The Times of Israel liveblogged Saturday’s events as they happened.
Ukraine has won the Eurovision Song Contest, as many had expected it would as it faces Russia’s months-long invasion.
Ukrainian folk hiphop band Kalush Orchestra rode a wave of goodwill at the contest this year.
“Stefania,” the song selected to represent Ukraine at Eurovision just days before Russia’s invasion has taken on outsized meaning for a country nearing its third month of war. It contains nostalgic lyrics such as “I’ll always find my way home even if all the roads are destroyed” and celebrates cultural identity and the motherland.
At least 10 have been killed in the mass shooting in Buffalo.
The FBI is investigating it as both a hate crime and racially motivated violent extremism.
US media reports indicate the suspect is a white supremacist. The mayor says he “traveled hours from outside this community to perpetrate this crime on the people of Buffalo.”
Some reports say the suspect posted a manifesto online that included antisemitic ranting.
“We are investigating this incident as both a hate crime and a case of racially motivated violent extremism,” Stephen Belongia, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Buffalo field office, tells a news conference.
The supermarket is in a predominately Black neighborhood, about 3 miles (5 kilometers) north of downtown Buffalo.
Investigators believe the gunman may have been streaming the shooting through a camera affixed to his helmet, an official says.
BUFFALO, New York — At least eight people have been killed in a shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, law enforcement officials tell The Associated Press.
Buffalo police said earlier today that the alleged shooter was in custody.
The two officials aren’t permitted to speak publicly on the matter and do so on the condition of anonymity.
It’s unclear how many other people may have been shot. The suspect hasn’t been identified.
WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and a delegation of GOP senators meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv during an unannounced visit today, delivering the latest show of American solidarity with the country at war with Russia.
A video posted on Zelensky’s Telegram account shows McConnell, who is from Kentucky, and Senators Susan Collins of Maine, John Barrasso of Wyoming and John Cornyn of Texas greeting him in the capital. Zelensky, in an Instagram post, calls the visit “a strong signal of bipartisan support for Ukraine from the United States Congress and the American people.”
The trip comes at a time when the Senate is working to approve a nearly $40 billion package for Ukraine, a substantial infusion of support that will push American aid to the region well above $50 billion. The measure includes $6 billion for Ukraine for intelligence, equipment and training for its forces, plus $4 billion in financing to help Ukraine and NATO allies build up their militaries.
Passage was delayed Thursday by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who demanded the inclusion of a proposal to have an inspector general scrutinize the new spending. But final approval is not in doubt and could come in the week ahead, reflecting overwhelming support in Congress for replenishing the Ukrainian war effort.
“They’re only asking for the resources they need to defend themselves against this deranged invasion,” McConnell said this past week of the Ukrainians. “And they need this help right now.”
It was the second high-profile congressional delegation to stop in Ukraine in as many weeks. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited on May 1 with a group of House Democrats and promised Zelensky that the United States will “be there for you until the fight is done.”
Noam Raz, a veteran police commando killed yesterday in an Israeli operation near Jenin, will be posthumously promoted to the rank of command sergeant major, the force announces.
“Raz belonged to a small and special group of officers and warriors who put the good of the state and security of its citizens first. He dedicated his life to his friends in the unit and for the police and the country,” Israel Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai says.
Raz is due to be buried tomorrow in the police section of Mount Herzl national cemetery in Jerusalem.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock expresses dismay at the death of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and shock at the clashes that broke out at her funeral yesterday.
“I am distraught by the death of Shireen Abu Akleh,” Baerbock tweets from the official German Foreign Office Twitter account. “Democracy depends on the work of courageous journalists. It is important that her death is transparently investigated.”
She also states that she is “personally shocked that her funeral service could not take place in peace & dignity.”
Videos from the funeral yesterday showed officers charging Palestinians who were holding and surrounding the casket, while beating them with batons and nearly toppling the coffin. Israel has faced widespread condemnation for the incident and Israeli police have opened an investigation into officers’ behavior.
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid congratulates Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on his selection as the UAE’s news president following the death of his brother.
“Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al Nayhan is continuing the path of his father and brother, who founded the country on the basis of tolerance and peace, and has shown his leadership in redesigning the Middle East for partnership, peace and cooperation for the wellbeing of the next generations,” Lapid says.
He adds that the Jewish state will keep working with the new Emirati ruler, who is commonly referred to by his initials MBZ, “for a better world and fraternity between the nations.”
Meanwhile, President Isaac Herzog’s office confirms he will depart for Abu Dhabi tomorrow to represent Israel at the funeral of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
A statement says Herzog will be in the United Arab Emirates for a few hours and will meet MBZ “alongside other leaders.” It was unclear if the two will hold a tete-a-tete.
A police source criticizes commanders in Jerusalem over their handling of the funeral for Al Jazeera journalist Shirin Abu Akleh.
