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

Stabbing attack foiled near Hebron

Security forces thwart a stabbing attack near the West Bank Palestinian village of Beit Anun, north of the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, close to the city of Hebron.

No injuries are reported. The terrorist has been subdued, Israel Radio reports.

Palestinian would-be stabber shot dead

The IDF says the attempted stabbing attack near Hebron took place during a violent riot by Palestinians in the area. According to the army, one of the rioters tried to stab a soldier but was shot dead on the spot.

Russia sends 100 experts to search Sinai crash site

Russia’s Emergencies Ministry says it has sent more than 100 emergency workers to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula to help search for bodies and examine debris following the crash of a Russian passenger jet.

Metrojet’s A321-200 crashed Saturday in the Sinai Peninsula 23 minutes after it took off from Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, killing all 224 people on board.

The Emergencies Ministry said Sunday its emergency teams were being accompanied by the Egyptian military through the restive northern Sinai, where Egypt is fighting an Islamic insurgency.

People light candles inside an Orthodox church in St. Petersburg during a day of national mourning for the plane crash victims, Russia, on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015 (AP/Dmitry Lovetsky)

People light candles inside an Orthodox church in St. Petersburg during a day of national mourning for the plane crash victims, Russia, on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015 (AP/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Russian officials say the rescue teams need to comb 16 square kilometers (over 6 square miles) to search for victims’ bodies and plane wreckage.

— AP

Former Balad MK Said Nafa imprisoned

Said Nafa, a former Balad party MK, begins his year-long sentence at the Gilboa prison after being convicted by the Nazareth District Court for traveling to an enemy country and for engaging in contact with a foreign agent.

Dozens of people protest outside the prison in solidarity with Nafa, Ynet reports.

IS overruns town in central Syria

Islamic State group jihadists seize a small town in Syria’s central Homs province with help from local rebels, and advance on a majority Christian village, a monitoring group says.

“The Islamic State group easily took control of the village of Maheen, southeast of Homs, after two suicide attacks,” says Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Maheen lies 70 kilometers (43 miles) southeast of the government-controlled provincial capital Homs city, and 35 kilometers east of the Syrian-Lebanese border.

For the past two years, a ceasefire between rebel factions in the town and regime troops at surrounding checkpoints had governed Maheen. But on Sunday the rebel factions turned against the government fighters and joined ranks with IS jihadists, Abdel Rahman says.

IS launches its assault from the nearby Christian village of Al-Qaryatain, which it seized in August, he adds.


IDF gives additional details on West Bank attack

The IDF says Border Patrol officers noticed a Palestinian wielding a knife during riots near the West Bank village of Beit Anun, near Hebron.

The officers began chasing the man, who in turn ran toward two other patrolmen, apparently aiming to stab them.

The second group of officers then shot the Palestinian, a 24-year-old resident of Beit Anun, killing him on the spot, the IDF says.

PM offers condolences to Russia over plane crash

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offers his condolences to President Vladimir Putin and the Russian people over a plane crash in Sinai that killed all 224 people on board.

Netanyahu says “this was a great disaster. We identify with the sorrow and are of course in constant touch with the government of Russia and the government of Egypt to try and figure out the circumstances of the case.”

The plane, bound for St. Petersburg in Russia, crashed 23 minutes after it took off from Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Most victims were Russian.

A local affiliate of the extremist Islamic State group said it “brought down” the aircraft, but Russia’s transport minister dismissed the claim.

— AP

Fire breaks out in Umm al-Fahm junkyard

A fire breaks out in a junkyard near a cement factory in the Arab Israeli city of Umm al-Fahm.

Six fire teams that were rushed to the scene manage to contain the blaze, and are continuing in their efforts to extinguish the flames, the NRG website reports.

Iran leader says Syria needs fresh elections

Iran’s supreme leader dismisses the prospect of foreign countries bartering a deal over Syria’s future, saying a halt to fighting and fresh elections is the only solution.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also repeats his ban on direct talks with the United States about turmoil in the Middle East, saying US objectives in the region were utterly at odds with Iranian policy.

The comments, to Iran’s ambassadors and other top diplomats, were Khamenei’s first since his country on Friday joined international talks in Vienna on the four-year Syrian conflict.

In a wide-ranging speech on foreign policy, Khamenei says Syria’s people must choose for themselves who their leader would be, rather than US and other foreign powers deciding for them.

“The Americans seek to impose their own interests, not solve problems. They want to impose 60, 70 percent of their will in negotiations. So what’s the point of negotiations?” he said, appearing to discount the value of the Vienna talks.


Kidnapping suspect arrested

The central unit of the Tel Aviv District Police arrests a man on suspicion of kidnapping. The suspect, from a well-known Israeli family, is being investigated, and will be brought in for a hearing on a possible remand at a court tomorrow.

Referrals to clinics for terror-related stress up 35%

The Bayit Ham nonprofit organization which specializes in treating mental disorders says that it has seen a 35% increase over the past several weeks in individuals being referred to its medical clinics in order to treat emotional stress, fear, and depression.

The organization attributes the increase to the recent wave of terrorist attacks, the Maariv website reports.

14-year-old indicted for planning knifing

The Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office files an indictment against a 14-year-old boy from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat on suspicion that he planned to carry out a stabbing attack against Jews.

According to the indictment, the boy “armed himself with two knives, hid them in his school bag and tried to smuggle them through a checkpoint to [central] Jerusalem, in order to carry out an attack,” the Walla news site reports.

Pope offers condolences to plane crash families

The Vatican says Pope Francis is offering “the assurance of his prayers” for those who died in the Russian plane crash in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

It says in a statement that Francis “learned with sadness about the tragic crash” and in a telegram conveyed his condolences to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian people. Francis is also praying for those mourning the loss of their loved ones.

The Metrojet charter flight crashed Saturday 23 minutes after it took off from Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, killing all 224 people on board.

— AP

Soldiers suspected of beating to be held in prolonged custody

Four combat soldiers from the IDF’s ultra-Orthodox Netzah Yehuda Battalion who were indicted at the Jaffa Military Court for abuse under aggravated circumstances after allegedly beating several Palestinian detainees, will be held in custody until the end of proceedings.

According to the indictments, the soldiers are suspected of kicking and slapping detainees, all of whom were arrested for involvement in terrorist activities during raids on villages near the Palestinian West Bank city of Jenin.

50-year-old badly hurt in chainsaw accident

A 50-year-old man is gravely wounded in a work accident in the northern city of Kiryat Bialik when a chainsaw cut his stomach.

Magen David Adom paramedics rush him to Rambam hospital in Haifa.

Iraq combats cholera with massive vaccination campaign

Iraq is carrying out a major vaccination campaign to combat a cholera outbreak that has infected more than 2,200 people, the health ministry says.

The campaign, focused on vaccinating people displaced by conflict including the war with the Islamic State group, began Saturday, health minister Adeela Hammoud Hussein says in a statement.

The World Health Organization shipped more than 500,000 doses of oral cholera vaccine to Iraq, enough to treat some 250,000 people.

According to the WHO, there have been more than 2,200 cases of cholera in the current outbreak.


Report: Vehicle attack in West Bank

Three people are reportedly wounded in a suspected vehicular attack by a Palestinian assailant near the West Bank Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, close to the city of Hebron.

More updates to come.

1 moderately , 2 lightly hurt in vehicle attack

One Israeli man is moderately wounded and two are lightly injured in the suspected vehicular attack near the West Bank Palestinian village of Beit Anun, close to the city of Hebron.

The alleged assailants flee the scene, Israel Radio reports, and the IDF has begun searching for them in the area.

The army managed to fire shots at the vehicle before the drivers fled the scene.

Earlier, a 24-year-old Palestinian was shot dead after attempting to stab Border Patrol officers at the same spot near Beit Anun.

Border Police officers among wounded

Some of the victims of the suspected vehicle attack near the West Bank village of Beit Anun were Border Police officers, Police spokeswoman Luba Samri says.

One of the officers is moderately hurt, suffering a head injury, while the other two victims sustain light wounds.

EU gives €28 million to Syria refugees in Jordan

The European Union says it is allocating an extra €28 million to Jordan to help it meet the urgent needs of Syrian refugees as winter sets in.

EU humanitarian affairs commissioner Christos Stylianides makes the announcement during a visit to the Zaatari camp in northern Jordan that is home to 80,000 refugees from across the border in Syria.

“Today I’m announcing the allocation of €28 millions ($30.8 million) specifically for Jordan. This money will assist the urgent needs of Syrian refugees and their host communities,” Stylianides tells reporters.

Syrian refugees walks past a makeshift market in the Zaatari refugee camp, on April 15, 2014. (AFP/Khalil Mazraawi)

Syrian refugees walks past a makeshift market in the Zaatari refugee camp, on April 15, 2014. (AFP/Khalil Mazraawi)

The latest aid raises the overall EU humanitarian assistance to €198 million since Syria’s conflict broke out in 2011.


MDA treating injured Border Police officers

Paramedics are treating three Border Police officers who were injured in a car ramming attack near Beit Anun outside of Kiryat Arba, Magen David Adom medical services says.

One of the victims, a man in his early 20s, is in serious condition with head wounds and injuries to the extremities. He is being taken to the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem in an intensive care ambulance, an MDA spokesperson says.

Two other officers, a man and a woman, both in their early 20s, are receiving treatment on the scene before being sent to the Shaare Zedek Hospital in the capital. The man has wounds to his back, while the woman is suffering from internal injuries.

New details on West Bank vehicle attack

Border Police officers were standing guard at Beit Anun Junction when an automobile ran into them. The soldiers opened fire at the car as it continued traveling following the attack, police say.

A large number of IDF and police units are currently searching the area for the car driver.

Three Border Police officers were wounded in the attack.

LGBT Association files petition for same-sex marriage

Israel’s LGBT Association files a petition to the High Court demanding that marriage between same-sex couples be recognized.

The petition is the first of its kind to be filed by the association.

“According to previous rulings, if the rabbinical court does not recognize [same sex] marriage, the High Court has the authority to approve marriages in the civil courts,” the association says in a statement.

Despite widespread public support for same-sex marriage – a 2013 poll by the daily Haaretz found 70 percent of Israelis backing it – Israel’s contentious parliamentary politics have not been able to translate that support into legislation.

Arches of rainbow-hued balloons at Tel Aviv's Gay Pride parade in June 2015. (Guy Yehiely/City of Tel Aviv-Jaffa)

Arches of rainbow-hued balloons at Tel Aviv’s Gay Pride parade in June 2015. (Guy Yehiely/City of Tel Aviv-Jaffa)

Israeli marriages are performed under laws inherited from Ottoman times that grant each Israeli religious community’s state-recognized leadership sole jurisdiction over marriage. These Ottoman religious communal structures, called millets, were continued by the British mandate. After Israel’s 1948 independence, Israel too maintained the system, citing among other considerations its obligations to the country’s minorities.

As a consequence, marriages in Israel are performed only through religious institutions. Jewish couples must marry through the Chief Rabbinate, and Catholics, Druze and Muslims all marry through their own state-sanctioned and publicly funded religious legal systems.

In that light, while same-sex marriage is not actually illegal in Israel, there simply isn’t any institution empowered to perform such marriages.

Russian plane broke apart ‘in the air’

The Russian Airbus that crashed in Egypt broke apart “in the air,” a senior official with Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee says.

“The disintegration happened in the air and the fragments are strewn over a large area,” committee chief Viktor Sorochenko was quoted as saying by RIA-Novosti news agency in Cairo, where he is part of an international panel of experts from Russia, Egypt, France and Ireland.


Woman lightly injured in stone throwning near Hebron

A woman is lightly injured by stones thrown at her vehicle south of the West Bank city of Hebron.

Damage was caused to the vehicle’s windshield, the Walla news site reports.

Road west of Hebron blocked for fear of shooting

Route 35 west of Hebron is closed to traffic for all vehicles after it was reported that shots were fired in the area.

The entrances to the settlements of Adora and Telem are blocked off as well, Walla reports.

Rocks hurled at West Bank road, none injured

Palestinians hurl stones at a junction between the West Bank Jewish settlements of Kochav Hashahar and Tapuah, in the Binyamin Regional Council.

No injuries or damage are reported.

Turkey’s AKP leads vote according to early results

Turkey’s long-dominant Justice and Development Party (AKP) founded by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is leading in the crucial parliamentary election, according to preliminary results.

The AKP had more than 53 percent of the vote with 42 percent of the ballot boxes opened, CNN-Turk television reports. Opinion polls predicted the party would win about 40-43 percent, short of the vote needed to ensure a parliamentary majority.

Cameron offers condolences to Putin over crash

British Prime Minister David Cameron tells Russian President Vladimir Putin that Britain shares the “pain and grief” of the Russian people after the crash of a Russian passenger jet in Egypt.

Cameron’s office says he spoke with Putin on Sunday morning and offered to aid the investigation into the cause of the crash Saturday that killed all 224 people on the Metrojet charter flight from Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg.

Cameron’s office says Putin thanked him for the offer but that Russian investigators were already at the crash site in Sinai. They are working with Egyptian, French, German and Airbus investigators.

— AP

Israel returns 2 more terrorists’ bodies

Israel delivers the bodies of Omar Faqih, killed during an attempted stabbing attack at the Qalandia checkpoint, and Muhammad Shamasnah, who carried out an attack on the Egged bus line 185 in Jerusalem, to the Palestinian Authority.

Earlier in the day, the bodies of Raed Jaradat, 22, and Mahmoud Ghneimat, 20, were delivered by Israel to the Palestinian military and civil liaison department, the Ma’an News Agency reported.

Israel on Friday transferred to the West Bank the bodies of five Palestinians killed while carrying out attacks or attempted attacks on Israelis, as local residents gathered to mark the occasion. The Israeli cabinet had expressed its opposition to the move.

Palestinians gather in Hebron as PA security forces carry the bodies of two out of five Palestinians released by Israel on October 30, 2015. The five killed were killed while carrying out or trying to carry out stabbing attacks against Israelis. (AFP PHOTO / HAZEM BADER)

Palestinians gather in Hebron as PA security forces carry the bodies of two out of five Palestinians released by Israel on October 30, 2015. The five killed were killed while carrying out or trying to carry out stabbing attacks against Israelis. (AFP PHOTO / HAZEM BADER)

A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office on Saturday said the decision to return the bodies was made by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and asserted the move did not go against the cabinet decision earlier in the week.

“Defense officials recommended releasing several bodies with the understanding that holding them would serve to stir up the West Bank,” the statement said, according to a report in the Maariv daily.

Islamic State airs new Hebrew video, promises war

The Islamic State terror group publishes a new video in Hebrew, threatening to wage war against Israel.

During the video, a man holding a knife says he and his jihadist comrades are “preparing for a major war [against Israel]… With God’s help, God willing.”

Last month, the Islamic State addressed an Israeli audience for the first time ever in a Hebrew-language video, warning that “no Jew will be left [alive]” once its fighters conquer Jordan and arrive at Israel’s borders.

Earlier that month, Israeli security forces arrested three people in northern Israel accused of plotting attacks for the Islamic State in August, according to the Shin Bet security service. A fourth man, who is currently serving a life sentence in prison, was also charged with joining the organization, Israeli officials said, while three others were charged with aiding the terror cell.

