The Times of Israel liveblogged Thursday’s events as they unfolded.
Chief Rabbi Moshe Azman of Kyiv’s Brodsky Synagogue visits the recently liberated Ukrainian city of Kherson, and meets with the regional governor to discuss how he can assist the city in rebuilding.
Azman comes with a truck bearing 18 tons of food, medicine, and water.
“There is no electricity, there’s no water, there’s nothing,” says Azman, speaking to The Times of Israel, as he crossed checkpoints from Mykolaiv to Kyiv. “It’s a catastrophe. The Russians stole everything, computers, cars, everything.”
The governor gave Azman a list of requests for aid from the Jewish community in Kyiv.
“It is still very dangerous to be there. There are still mines on the roads,” he says.
He also visits the Jewish community in Mykolaiv, and distributes several hundred challah rolls before the Jewish sabbath tomorrow night. “There are about 500 Jews,” he says, “and there are many people who felt isolated that have become part of the community during the war.”
A team of Ukrainian Jews and Israeli volunteers remains behind in Mykolaiv to manage the rabbi’s humanitarian effort in Kherson.
Israeli authorities say they will reinvestigate materials related to a deadly explosion at Israel’s military headquarters in Tyre during the first Lebanon war in 1982, widely believed to have been a suicide bombing.
In a joint statement by the Israel Defense Forces, Shin Bet security agency, and Israel Police, officials say a joint team will be established to examine the incident known as the first Tyre bombing.
Officially, Israel has said the explosion was caused by a gas leak, although multiple reports have suggested it was a Hezbollah suicide bombing attack.
The explosion killed at least 91 people according to Israeli officials, including 75 Israelis and several more Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners.
Officials say the case is being reopened “out of respect for the fallen and the search for the truth,” as last week marked 40 years since the blast.
At least 21 people, including seven children, are killed when a fire erupts in a residential building in the Jabalia camp in the northern Gaza Strip, rescue workers and hospital officials say.
Sources from the al-Andounisi hospital says that several more people have been injured and taken to the medical center, and that the death toll is likely to increase.
The cause of the blaze is not immediately clear.
— 🇵🇸 Palestine State News – PSN (@PalPSN) November 17, 2022
A spokesperson for the Gaza Civilian Defense Corps said the fire has now been extinguished.
The investigation teams is still looking into the cause of the fire and the final number of victims,” he says.
Lawyers for Shas leader Arye Deri have preemptively prepared a 12-page legal opinion laying out why he should be allowed to be a minister in the next government despite his criminal convictions, Channel 12 reports.
Deri was convicted of tax offenses in January after pleading guilty as part of an agreement with prosecutors that also saw him resign from the Knesset.
Deri’s resignation from parliament enabled him to dodge a conviction of moral turpitude — relevant to public officials — which would have barred him from returning to office for several years.
The legal opinion also argues that since he only received a suspended sentence, there was no bar to him returning to office.
The legal opinion has been shared with Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu, who wants to appoint Deri as a top minister, the report says, noting that such a move would likely face legal challenges.
It was Deri’s second conviction during his political career.
Deri previously served 22 months in prison from 2000 to 2002, after he was convicted of taking bribes while serving as interior minister. That verdict carried moral turpitude. In 2013, he returned to politics, reclaiming the leadership of Shas and ultimately returning to serve as interior minister from 2016 until last year, when his party entered the opposition. A court had ruled that his prior conviction did not disqualify him from the position.
Undercover Border Police officers arrested a wanted Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror operative in a village near the West Bank city of Jenin, a police spokesman says.
The spokesman says the suspect, Abdullah Loubani, has been involved in planning terror attacks in Israel on behalf of the Gaza Strip-based terror group.
There were no clashes during the daylight raid in the village of Bir al Basha, some 15 kilometers (9 miles) southwest of Jenin.
Loubani has been transferred to the Shin Bet security agency for further questioning, the spokesman adds.
Iran warns that a critical resolution passed by the International Atomic Energy Agency may “affect the process of our country’s cooperation” with the UN nuclear watchdog.
“We firmly believe that this resolution will have no result… it is intended to justify more unilateral sanctions against the Iranian nation,” says Mohsen Naziri-Asl, Iran’s envoy to the IAEA, according to the official IRNA news agency.
CNN publishes images showing damage caused to an Israeli-owned oil tanker that was struck by an Iranian Shahed-136 drone off the coast of Oman on Tuesday night.
The network, on its Arabic-language site, posts two pictures, one showing damage to the Pacific Zircon vessel, and the other showing debris from the explosive-laden drone.
The report says the images were provided to CNN by a Western defense official, but it adds that the network cannot independently verify their authenticity.
CNN publishes images of the damage caused to the Israeli-owned Pacific Zircon oil tanker that was struck by an Iranian Shahed-136 drone off the coast of Oman on Tuesday night. pic.twitter.com/JS7aMlQccw
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) November 17, 2022
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says that she will not seek a leadership position in the new Congress, a pivotal realignment making way for a new generation of leaders after Democrats lost control of the House to Republicans in the midterm elections.
Pelosi announces in a spirited speech on the House floor that she will step aside after leading Democrats for nearly 20 years and in the aftermath of the brutal attack on her husband, Paul, last month in their San Francisco home.
The California Democrat, who rose to become the nation’s first woman to wield the speaker’s gavel, says she would remain in Congress as the representative from San Francisco, a position she has held for 35 years, when the new Congress convenes in January.
“Now we must move boldly into the future,” Pelosi says. “The hour has come for a new generation.”
It’s an unusual choice for a party leader to stay on after withdrawing from congressional leadership but one befitting of Pelosi, who has long defied convention in pursuing power in Washington.
Outgoing Defense Minister Benny Gantz holds a phone call with his US counterpart, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, his office says.
Gantz thanks Austin for “strengthening the cooperation” between the nations and the attention he gave during meetings between the pair over the past two years, according to a statement.
Noting the recent Iranian drone strike on an Israeli-owned oil tanker near Oman, Gantz says “Iran’s recent actions prove once again that it is first and foremost a strategic threat to the world and the region, and that strengthening cooperation against [Iran] is required now more than ever.”
“Defense Minister Gantz told Austin that he considers him a personal friend, a true friend of Israel, and wanted to thank him for his and the administration’s commitment to Israel’s security, based on shared values and interests,” his office adds.
Following Israel’s general election earlier this month, Gantz is heading to the opposition after Benajmin Netanyahu’s Likud-led bloc won a clear majority.
Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad al-Maliki pays a rare visit to the Holocaust memorial in Berlin while in Germany for a diplomatic visit.
“We remembered the victims of the most heinous crime in human history,” tweets Palestinian Ambassador to Germany Laith Arafeh.
The visit comes three months after PA President Mahmoud Abbas came under fire for saying that Israel has committed “50 Holocausts” against the Palestinians during a press conference in Berlin alongside German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
He later walked back the comments, saying that the Holocaust is the “most heinous crime in human history.”
Anlässlich des Besuchs S.E. Dr. Riyad Malki in Berlin haben wir der Opfer des abscheulichsten Verbrechens der Menschheitsgeschichte gedacht. pic.twitter.com/p6LHoC4JOK
— Laith Arafeh 🇵🇸 (@ArafehLaith) November 17, 2022
The Likud party resumes coalition talks with the Shas, United Torah Judaism and Religious Zionism parties.
Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu is setting a target of wrapping up the talks by Wednesday, Channel 12 reports.
However, there have been no serious advances toward resolving the disputes currently holding up the talks.
Senior US officials met last week with Omani officials in a bid to get them to agree to open the sultanate’s airspace to Israeli flights, the Axios news site reports.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Tony Blinken held a meeting with Omani Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr al-Busaidi, Axios reports, citing US and Israeli officials.
The meeting came after Saudi Arabia recently allowed Israeli flights in its airspace.
But without Oman also agreeing, Israeli flights to the east, including to India and China, wouldn’t be able to take advantage of the Saudi offer, seen as an important step toward eventual normalization between Riyadh and Jerusalem.
The head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, the body aiding Palestinian refugees, says it is facing a severe funding crunch that could impact its ability to deliver services.
“There is an erosion of our capacity to deliver and at a given point if we continue on this trajectory we will reach a situation where we will not be able anymore to fulfill our mandate… this a danger zone,” UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini tells Reuters in an interview.
Lazzarini says the agency is hit by spiraling costs due to the global economic crisis along with many donors prioritizing their resources for Ukraine.
A prominent French Holocaust denier who fled the country after being convicted under anti-Nazi laws is remanded in custody by a court in Scotland.
Vincent Reynouard, 53, will next appear in the Edinburgh Sheriff Court on December 8, ahead of a full extradition hearing in February.
Reynouard was arrested in the Scottish fishing town of Anstruther, north of Edinburgh, last week, where he had been reportedly living under a false name.
He had been sought by France’s central office for combating crimes against humanity.
Holocaust denial has been a criminal offense in France since 1990, and Reynouard has been convicted on numerous occasions.
Most adults in the United States – including a large majority of Christians and people who identify with other religions – consider the Earth sacred and believe God gave humans a duty to care for it.
But highly religious Americans – those who pray daily, regularly attend religious services and consider religion crucial in their lives — are far less likely than other US adults to express concern about global warming.
Those are among the key findings in a comprehensive report released today by the Pew Research Center, which surveyed 10,156 US adults from April 11 to April 17. Its margin of error for the full sample of respondents is plus or minus 1.6 percentage points.
The survey says religious Americans tend to be less concerned about climate change for several reasons.
“First and foremost is politics: The main driver of US public opinion about the climate is political party, not religion,” the report says.
“Highly religious Americans are more inclined than others to identify with or lean toward the Republican Party, and Republicans tend to be much less likely than Democrats to believe human activity (such as burning fossil fuels) is warming the Earth or to consider climate change a serious problem.”
An Israeli man in his 30s is lightly hurt after stones are thrown at his car in East Jerusalem, near Hebrew University on Mount Scopus.
The Magen David Adom ambulance service says it is taking the man to the capital’s Shaare Zedek hospital.
The incident occurs on Shayeret Har Hatzofim Street.
The Defense Ministry says Palestinian gunmen opened fire at the Jalamah crossing in the northern West Bank, leading it to be shut temporarily.
According to the ministry, no damage was caused and no security guards were hurt by the gunfire.
The ministry says security forces are scanning the area for suspects. The checkpoint has come under numerous shooting attacks in recent months.
The International Atomic Energy Agency’s board of governors passes a resolution criticizing Iran’s lack of cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog, diplomats tell AFP.
The motion brought by the United States, Britain, France and Germany — but voted against by China and Russia — is the second of its kind within six months and comes amid an impasse over undeclared uranium particles found in Iran.
A Dutch court convicts two Russians and a Ukrainian of the murders of 298 people who died in the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine. One Russian was acquitted for lack of evidence.
Presiding Judge Hendrik Steenhuis said that evidence presented by prosecutors at a trial that lasted more than two years proved that the Boeing 777 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was brought down by a Buk missile fired by pro-Moscow Ukrainian rebels on July 17, 2014.
None of the defendants appeared for the trial that began in March 2020 and it’s unlikely they will serve their sentance. Prosecutors had sought life sentences for all four. Prosecutors and the suspects have two weeks to file an appeal.
President Isaac Herzog is heading to the Gulf next month to meet with the leaders of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, his office announces.
The president is slated to take off for a state visit to Bahrain on December 4, at the invitation of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
He will be the first Israeli head of state to visit Bahrain. In January, Herzog visited Abu Dhabi and Dubai in a two-day visit.
He will meet with members of the local Jewish community and senior government officials, and will lead a group of Israeli businesspeople to meet with the Bahrain Economic Development Board.
The next day, Herzog heads to the UAE to meet with his Emirati counterpart Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Abu Dhabi ruler known colloquially as MBZ. This will be the fourth meeting between the two leaders.
