The Times of Israel liveblogged Tuesday’s events as they unfolded.
Two young men were killed by Israeli forces raiding a West Bank town overnight, Palestinian media report.
The two were in Qabatiya, south of Jenin, when troops entered the town, according to Palestinian accounts.
Graphic video shows the bloodied bodies of two men lying in a street. Their identities were not immediately known. The circumstances of the shooting were also unclear, but troops carrying out overnight arrest raids are regularly confronted by violent protests and often use live fire in response if they feel threatened.
There was no comment on the raid from the Israeli army.
Other footage from the town showed a large number of Israeli troops operating in Qabatiyeh, a day after the Israel Defense Forces launched a punishing offensive against the Islamic Jihad terror group in Gaza and the West Bank. Intense gunbattles can also be heard.
Situation is very difficult in Qabatyah
Huge Israeli forces are currently operating in the town looking after several PIJ operatives, a number of houses are surrounded and the military stormed one of them. https://t.co/WR8QlDlL4M pic.twitter.com/HdFfkBjpsm
— Younis | يونس (@ytirawi) May 9, 2023
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) May 10, 2023
Israeli operations in the West Bank in the past year have mostly focused on the Jenin and Nablus areas, where Islamic Jihad and affiliated groups are thought to enjoy wide support.
The Tunisian foreign ministry says a Tunisian citizen and French national were the two worshipers killed in an attack on the El Ghriba Synagogue.
The Tunisian is listed as 30 years old and the French victim was 42, the ministry says.
No other details are available.
The United Arab Emirates has joined others condemning Israel for striking Gaza in a series of air attacks Tuesday, including bombings that left a number of civilians dead.
Abu Dhabi’s Foreign Ministry “called on Israeli authorities to halt escalation and avoid exacerbating tension and instability in the region,” the UAE’s state-run news agency says.
Israel say its bombing campaigns took out Islamic Jihad leaders responsible for attacks against Israelis and who were planning more assaults, as well as infrastructure and weapons stores used by the terror group.
The Tunisian Interior Ministry says two foreigners were killed when a naval officer opened fire toward a synagogue where hundreds of Jewish pilgrims were gathered Tuesday night, Tunisia’s Babnet news reports.
According to the report, the officer first turned his personal weapon on a colleague, killing him, before grabbing more bullets and running toward the heavily guarded El-Ghriba synagogue while firing wildly at Tunisian guards protecting the synagogue.
The gunman was shot dead by responding security units, the report says.
The report says one member of the security forces and two “visitors” were killed, and another five officers and four “visitors” were injured in the attack.
It is not clear if the visitors killed were attending the festivities at the synagogue; the ministry is quoted saying the synagogue was cordoned off and everyone there was safe.
The synagogue hosts an annual pilgrimage that draws Jews of Tunisian descent to the island of Djerba every spring.
Israel’s Noa Kirel advances to the grand final of the 2023 Eurovision in Liverpool following her performance during the contest’s first semifinal.
Singing and dancing to pop song “Unicorn,” Kirel garners enough votes to qualify to compete for the top prize on Saturday night.
אין לנו מילים pic.twitter.com/SOe5Gaw85T
— כאן (@kann) May 9, 2023
“The electricity in the crowd provided us with so much energy to do the maximum to represent the country with pride,” said Kirel after finishing her performance, according to the Kan public broadcaster. “We gave it our all and the feeling was incredible. Thank you to everyone, I feel like you’re with me.”
A team led by researchers at the Safra Center for Neuroscience and the Institute for Life Sciences at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem have uncovered a sex-specific molecular mechanism leading to more accelerated cognitive decline in women with Alzheimer’s disease than in men.
Alzheimer’s, the leading cause of dementia, has no cure and disproportionately affects women. Current therapeutic protocols are based on structural changes in the brain and aim only at delaying symptoms’ progression but result in more severe side effects in women.
The research findings were published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association and show that severe depletion of mitochondrial RNA fragments inherited from the mother, in the affected brain nuclei, correlates with the rapid deterioration of cognitive abilities in women with living Alzheimer’s.
“This discovery provides the first molecular explanation for the accelerated cognitive damages occurring in the brains of women with Alzheimer’s disease, opening the door for improvement of current treatment protocols,” said Prof. Hermona Soreq, brain gene expert and one of the primary investigators on the study.
“With this discovery, we can take a crucial step forward in developing drugs suitable for women suffering from this devastating condition, and pave the way for optimal care and support for Alzheimer’s patients and their families,” she said.
Worshipers at the Al Ghriba synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia reported hearing gunshots on Tuesday night, as hundreds of pilgrims celebrated Lag B’Omer on the island.
Initial reports and videos posted online from the synagogue showed some pilgrims, speaking in Hebrew, reacting with alarm to the sounds.
Tunisian authorities maintain a permanent presence around the synagogue, situated near a part of the island where hundreds of Jews live. Security is beefed up during Jewish holidays and especially on Lag B’Omer.
Authorities have initiated a lockdown of the synagogue, keeping about 1,000 worshipers inside as police inspected the area, info-Israel, a French-language Jewish news site, reports.
Al-Qaeda terrorists set off an explosion outside the El Ghriba Synagogue in 2002, killing 20 people, including 14 German tourists.
Un video difundido por el grupo "Moked Bitajon" (Centro de seguridad) sugiere un posible atentado en la Sinagoga Elgariba en Djerba, en Túnez, durante las celebracionesde Lag Baomer. El caso está siendo investigado por la policía en el lugar. Moked Bitajon pic.twitter.com/5dRRqiWR1z
— Elías Levy Benarroch (@eliaslevyb) May 9, 2023
Noa Kirel takes the stage at the Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool with her song “Unicorn.”
The popular Israeli singer — performing in the number 9 spot — appears at the start inside a large optical illusion light box before walking down to perform with a large troupe of dancers, to raucous applause in the arena.
