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Israel said worried about Temple Mount clashes on Jerusalem Day

IDF officials tell southern community leaders no escalation expected from Gaza Strip; report: disagreements between Hamas, Islamic Jihad over response to controversial flag march

Palestinians wave Palestinian and Islamic flags as they rally at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, following the last Friday prayers of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, on April 29, 2022. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)
Palestinians wave Palestinian and Islamic flags as they rally at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, following the last Friday prayers of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, on April 29, 2022. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)

The Times of Israel liveblogged Saturday’s events as they happened.

Iran: Crews of seized Greek tankers ‘in good health,’ not arrested

The Greek-flagged oil tanker Prudent Warrior, one of the ships seized by Iran, is seen as it sails past Istanbul, Turkey, April 19, 2019. (Dursun Çam via AP)
The Greek-flagged oil tanker Prudent Warrior, one of the ships seized by Iran, is seen as it sails past Istanbul, Turkey, April 19, 2019. (Dursun Çam via AP)

Iran says the crews of two Greek oil tankers it has seized in the Gulf are in “good health” and not under arrest.

The crews have remained on board the two tankers after Iran’s Revolutionary Guards seized them on Friday, days after Athens confirmed it would deliver to Washington Iranian oil from a Russian tanker it seized.

Greece has condemned Tehran’s detention of the two ships as “tantamount to acts of piracy” and warned its citizens not to travel to Iran.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh says in a tweet that the crews were “safe and in good health.”

He describes ties between the two countries as having “always been based on mutual respect,” adding that they “must not be hampered by deeply shortsighted miscalculations, including highway robbery on the command of a third party.”

Iran’s ports authority denies the crews were arrested, according to a statement carried by the official news agency IRNA.

It adds they were being “protected… in accordance with international law. All the necessary services are being provided to them.”

The Revolutionary Guards — the ideological arm of Iran’s military — had said it seized the tankers “due to violations,” without elaborating further.

Greece said one of the tankers had been sailing in international waters, while the second was near the Iranian coast when it was seized.

Jerusalem Day celebrations begin at the Western Wall

Jerusalem Day celebrations are starting at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Hundreds of people are dancing and singing under a massive Israeli flag.

Tamir Hayman says he understands decision to allow Jerusalem Day Flag March this year

Hundreds of right-wing activists waving flags attempt to attend a march through Jerusalem's Old City on April 20, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Hundreds of right-wing activists waving flags attempt to attend a march through Jerusalem's Old City on April 20, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Former Military Intelligence chief Tamir Hayman tells Channel 12 news he “understands the decision” to allow the Jerusalem Day flag march to take place tomorrow.

Last year, the Hamas terror group launched rockets at Jerusalem amid the parade, sparking an 11-day war.

Hayman says the situation today is different from a year ago, when tensions were higher following canceled Palestinian elections and near-nightly clashes at Damascus Gate and in Sheikh Jarrah.

He says Hamas has no interest in escalating the situation inside Gaza now, but would “be very satisfied if there is some uprising,” especially on the Temple Mount.

Former IDF intel chief: Iran ‘framework of agreements’ is ‘least bad’ option for Israel

Managing Director of the Institute for National Security Studies, Tamir Hayman, speaks to Channel 12 news, May 28, 2022. (Screenshot)
Managing Director of the Institute for National Security Studies, Tamir Hayman, speaks to Channel 12 news, May 28, 2022. (Screenshot)

Former Military Intelligence chief Tamir Hayman says a”framework of agreements” between Iran and world powers is the “least bad” option for Israel right now.

Hayman does not elaborate what that would entail.

Iran has capabilities it didn’t previously have in the nuclear field, but is still some distance away from obtaining a bomb, Hayman — who is now the managing director of the Institute for National Security Studies — tells Channel 12 news.

According to Hayman, there’s an “ongoing confrontation” between Israel and Iran in the nuclear field, and with regards to Tehran’s efforts to establish itself in the region.

Hayman warns that Iran’s leadership needs to understand the danger that Unit 840, a shadowy division within the IRGC’s expeditionary Quds Force accused of carrying out kidnappings and assassinations of figures outside of Iran, poses for the country.

