of blood’

Likud MK Amir Ohana, who lives nearby, rushed to the scene in Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market.

“The place is all overturned. Uneaten birthday cakes, puddles of blood,” he tells Channel 2.

Tel Aviv shooters said to come from South Hebron Hills

Multiple unconfirmed reports say the two shooters from Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market are Palestinians from the South Hebron Hills in the southern West Bank.

MK Amir Ohana and multiple media outlets have made the claim, but it has not been confirmed by authorities.

Bartender: Terrorists ordered brownies, opened fire without touching food

The Times of Israel’s Judah Ari Gross is at the scene of the Sarona Market attack.

He speaks to bartender Yousef Jabarin at the Max Brenner restaurant.

Two guys came in dressed as “warriors,” wearing black suits, white shirts and skinny ties, says Jabarin. When he saw them, he knew from their dress that they were from the West Bank. They came in, they ordered the “milky brownies” dessert, and without touching the food, got up and began their attack.

According to Jabarin, who hails from Umm al-Fahm, the firearms didn’t look like automatic rifles, but pistols. They fired out a couple of rounds and people started running.

The restaurant doesn’t have its own security guard; only Sarona Market does. About 15 minutes passed from when the men entered and the shooting began. The shooting lasted about a minute.

Police confirm Tel Aviv shooters came from Hebron

Police confirm reports that the shooters at the Sarona Market attack came from Hebron, but decline to identify them by name.

Four wounded remain in critical condition

Four of the wounded in the Sarona Market attack remain in critical condition at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv. The current death toll of three may yet rise, say hospital officials.

Palestinian media says shooters are family members from Yatta near Hebron

Palestinian media reports that the two attackers at the Sarona Market terror attack are members of the same family, hailing from the village of Yatta in the South Hebron Hills.

The two went missing this morning, according to Palestinian officials. A search for them was underway when Palestinian authorities received news of the attack.

Hamas leader: ‘Glory and salutation’ to Tel Aviv shooters

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh tweets his happiness over the deadly shooting attack at Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market.

“Glory and salutations to the Hebronites,” tweets the delighted leader from Gaza, ending his tweet with a victory sign emoji.

Hamas leader tweets photo of ‘hero’ Tel Aviv shooter

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh calls one of the dead Tel Aviv shooters a “hero” and prays for “mercy and light” for his soul.

— Dov Lieber

Celebratory fireworks in Hebron over deadly Tel Aviv shootings

Hebron residents are reportedly shooting fireworks into the sky in celebration over the Tel Aviv shooting tonight that left three dead and four others critically wounded.

Fireworks also reported in Gaza after Tel Aviv shooting

Hamas-affiliated media in Gaza report residents have set off fireworks to celebrate the shooting attack in Tel Aviv.

These reports could not be confirmed, nor it is known if the fireworks are really to celebrate the attack or in honor of Ramadan, which is customary.

— Dov Lieber

Police clearing out of Sarona Market area

Police are starting to clear out forces from the Sarona Market area of central Tel Aviv, suggesting that the operational phase of the attack is formally ending.

The nearby Kirya army base is standing down from a heightened alert level declared after the shooting.

— Judah Ari Gross

Hamas official praises Hebron as ‘capital of intifada’

Senior Hamas official and spokesperson in Gaza Mushir al Masri calls Hebron, where the Tel Aviv shooters reportedly hail from, the “capital of the Jerusalem Intifada.”

Hebron is home to a large bulk of the Palestinian assailants since the wave of violence against Israelis began in October.

— Dov Lieber

Netanyahu set to meet security chiefs imminently

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives at IDF headquarters in the Kirya complex in central Tel Aviv, where he is slated to meet security chiefs and top ministers over tonight’s terror attack in the nearby Sarona Market.

The meeting will include Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman, Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan.

One of the Tel Aviv shooters was on Shin Bet suspect list

One of the Tel Aviv shooters was on a Shin Bet suspect list, Channel 2 reports. Both were in Israel without permits.

Both have been missing for days, the television channel reporting, citing Palestinian security sources.

One shooter is named, from Yatta’s Sh’hadeh Salameh family

One of the shooters is named by Palestinian media as Khaled Muhammad Musa Sh’hadeh Salameh.

Unconfirmed reports say the other shooter is his brother.

Ichilov Hospital says condition of 3 victims has stabilized

The condition of three seriously wounded victims of the Sarona Market shooting has stabilized, a senior medical official at Ichilov Hospital tells Israeli media.

Police increase patrols in Tel Aviv after terror attack

Police say they are bolstering patrols around crowded areas in Tel Aviv in order to “increase residents’ sense of security.”

CCTV video shows people fleeing shooters with their children

The Ynet news site publishes security footage from the Sarona Market shooting attack showing restaurant patrons hearing the shots and attempting to flee the shooters. One father is seen carrying his son in a mad rush for the exit.

