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Saudis attempted to block UAE-Israel-Jordan deal on energy, water — report

Riyadh’s efforts held up signing of the agreement by several hours, but Emiratis ultimately bucked pressure

L-R: Energy and Water Resources Minister Karine Elharrar, UAE Climate Change Minister Mariam Almheiri and Jordan Water and Irrigation Minister Mohammed Al-Najjar sign a water agreement at a Dubai Expo event  on November 22, 2021, as US Climate Envoy John Kerry and UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed look on. (UAE Foreign Ministry/Twitter)
L-R: Energy and Water Resources Minister Karine Elharrar, UAE Climate Change Minister Mariam Almheiri and Jordan Water and Irrigation Minister Mohammed Al-Najjar sign a water agreement at a Dubai Expo event on November 22, 2021, as US Climate Envoy John Kerry and UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed look on. (UAE Foreign Ministry/Twitter)

The Times of Israel liveblogged Wednesday’s developments as they unfolded.

Palestinian man seriously hurt after settlers pelt his car with stones – PA official

A Palestinian man was critically wounded after Jewish settlers pelted his car with stones as he drove through the West Bank on Wednesday, causing him to veer off the road and crash, Palestinian officials say.

Raid Kharaz lost control of his vehicle when rocks hurled by settlers smashed through the windshield near the West Bank village of al-Mughayir, according to Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority official who monitors settler violence.

Kharaz was flown to a nearby hospital, while his son, who was also in the vehicle, sustained lighter injuries, the official Palestinian Wafa news agency reports.

The Israeli army refers questions to the police, who do not immediately respond to a request for comment.

At least 27 dead as migrant boat capsizes in English Channel

At least 27 migrants bound for Britain died when their boat sank in the English Channel in an unusually deadly sinking on the dangerous crossing, according to a French police official.

A joint French-British operation to search for survivors is still ongoing. About 50 people were believed to be in the boat when it sank, according to the official, who was not authorized to be publicly named. The nationalities of the travelers were not released.

Over 1 million Israelis have yet to get COVID booster

Over 1 million eligible Israelis have yet to receive their COVID booster shot, and some 700,000 are not vaccinated at all, contributing to rising morbidity, Channel 12 reports. According to the network, another 250,000 Israelis have recovered from COVID but have yet to get one vaccine shot, as prescribed by the health authorities.

Coronavirus czar Salman Zarka tells the network there’s a misconception in Israel that the danger is over, when “vaccination is the main tool” for tackling it.

“The pandemic is still here,” he warns.

The million who didn’t get their booster yet “are not anti-vaxxers… maybe they falsely believe” that the danger is over, he adds.

Israel to give Gaza Christians permits for Christmas holiday

Israeli authorities say they will permit 500 members of the Gaza Strip’s tiny Christian community to enter Israel and the West Bank to celebrate Christmas.

Israel has in the past allowed Gazans to exit the blockaded territory for Christmas, though the practice was frozen last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Movement out of Gaza also has been restricted since an 11-day war last May between Israel and the territory’s Hamas rulers. In recent months, however, Israel has begun to ease some of the restrictions, granting several thousand Gazans permits to work inside Israel as part of quiet, Egyptian attempts to broker a long-term cease-fire.

COGAT, the Israeli defense body responsible for Palestinian civilian affairs, announces the permits allowing people to visit relatives and holy sites in Israel and the West Bank. It says it is also increasing access to Jerusalem for Christians in the West Bank and allowing some 200 Gazan Christians to travel through Israel to Jordan for journeys abroad.

Bethlehem, revered by Christians as the birthplace of Christ, is in the West Bank. The town is heavily dependent on tourism, but officials fear there will be few visitors this year due to the lingering effects of the pandemic.

About 1,000 Christians live in Gaza, a tiny fraction of the territory’s 2 million people. Most are Greek Orthodox, with Catholics making up about a quarter of the small community.

Saudis attempted to block UAE-Israel-Jordan deal on energy, water — report

Saudi Arabia attempted to pressure the United Arab Emirates to torpedo a major deal on energy and water for Jordan and Israel, Axios reports, citing two Israeli officials.

The agreement signed earlier this week will see the construction of a major solar power plant in the Hashemite Kingdom to generate electricity for the Jewish state while a desalination plant established in Israel will send water to Jordan.

According to Axios, the Saudis even proposed an alternative plan that it would lead, in conjunction with the UAE and Jordan, which would leave Israel out. The Emiratis rebuffed the pressure, however, though the signing of the deal was held up for several hours amid the Saudi efforts to block it, the report says.