“Iran’s leader needs to understand that the [terror forces] he oversees, that endanger the security of Israelis and others all over the world, are likely to bring the conflict back home to him,” he says.

IDF officials tell southern community leaders no escalation expected with Gaza

Illustrative: A IDF military vehicle drives near the border with Gaza east of Bureij, on December 6, 2019. (Hassan Jedi/Flash90)
Illustrative: A IDF military vehicle drives near the border with Gaza east of Bureij, on December 6, 2019. (Hassan Jedi/Flash90)

Senior military officials in the Israel Defense Forces’ Gaza Division tell leaders of communities along the border with the Strip that they do not expect an escalation on Jerusalem Day tomorrow, Channel 13 news reports.

“We are prepared for any scenario, but the expectation is that it will be quiet in the [Gaza] envelope,” a senior officer is quoted as saying according to the network.

Israel said worried about Temple Mount clashes on Jerusalem Day

Palestinian clash with Israeli police at the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem's Old City on April 22, 2022. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)
Palestinian clash with Israeli police at the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem's Old City on April 22, 2022. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)

Channel 12 news is reporting that Israeli security forces are preparing for clashes on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem tomorrow, ahead of the controversial flag march.

The network says there is a fear Palestinian rioters will fortify themselves inside the Al-Aqsa mosque, and hurl stones and other items at officers and Jewish worshippers as they head onto the mount on Sunday morning.

Later in the day, the Jerusalem Day flag march will take place in and around the Old City, ending at the Western Wall.

TV: Disagreements between Hamas, Islamic Jihad over response to Jerusalem Day march

Members of the Hamas terror group's military wing parade in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip on May 27, 2021, as Hamas claims victory following an 11-day conflict with Israel.(SAID KHATIB / AFP)
Members of the Hamas terror group's military wing parade in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip on May 27, 2021, as Hamas claims victory following an 11-day conflict with Israel.(SAID KHATIB / AFP)

There are disagreements between the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group and other factions in the Strip regarding a response to tomorrow’s controversial flag march in Jerusalem, Channel 12 news reports.

According to the network, citing Palestinian sources, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other smaller factions seek to launch rockets at Israel tomorrow during Jerusalem Day.

But Hamas is against launching rockets in response to the march, the sources say.

Israeli officials cited by the Kan public broadcaster say they do not expect Hamas to escalate the situation, but are preparing for the possibility of rocket fire regardless.

Judge gives initial OK to $1 billion settlement deal in Surfside condo collapse

Rescue workers work in the rubble at the Champlain Towers South Condo in Surfside, Florida, June 25, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
Rescue workers work in the rubble at the Champlain Towers South Condo in Surfside, Florida, June 25, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

A Florida judge gives initial approval to a settlement of more than $1 billion to families who lost loved ones in the collapse last year of a Florida beachfront condominium building in which 98 people died.

The quick settlement of the unprecedented collapse of the 12-story Champlain Towers South building in the early morning hours of June 24, 2021, means that potentially years of court battles will be avoided.

Rachel Furst, co-chair of the attorney group representing victim families, says the agreement means defendants — insurance companies, developers, the city of Surfside and others — will have “complete peace” that they won’t be sued again. Still, some people may decide to opt out of the deal and pursue their own independent claims.

Under the agreement, people involved in the settlement directly will have until June 16 to file a notice they intend to opt out. A week later on June 23, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman — who is overseeing the lawsuits — will have a fairness hearing to allow anyone objecting to the settlement to be heard.

The total for the families who lost loved ones in the collapse is about $1.02 billion. Separately, people whose condos were destroyed and lost property such as furnishings and mementos will share about $96 million.

Families of victims will have to file claims, as the money will not be split evenly. The goal is to begin distributing money by September.

The money comes from several sources, including insurance companies, engineering companies and a luxury condominium that had recently been built next door. None of the parties are admitting wrongdoing. A billionaire developer from Dubai is set to purchase the 1.8-acre (1-hectare) beachside site for $120 million, contributing to the settlement.

Only three survivors were found despite around-the-clock efforts by rescuers who dug through a 40-foot (12-meter) high pile of rubble for two weeks. Another three dozen people were able to escape from the portion of the building that remained standing. All 135 units were ultimately demolished, leaving a gaping hole along Surfside’s beachfront.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is investigating the cause of the collapse, a process expected to take years. Champlain South had a long history of maintenance problems and questions have been raised about the quality of its original construction and inspections in the early 1980s.