אין לנו מילים pic.twitter.com/SOe5Gaw85T
— כאן (@kann) May 9, 2023
The song was co-written by Kirel, Doron Medalie, Yinon Yahel and May Sfadia.
Kirel’s Eurovision “postcard,” which introduces each contestant, was filmed at Masada, and shows the singer posing and dancing atop the historical landmark.
For the first time, viewers around the world can vote in the Eurovision, even if they are not in competing countries, via www.esc.vote (voting costs money).
The Health Ministry warns Israelis against undergoing surgeries and medical treatments abroad. The ministry says it received several recent reports of severe complications and hospitalizations following plastic surgeries performed on Israelis in other countries.
More than 80,000 Israelis seek plastic surgery every year. The most popular procedures are breast augmentation, liposuction, and nose surgery. Many Israelis seek plastic surgery abroad to save money.
According to The Israel Society of Plastic Aesthetic Surgery (ISPAS), around 80 citizens are treated annually by plastic surgeons in emergency rooms and public and private clinics for complications resulting from surgeries done abroad. These include infections, bleeding, lack of healing and permanent scarring. In extreme cases, patients exhibit paralysis or are at risk of death.
ISPAS had urged the Health Ministry for six years to issue a warning like the one it has now made.
“It is critical that the public understand that every procedure has risks and requires recovery under the supervision of a plastic surgeon who knows how to prevent complications ahead of time, and to deal with them if they do arise,” says ISPAS chair Dr. Meir Cohen.
The Health Ministry emphasizes that there is generally no reason to leave the country for plastic surgery. It offers advice for Israelis who despite the warning insist on traveling abroad for plastic surgery and other aesthetic procedures. It recommends researching the institution where the operation will take place, the regulatory supervision in the specific country, and whether the procedure sought is done according to the accepted medical practices.
NEW YORK — A jury funds Donald Trump liable for sexually abusing advice columnist E. Jean Carroll in 1996, awarding her $5 million in a judgment that could haunt the former US president as he campaigns to regain the White House.
The verdict is announced in a federal courtroom in New York City on the first day of jury deliberations. Jurors reject Carroll’s claims that she was raped, but find Trump liable for sexually abusing her.
Hours earlier, US District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan read instructions on the law to the nine-person jury before the panel began discussing Carroll’s allegations of battery and defamation shortly before noon.
Trump, who did not attend the trial, has insisted he never sexually assaulted Carroll or even knew her.
A bus driver takes a wrong turn and ends up in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya, where his vehicle is torched by local Palestinians.
The driver, 72, escapes the scene but is treated for smoke inhalation by MDA medics. He is taken to the Hadassah Hospital in Mount Scopus for further treatment.
The Kan public broadcaster reports the bus was hit with a Molotov cocktail.
اللحظات الأولى بعد إحراق حافلة مستوطنين داخل قرية العيساوية في القدس. pic.twitter.com/3DgaBe7wi3
— شبكة قدس الإخبارية (@qudsn) May 9, 2023
Video shows police patrol cars blocking the street ahead of the burning bus.
The UN Security Council will convene for an emergency session tomorrow to discuss the latest escalation in the Gaza Strip, two diplomats representing countries on the panel tell The Times of Israel.
This will be the fourth emergency session held to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the establishment of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hardline government less than five months ago. The Security Council has also held four of its mandated monthly meetings on the conflict during that same period.
Wednesday’s meeting will take place behind closed doors at 3 p.m. It was requested by the United Arab Emirates, China and France, the diplomats say.
Council members will be briefed on the security escalation by the UN’s Mideast envoy Tor Wennesland, but no resolution is expected at the conclusion of the meeting, the diplomats add.
Following Halevi, Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar says Israeli forces recently foiled a cell in the West Bank city of Jenin that was seeking to fire rockets at Israel, under the direction of one of the senior Islamic Jihad operatives killed overnight.
“We don’t intend to let Afula… become a target for [rocket] fire,” he says, referring to the northern Israeli city.
Bar says Tareq Izz ed-Din and Jihad Ghanem were arch-terrorists who orchestrated terror in Gaza from the West Bank, while Khalil Bahtini played a central role in rocket fire from Gaza.
Izz ed-Din operated 20 terror cells targeting Israel, he says.
One of these was the cell in Jenin refugee camp that “in recent weeks… had begun producing rockets and launchers” to fire at Israel — in what Bar called “a dangerous precedent.”
The members of the cell were arrested and confessed, he says.
He mentions another cell, thwarted in Ramallah, that was planning to fly attack drones into Israel.
He notes that Palestinian Jihad is “fully funded by Iran… The hands are Palestinian, but the voice is Iran’s.”
“We won’t let Iran work via proxies,” and Israel will counter all its efforts, he adds.
Bar then elaborates on the mentions by Netanyahu and Gallant that Ghanem orchestrated the murders of the Hatuel family — Tali Hatuel and her four daughters — in Gaza 19 years ago.
He stresses that “closing the circle” is a central imperative in the security services, crucial to Israeli deterrence, and providing some comfort to the families of victims.
The elimination of Jihad Ghanem closes that circle, he says. “The family remembers, and the Shin Bet does not forget.”
“We’ll get to them all, wherever they are,” he warns.
IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi says the strikes in Gaza were in the works for a while and that the military “waited and chose the best time.”
Halevi says Israel wants calm in Gaza and for residents of the enclave to have “safe and quiet lives” but that Islamic Jihad’s “offensive activities” harm this effort.
“Therefore we acted in a targeted manner,” he says, “and we will expand our operations as much as needed.”
Nobody who fires at Sderot and elsewhere, and seeks relentlessly to kill Israeli citizens, is immune from Israel’s response, he says.
He also touts the “accurate operation” and says the IDF worked to not harm non-combatants, after 10 civilians were killed as well.
If it had been possible to eliminate the three Islamic Jihad commanders without non-combatant casualties, the IDF would have done so, he says.