Though Israeli security forces have said that more than 40 Israeli citizens have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join the Islamic State, that terror cell was the first IS affiliate discovered within Israel.

Islamic State group advances in central Syria

The Islamic State terror group is advancing in central Syria, seizing control of a town that lies near a highway leading to the capital, Damascus, and attacking another, activists and the group say.

The capture of Mahin, in the central Homs province, and the push toward the majority-Christian town of Sadad, marks a new advance of the Islamic State group beyond its strongholds in northern and eastern Syria. The militant group had seized control of the ancient city of Palmyra in May as well as a neighboring village.

The new IS expansion comes despite Russian airstrikes in Syria, which, Moscow says, target IS and other terrorist groups. For the most part, the Russian airstrikes, in their fifth week, have targeted Western-backed rebel groups and other Islamist groups.

IS fighters have also made recent gains in Aleppo, seizing villages from other rebel groups and controlling a section of a strategic highway that serves as a supply route into government-controlled areas of Aleppo.

— AP

Palestinian arrested in connection with vehicle attack

A Palestinian man suspected of ramming his car into three Border Police officers at the Beit Anun junction near Hebron is arrested by security forces.

The IDF is investigating whether there was another individual in the vehicle as well, Channel 10 reports.

Kurds clash with police in southeast Turkey

Clashes break out in a mainly Kurdish city in southeast Turkey after preliminary results show that the ruling party appears to have clawed back its majority in a crucial parliamentary election.

Kurds set fire to garbage cans and throw stones at police in Diyarbakir in isolated clashes. Police use water cannons to disperse the crowds.

Preliminary results showed that the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, had won just below 50 percent of the vote, which would restore its ruling majority.

The vote is a re-run of a June election, in which AKP surprisingly lost its one-party rule due to a strong showing by a Kurdish party.

— AP

Palestinian car-ramming suspect turns himself in

The Palestinian man suspected of ramming his car into three Border Police officers at the Beit Anun junction near Hebron was arrested by security forces after turning himself in, Channel 2 reports.

A large number of IDF and police units had earlier searched the area for the car driver, who fled the scene after being shot at by soldiers following the suspected attack.

Jews and Arabs in Haifa rally against violence

Hundreds of Jewish and Arab demonstrators gather near the Haifa Cinematheque to rally against racism and in favor of equality and peace.

The protesters are also calling on the government to end the Israeli presence in the West Bank.

Footage released of man stabbing Jew he mistook for Arab

Security-camera footage showing a 33-year-old Israeli man stabbing a Jewish man three weeks ago — after mistaking him for an Arab — is released online.

In the video, Shlomo Pinto, a resident of Kiryat Ata, can be seen attacking supermarket worker Uri Razkan in the Haifa suburb.

Turkey PM declares victory in parliamentary election

Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu declares victory for his ruling party after preliminary election results showed it restoring its majority in parliament.

State-run TRT television reports that with more than 97 percent of the votes counted, the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, has won just above 49 percent, which would comfortably restore its ruling majority.

“Today is the day of victory but it is also a day for humility,” Davutoglu says, addressing supporters in his hometown of Konya, where he voted.

The preliminary results suggest that the ruling party’s gamble to hold new elections has paid off. Supporters at the party’s Ankara and Istanbul headquarters were already waving flags in rapturous celebrations. Crowds outside President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s home in Istanbul were shouting “Turkey is proud of you.”

The vote is a rerun of a June election in which AKP surprisingly lost its one-party rule due to a strong showing by a Kurdish party. Most analysts had expected AKP to fall short again, but the preliminary results suggest it picked up millions of votes at the expense of the nationalist MHP and pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party, or HDP. AKP’s vote tally jumped nearly nine percentage points. The secularist CHP was hovering around the same result as in June.


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