Jewish youths parade at Damascus Gate, in Old City on eve of Jerusalem Day

On the eve of the planned Jerusalem Day flag march, tensions in the Old City are already rising, with several incidents filmed and circulating on social media.

A few national-religious Jews march through the Old City’s Ha-Gai Street in the Muslim Quarter, waving Israeli flags and chanting hymns.

In a clip from Damascus Gate, a young Palestinian woman is detained by police and ordered to enter a holding area overseeing the square. She is seen scuffling with a female Israeli police officer, who pushes her back against a wall and strikes her.

At the same time, Israeli police officers were filmed moving around the grounds of the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque complex.

Footage circulating on Palestinian social media shows Israeli police seizing a Palestinian man and pushing him back forcefully. It is unclear what preceded the incident.

Gaza terror groups test fire rockets toward the sea — reports

Rockets are fired by Palestinian terrorists toward Israel, near Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, May 19, 2021. (Said Khatib/AFP)
Rockets are fired by Palestinian terrorists toward Israel, near Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, May 19, 2021. (Said Khatib/AFP)

Terror groups in the Gaza Strip test-fire rockets toward the Mediterranean Sea, according to the Hamas-affiliated Shehab News Agency.

Other media reports say at least eight rockets are fired.

Hamas and other terror groups in the coastal enclave regularly test rockets toward the sea.

Still, the launches come ahead of the controversial Jerusalem Day flag march, which Gaza-based groups have warned “will lead to a wide explosion.”

Second monkeypox case identified in Israel — report

This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP)
This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP)

A second case of monkeypox is discovered in Israel, the Ynet news site reports.

According to the news site, a man in his 30s was hospitalized at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan with the rare disease, before being released home.

The man recently returned from Western Europe, similar to the first case Israel reported.

There is no immediate comment from the Health Ministry on the matter.

Scholz, Macron ask Putin for ‘serious direct negotiations’ with Zelensky

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks in a video call with heads of states that are members of the Eurasian Economic Forum in Bishkek via videoconference in Moscow, Russia, May 26, 2022. (Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks in a video call with heads of states that are members of the Eurasian Economic Forum in Bishkek via videoconference in Moscow, Russia, May 26, 2022. (Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

BERLIN — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron ask Russia’s Vladimir Putin to hold “direct serious negotiations” with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky.

During an 80-minute conversation with the Russian president, the two EU leaders “insisted on an immediate ceasefire and a withdrawal of Russian troops,” the German chancellor’s office says.

Macron and Scholz urge Putin to have “serious direct negotiations with the Ukrainian president and (find) a diplomatic solution to the conflict.”

The German chancellor and the French president also “called on the Russian president to ensure an improvement in the humanitarian situation of the civilian population” in Ukraine.

Ahead of Jerusalem flag march, military liaison to Palestinians says status quo preserved

Military liaison to the Palestinians, Maj. Gen. Ghassan Alian, issues a video statement, May 28, 2022. (Screenshot)
Military liaison to the Palestinians, Maj. Gen. Ghassan Alian, issues a video statement, May 28, 2022. (Screenshot)

Israel’s military liaison to the Palestinians Ghassan Alian, known as the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), issues a video statement ahead of Sunday’s contentious Jerusalem Day Flag March.

“We are in a period where attempted incitement is on the rise. I see the lies and stories and I am here to clarify: The Flag March has been taking place for more than 30 years, this is not new,” Alian says.

“The parade takes place on Jerusalem Day, this is not new. Also, the route of the Flag March is also not new,” he continues.

“And the status quote in Jerusalem remains the same, for Jews, Muslims and Christians, and we won’t allow it to be harmed, for anyone,” Alian says.

“And what else isn’t new? The interests of elements looking to ignite the area, and their disregard for the consequences of an escalation,” he says.

“In the past two months, we have been expanding our civilian-economic policy in the West Bank, and in an unprecedented way in the Gaza Strip. Undermining the security stability will harm these efforts, and the accomplishments so far,” Alian concludes.

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