“Terrorism hides in populated areas,” and seeks to harm Israel’s civilians, he says, while Israel “makes every effort” to avoid harming Gaza’s non-combatants.
In primetime televised remarks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu touts Israel’s overnight operation in Gaza, saying the three senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad members who were killed were responsible for rocket fire from the Strip and directing attacks in the West Bank.
Referring to the deaths of non-combatants, Netanyahu says Israel does everything to avoid harming civilians, while Palestinian terrorists target them.
“That’s the difference between us and them,” he says.
He also warns Islamic Jihad and other Gaza terror organizations: “Any escalation on your part will be met with a crushing response on our part.”
He says that Israel is in the midst of what could be a protracted campaign, and says that when it was decided upon — “a week ago,” when Islamic Jihad fired over 100 projectiles at Israel — he “told the IDF to prepare for any scenario” including the possibility of conflict “on more than one front.”
Speaking after Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant says “the campaign isn’t over.”
“The security establishment is ready for any scenario,” he adds.
He confirms that the operation was decided upon in the wake of last Tuesday’s rocket fire — when Islamic Jihad “fired indiscriminately at Israeli citizens” in what he called a direct challenge to Israel’s right to its land.
He specifies that Jihad Ghanem, one of three terror chiefs killed this morning, orchestrated the 2004 killings of Tali Hautel, who was eight months pregnant, and her four daughters, aged two to eleven, near their home in Gaza’s Gush Katif settlement bloc. Terrorists opened fire on the vehicle she was driving, and then shot them dead at close range.
Gallant says “all the goals” of the operation have been achieved — “the Palestinian Islamic Jihad leadership in Gaza was slain,” he says.
But he adds that Israel is likely to sustain “rocket fire in areas near and far, with considerable power.”
Along with its operations in Gaza, the IDF is capable of “replicating and activating” operations “in other areas and against other threats.”
The Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality is opening public bomb shelters, in anticipation of potential rocket fire from the Gaza Strip in retaliation for the killing of three senior Islamic Jihad members overnight.
A statement from the municipality stresses the move is a precaution and that there is no reason to enter the shelters absent warning sirens.
A woman shot by Israeli security forces after being suspected of attempting to carry out a shooting attack at a checkpoint in the southern West Bank, appears to be Jewish and not Palestinian.
According to the Defense Ministry, the woman arrived at the Metsudot Crossing, close to the settlement of Beit Yatir, and pulled out a gun while shouting “Allahu akbar” — “God is great” in Arabic — before being shot by security guards.
The ministry says she appears to be Jewish and not Palestinian, as initially reported.
Her condition is not clear.
It is likely she attempted “suicide by cop.”
The US Embassy in Jerusalem laments the “tragic” loss of civilian life in this morning’s IDF airstrikes in Gaza while stressing its commitment to Israel’s security.
“We are closely following Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip that killed three leaders of Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” an embassy spokesperson says. “We are also aware of reports that 10 civilians were tragically killed in the Israeli strikes.”
“We call for all parties to deescalate the situation to protect noncombatants and prevent any further loss of civilian life,” the statement continues. The US commitment to Israel’s security remains ironclad.”
A woman armed with what appears to be a gun has been shot at a checkpoint in the southern West Bank, according to medics.
The Rescuers Without Borders emergency service says the woman opened fire at the checkpoint near the settlement of Beit Yatir with a makeshift firearm or airsoft gun.
The service says there are no other injuries at the scene.
An image shows the woman lying on the ground after being shot by Israeli forces, with a gun next to her.
The Israel Defense Forces does not immediately comment on the incident.
The security cabinet meeting has wrapped up its meeting on the military operation in Gaza.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi and Shin Bet head Ronen Bar are due to give televised statements at 8:10 p.n.
The European Union says it’s “gravely concerned by the escalation in Gaza” after Israel carried out airstrikes that killed three senior officials in Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
“The EU deeply regrets the loss of civilian lives, including children, and calls for the respect of international humanitarian law,” the bloc’s foreign office says in a statement, referring to 10 others killed in the attacks. “Civilian lives must be protected under all circumstances.”
The statement doesn’t mention the PIJ members.
“We urge all parties to exercise maximum restraint, promote calm and work towards a political horizon and regional stability in line with the commitments in the Aqaba and Sharm el-Sheikh declarations,” it adds.
A 25-year-old man is shot dead in the southern Bedouin city of Rahat, in the latest apparent homicide to plague the Arab community.
The victim is identified as Adam Adel al-Ketnani.
Medics arrived at the scene and provided him with first aid before transferring him to the nearby Soroka Medical Center in critical condition where doctors were forced to pronounce his death.
Police say they have opened an investigation into the incident, though probes of Arab murders rarely lead to arrests, let alone a conviction.
According to The Abraham Initiatives, a group that campaigns against violence, there have been 74 Arabs killed in violent circumstances since the beginning of the year. The watchdog says 66 of them were killed by gunfire.
By this date last year, 28 Arab community members had been killed.
Over 90 suspected murders have taken place since the start of 2023, more than double last year’s rate.
Palestinian media outlets are reporting a fresh Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip.
According to the reports, a “resistance site” in central Gaza was struck by the Israeli Air Force.
There are no immediate reports of injuries.
The Israel Defense Forces has not yet commented on the reports.
In prepared remarks at the start of the security cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel is “ready for any possibility” as it gears up for an expected response to the killing of three senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad members in Gaza.
Netanyahu says he and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant ordered the assassinations after last week’s rocket fire from the coastal enclave, claiming the strikes “amputated the organization’s leadership in Gaza.”
“Our principle is clear: Whoever harms us, we harm them, and with greater force. Our long arm reaches every terrorist at the time and place of our choosing,” the premier says.
“We are in the middle of a campaign and we are ready for any possibility. I advise our enemies: Don’t mess with us,” he adds.
The Hamas-run health ministry in the Gaza Strip said two were killed and another two were wounded in the Israeli strike near Khan Younis.