“The Jerusalem District Police should have realized that this event needs to be allowed to take place, especially because of the ramifications and the international aspects of it,” the unnamed source tells Channel 12 news
“Even if Palestinian flags were waved and even if anti-Israel statements were heard and even if several stones were thrown, the commanding officers should have thought carefully before ordering officers to rush with batons and reach coffin carriers,” the source adds.
Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar comes out against the decision to reopen the Erez Crossing with Gaza after a nearly two-week closure.
“[Yahya] Sinwar and Hamas, who engage in constant incitement and terror, need to be removed from their comfort zones,” Sa’ar says, referring to the Gaza-ruling terror group’s leader in the enclave.
The Erez Crossing with the Gaza Strip will be reopened tomorrow for the first time in nearly two weeks, Israel’s military liaison to the Palestinians announces.
“The continuation of the civil policy will be possible in accordance with situational assessments and the preservation of security stability,” says a statement from the Defense Ministry, known by its initials COGAT.
The move will enable the 12,000 Palestinians in the Hamas-ruled enclave with Israeli work permits to again enter Israel.
The crossing has been closed since May 3, when Israel also shuttered crossings with the West Bank for Memorial Day and Independence Day. It was due to reopen on May 6, but Israel kept it shuttered in the wake of a deadly terror attack on Independence Day.
Yahya Sinwar, the chief of Hamas in Gaza, visits the Gaza offices of Al Jazeera after the broadcaster’s journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed during clashes between Palestinian gunmen and Israeli troops during a military raid in the West Bank.
“Abu Akleh was killed more than once: First when they shot her and the second time with the attempts to prevent the funeral,” he says, referring to violent scenes yesterday for which Israel has faced widespread condemnation.
The visit is Sinwar’s first public appearance since calls for Israel to kill him following a deadly terror attack in Elad earlier this month.
“I’m not hiding,” he says.
— الرسالة للإعلام (@Alresalahpress) May 14, 2022
TEHRAN, Iran — One person was killed during a protest in southwestern Iran against a government decision to raise the costs of basic goods, an MP tells Iranian media today
The authorities had announced Monday a series of measures to tackle mounting economic challenges, such as changing a subsidy system and raising the prices of staple goods including cooking oil and dairy products.
Hundreds took to the streets in a number of Iranian cities to protest the government’s decision, including in Tehran province, state news agency IRNA reports.
Iran has been reeling under the effect of sanctions reimposed by the US in 2018 — exacerbated by rising prices worldwide since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
“A resident of Andimeshk was killed during the recent rallies in Dezful in Khuzestan province,” local MP Ahmed Avai tells the Iran Labour News Agency (ILNA).
The victim isn’t identified, nor are the circumstances of the death disclosed.
IRNA had reported yesterday that more than 20 people were arrested during the demonstrations in Dezful and Yasuj further east, but made no mention of any casualties.
In the town of Izeh, also in Khuzestan, a number of people reportedly attacked shops and set fire to a mosque.
CAIRO — An Islamic State affiliate in Egypt on Saturday claims responsibility for an attack that killed at least five troops in the restive part of the Sinai Peninsula.
The extremist group announces its claim of Wednesday’s attack in a statement carried by its Amaq news agency. The authenticity of the statement cannot be verified but it was released on Telegram, as similar claims have been in the past.
The attack involved a militant ambush against a border guard checkpoint west of the Mediterranean city of Rafah, which borders the Gaza Strip.
The military said at least five troops, including an officer, were killed in the attack. At least seven militants were also killed, it said.
It was the second jihadist attack in less than a week.
Last Saturday, at least 11 troops were killed, in one of the deadliest attacks on Egyptian security forces in recent years.
Islamic State also claimed that attack, which took place in the town of Qantara in the province of Ismailia, which stretches eastwards from the Suez Canal.
Egypt is battling an insurgency in Sinai that intensified after the military overthrew an elected but divisive Islamist president in 2013. The extremists have carried out scores of attacks, mainly targeting security forces and Christians, but the pace has slowed in recent years.
President Isaac Herzog is expected to represent at the funeral of late Emirati leader Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who died yesterday.
According to Hebrew media reports, Herzog is expected to meet with Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the new president of the United Arab Emirates.
The visit will be the president’s second to the UAE since he took office last year.
On behalf of the people of Israel I send my deepest condolences to my friend Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed and his family on the death of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE. This is a great loss for our friends in the UAE and for the whole region.
— יצחק הרצוג Isaac Herzog (@Isaac_Herzog) May 13, 2022
WASHINGTON — US President Joe Biden congratulates the UAE’s de facto ruler Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on being elected as the country’s president following his brother’s death.
“I congratulate my long-time friend Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on his election as President of the United Arab Emirates,” Biden says in a statement, adding that he looks forward to working with the leader “to further strengthen the bonds between our countries and peoples.”
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