IDF said deploying forces around Yatta in southern West Bank

Channel 2 reports that IDF forces are deploying around the village of Yatta in the South Hebron Hills area of the southern West Bank. The village is home to the shooters who killed three at Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market earlier tonight.

The deployment is taking place as security chiefs are gathered in Tel Aviv with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan to receive a briefing and decide on Israel’s response.

Photo of ‘cousins,’ both 21, who carried out Sarona Market attack

Channel 10 tweets a photo purporting to be of the two Tel Aviv shooters, identified as 21-year-old cousins.

Other reports say they are brothers.

Tel Aviv terror attack death toll rises to four

The death toll in tonight’s terrorist attack at Sarona Market in Tel Aviv has risen to four.

Three victims were pronounced dead by Ichilov Hospital earlier. A fourth victim, who was hospitalized in critical condition, was pronounced dead shortly after midnight.

None of the victims has yet been named.

Three other people are in moderate-to-serious condition.

The gunmen, who are both in custody, are Palestinian cousins, aged 21, from the Hebron area of the West Bank. One of them is also being treated in Ichilov.

Fatah: Israel ‘reaping repercussions’ of violence against Palestinians

A tweet from a Twitter account affiliated with Fatah, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s party, says the Tel Aviv shooting this evening is retribution for Jewish state’s policy of “violence” against Palestinians.

“Israel is reaping the repercussions of choosing violence against the Palestinian people,” the tweet says.

— Dov Lieber

CCTV footage shows Tel Aviv shooters

CCTV footage of the shooting in Tel Aviv shows the two gunmen dressed in suits firing inside a restaurant and customers rushing out in a mad panic.

CCTV footage from June 8's terror attack in Tel Aviv (Channel 2 screenshot)

CCTV footage from June 8’s terror attack in Tel Aviv (Channel 2 screenshot)

One of the gunmen throws his Carl Gustav improvised gun to the ground as the two flee the scene.

The second still has his gun.

CCTV footage from June 8's terror attack in Tel Aviv (Channel 2 screenshot)

CCTV footage from June 8’s terror attack in Tel Aviv (Channel 2 screenshot)

State Department condemns ‘horrific’ terror attack

The US State Department issues a condemnation of the Tel Aviv terror attack. Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner says in a statement:

“The United States condemns today’s horrific terrorist attack in Tel Aviv in the strongest possible terms. We extend our deepest condolences to the families of those killed and our hopes for a quick recovery for those wounded. These cowardly attacks against innocent civilians can never be justified. We are in touch with Israeli authorities to express our support and concern.”

Hamas outlet depicts Tel Aviv shooting as Ramadan treat

The Tel Aviv shooting is a Ramadan treat, according to a cartoon published by a Hamas media outlet.

PFLP says TA shooting a direct challenge to Avigdor Liberman

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, or PFLP, says the deadly shooting at Sarona Market in Tel Aviv is a source of pride for Palestinians and a direct challenge to Israel’s brand new defense minister Avigdor Liberman.

— Dov Lieber

PM’s security briefing ends, defense chiefs head to attack site

Top ministers and security chiefs conclude their briefing at IDF Headquarters in Tel Aviv’s Kirya complex and are headed to Sarona Market, site of the deadly shooting attack just three hours ago.

The group includes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman, Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich and others.

Tel Aviv City Hall lights up with the colors of the Israeli flag

Tel Aviv’s City Hall, only a few hundred meters from the site of the Sarona Market shooting, lit up late Wednesday with the colors of the Israeli flag.

The city’s Twitter account tweeted an image of the building, declaring, “Sad night, but this city WILL NOT stop!”

UK ambassador: ‘No possible justification’ for terrorism

The British Ambassador to Israel David Quarrey tweets a condemnation of the Tel Aviv shooting attack.

“Condemn the attack in Sarona,Tel Aviv this evening. No possible justification for terrorism anywhere. Our thoughts w/ victims and families,” he tweets.

US Ambassador Dan Shapiro tweeted his own condemnation shortly before: “The United States strongly condemns the horrific terrorist attack tonight in Tel Aviv”

Photo of ‘terrorists’ said to be of misidentified Jewish men

A photo circulating on Israeli and Palestinian media of two young men who are said to be the shooters at the Sarona Market may not be the shooters. Israelis who say they know the men are taking to Facebook to insist that they are two Israeli Jews, both IDF veterans, who frequent the Sarona Market’s pubs and restaurants.

Hamas vows more terror attacks during Ramadan

In an official statement over twitter, the Hamas terror group praises the Tel Aviv shooting as “heroic” and suggests more attacks are likely to come over the month of Ramadan.

“The heroic operation that happened Wednesday evening is the first of the signs for the holy month, and the first of the surprises that await the Zionist enemy during the month of Ramadan,” the statement said.