Energy Minister Israel Katz of Likud claims Israel will kill Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, if the terror group fights alongside Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Katz makes the comment in an interview to Channel 12 news outside of the Kirya, where the security cabinet is currently meeting.
The Israel Defense Forces publishes footage of an airstrike against a Palestinian Islamic Jihad cell in the Gaza Strip planning to carry out an anti-tank guided missile attack on the Israeli border.
The IDF says the squad was struck as it was taking missiles by car to a launch site.
“IDF soldiers monitored the activity of the squad and struck it while they were on their way to the launch pad,” the military says.
IDF publishes footage of the strike against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad anti-tank guided missile squad near Khan Younis in southern Gaza. pic.twitter.com/TorjnS8gI0
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) May 9, 2023
NEW DELHI — Foreign Minister Eli Cohen meets Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi to discuss an emerging rail and port network from India to Israel via Saudi Arabia. They also discuss the attempts to bring about a normalization agreement between Riyadh and Jerusalem.
According to the Foreign Ministry, Modi expresses particular interest in bringing Israeli companies and technology to India as part of Modi’s “Make in India” initiative. Modi also asks Cohen to continue to increase the number of Indian foreign workers in Israel. There are currently 17,000 Indian foreign workers and Cohen signed a deal earlier today bringing another 42,000 to Israel in construction and nursing care. Modi wants to see Indian high-tech workers in Israel as well.
Cohen presents Modi with an update on the operation in Gaza against Palestinian Islamic jihad. He also tells Modi that Israel will support India’s bid for the United Nations Security Council in 2028.
The Israel Defense Forces says it has struck an anti-tank guided missile cell near the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, before it managed to carry out an attack on the border.
The IDF says it will provide further details on the strike later.
Unconfirmed Palestinian media reports say two members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad have been killed in the strike.
انتشال شــهـــيـــدين من مركبة بعد قصف الاحتلال لها شرق القرارة شرق خانيونس جنوب قطاع غزة". pic.twitter.com/X7h2NHhywd
— حسن اصليح | Hassan (@hassaneslayeh) May 9, 2023
The security cabinet convenes to deliberate the military operation in the Gaza Strip, ahead of expected rocket attacks by Palestinian terrorists in response to the assassination of three senior Islamic Jihad members.
MK Yuli Edelstein, who heads the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, is taking part in the meeting as an observer.
Later, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and top security officials will give a televised address at 8 p.m.
Palestinian media outlets are reporting explosions heard near Deir al Balah and al-Qarara in the southern Gaza Strip.
Some reports suggest the explosions are caused by an Israeli artillery strike.
There is no immediate comment by the Israel Defense Forces on the explosions.
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) May 9, 2023
In remarks to the Defense and Security Forum group, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeats his pledge to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and hints at recent strikes in Syria that have been attributed to Israel.
“We are doing everything to prevent Iran from establishing terror fronts around us. We are acting with military means to prevent Iran from setting up a second Lebanon in Syria. So far this effort has been a success.”
He also accuses Iran of seeking “to open a multi-front campaign” against Israel.
“We are preparing for this. I ordered the IDF and security branches to be ready for a multi-front campaign, if needed,” the premier adds.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wraps up the latest assessment of Israel’s operation against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group in the Gaza Strip.
Joining the meeting at the military’s headquarters in Tel Aviv are Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, along with senior military and security officials.
National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir is notably left out of the assessment, which comes ahead of a security cabinet meeting.
Qatar joins in the denunciations of Israel over the overnight strikes on three senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad members in the Gaza Strip.
In a statement, the Qatari foreign ministry calls the attacks “a new episode in the series of horrific occupation crimes against the defenseless Palestinian people, especially women and children.”
Doha also warns “of the fading chances of peace and the widening of the cycle of violence due to the provocative Israeli escalation,” while urging the international community “to move urgently to provide the necessary protection for the Palestinian people and to compel Israel to stop its flagrant violations of international law.”
Lebanon’s Hezbollah condemns the “treacherous” Israeli attacks that killed three senior members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza.
“The Zionist enemy’s barbaric strikes that targeted freedom fighters and women and children is a crime against humanity,” Hezbollah says in a statement quoted by al-Mayadeen.
Hezbollah, which like Palestinian Islamic Jihad is backed by Iran, also declares its “complete solidarity with our brothers in the PIJ and our support for all steps taken by the PIJ leadership.”
The opposition Ra’am party and the Southern Islamic Movement denounce the overnight Israeli strikes in Gaza, claiming there’s a link between the operation and the coalition infighting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud and National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir.
“We denounce the Netanyahu-Ben Gvir government’s attack on families’ homes with women and children in order to solve a coalition crisis,” they say in a statement quoted by Channel 12 news.
Turkey condemns Israel for the overnight airstrikes in Gaza, which included attacks on three senior Islamic Jihad leaders, noting the civilian deaths.
“Such despicable actions are in no way acceptable,” the Turkish foreign ministry says in a statement. “We expect these attacks to be ended immediately, without further loss of life and causing a new spiral of violence in the region.”
It adds: “We wish Allah’s mercy upon our Palestinian brothers and sisters who lost their lives in the attacks and extend our condolences to the State of Palestine and its people.”
The Shaar Hanegev Regional Council says dozens of families have left their communities close to the border with Gaza, amid fears of rocket fire following deadly Israeli airstrikes in the Strip.
The council says the families living within four kilometers of Gaza are taken to be hosted in towns in central, northern, and southern Israel.
By the end of the day, over 200 families are expected to leave, the council says.
“The council is prepared to assist all residents who have special needs, including mobility problems and more,” it adds.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant is holding an assessment now with senior military and defense officials at his office in Tel Aviv.
The meeting comes following Israel’s airstrikes against Palestinian Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip, as part of an operation dubbed Shield and Arrow.