Herzog will also attend the Abu Dhabi Space Debate.
According to Herzog’s office, the leaders will discuss “strengthening Israel-UAE relations, the importance of peace, and the expansion of bilateral cooperation.”
A Frankfurt court sentences a German man to almost six years in jail for sending threatening messages to politicians and other public figures under a neo-Nazi pseudonym.
The 54-year-old, named as Alexander M., was found guilty of sending the emails, text messages and faxes signed “NSU 2.0” between August 2018 and March 2021.
The name is a reference to the National Socialist Underground, a shadowy neo-Nazi cell that committed a string of racist murders in the 2000s.
The recipients were mainly politicians in the state of Hesse but also lawyers and journalists, most of them women.
The court sentences the accused to five years and 10 months in jail.
Judge Corinna Distler says the victims had felt helpless and traumatized, and the case showed “how terrible it can be when human dignity is debased by language.”
When Alexander M. was arrested in May 2021, prosecutors said he had already been convicted in the past of crimes linked to the far right.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz will fly to Greece tomorrow for a brief trip, according to a schedule published by his office.
During the trip, Gantz is slated to meet his Greek counterpart, Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos.
Several Israeli officials will accompany Gantz on the trip, including Dror Shalom, who heads the ministry’s Political-Military Bureau; Brig. Gen. Yaki Dolf, Gantz’s military secretary; Noam Katz, Israel’s Ambassador to Greece; and Col. Tal Wallenberg, defense attaché to Athens.
The Greece trip comes after Gantz met with the leader and defense minister of regional rival Turkey last month.
Israel has recently agreed to purchase “strategic supplies” for Ukraine amid intense US pressure to step up its assistance to Kyiv, the Haaretz daily reports.
The report, citing Western officials, says the unspecified aid is worth “millions of dollars” and comes following the insistence of the Biden administration that Israel do more than just provide humanitarian supplies.
The report says the purchase was a one-time thing and the decision on whether or not to continue will be up to the incoming government.
The report also says that Israel agreed to let NATO countries transfer some of their Israeli-made equipment to Ukraine.
The report says that the equipment transferred includes British weapons systems that have Israeli-made components, like electro-optical fire-and-control systems.
In addition, Israel is also providing Ukraine with intelligence information, the report says, citing American officials.
The report comes despite Israel’s insistence that it will only supply Ukraine with humanitarian aid as it seeks to preserve its delicate ties with Russia, which has a large military presence in Syria.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says that Russia bears responsibility for a deadly blast in Poland, where an initial probe pointed to Ukrainian air defenses.
Addressing reporters at an Asia-Pacific summit in Bangkok, Blinken says that he had spoken again with his Ukrainian counterpart on the probe but added: “Whatever its final conclusion, we already know the party ultimately responsible for this tragic incident — Russia.”
A man is suing Assuta hospital in Ashdod, claiming that it operated on his wrong leg.
The man tells Chanel 12 news that he was shocked to wake up and find that doctors had operated on his right knee instead of the left one, where he had a torn meniscus.
“How can they make such a mistake?” he asks.
His lawyer is asking the hospital for NIS 575,000 ($166,000) in compensation for pain and suffering.
The hospital declined a request to comment to Channel 12 and said it would respond to the attorney.
The Israeli and Jordanian governments sign a declaration of intent to partner in the restoration and sustainable development of the Jordan River.
The declaration was signed at the UN COP27 climate conference in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh by Minister of Environmental Protection Tamar Zandberg, and the Jordanian Minister of Water and Irrigation, Mohammed Al Najer.
According to Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection, restoration of the Jordan River is an important goal for both countries due to its great ecological value, its rich historical and religious heritage, and its importance as a major tourist site.
A ship-mounted version of the Iron Dome air defense system is declared operational following a recent test by the Defense Ministry and Israeli Navy.
In a joint statement, the Defense Ministry and military say the system, known as C-Dome, underwent a successful test last month aboard the Sa’ar 6-class corvette INS Oz.
“The test simulated real threats and included the system’s successful detection and interception of targets in challenging scenarios,” the ministry says.
“The C-Dome System constitutes a significant addition to the Israeli Navy’s defense capabilities in a wide array of missions, including the guarding of strategic assets, the Exclusive Economic Zone, and maintaining the regional maritime superiority of the State of Israel,” it adds.
“Naval Iron Dome”: Successful C-Dome interception test aboard INS ‘Oz’ from the Sa’ar 6 ‘Magen’ Class Corvette constitutes the final stage of the naval interception system’s operationalization. pic.twitter.com/5n5iXkpm9y
— Ministry of Defense (@Israel_MOD) November 17, 2022
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to address her plans with colleagues today in the wake of Democrats narrowly losing control of the House to Republicans in the midterm elections.
Pelosi’s decision to either seek another term as the Democratic leader or to step aside has been widely anticipated. It would come after the party was able to halt an expected Republican wave in the House and Senate but also in the aftermath of a brutal attack on her husband, Paul, late last month in their San Francisco home.
“The Speaker plans to address her future plans tomorrow to her colleagues. Stay tuned,” Pelosi’s spokesman Drew Hammill tweeted late last night. He did not provide additional information about the time or location of the announcement.
An Iranian Shahed-136 drone that struck an Israeli-owned oil tanker near Oman on Tuesday was launched from Iran, a Western official says.
According to a BBC report, the official says the drone was launched from the IRGC’s Air Force regional command in the southeastern city of Chabahar.
The attack caused damage to the vessel but no injuries.
Earlier, an Israeli defense source separately told Army Radio that the drone was launched from Iranian territory, saying “the Iranians are no longer hiding behind their proxies, they have made a mistake and will not be able to evade [blame] for the action.”
Iran has supplied the same model of drone to Russia, which has been using them to target infrastructure and civilian targets in Ukraine.
Presumptive incoming prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speak by phone, according to the Likud spokesperson’s office, and agree to work together to bring about “a new era” in Ankara-Jerusalem ties.
Netanyahu expresses his condolences for the bombing on a popular Istanbul pedestrian street that left six dead and dozens wounded. He also offers Israel’s help in the fight against terror, according to the statement.
Erdogan thanks Netanyahu, and offers his own condolences over the recent deadly terror attack in Ariel, according to the statement.
The 12-minute conversation comes a week after Turkey’s leader sent Netanyahu a congratulatory letter, saying he believed cooperation between the eastern Mediterranean powers would continue “in a way that will bring peace and stability to our region.”
In August, the two countries announced they would be restoring full diplomatic relations after they were suspended in 2018.
Relations between the two leaders were also notoriously acrimonious over the last decade.
Renewed coordination between Israel and Turkey was also on display after security forces from both countries worked together to prevent an Iranian assassination plot on Turkish soil in July.
I joined The Times of Israel after many years covering US and Israeli politics for Hebrew news outlets.
I believe responsible coverage of Israeli politicians means presenting a 360 degree view of their words and deeds – not only conveying what occurs, but also what that means in the broader context of Israeli society and the region.
That’s hard to do because you can rarely take politicians at face value – you must go the extra mile to present full context and try to overcome your own biases.
I’m proud of our work that tells the story of Israeli politics straight and comprehensively. I believe Israel is stronger and more democratic when professional journalists do that tough job well.
Your support for our work by joining The Times of Israel Community helps ensure we can continue to do so.
Tal Schneider, Political Correspondent
We’re really pleased that you’ve read X Times of Israel articles in the past month.
That’s why we started the Times of Israel ten years ago - to provide discerning readers like you with must-read coverage of Israel and the Jewish world.
So now we have a request. Unlike other news outlets, we haven’t put up a paywall. But as the journalism we do is costly, we invite readers for whom The Times of Israel has become important to help support our work by joining The Times of Israel Community.
For as little as $6 a month you can help support our quality journalism while enjoying The Times of Israel AD-FREE, as well as accessing exclusive content available only to Times of Israel Community members.
David Horovitz, Founding Editor of The Times of Israel