Saudi Arabia was not aware of the UAE-brokered plan until it was publicized in the media, according to the report. Riyadh, which unlike the UAE and Jordan does not have official diplomatic relations with Israel, worried the deal would sabotage its crown prince’s efforts to lead climate efforts in the region.

29-year-old man killed in Haifa underworld hit

A 29-year-old man has been killed by gunfire in a suspected underworld hit in Haifa, police say, following reports of shooting in the northern city.

The slain man is a criminal well-known to the authorities, according to Hebrew media reports. A second man is lightly injured by gunfire.

AG: Netanyahu should give back $300,000 to late cousin’s estate

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit says former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu should give back $300,000 to the estate of his cousin and benefactor, Nathan Milikowsky.

His legal opinion is submitted to the High Court of Justice as part of a petition on the issue.

Netanyahu is accused of accepting $300,000 from Milikowsky — who died in July — while serving as prime minister.

Netanyahu faces fraud and breach of trust charges in a case involving illicit gifts received from other wealthy benefactors. Milikowsky was reportedly questioned by police in the investigation, known as Case 1000, in which the prime minister is suspected of receiving some NIS 1 million ($282,000), most of it in cigars and champagne. Netanyahu reportedly claimed that some of the cigars he was alleged to have received he bought with his own money, while others he purchased with cash given to him by Milikowsky.

Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu at the Jerusalem District Court, November 22, 2021 (Oren Ben Hakoon/Pool)

A separate case known as “the stock affair” was closed by Mandelblit in October. It pertains to allegations that Netanyahu illicitly profited to the tune of several million dollars from selling shares in a company to Milikowsky. Mandelblit’s office had been looking into the allegations for nearly a year and a half, after TV reports claimed Netanyahu made a suspicious return of over 700 percent on stocks he held in Seadrift Coke.

Mandelblit has acknowledged that the premier may have received significant benefits from his cousin in the affair, but says it is not clear he did so knowingly. He has also noted that the statute of limitations has long expired for the potential suspicions of fraud and breach of trust in the 2007 case.

Vaccines reduce COVID transmission by 40% — WHO

COVID vaccines reduce transmission of the dominant Delta variant by about 40 percent, the WHO says, warning that people were falling into a false sense of security concerning the shots.

The World Health Organization’s director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says many vaccinated people are wrongly thinking the shots meant they no longer needed to take any other precautions.

Fully immunized people must stick with measures to avoid catching the virus and passing it on, Tedros insists, spelling out how the more contagious Delta meant the vaccines were not as effective against transmission.

“We’re concerned about the false sense of security that vaccines have ended the pandemic and people who are vaccinated do not need to take any other precautions,” Tedros tells reporters.

“Vaccines save lives but they do not fully prevent transmission.

“Data suggests that before the arrival of the Delta variant, vaccines reduced transmission by about 60 percent. With Delta, that has dropped to about 40 percent.”

2 injured by gunfire in Haifa; police investigating

Two people are injured by gunfire in the northern city of Haifa, including one in serious condition, according to reports.

Police are searching for the gunmen. The circumstances surrounding the shooting are not immediately clear.

Sweden’s first female prime minister quits hours after being tapped

Hours after being tapped as Sweden’s prime minister, Magdalena Andersson resigns after suffering a budget defeat in parliament and its coalition partner left the two-party minority government.

”For me, it is about respect, but I also do not want to lead a government where there may be grounds to question its legitimacy,” Andersson tells a news conference.

Andersson has informed parliamentary Speaker Anderas Norlen that she is still interested in leading a Social Democratic one-party government.

She says that “a coalition government should resign if a party chooses to leave the government. Despite the fact that the parliamentary situation is unchanged, it needs to be tried again.”

UAE announces $10 billion fund for investments in Turkey

The United Arab Emirates announces a $10 billion fund for investments in Turkey, state media reports.

“The UAE announced the establishment of a $10 billion fund to support investments in Turkey,” the official Emirati news agency WAM says.

The announcement comes after Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed held talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, opening a new chapter in relations between the regional rivals.

WAM says that the move is “to support the Turkish economy and boost bilateral cooperation between the two countries.”

It adds that the main focus will be on “strategic investments,” especially in sectors including energy, health and food.

Sheikh Mohammed’s visit was the first high-level UAE trip to Turkey since 2012 and comes a day after the Turkish lira crashed.

Hezbollah condemns Australia’s decision to list whole organization as terror group

Lebanon’s Shiite terror movement Hezbollah denounces Australia’s decision Wednesday to list the whole group as a “terrorist organization,” accusing Canberra of bowing to US and Israeli demands.

Hezbollah has long been targeted by US sanctions and blacklisted by the US and Israel as a “terrorist” organization, but the Iran-backed group is also a powerful political player, with seats in Lebanon’s parliament.