Participating in the meeting are IDF chief Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, Mossad head David Barnea, Shin Bet head Ronen Bar, head of the IDF’s Operations Directorate Maj. Gen. Oded Basiuk, head of Military Intelligence Maj. Gen Aharon Haliva, the officer in charge of Iran affairs Maj. Gen. Tal Kelma, the military’s liaison to the Palestinians Maj. Gen. Ghassan Alian, and other officials.
The Jerusalem District Court sentences a Palestinian teenager to 15 years in prison for a stabbing attack in the city that left an Israeli man seriously wounded and partially paralyzed.
Muhammad Abu Qutaish, 16-year-old from the West Bank town of Anata, is also ordered to pay NIS 258,000 in damages to Eliyahu Dahan over the attack.
Military chief Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi and other top generals wrap up an assessment after airstrikes in the Gaza Strip this morning, and an expected response by terror groups.
The Israel Defense Forces says the meeting at the military’s main command center focuses on action plans based on the potential developments, and the IDF’s readiness on all fronts.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted at the bombing campaign Israel launched in the Gaza Strip overnight during a meeting yesterday with two senior Biden administration officials, the Kan public broadcaster reports.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, the report says Netanyahu did not raise the timing of the strikes — which included the assassinations of three top Palestinian Islamic Jihad members — while speaking with US Middle East envoy Brett McGurk and energy czar Amos Hochstein, but spoke generally about a potential future operation in Gaza.
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen meets with his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in New Delhi, where they discuss an emerging rail and port network from India to Israel through the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia.
Senior US officials discussed the idea — an answer to China’s Belt and Road initiative — with the Saudi, Indian, and Emirati national security advisers earlier this week.
They two also discuss a range of measures designed to bring the two states even closer, including more direct flights and easing the visa process.
The diplomats sign an agreement to bring some 42,000 Indian foreign workers to Israel, some 34,000 in construction and 8,000 in elder care.
Cohen and Jaishankar visit a monument in Delhi commemorating the Indian soldiers who fell in Palestine fighting the Ottomans in World War I.
UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland condemns the “unacceptable” killing of civilians in Israeli strikes in Gaza overnight.
Wennesland notes that in addition to the three Islamic Jihad leaders targeted, the strikes also killed “a doctor, five women and four children.”
“I condemn the deaths of civilians in the Israeli airstrikes. This is unacceptable,” he says.
Israeli airstrikes in #Gaza this morning resulted in killing 13 Palestinians – 3 PIJ members, 5 women & 4 children. I condemn the deaths of civilians.
Urge all concerned to exercise restraint. I remain fully engaged in an attempt to avoid a broader conflict.
My full Statement👇 pic.twitter.com/AXc0c50mDU
— Tor Wennesland (@TWennesland) May 9, 2023
President Isaac Herzog praises the Gaza strikes and urges Israeli citizens to listen to safety instructions from the Home Front command.
“I congratulate the IDF and the security forces on the comprehensive and intensive operations to foil terror and defend the State of Israel,” Herzog says.
“We face many security challenges that oblige us to act responsibly and to respond to instructions from the Home Front,” he says. “All of us, in our hearts and minds, are with the IDF, the security forces, and the residents of the south.”
The so-called Joint Operations Room of various Palestinian terror factions in the Gaza Strip says Israel and its leaders will “pay the price” for airstrikes this morning targeting senior members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
In a brief statement, the collective, which includes both Hamas and Islamic Jihad, says it mourns the 13 Palestinians killed in the strikes.
It adds that Israel bears full responsibility for “this cowardly crime,” and that Israel’s leaders will “pay the price.”
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant holds a phone call with mayors and leaders of communities in southern Israel, following this morning’s IDF strikes in the Gaza Strip and expected rocket fire.
“We must be prepared for any scenario, including a prolonged campaign with an extended range of fire,” Gallant says, according to remarks provided by his office.
“It is very important that the citizens, under your leadership, be disciplined, attentive, and listen to life-saving instructions. The IDF and the security forces are prepared with all means and on all fronts,” he says.
“The defense establishment will provide whatever assistance is required. I instructed the professionals to be in continuous contact with you and take care of everything required for the needs of the residents. You have our full support,” Gallant adds.
The spokesman for the military wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad vows the terror group will respond to the deaths of three senior members in Israeli airstrikes this morning.
“The Al-Quds Brigades and the resistance affirms we will abide by our commitment and duty toward the martyrs, and will confront the aggression with steadfastness and courage,” says the spokesman, who goes by the nom de guerre Abu Hamza.
The Kan public broadcaster says that the Israeli delegation to the Eurovision in Liverpool is staying updated on the security developments in Israel as they prepare for tonight’s semifinal.
“Noa [Kirel] and all the members of the delegation are continuing to do everything to represent the country with pride in the semifinal tonight,” says the broadcaster in a statement.
If the situation in Israel escalates, the broadcaster adds, the competition will not air on the main Kan news channel as planned at 10 p.m. local time, but will air on Kan Educational (Channel 80) as well as on its website and on YouTube.
Kirel is slated to perform ninth in this evening’s competition with her song “Unicorn,” hoping to garner enough votes to qualify for Saturday’s grand final.
For the first time this year, viewers from around the globe — and not just those in countries who participate in the Eurovision — are able to cast their votes in the competition.
Jordan condemns the Israeli strikes in Gaza this morning, along with IDF raids in the West Bank.
A spokesman for the foreign ministry “stresses the need for the international community to move immediately and effectively to stop this aggression, and to provide protection for the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and in all the occupied Palestinian territories.”
The statement also says Jordan continues to work to ease tensions and end the cycles of violence.
The Israel Defense Forces publishes footage of the airstrikes this morning against two of the three senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad members who were targeted and killed.
The first clip shows the strike against Jihad Ghanem, a top official in the group’s military council; the second clip shows the strike against Khalil Bahtini, who commands Islamic Jihad in northern Gaza.
תיעוד סיכולי בכירי הג'יהאד האסלאמי הפלסטיני ברצועת עזה>>
תיעוד סיכול מזכיר המועצה הצבאית בג'יהאד האסלאמי הפלסטיני, ג'האד ע'נאם: pic.twitter.com/QZwwjFIsMF
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) May 9, 2023
תיעוד סיכול מפקד מרחב צפון של הג'יהאד האסלאמי הפלסטיני, חליל בהיתיני: pic.twitter.com/P4fmnpgsHq
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) May 9, 2023
The Russian diplomatic delegation in Ramallah, in the West Bank, says that one of the men killed In Israeli strikes this morning was a Russian national.
It identifies him as Jamal Khaswan and says that his wife and son were also killed in the airstrike.
Khaswan was a dentist who lived downstairs from one of the Islamic Jihad leaders in Gaza City.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant have completed a security consultation ahead of an expected response from Islamic Jihad, his office says.
Also attending the meeting were the heads of the National Security Council, Mossad, Shin Bet, IDF and other top officials.
Footage shows an explosive device being set off against a convoy of Israeli military jeeps in the West Bank city of Nablus this morning.
The Lion’s Den armed group claims responsibility for setting off the bomb.
One soldier is lightly hurt in the incident. The IDF said two Palestinian suspects were detained during the operation in Nablus’s Old City.
Yepp, Local made
Lion’s Den operatives detonate an IED on the Israeli occupation forces vehicles whilst withdrawing from the city of Nablus. pic.twitter.com/jZo0b3KH7t
— Younis | يونس (@ytirawi) May 9, 2023
US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides will leave his job in the summer after just two years, the Axios news site reports.
The report, citing two US officials, says that Nides informed US Secretary of State of his decision during a visit to Washington last week.
The report says Nides cited personal reasons after being away from his family since December 2021.
Funerals for the 13 Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip this morning are beginning.
Footage shows Palestinians marching with the bodies of three senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad members killed in the strikes.
Many in the crowd are holding flags of the terror group.
— وكالة شهاب للأنباء (@ShehabAgency) May 9, 2023
Egypt condemns the Israeli strikes on Gaza, saying they were contrary to international law.
The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement says the strikes that killed three Islamic Jihad leaders and 10 others “are inconsistent with the rules of international law” and could fuel further violence.
Egypt has frequently acted as a mediator between Israel and the terror groups in Gaza.
Meanwhile, an Islamic Jihad source tells AFP that one of the killed men was part of a delegation from a group that had been due to travel to Cairo for a meeting Thursday, which had now been canceled.
The Israel Trauma Coalition (ITC) is cooperating with the Ukrainian government and others to establish resilience centers in several Ukrainian cities. The first center opened in April in Kyiv, with others planned for Odesa, Kharkiv, Ternopil, and Khmelnytskyi, close to the front lines.
In consultation with local Ukrainian leadership, ITC is adapting the highly effective Israeli resilience model of preparedness and response to the psychosocial aspects of war for Ukraine as it continues to defend itself from the Russian military invasion that began in February 2022.
According to statistics compiled by Reuters, at least 62,295 people have been killed, 59,244 have been injured, 15,000 people are missing, and 14 million have been displaced thus far.
Since the outbreak of the war, ITC has trained and supported more than 4,000 Ukrainian professionals on intervention and treatment for coping with trauma, loss, and grief among adults and children. Among those trained are clinicians, social workers, teachers, doctors, nurses, first responders, and others.
“The State of Israel has become a center of knowledge regarding mental health and mental well-being of individuals, families, and teams that are exposed to war-related trauma and terror. It is a professional and human privilege and responsibility to share what we have learned in Israel and around the world and be part of Ukraine’s effort to create a tailor-made system of response,” says ITC’s CEO Talia Levanon.
The Manufacturers Association of Israel opens a situation room near Beersheba.
The center is designed to make sure workers and shipments can reach factories in the south despite road closures and expected rocket fire.
In recent operations, roadblocks caused significant economic damage to Israel when factories could not operate.
There is an additional risk of having Israeli factories near Gaza being seen as unreliable to partners outside of Israel if they are forced to shut down.
The situation room also helps factories respond in case of a rocket strike
The Israel Defense Forces says troops detained eight wanted Palestinians during raids across the West Bank overnight and this morning.
During an operation in Nablus’s Old City this morning, a wanted Palestinian man was arrested, and two assault rifles are seized at his home. A second suspect was detained nearby, the IDF says.
The IDF says Palestinian rioters hurled stones at forces during the operation, and gunmen opened fire and hurled explosives as the troops left the city. No soldiers are hurt.
Palestinians said a boy, 14, was shot and wounded.
In a separate raid in the town of Jamma’in near Nablus, another assault rifle is seized by IDF forces, the military says.
The eight wanted men are handed over to the Shin Bet for further questioning.
The far-right Otzma Yehudit party announces it is ending its boycott of the government following overnight strikes in Gaza that killed three top Islamic Jihad leaders.
“Following the adoption of our position and a transition from containment to attack and targeted assassinations of Islamic Jihad leaders, we will return to vote with the government,” says the party.
The party and leader National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir had been boycotting the Knesset and government meetings over what he called the “feeble” response to the rocket barrage fired at Israel last week.
“We hope that the attacking policy will remain in place over time,” the statement says.
Israel Railways announces it is suspending some train services in the south ahead of expected retaliatory rocket fire from Gaza.
“Due to the instructions from the security forces, trains will not operate until further notice between the Netivot and Ashkelon stations, and the Sderot station will remain closed,” the railways say.
However, trains will continue to run between Netivot and Beersheba, and from Ashkelon northward.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant will hold an assessment with security officials in the next hour after overnight strikes killed three top Islamic Jihad leaders and 10 others in Gaza.
Israel is girding for a response from Gaza terror groups.
Netanyahu will also hold a meeting tomorrow with opposition leader Yair Lapid to brief him on the situation. Lapid has offered the government his support for the strikes.
Netanyahu has not yet moved to convene the high-level security cabinet, with the attorney general saying the current situation did not oblige him to do so.
Cities in central Israel also announce they are opening public bomb shelters amid fears of reprisal rocket attacks from terror groups in Gaza.
Herzliya, Ra’anana and Kfar Saba are the latest to open the shelters. Earlier, Rishon Lezion, Yavneh, Bat Yam, Ashkelon and Beersheba opened theirs.
The Assuta hospital in Ashdod tells the public that it is fortified against rocket attacks and offers health services as normal.
Other hospitals, including Soroka in Beersheba and Barzilai in Ashkelon, move patients to special fortified areas.
Border Police say they foiled a stabbing attack in the West Bank, arresting a 22-year-old Palestinian who was carrying two knives.
A police statement says the man was spotted acting suspiciously in the town of Huwara in the northern West Bank.
Officers detained him and found he was carrying two knives. A letter to his parents was also found in his pocket in which he apologized and promised them they would receive a large sum of money for his actions, police say.
He was handed over to the Shin Bet for further questioning.
Health officials in the Gaza Strip raise the death toll of the Israeli Air Force strikes in the Palestinian enclave this morning to 13.
The director of the Shifa Hospital is cited by Palestinian media as saying four children and six women are among the dead.
Three senior Islamic Jihad members were the targets of the strikes, and are among the 13 dead.
Earlier, the Hamas-run health ministry said at least 20 people were wounded in the strikes.
Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara authorized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to carry out the Gaza strikes without first convening his cabinet.
A statement from Baharav-Miara’s office says that “after the AG was presented with the relevant assessments of the security forces, that AG found that in accordance with the law there was no need to convene the cabinet in order to carry out a military operation.”
Netanyahu has been loath to convene the cabinet over security issues, fearing the influence of several far-right ministers could push Israel into a wider conflict.
Reports also say he feared leaks from other ministers, particularly National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir.
Police say they foiled an attempt by a Palestinian man to carry out a stabbing attack in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Last night officers arrested a West Bank resident who was found to be carrying a pair of scissors hidden in a packet, police say.
He was detained after acting suspiciously and taken for questioning where he admitted planning to a stabbing attack.
A 14-year-old boy has been shot and wounded during an Israeli army raid in the West Bank city of Nablus this morning, Palestinian health officials say.
The Palestinian Authority Health Ministry says the teenager has been brought to Rafidia Hospital after being shot in the chest, where he is listed in stable condition.
Palestinian media reports say Israeli troops fired shoulder-launched missiles at a building in Nablus’s Old City and detained two suspects in the area.
— ספיר ליפקין | Sapir Lipkin | سابير ليبكين (@sapirlipkin) May 9, 2023
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen receives a briefing on the Gaza operation in New Delhi.
He decides to cut short his trip and will return to Israel this evening after meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Cohen had been scheduled to lead a business delegation to Mumbai.
Authorities continue to implement protective measures amid fears of reprisal strikes from terror groups in the Gaza Strip.
Roads surrounding the Gaza Strip are closed and beaches in Ashkelon and Ashdod are shuttered to the public.
Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba has begun moving patients to fortified areas.
Several cities announce they are opening public bomb shelters.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant kept National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir in the dark during planning for the strikes on Islamic Jihad in Gaza, amid fears he would leak details, Ynet reports.
According to the unsourced report, the two feared he would hint at the operation or otherwise undermine the surprise element of the strikes.
Ben Gvir has been clamoring for a harsher Israeli response to rocket fire from Gaza and complaining about being left out of decision-making meetings.
Netanyahu is seen as distrusting his police minister, keeping him out of critical decision-making on security matters.
Messages on Israel’s overnight strikes on the Islamic Jihad in Gaza have been conveyed to foreign ministers around the world, says Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen.
Cohen, who is on a visit to India, says these include specific messages for Israel’s Arab partners.
A warm welcome to FM @elicoh1 of Israel on his first official visit to India.
Looking forward to the visit further strengthening the multifaceted 🇮🇳-🇮🇱 partnership. pic.twitter.com/3P3VwQEM1h
— Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) May 9, 2023
Far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir hails the strikes on Islamic Jihad in Gaza, calling them “a good start.”
Ben Gvir and his Otzma Yehudit party have been boycotting the Knesset and cabinet meetings in protest of what he called the “feeble” response to rockets fired from the Strip last week.
“I congratulate the prime minister on the proactive operation in Gaza,” Ben Gvir says. “It’s a good start, the time has come to change our policy in Gaza.”
He does not say if he is ending his boycott.
A Likud MK says claims that Israel’s strikes on Islamic Jihad leaders in Gaza are an attempt by the government to appease far-right minister Itamar Ben Gvir are “absurd.”
“It’s crazy and absurd to think anyone would time a military operation due to political pressure,” Hanoch Milwidsky says in an interview on Radio 103 FM.
“It would be a terrible thing if that were the case and it is not the case,” he says.
Ben Gvir and his Otzma Yehudit party have been boycotting the Knesset and cabinet meetings in protest of what they called the “feeble” response to rocket fire from Gaza last week.
Israeli troops are carrying out a raid in the West Bank city of Nablus.
The Israel Defense Forces confirms troops are carrying out an operation in Nablus, without elaborating further.
Palestinian reports say a convoy of military vehicles have entered the area, after undercover forces were exposed.
Some reports claim an explosion was heard in the area.
Explosions being heard pic.twitter.com/B7snBFOSDv
— Younis | يونس (@ytirawi) May 9, 2023
The Palestinian Authority slams the Israeli strikes against Islamic Jihad, saying Israel will be responsible for any escalation in the region.
A statement from the PA Foreign Ministry says it holds the “Israeli government fully and directly responsible for this aggression and its consequences on the conflict arena,” and says it is “a dangerous escalation that threatens to engulf the region completely.”
The ministry also calls on the international community to “urgently intervene to stop the aggression against our people.”
“A negotiated political solution to the conflict is the only way to achieve security and stability,” the PA says.
Opposition leader Yair Lapid backs the military strikes against the Islamic Jihad terror group in Gaza.
“I give my support to the security forces for this operation against the Islamic Jihad in Gaza,” Lapid tweets.
“This morning, terror groups in Gaza know that the intelligence community and the security forces are following their every move and every step and the score will be settled,” Lapid says.
“An Israeli response at the time and place of our choosing is the way to deal with terror from Gaza. We will support any operation to defend the residents of the south,” he says.
Military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari says the Israel Defense Forces achieved its goals with the opening strikes on the Gaza Strip against senior members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group.
“At this stage, we achieved what we set for ourselves, we hit those needed, and if necessary we will deepen the attacks more. We are prepared for any scenario,” Hagari tells reporters.
He says 40 aircraft, including fighter jets, carried out the main strikes within seconds of each other, at three different locations in the Gaza Strip.
“The operation was carried out with professionalism and precision in planning and execution,” Hagari says.
He says the IDF is expected to call up several hundred reservists in the coming day, mostly in the Air Force, Southern Command, and intelligence units.
The IDF has dubbed the operation “Shield and Arrow.”
“It is a defensive and offensive operation,” Hagari says.
Right-wing politicians are giddy after the army’s punishing attacks on Islamic Jihad overnight.
Otzma Yehudit MK Almog Cohen, who had pressed publicly for a harsh IDF reprisal to rocket fire last week, says he will close his “Sderot bureau” opened to draw attention to the rocket-battered city.
“You have our full [backing] to act against and battle terror until quiet is returned, he says.
Despite also being out of the loop, according to reports. Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, head of the Religious Zionism party, thanks Israelis “for trusting us even when everything cannot be said in real time.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant decided on Operation Shield and Arrow during discussions with security brass on Friday, without involving other members of the cabinet, according to Hebrew-language media reports.
“Israel’s citizens are in good hands and anyone who harms us should know they will not be forgiven,” Smotrich tweets. “At the right time and timing.”
Shas minister Amichai Eliyahu tells Army Radio that the operation is the result of an intense push from within the governing coalition to take more strident action against Gazan terror.
“The military operation today proves how much political pressure works,” he says.
The IDF says it bombed 10 sites belonging to Islamic Jihad overnight, including factories, armories and a military post.
A statement says the army struck a rocket factory in Khan Younis, along with another facility where it alleges Islamic Jihad produced concrete for bolstering tunnels used to attack inside Israel.
“As well, we struck six Palestinian Islamic Jihad military compounds, most of them used to store weapons of logistical infrastructure,” the IDF says in a statement, which also includes grainy video of the attacks.
כמו כן, נתקפו שישה מתחמים צבאיים של הגיהאד האסלאמי הפלסטיני, רובם שימשו כמחסני אמצעי לחימה וכתשתיות לוגיסטיות של ארגון הטרור.
בנוסף, נתקפה עמדה צבאית של ארגון הטרור בדרום הרצועה
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) May 9, 2023
Hamas is not expected to participate in upcoming fighting between Israel and the Islamic Jihad terror group, a senior defense official tells Channel 13 news.
However, the official says the situation is liable to change.
During planning, IDF chief Herzi Halevy and political leaders urged those carrying out the strikes in Gaza to prevent any harm to Hamas, so they won’t have any reason to join in the fighting, Army Radio reports.
The radio station also reports that defense officials believe Islamic Jihad has only a few dozen long-range rockets left thanks to the military’s surprise offensive taking out the rest.
Explosions continue to be heard in Gaza as Israeli forces seemingly continue to carry out attacks on targets in the Strip. Blasts have been heard sporadically since Operation Shield and Arrow kicked off over two hours ago.
Anticipating that the army will eventually encounter resistance, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant okays the army to call up reserves troops as needed, in any field.
Hamas politburo head Ismail Hanieyh says Israel’s actions won’t bring it security, but rather more violence.
“The enemy made a mistake in its estimations and will pay the price for its crime,” he says.
He adds that the “resistance is unified,” seemingly indicating that his group will back Islamic Jihad in the coming fight, or will even join in.
The Hamas terror group has issued a statement condemning Israel’s assassination on three Islamic Jihad commanders.
While the organization says it will continue to defend Palestinians, it does not issue an explicit threat, possibly indicating that it will remain on the sidelines.
“The occupation is escalating its aggression against the Gaza Strip and targeting those who are safe in their homes,” it says.
Police are no longer allowing buses to reach Mount Meron in Israel’s north as they look to secure the country before an expected counter-attack by Islamic Jihad following Israel assassinating a trio of the group’s leaders.
Hundreds of thousands are gathered on Meron for an annual all-night pilgrimage at a shrine revered as the tomb of second century mystic Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.
Though Meron is practically as far from Gaza as one can get, it is relatively close to the border with Lebanon. Last month, terrorists in southern Lebanon aligned with Hamas in Gaza fired rockets at northern Israel during a flareup.
Buses may resume following a situational assessment at 6 a.m. Other activities at the shrine continue as normal.
Home Front Command has given the go-ahead for towns bordering Gaza to begin evacuating residents to other parts of the country, with officials estimating that fighting will last at least three days, Channel 13 news reports.
According to the channel, towns already have plans drawn up for such an eventuality, along with arrangements for where residents who must leave home for fear of rocket attack can be housed.
Officials are waiting to see if Hamas joins in the fighting to gauge how intense the clash is expected to be, but are taking precautions in the meantime, Channel 13 says.
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen has landed in New Delhi for a state visit.
Cohen left Israel for India hours before the strike on Islamic Jihad was carried out.
According to Israel Hayom, he was unaware of the operation, as only Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant were in the loop.
As The Times of Israel’s political correspondent, I spend my days in the Knesset trenches, speaking with politicians and advisers to understand their plans, goals and motivations.
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