— Dov Lieber

NY governor Cuomo: New Yorkers ‘stand with Israel’

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says New Yorkers “stand with Israel” in the wake of Wednesday night’s deadly terror attack in Tel Aviv.

“Friends stand together in times of crisis. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest thoughts and prayers to those affected by today’s terrorist attack in Tel Aviv. We stand with the people of Israel,” the governor says in a statement released to the media.

Purported ‘terrorist’ in viral photo identified as Israeli IDF vet

Israeli Tal Haddad, 21, recently finished his IDF service. On Wednesday, his photograph began to make its away on Palestinian and then Israeli media as one of the two terrorists who killed four at Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market.

“I’m in shock. People think I’m a terrorist. I’m scared to walk in the streets,” he tells the Ynet news site.

UN envoy ‘shocked’ that Hamas welcomes Tel Aviv killings

United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov says on Twitter he is “shocked” to see Hamas welcoming the Sarona Market shooting.

“Shocked to see #Hamas welcomes #TelAviv terror attack. Leaders must stand against violence and the incitement that fuels it, not condone it,” he tweets.

18 still hospitalized following shooting

At least 18 people are still hospitalized from Wednesday night’s shooting attack in Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market, not including a suspected terrorist. Of the 21 who reached Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital, four succumbed to their wounds. Three others are in moderate condition, and 13 are lightly hurt, according to a count by Channel 10.

Another victim is hospitalized in moderate condition at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer.

The suspected terrorist is moderately hurt, and is being treated at Ichilov.

Netanyahu to convene security cabinet for Thursday morning

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is convening the security cabinet on Thursday morning to discuss Israel’s response to the terror attacks in Tel Aviv.

The ten-member cabinet committee is empowered by law to authorize broad military responses, up to and including formal war.

IDF surrounds, seals off, Tel Aviv shooters’ West Bank village

IDF troops have encircled the southern West Bank village of Yatta and declared the area around the village a closed military zone.

Israeli security agencies are expected to begin questioning family members and close associates of the two Tel Aviv shooters overnight.

Netanyahu, Erdan, Liberman visit site of Tel Aviv attack

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan are visiting the Sarona Market in central Tel Aviv, site of last night’s deadly shooting attack, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Hamas taunts Liberman, Liberman promises harsh response

Hamas calls out recently appointed Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman while praising the Tel Aviv shooting.

The terror group’s spokesman Hussam Bardan says in a press statement that the attack was a challenge to the “leaders of the occupation, and especially Liberman, who boasted and threatened our people without being able to break their resolve.”

Liberman famously called for an “iron hand” against terrorist, and has criticized the Netanyahu government over the past year for failing to end terror attacks.

Tonight, however, he isn’t taking the bait.

“We don’t intend to accept this situation,” he says in a laconic statement. “I don’t think this is the moment to offer pronouncements, and we will do everything necessary, and will do it with severity.”

The terrorists, he vows, “won’t be able to flee responsibility.”

Netanyahu promises ‘decisive and wise’ response to shootings

Netanyahu releases a statement early Thursday that vows ‘a series of offensive and defensive steps’ against terrorists following the shooting attack in Tel Aviv.

“This was a difficult event, a cold-blooded murder by criminal terrorists. I want first of all to send condolences to the families whose worlds were decimated at this moment, and of course wishes for the swift healing of the wounded,” he says.

At a meeting of defense chiefs Wednesday night, “we discussed a series of offensive and defensive steps that we will take in order to act against this serious phenomenon of shootings. This is a challenge, and we shall meet it,” he vows.

He promises “determined action by police, IDF and security agencies to locate all collaborators who took part in this murder, and to prevent future attacks.”

And he concludes: “We’re in the middle of a complex period. We will act decisively and wisely.”

Hamas releases photo of purported Tel Aviv shooter

Hamas’s Al-Aqsa TV tweets a photo purporting to be of one of the two shooters in Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market.

An earlier photo tweeted by Palestinian and Israeli media claimed to be of the shooters, but was soon revealed to be a picture of two Jewish Israelis.

Erdan vows increased police presence following TA attack

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan says “we will increase police presence anywhere it is required in order to create a sense of security,” according to Army Radio.

Speaking at the scene of the terror attack in central Tel Aviv, Erdan says the upcoming Jewish holiday of Shavuot, which takes place Sunday, and the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, which began earlier this week, make for “a sensitive time.”

Hillary Clinton: ‘I stand in solidarity with the Israeli people’

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton condemns the terror attack in Tel Aviv.

“I condemn the heinous terrorist attack in Tel Aviv today,” she says in a statement.

“I send my deepest condolences to the families of those killed and I will continue to pray for the wounded. I stand in solidarity with the Israeli people in the face of these ongoing threats, and in unwavering support of the country’s right to defend itself. Israel’s security must remain non-negotiable.”

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed