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Final results give Likud bloc 64 seats; ADL: Far right will hurt Israel globally

Organization expresses concern ‘over likely inclusion of extremists’ in the Netanyahu coalition

  • Israeli far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir shows his ballot in the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba during Israeli elections, November 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
    Israeli far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir shows his ballot in the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba during Israeli elections, November 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
  • Prime Minister Yair Lapid attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, on September 18, 2022. (Ronaldo Schemidt/Pool Photo via AP)
    Prime Minister Yair Lapid attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, on September 18, 2022. (Ronaldo Schemidt/Pool Photo via AP)
  • Meretz party supporters react as the results of the Israeli elections are announced, in Jerusalem November 1, 2022 (Flash90)
    Meretz party supporters react as the results of the Israeli elections are announced, in Jerusalem November 1, 2022 (Flash90)
  • Likud party head Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and faction chair Yariv Levin (R) lead their party's faction meeting at the Knesset, May 23, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
    Likud party head Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and faction chair Yariv Levin (R) lead their party's faction meeting at the Knesset, May 23, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
  • Central Election Committee workers count the final ballots at Knesset on November 3, 2022 (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
    Central Election Committee workers count the final ballots at Knesset on November 3, 2022 (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
  • A voting slip on which someone has cast their ballot for the Messiah, as Central Election Committee workers count the final ballots at Knesset on November 3, 2022 (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
    A voting slip on which someone has cast their ballot for the Messiah, as Central Election Committee workers count the final ballots at Knesset on November 3, 2022 (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
  • Central Election Committee workers count the final ballots at Knesset on November 3 (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
    Central Election Committee workers count the final ballots at Knesset on November 3 (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
  • Central Election Committee workers count the final ballots at Knesset on November 3 (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
    Central Election Committee workers count the final ballots at Knesset on November 3 (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

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

Incoming rocket sirens sound in towns near the border with Gaza

Incoming rocket sirens are sounding in towns near the border with the Gaza Strip.

The sirens are sounding in Ein HaShlosha, Kissufim and Nirim.

The Israel Defense Forces says the cause of the alarms is being looked into.

Local residents report hearing an explosion after the alert was set off.

Bennett to resign in coming days, hopes new government ‘will act responsibly’

Alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett arrives to testify at the commission of inquiry into Nahal Tzafit disaster in Tel Aviv, August 1, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett arrives to testify at the commission of inquiry into Nahal Tzafit disaster in Tel Aviv, August 1, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett notifies Prime Minister Yair Lapid of his intention to resign his position in the coming days.

He wishes luck to the incoming government.

“The government I led managed a national policy with deliberation and consent,” he says.

“I hope the new government will act responsibly and with as broad a consent as possible in the public.”

Report: Several nations warn Israel they’ll limit work with far-right leaders

Several Western nations, among them the United States, have conveyed to Israel that their cooperation with ministries led by the far-right’s Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben Gvir will be limited at best, Channel 12 reports.

The report does not cite any sources.

Indian PM Modi congratulates ‘my friend’ Netanyahu on election win

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulates “my friend” Benjamin Netanyahu for his election win.

“I look forward to continuing our joint efforts to deepen the India-Israel strategic partnership,” he says.

Modi also thanks outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid “for your priority to the India-Israel strategic partnership.”

US, South Korea warn Pyongyang against nuclear weapons use

A TV screen shows a file image of North Korea's missile launch during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
A TV screen shows a file image of North Korea's missile launch during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

The US and South Korea jointly warn North Korea that use of any kind of nuclear weapon against Seoul or other regional allies would result in the end of Kim Jong Un’s regime, as Pyongyang continues to rattle the peninsula with escalating missile tests.

North Korea has launched more than two dozen missiles over the last two days in response to US-South Korean military exercises that began Monday. The launches have sent South Koreans scrambling for shelter and further frayed the nerves of a population already mourning the loss of more than 150 people at a horrific Halloween crowd crush.

NBA boss Silver pushes for Irving anti-semitism apology

Kyrie Irving, #11 of the Brooklyn Nets, looks on from the bench during the second quarter of the game against the Chicago Bulls at Barclays Center on November 01, 2022 in New York City. (Dustin Satloff/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Getty Images via AFP)
Kyrie Irving, #11 of the Brooklyn Nets, looks on from the bench during the second quarter of the game against the Chicago Bulls at Barclays Center on November 01, 2022 in New York City. (Dustin Satloff/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Getty Images via AFP)

NBA commissioner Adam Silver says he will meet with Kyrie Irving in the next week to push for an apology from the Brooklyn Nets star for publicizing antisemitic material.

The move comes a day after Irving announced he will make a $500,000 donation to groups working to eradicate hate and admitted a film slammed as antisemitic which he boosted on social media had a “negative impact” on the Jewish community.

Irving ignited a firestorm of controversy last week after posting a social media link to “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America” — a 2018 film widely lambasted for containing a range of antisemitic tropes that was criticized by, among others, Nets owner Joe Tsai.

Silver, however, wants to see more from Irving than what he delivered in a statement announcing the donation, including an apology for his actions and the denouncing of the antisemitic content in the film.

“Kyrie Irving made a reckless decision to post a link to a film containing deeply offensive antisemitic material,” Silver says.

ADL says including far right in next government will hurt country globally

The Anti Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt retweeted a Twitter thread that singled out New York progressive group Jews For Racial and Economic Justice this week. (Getty/Courtesy via JTA)
The Anti Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt retweeted a Twitter thread that singled out New York progressive group Jews For Racial and Economic Justice this week. (Getty/Courtesy via JTA)

The Anti-Defamation League expresses concern “over likely inclusion of extremists” in the next Israeli government.

The ADL offers congratulations to Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu but notes that the coalition “will likely include representatives from the Otzma Yehudit and Religious Zionist parties, including their leaders Itamar Ben Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich,” both of which “have a long history of engaging in racist, anti-Arab, homophobic and other hateful behavior.”

“We believe that including these far-right individuals and parties in an Israeli government would run counter to Israel’s founding principles, and impact its standing, even among its strongest supporters.”

The ADL says it “will not shirk from calling out expressions by, and policies of, the Israeli government and Israeli leaders that are hateful, racist, anti-Arab, homophobic and anti-democratic.”

US Ambassador to Israel congratulates Netanyahu on election win

US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides visits the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and museum in Jerusalem on December 2, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90/File)
US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides visits the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and museum in Jerusalem on December 2, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90/File)

US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides says he just got off the phone with Likud chair Benjamin Netanyahu, whom he congratulated on winning Tuesday’s election.

Nides “told him I look forward to working together to maintain the unbreakable bond,” the envoy tweets.

Nides is the first US official to speak with Netanyahu since his election victory.

Labor candidate pans Michaeli: A leader should take responsibility

In a rebuke of his party leader, no. 7 on Labor’s slate, Yaya Fink, says the party was wrong to refuse to merge with Meretz ahead of the election.

“Leaders make mistakes. A leader should take responsibility and not blame others.”

He adds: “I may only be seventh, but if others won’t say it I will: We made a mistake when we didn’t save Meretz, and I’m sorry for it.”

CEC issues final election results; Netanyahu bloc has 64 seats

The Central Elections Committee has published the final results of the vote count (though fully ratified results will only be issued next week).

They are:

Labor’s Michaeli: Lapid campaign destroyed Meretz; I’m responsible for our low results

Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli arrives at the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, September 18, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli arrives at the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, September 18, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

In her first comments on the election, Labor chief Merav Michaeli attacks Prime Minister Yair Lapid for a campaign that “destroyed Meretz and nearly destroyed Labor.”

She says the public “believed Lapid that it should strengthen him and not us. There was no reason for Labor and Meretz not to pass, but Yesh Atid worked against us, particularly on election day.”

Michaeli adds that “unfortunately for us all, Zehava Galon was right” about the danger to Meretz before the vote.

“I bear responsibility for the low result and we will consider early primaries,” she says.

She adds that Labor “will fight from the opposition against a coalition that has more indictments than female representatives.”

Sa’ar: Justice system needs amending, but politicization ‘a great danger’

Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar attends a ceremony at the Ministry of Justice in Jerusalem, June 28, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar attends a ceremony at the Ministry of Justice in Jerusalem, June 28, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Speaking at Bar Ilan University, National Unity party’s Gideon Sa’ar, the outgoing justice minister, says: “A strong, independent justice system is an asset for Israel and its people.”

He says that the system “needs amending, but not politicization,” which he says would be “a great danger.”

“Soon a new government will be formed in Israel in accordance with the people’s will. I will wish it luck with all my heart, because we have no other country.”

Lapid congratulates Netanyahu, wishes him luck ‘for the sake of the Israeli people’

Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu on November 2, 2022 (left) and Prime Minister Yair Lapid in Tel Aviv on October 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov; Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu on November 2, 2022 (left) and Prime Minister Yair Lapid in Tel Aviv on October 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov; Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Prime Minister Yair Lapid calls Benjamin Netanyahu and congratulates him on his election victory, his office says, as final result show the pro-Netanyahu bloc with 64 Knesset seats following this week’s election.

Lapid tells Netanyahu he’s instructed all departments of the Prime Minister’s Office to prepare for an orderly transfer of power.

“The State of Israel is above any political consideration,” Lapid says. “I wish Netanyahu luck for the sake of the people of Israel and the State of Israel.”

14-year-old girl shot, seriously wounded under unclear circumstances in Kiryat Arba

A 14-year-old Israeli girl is shot and seriously wounded under unclear circumstances in the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba, medics say.

The Magen David Adom ambulance service says the teenager was first brought to a local health clinic.

MDA says its medics are taking the unconscious girl to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital for further treatment.

According to the hospital, the girl was hit in the head by gunfire. It was not immediately clear if she was targeted or hit by errant gunfire.

Anti-LGBT MK: We’ll undo actions of current government, promote ‘Jewish education’

MK Avi Maoz speaks during a plenum session in the assembly hall of the Knesset on December 15, 2021. (Arie Leib Abrams/Flash90)
MK Avi Maoz speaks during a plenum session in the assembly hall of the Knesset on December 15, 2021. (Arie Leib Abrams/Flash90)

Anti-LGBT MK Avi Maoz of Religious Zionism tells Army Radio that “the public has spoken” and “it wants a Jewish state.”

He says his party wants to allow “psychological advice for those who don’t want to be gay” — a reference to largely debunked conversion therapy. The Health Ministry under current minister Nitzan Horowitz banned medical professionals from practicing such therapy.

Maoz also spoke of reversing the current government’s reform of kosher certification rules, and said the party would seek to advance “Jewish education.”

Hungary’s PM offers ‘Mazel tov!’ to Netanyahu: ‘Hard times require strong leaders’

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban congratulates Benjamin Netanyahu on his expected return to power with a “Mazel tov!”

“What a great victory for Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel!” he tweets. “Hard times require strong leaders. Welcome back!”

Authorities appeal ruling that upheld Utah video conference marriages

Israel’s State Attorney’s office is appealing a district court ruling upholding the legitimacy of marriages performed using video conferencing through the US state of Utah.

Two years ago, Utah began permitting couples to marry over the internet from anywhere in the world, so long as the officiant was located in the state.

For Israelis, this offered an opportunity to more easily circumvent Israel’s religious marriage complex. In the past they would have had to travel abroad in order to obtain a civil marriage.

Some 600 Israelis have gotten married this way in the past two years, according to the religious freedom organization Hiddush, which has taken on their case.

The Interior Ministry opposed this workaround, however, and challenged the legitimacy of the marriages in court. Two district courts, one in Lod and one in Jerusalem, rejected the state’s argument that these marriages were not actually performed in Utah and upheld their validity.

The state was given until this month to decide if it would appeal the decision to the High Court of Justice, which it has chosen to do.

In its appeal, the state attorney argues that the lower court’s ruling upsets the marriage status quo in Israel, which it says should be left up to legislators, not judges, to establish.

Iranian security officer killed, 10 police hurt in clashes — state media

A member of Iran’s Basij paramilitary force has been killed and 10 police officers and a cleric injured during clashes in Karaj, west of Tehran, state media says.

The violence broke out during a 40-day ceremony in Karaj mourning the death of Hadis Najafi, a 22-year-old woman killed during demonstrations in the city on September 21.

Videos circulated online show thousands of protesters in Karaj and clashes with police. In one of them, a helicopter flies over the protesters and drops flash grenades in an attempt to disperse them before landing in the middle of a highway. Government supporters on social media say the helicopter was sent to aid wounded policemen.

Galon: Meretz’s fall ‘a disaster’ for the party and country, I warned Lapid

Meretz chair Zehava Galon, in Tel Aviv, August 23, 2022. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
Meretz chair Zehava Galon, in Tel Aviv, August 23, 2022. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Meretz party chief Zehava Galon speaks out on her party’s ejection from the Knesset.

“This is a very difficult moment for me and for my friends in Meretz,” she says.

“The election results are a disaster for Meretz, a disaster for the country and yes, a personal disaster for me too.”

She says the results had been a “nightmare” scenario for her in recent days.

“I pushed for a merger with [Labor chief] Merav Michaeli, and in recent days I warned Prime Minister Yair Lapid and his people that they were playing with fire [by seeking votes from the left]. That if we were not careful, not only Meretz but the entire camp would pay the price.”

She argues that “the victory of the right, with its racist and repressive partners, is not really a victory. There is an equal number of Israelis on each side” and vows to continue to fight for the party’s values.

“In the end we will win,” she says. “Even if the winter is hard, it will not stop the coming of spring.”

Religious Zionism MK: Party won’t come after LGBT, but wants ‘order in public space’

Religious Zionism MK Orit Strock on Channel 12 news (video screenshot)
Religious Zionism MK Orit Strock on Channel 12 news (video screenshot)

Religious Zionism MK Orit Strock says leftists, Arabs and members of the LGBT community should not fear the rise of the far right in this week’s election.

“We’re not going to hammer anyone,” she says. “We will serve all citizens, including those who do not think like us and whose lifestyles are different.”

However, she says her party will seek to “bring order to the public space,” in apparent reference to opposition to gay pride events.

“Regardless of pride, there shouldn’t be marches of people walking down the street naked or half naked,” Strock says.

“The problem is with years-long efforts, not just here but around the world, to force things on the public.”

Rights group: Settlers assault Palestinian family with clubs during olive harvest

The B’Tselem rights group says a group of settlers assaulted a Palestinian family with clubs earlier while it was harvesting olives on its lands.

Six family members were hurt and taken to a hospital with head injuries and one had a broken arm.

It also says the settlers stole the family’s olives and two cellphones and damaged an ATV.

UN watchdog finds no ‘sign of undeclared nuclear activities’ in Ukraine

Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi speaks during a press conference at the UN Headquarters on September 21, 2022 in New York. (Yuki IWAMURA/AFP)
Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi speaks during a press conference at the UN Headquarters on September 21, 2022 in New York. (Yuki IWAMURA/AFP)

The UN nuclear watchdog says it has seen no indications of “undeclared nuclear activities” at three locations in Ukraine during visits at Kyiv’s request to address “dirty bomb” allegations made by Russia.

“Our technical and scientific evaluation of the results we have so far did not show any sign of undeclared nuclear activities and materials at these three locations,” the International Atomic Energy Agency’s chief Rafael Grossi says in a statement.

Slain PIJ member was involved in killing of police commando earlier this year

Weapons captured by security forces during a raid in Jenin, November 3, 2022 (Israel Police)
Weapons captured by security forces during a raid in Jenin, November 3, 2022 (Israel Police)

In a joint statement, the Israel Defense Forces and Border Police say the Palestinian Islamic Jihad member killed in Jenin earlier today was involved in the killing of a veteran police commando earlier this year.

The military and police say Farouk Salameh was involved in opening fire at troops several times, including during a raid in May when Command Sgt. Maj. Noam Raz was killed.

Salameh also has ties to the Nablus-based Lion’s Den, and is suspected of planning additional shooting attacks, Israeli officials say.

During the operation today in the Jenin refugee camp, police say forces raided a building where Salameh was, leading to an exchange of gunfire. Salameh fled the scene, and troops chased after him, during which he drew a handgun at them, police say. The forces opened fire, killing him.

Several other armed men who opened fire at troops were also shot, according to the joint statement.

Forces seized Salameh’s handgun, as well as another M-16 rifle in the building.

Five suspects were also detained by troops during the raid, Israeli officials say. They have been taken by the Shin Bet security agency for further questioning.
No Israeli soldiers were hurt during the raid, according to officials.

Netanyahu bloc loses one seat, down to 64; Liberman up to 6, Religious Zionism at 15

Netanyahu’s Knesset bloc has lost a seat, going down to 64, with 99% of votes counted, according to Channel 12.

Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu moves up one seat, from 5 to 6.

Meanwhile, inside the right-wing bloc, Religious Zionism gains one seat, moving up to 15.

Meretz officially falls below electoral threshold, is booted out of Knesset

Meretz party head Zehava Galon speaks at a conference in Tel Aviv, September 5, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Meretz party head Zehava Galon speaks at a conference in Tel Aviv, September 5, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

For the first time since its formation In 1992, the left-wing Meretz party has failed to enter the Knesset.

With some 99% of votes counted, the numbers are now official, with the party falling just below the electoral threshold. According to Channel 12, Meretz was a mere 3,800 ballots short of making it in.

Labor chief Merav Michaeli’s refusal to merge her slate with Meretz now seems like a catastrophic miscalculation.

Meretz’s dramatic fall strengthens Netanyahu’s bloc and appears to ensure he will have no fewer than 64 supportive seats for his right-wing, religious bloc.

North Korea fires ‘unspecified ballistic missile’ — Seoul’s military

North Korea has fired an “unspecified ballistic missile,” Seoul’s military says, hours after South Korea said it would extend joint air drills with the United States in the face of Pyongyang’s provocations.

It follows multiple other launches Thursday, including of an intercontinental ballistic missile, which Seoul says apparently failed.

Second Palestinian man killed in clashes with Israeli troops in Jenin — PA

A second Palestinian man has been killed in clashes with Israeli troops in the West Bank city of Jenin, the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry reports.

The man is not immediately named. The ministry says another four people have been wounded in the clashes.

Earlier, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad announced that a “commander” in the terror group was killed by Israeli troops in the Jenin refugee camp.

Palestinian media have reported that Farouk Salameh also has ties to the Nablus-based Lion’s Den terror group.

UK rules out Israeli embassy move

Britain’s new government dismisses a suggestion from previous prime minister Liz Truss that the UK embassy in Israel could be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“There are no plans to move the British embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv,” a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak tells reporters, after Truss announced a review during her short-lived tenure.

PA premier: Election results don’t matter, parties as different as Pepsi and Coke

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh during a press conference at the Foreign Press Association in the West Bank city of Ramallah, June 9, 2020. (Abbas Momani/Pool Photo via AP)
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh during a press conference at the Foreign Press Association in the West Bank city of Ramallah, June 9, 2020. (Abbas Momani/Pool Photo via AP)

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh says the rise of the far-right in Israel “is a natural result of the growing manifestation of extremism and racism in Israeli society, which our people have been suffering from for years,” according to Middle East Monitor.

“We were under no illusions that the Israeli election would produce a partner for peace,” he adds.

“The identity of the winner in the Israeli election does not matter, as the difference between the Israeli parties is the same as the difference between Pepsi-Cola and Coca-Cola.”

UK urges all Israeli parties to show respect for minorities

Britain's newly appointed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak delivers a speech outside 10 Downing Street in central London, on October 25, 2022. (Daniel Leal/AFP)
Britain's newly appointed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak delivers a speech outside 10 Downing Street in central London, on October 25, 2022. (Daniel Leal/AFP)

Echoing a US statement yesterday, Britain calls on all politicians in Israel to respect minorities as Benjamin Netanyahu appears set to return to power with the help of far-right parties.

“We would call on all Israeli parties to refrain from inflammatory language and demonstrate tolerance and respect for minority groups,” a spokeswoman for UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak tells reporters.

Pfizer-BioNTech to test combined COVID and flu vaccine

Illustrative image: A health worker prepares a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic in Chester, Pennsylvania, on Dec. 15, 2021.  (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
Illustrative image: A health worker prepares a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic in Chester, Pennsylvania, on Dec. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Pfizer-BioNTech says it will test a combined coronavirus and influenza vaccine, which could potentially pave the way for better inoculation uptake for both illnesses.

The two partner companies say in a statement the mRNA-based combination vaccine candidate is set to progress to a phase one trial in the United States with 180 volunteers.

The inoculation “could simplify immunization practices against these two respiratory pathogens, potentially leading to better vaccine uptake for both diseases,” says Annaliesa Anderson, head of vaccine research and development at US drugmaker Pfizer.

“Even with existing seasonal influenza vaccines, the burden of this virus is severe across the world, causing thousands of deaths and hospitalizations every year.”

Man suspected of attacking Pakistan ex-PM Khan shot dead — aide

A man suspected of attacking former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan during a political rally today has been shot dead, an aide says.

“A second man was taken into police custody,” Raoof Hasan, a senior Khan aide tells AFP, adding that it is unclear who shot the first attacker.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad man killed as IDF clashes with gunmen in Jenin

A Palestinian man has been killed as Israeli troops clash with Palestinian gunmen in the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank, Palestinian health officials say.

The Israel Defense Forces confirms troops are operating in the area, without providing additional details. The Palestinian Authority Health Ministry says at least one person has been killed by Israeli troops.

Footage published by Palestinian media outlets shows a convoy of armed military vehicles entering the area.

A local wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad claims its members opened fire on Israeli troops. The slain man is named by Palestinian media as Farouk Salameh, a PIJ operative.

Shas chief Deri, convicted for tax offenses, may be ‘rewarded’ for loyalty with Finance Ministry – report

Shas party head Aryeh Deri with supporters as the results of the Israeli elections are announced, in Jerusalem. November 1, 2022 (Yossi Zamir/Flash90 )
Shas party head Aryeh Deri with supporters as the results of the Israeli elections are announced, in Jerusalem. November 1, 2022 (Yossi Zamir/Flash90 )

Shas leader Aryeh Deri, whose party is a key member of Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc, may be “rewarded” for his loyalty with the position of finance minister if he requests it, the Ynet news site reports.

Shas has made the cost of living crisis a key part of its platform.

The report says the coalition negotiations, headed by Likud MK Yariv Levin, will aim to provide the government with stability by keeping Netanyahu’s political partners happy.

While the Religious Zionism party is expected to receive the third largest number of seats in the election, the union between MK Bezalel Smotrich and MK Itamar Ben GVir was a technical one, meaning that while the two far-right lawmakers are expected to coordinate their positions, their talks with Likud will be held separately.

Therefore Deri will be negotiating as the head of the second-largest party in the bloc.

Deri admitted to tax offenses earlier this year — his second criminal conviction — and resigned from the Knesset as part of a plea deal. However, he is set to return to the Israeli parliament with his party expected to hold 11 seats, according to the latest tally.

UN: Nations must ‘urgently’ boost climate funds, vulnerable countries among those most impacted by crisis

An abandoned boat sits on the bed of former Lake Poopo, in the desert near Punaca Tinta Maria, Bolivia, taken on October 14, 2022 (Aizar RALDES / AFP)
An abandoned boat sits on the bed of former Lake Poopo, in the desert near Punaca Tinta Maria, Bolivia, taken on October 14, 2022 (Aizar RALDES / AFP)

PARIS — Climate change impacts battering vulnerable countries threaten to outstrip efforts to adapt to global warming, the UN warns, with international funding help up to ten times below what is needed.

Many emerging economies least to blame for the fossil-fuel gases that stoke global warming are also among the most exposed to climate impacts, such as worsening drought, floods and cyclones.

Funding to help them adapt to accelerating impacts and curb emissions is one of the thorniest issues at UN climate negotiations, which will begin their latest round in Egypt on Sunday.

Wealthy nations have failed to provide all of a pledged $100 billion a year to developing nations, reaching just $83 billion in 2020.

Only a part of that — $29 billion — was for adaptation, which the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) warns in a new report was five to 10 times below the estimated needs.

Last week the UN warned the world was nowhere near the Paris Agreement target of capping warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

As the world warms, impacts increase and so too do the costs of preparing for them.

UNEP revised up its adaptation estimates from a year earlier, saying countries will now need $160 billion to $340 billion by 2030 to strengthen their resilience, rising to $315 billion and $565 billion by 2050.

IDF removes roadblocks around Nablus as US, EU diplomats visit West Bank city

European and American diplomats hear from Palestinian business leaders at the Nablus Chamber of Commerce on November 2, 2022. (Jacob Magid/Times of Israel)
European and American diplomats hear from Palestinian business leaders at the Nablus Chamber of Commerce on November 2, 2022. (Jacob Magid/Times of Israel)

NABLUS, West Bank — The IDF has removed the roadblocks that had effectively closed off the Palestinian city of Nablus for the past three weeks.

Dozens of European and American diplomats are touring the city with Palestinian officials today to see the impact of the recent security escalation on the lives of Palestinians in the northern West Bank.

Addressing the diplomats at the Nablus Chamber of Commerce, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh calls for “the removal of the siege to be permanent.”

The IDF has regularly been closing off entrances to Palestinian cities in the area amid an uptick in attacks targeting Israeli soldiers and civilians.

Thus far today, the diplomats have met with residents of the northern West Bank village of Hawara to hear directly on the impact of daily settler violence and with Palestinian business leaders at the Nablus Chamber of Commerce on the impact of Israeli military rule on the local economy.

“Nablus has became like a prison,” one businessman tells the diplomats, explaining that the city is surrounded by settlements, checkpoints and bypass roads for the settlements.

He laments that Israel has turned the West Bank into three islands that are choked off from one another, which prevents a viable economy.

For his part, Shtayyeh says the PA continues to extend its hand to negotiate with Israel.

MK Touma-Sliman: ‘We are facing a political reality that should frighten everyone’

Joint Arab List MK Aida Touma-Sliman in the Knesset in Jerusalem on June 8, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Joint Arab List MK Aida Touma-Sliman in the Knesset in Jerusalem on June 8, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

MK Aida Touma-Sliman says that the new political reality in the wake of the election should be “frightening for everyone,” and that a period of soul-searching is necessary.

“We are facing a political reality that should be frightening for everyone,” says the lawmaker, whose Hadash-Ta’al party appears set to secure five seats.

“It is a reality in which we have a right wing, and not just the usual ‘classic’ right that we know, but a right wing willing to use violence, wild incitement and deep racism. This reality should be a warning point for everyone,” she tells the Ynet news site.

“Whoever talks about [far-right MK Itamar] Ben Gvir possibly having become more moderate, is trying to bury their head in the sand and not confront reality,” she says.

“There must be a soul-searching and we must seriously examine the results and their political consequences,” she said.

Last week Touma-Sliman referred to five members of a Palestinian terror group, including its leader, who were killed in an IDF operation as “martyrs” and asserted that their “resistance” was a response to “the occupation.” Her statements met with a round of criticism.

Touma-Silman has made similar inflammatory statements in the past, and was threatened with sanctions after altering her Knesset swearing-in statement last year to include a vow to “fight against the occupation.”

Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s bloc is projected to win 65 seats, giving the former prime minister a comfortable majority to form a government in the 120-seat Knesset with far-right and Haredi allies, including extremist Ben Gvir.

Woman held over death of sister who fell from Tel Aviv roof gets conditional release

Screen capture from video of a woman later arrested as a suspect in the April death of her 65-year-old relative who fell from a roof in Tel Aviv, October 2022. (YouTube. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Screen capture from video of a woman later arrested as a suspect in the April death of her 65-year-old relative who fell from a roof in Tel Aviv, October 2022. (YouTube. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

A woman detained on suspicion of involvement in the death of her sister earlier this year is conditionally released, the Ynet news site reports.

There are restrictions placed on the woman’s movements, and police are continuing their investigation, the report says.

The 61-year-old woman was held for a number of days on suspicion of involvement in the death of her sister, 65, who fell from a Tel Aviv building where they lived.

The woman was found dead at the foot of a building on Pumbedita Street on April 26. An autopsy uncovered no suspicious evidence and police concluded that she had likely gone up to the roof to check a water heater when she tripped and fell to her death.

However, the deceased woman’s sister had made changes to the latter’s life insurance policies both before and after her death, increasing the potential payouts, and subsequently filed a claim for NIS 6 million ($1.7 million), the Kan public broadcaster reported.

Italy’s new far-right PM heads to Brussels to renew bonds with EU leaders

FILE - Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at Chigi Palace Premier's office, in Rome, Oct. 23, 2022 (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)
FILE - Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at Chigi Palace Premier's office, in Rome, Oct. 23, 2022 (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)

ROME — Italy’s new far-right Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni will meet with European Union chiefs in Brussels for the first time since her election, with the energy crisis expected to dominate the agenda.

Nationalist Meloni has vowed to put Italy’s interests first, and the trip will be closely watched amid fears of turbulent relations ahead between the populist government in Rome and the bloc’s powerhouses.

“Brussels should not do what Rome can do best,” Meloni was quoted as saying in a book to be published Friday, slamming “a Europe that is invasive in small things and absent in big matters.”

In her first international trip since taking office, Meloni is to meet European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council chief Charles Michel and European Parliament speaker Roberta Metsola.

It will be the first face-to-face encounter since von der Leyen angered Italy’s right-wing parties ahead of the September general election by warning of consequences should the country veer away from democratic principles.

Netanyahu ally Levin speaks with right-wing party heads ahead of coalition talks – report

Likud party head Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and faction chair Yariv Levin (R) lead their party's faction meeting at the Knesset, May 23, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Likud party head Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and faction chair Yariv Levin (R) lead their party's faction meeting at the Knesset, May 23, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s close ally MK Yariv Levin has begun to make contact with party heads in the right-wing bloc ahead of the start of coalition negotiations, Channel 12 news reports.

Formal meetings will begin after the final announcement of the vote tally, expected later today.

Netanyahu’s bloc is projected to win 65 seats, giving the former prime minister a comfortable majority to form a government in the 120-seat Knesset after 17 months in the opposition with his far-right and Haredi allies.

Levin is considered Netanyahu’s righthand man in the Knesset, managing faction business and politics. He managed Knesset dissolution negotiations with the coalition on behalf of the Likud-led opposition.

Levin is also the brain behind the party’s judicial reform agenda, and has advocated for it since his days as a lawyer.

With 93% of votes tallied, Meretz remains outside of Knesset

A bus drives through Jerusalem with a large election poster of the Meretz party for the upcoming elections on October 23, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
A bus drives through Jerusalem with a large election poster of the Meretz party for the upcoming elections on October 23, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

With 93 percent of votes now counted, the left-wing Meretz party remains under the 3.25% threshold needed to enter the Knesset.

The left-wing party currently holds 3.15% of votes cast.

As the count stands, Likud will receive 32 seats, Yesh Atid 24, Religious Zionism 14, National Unity 12, Shas 11, and United Torah Judaism eight. Ra’am has received five seats, as has Hadash-Ta’al and Yisrael Beytenu, and Labor will receive four seats in the Israeli parliament.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine fueled online antisemitism, EU report says

Illustrative: A man typing on a computer keyboard, January 24, 2017. (Flash90)
Illustrative: A man typing on a computer keyboard, January 24, 2017. (Flash90)

VIENNA — Disinformation and hatred against Jews has “flourished” online throughout Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, further aggravating a trend set in motion during the COVID-19 pandemic, an EU report says.

“The coronavirus pandemic and Russia’s aggression against Ukraine further fueled” antisemitism, which “remains a serious problem in our societies,” says Michael O’Flaherty, director of the Vienna-based Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA).

A working group meeting in June had already highlighted “the risks of fake narratives” and disinformation stoking up antisemitism, as Russia justified its war by misusing “terms such as ‘Nazi’ and ‘genocide'” to describe the government in Ukraine.

In its annual report, which was compiled in July, the FRA says that “Jewish communities across Europe” have been “profoundly affected” by online hate and disinformation in the context of the Russian invasion and the outbreak.

The bloc’s rights agency reiterates that “recording of anti-Semitic incidents remains poor across Europe,” with data collection and classification varying in each country.

No official data on recorded antisemitic incidents was available from two EU member states, Hungary and Portugal, making it difficult to meaningfully compare the situation across the bloc.

In some countries, such as Austria and Finland, “most recorded incidents took place online.”

Jerusalem attacker shot dead, police say; 3 Israelis injured, 1 by so-called friendly fire

Knife used in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem's Old City on November 3, 2022 (Israel Police)
Knife used in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem's Old City on November 3, 2022 (Israel Police)

Police say the Palestinian stabber who attacked officers in Jerusalem’s Old City was shot dead.

According to police, officers spotted the man acting suspiciously at the Iron Gate area and began to question him.

“During the examination of the suspect, he pulled out a knife and stabbed one of the officers in his upper body,” police say.

Another two officers opened fire at the attacker, named as Bader Amer from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, killing him.

In addition to the stabbed policeman, one officer is lightly to moderately hurt by so-called friendly fire as his colleagues opened fire toward the assailant.

A third officer is being treated at the scene in good condition, police and medics say.

The area has been closed off, police add.

2 said injured in Jerusalem Old City stabbing attack; Palestinian assailant shot

The scene of a stabbing attack in Jerusalem's Old City on November 3, 2022 (Zaka emergency service)
The scene of a stabbing attack in Jerusalem's Old City on November 3, 2022 (Zaka emergency service)

A Palestinian man who attempted to stab officers in Jerusalem’s Old City was shot, police say.

Police do not provide further details on the alleged attack at the Iron Gate area, but medics say two officers are hurt.

According to the Magen David Adom ambulance service, a man in his 30s is being taken to Shaare Zedek hospital in light-moderate condition.

Another man, 25, is lightly hurt and being treated at the scene, MDA says.

One of the wounded officers is apparently hurt by gunfire directed at the alleged stabber.

1 injured in stabbing attack in Jerusalem’s Old City, medics say

An Israeli Border Police officer stands at her post near the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem that is under heightened security for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022.(AP Photo/ Maya Alleruzzo)
An Israeli Border Police officer stands at her post near the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem that is under heightened security for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022.(AP Photo/ Maya Alleruzzo)

Medics and security forces are responding to a reported stabbing attack in Jerusalem’s Old City.

According to preliminary reports, an alleged attacker stabbed an Israeli at the Iron Gate area.

Shots are also heard in the area, apparently by security forces at the alleged stabber.

There is no immediate comment from authorities on the incident.

Lapid expected to concede in call to Netanyahu Thursday afternoon

Prime Minister Yair Lapid, leader of the Yesh Atid party, speaks to supporters as the results of exit polls in national elections are announced, in Tel Aviv, on November 2, 2022. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
Prime Minister Yair Lapid, leader of the Yesh Atid party, speaks to supporters as the results of exit polls in national elections are announced, in Tel Aviv, on November 2, 2022. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Prime Minister Yair Lapid is expected to call Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu and concede the election on Thursday afternoon, the Walla news site reports.

The outlet says the premier will call his political rival when the final votes have been tallied.

According to the report, Lapid’s Yesh Atid party has told ministers to prepare for an orderly and responsible transfer of power.

Biden warns Republican denial of US election results ‘a path to chaos’

US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on preserving and protecting Democracy at Union Station on November 2, 2022 in Washington, DC (Michael A. McCoy / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)
US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on preserving and protecting Democracy at Union Station on November 2, 2022 in Washington, DC (Michael A. McCoy / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden warns US voters that the future of democracy is at stake in next week’s midterms, with the steadfast refusal of some Republican candidates to accept election results opening a “path to chaos in America.”

With conservatives hammering his administration over the state of the economy, the 79-year-old Democrat aims squarely at Republicans who have cast their lot with former president Donald Trump in denying Biden’s 2020 election victory.

“There are candidates running for every level of office in America… who won’t commit to accepting the results of the elections they’re in,” Biden says in a televised address to the nation.

Their goal, he says, is to follow Trump’s lead and try to “subvert the electoral system itself” — noting there are more than 300 Republican election deniers on the ballot in races across the country this year.

“They’ve emboldened violence and intimidation of voters and election officials,” he charges — less than two years after a mob of Trump supporters ransacked the US Capitol to try to overturn the 2020 result.

“That is the path to chaos in America,” he says. “It’s unprecedented. It’s unlawful. And, it is un-American.”

Biden’s dire warning of threats to democracy come six days ahead of Tuesday’s vote, in which Republicans are heavily favored to capture the House of Representatives and possibly the Senate.

In the wake of a violent attack on the husband of the Democratic House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, which dramatically heightened concerns about heated political rhetoric, Biden urges Americans to unite in defense of democracy.

“We must with an overwhelming voice stand against political violence and voter intimidation, period,” he says.

“We have to face this problem,” he said. “We can’t pretend it’s just going to solve itself.”

IDF says 14 held in overnight West Bank raids, including in village of ramming attacker

Troops carry out overnight raids in the West Bank, November 3, 2022 (Israel Defense Forces)
Troops carry out overnight raids in the West Bank, November 3, 2022 (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israel Defense Forces says troops detained 14 wanted Palestinians and seized several weapons during overnight arrest raids across the West Bank.

The raids included operations in the village of Bayt Duqu, home to the assailant who seriously injured an officer in Wednesday’s car-ramming attack at a West Bank checkpoint east of the Israeli city of Modiin. The injured officer shot the Palestinian attacker, killing him.

The IDF says that during the operations in Bayt Duqu, riots broke out and rocks and Molotov cocktails were thrown toward troops, who responded with crowd dispersal means.

The 14 suspects have been taken by the Shin Bet security agency for further questioning.

Ben Gvir, Smotrich to fully coordinate in coalition talks with Netanyahu’s Likud – report

MKs Itamar Ben Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich at a rally of their Religious Zionism party in the southern city of Sderot on October 26, 2022. (Gil Cohen-Magen / AFP)
MKs Itamar Ben Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich at a rally of their Religious Zionism party in the southern city of Sderot on October 26, 2022. (Gil Cohen-Magen / AFP)

Religious Zionism MK Bezalel Smotrich and Otzma Yehudit’s Itamar Ben Gvir will be fully coordinated as they enter coalition negotiations, the Kan public broadcaster reports.

The two far-right factions ran on a joint list but are expected to split again after the election.

The report says the two have vowed to back each others’ demands to Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu, who is reportedly looking to put together a coalition quickly after his right-religious bloc appeared to have won a resounding victory.

Smotrich and Ben Gvir have agreed that either they both enter the coalition or neither of them do, Kan reports.

Some reports in recent weeks have suggested that Ben Gvir’s Otzma Yehudit could be excluded from the coalition in favor of Benny Gantz’s National Unity party, but both the defense minister and opposition leader have publicly quashed the idea.

With 91% of votes tallied, no change to seat distribution

An Israeli casts a vote at a voting station in Jerusalem on March 23, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
An Israeli casts a vote at a voting station in Jerusalem on March 23, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

The Central Elections Committee says 91 percent of votes have now been counted, with the tally pushing Meretz slightly further from the 3.25% threshold needed to enter the Knesset.

As the count stands, Likud will receive 32 mandates, Yesh Atid has 24, Religious Zionism has 14 MKs, National Unity will have 12 lawmakers, Shas 11 and United Torah Judaism will have eight. Ra’am has received five seats, Hadash-Ta’al will also have five lawmakers, Yisrael Beytenu have five and Labor will receive four seats in the Israeli parliament.

The left-wing Meretz and Arab hardline Balad parties remain outside the Knesset.

With 15% of double envelope votes counted, Meretz unlikely to enter Knesset

Meretz party supporters react as election exit polls are announced, in Jerusalem November 1, 2022. (Flash90)
Meretz party supporters react as election exit polls are announced, in Jerusalem November 1, 2022. (Flash90)

With about 15% of the double envelopes counted — around 105,000 votes — Meretz falls further from the threshold required to enter the Knesset.

Meretz now has around 3.17 percent of votes, as the hardline Arab Balad party drops below 3%, the Ynet news site reports.

So far, Meretz is receiving 2.4% of double envelope ballots, Ynet says, a lower percentage than from the regular ballots, making it increasingly unlikely the left-wing party has the votes required to enter the Israeli parliament.

Tally begins of double-envelope votes, finally determining the fate of Meretz and Balad

IDF soldiers cast their votes in a ballot box of the Golan Brigade 474 for Israel's general election at the Sa'ar military base in central Golan Heights on November 1, 2022. (Michael Giladi/Flash90)
IDF soldiers cast their votes in a ballot box of the Golan Brigade 474 for Israel's general election at the Sa'ar military base in central Golan Heights on November 1, 2022. (Michael Giladi/Flash90)

The Central Elections Committee has begun counting the over 600,000 so-called double-envelope ballots, finally determining the fate of the left-wing Meretz party and hardline Arab party Balad.

The double-envelope ballots are cast by members of security forces, prisoners, hospital patients and staff, diplomats serving abroad, residents of senior-citizen and assisted living facilities, and people who voted at polling stations for those with physical disabilities.

According to an analysis by the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI), the double-envelope ballots have become increasingly significant recently since their share of all ballots has more than doubled over the past few national votes — from 5.5% in April 2019 to 6.3% in September 2019, 7.2% in 2020, and 9.6% in 2021. In this week’s election, the figure is over 12.5%.

According to the IDI, in previous elections, the double-envelope ballots — which disproportionately represent young Jewish voters — tended to favor right-wing parties and trendy fringe parties, while significantly disadvantaging ultra-Orthodox and Arab parties, which would mean the chance of Balad passing the threshold is slim.

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