Countries have avoided sanctioning the group’s political wing, fearing such a move could hamper relations with Lebanese authorities or contribute to destabilizing the country.

Hezbollah in a statement “strongly denounced the Australian authorities’ decision,” saying it was “a humiliating submission to American and Zionist diktats” and served Israeli interests.

Australia’s move extended a pre-existing ban on the Shiite group’s armed wing.

The “decision and those that have preceded it will not affect Hezbollah’s position and its right to resistance,” the statement says.

EU condemns Iran’s execution of young murder convict

The EU roundly condemns Iran’s execution of a 25-year-old man convicted of a murder committed when he was a minor, saying it violated international treaties.

“The European Union condemns this execution in the strongest terms,” a spokesperson for EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell says in a statement.

He adds that the EU “recalls yet again that death sentences for crimes committed by persons below the age of 18 are contrary to international obligations under the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.”

Iran is a party to both, the statement adds.

Controversial plan to build new East Jerusalem neighborhood advanced

Jerusalem City Council’s Planning and Building Committee decides to back plan to build a new Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem, with thousands of new housing units.

The new neighborhood would be located at the site of the Atarot Airport, which has been inoperative since the eruption of the Second Intifada in 2000.

The Atarot project receives initial planning approval but will still require several subsequent authorizations before ground can be broken. The advancement of the plan has been stalled for several years due to international pressure.

Its next stage is a hearing scheduled before the District Committee for Planning and Building on December 6.

Israeli court rejects Gaza man’s appeal for apology over deadly strike

Israel’s Supreme Court rejects an appeal from a Palestinian man who was seeking an apology from Israel over a 2009 tank strike that killed three of his daughters and a niece in the Gaza Strip.

The ruling dashes the hopes of Izzeldin Abuelaish, who has been on a 13-year campaign to seek justice for what he says was a terrible mistake by the Israeli military.

In its decision, the court upheld a lower court’s ruling in favor of the military. The Israeli government has argued that the military is not liable for wartime actions.

“Our hearts go out to the appellant,” the Supreme Court justices write in their ruling. However, they say there was “no answer and remedy within the scope of the proceedings before us.”

Ethiopia PM reaches front line to fight rebels

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has arrived at the front line where government forces are battling rebels from the northernmost Tigray region, state-affiliated media says.

International alarm has mounted over the escalating year-long conflict, prompting foreign governments to tell their citizens to leave amid fears the Tigrayan rebels could march on the capital Addis Ababa.

Abiy, winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, “is now leading the counter-offensive” and “has been giving leadership from the battlefield as of yesterday,” Fana Broadcasting Corporate reports.

Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen is handling “regular activities,” the report said.

It was not clear where exactly Abiy, a former radio operator in the military who rose to lieutenant-colonel, had deployed, and state media does not broadcast images of him in the field.

Officials have not responded to requests for details about his mission and whereabouts.

The fighting in the north of Africa’s second most populous country has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands into famine-like conditions, according to UN estimates.

Foreign envoys have been frantically pushing for a ceasefire, though there have been few signs a breakthrough is coming.

As vaccines rolled out for kids, just 4% of parents make appointments

Israel has rolled out COVID vaccinations for children aged 5-11, but the campaign is off to a slow start, with just 4 percent of parents setting up appointments for their kids, Channel 12 reports.

US will not ‘sit idly’ if Iran drags out nuclear talks, says envoy

The United States will not “sit idly” on Iran if it drags its feet on returning to a nuclear accord in talks resuming next week, the US special envoy says.

“If they start getting too close, too close for comfort, then of course we will not be prepared to sit idly,” US negotiator Rob Malley tells National Public Radio.

Iran will return to talks in Vienna with world powers on Monday after a five-month gap following the election of an ultra-conservative president, Ebrahim Raisi.

The negotiations come after the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, back from a visit to Iran, said there had been no progress in talks on disputes over the country’s program.

US President Joe Biden’s administration opened the talks earlier this year in hopes of returning the United States to a 2015 nuclear accord trashed by predecessor Donald Trump, but has failed to reach an understanding with Iran.

“We’re prepared to get back into the deal and to lift all of the sanctions that are inconsistent with the deal. So if Iran wants to get back into the deal, it has a way to do that,” Malley says.

“If it doesn’t want to get back into the deal, if it continues to do what it appears to be doing now, which is to drag its feet at the nuclear diplomatic table and accelerate its pace when it comes to its nuclear program, if that’s the path it chooses, we’ll have to respond accordingly.”

Moshe Hogeg remanded in custody for another week

Businessman Moshe Hogeg, owner of FC Beitar Jerusalem, is remanded in custody until next Wednesday.

Hogeg was arrested last week. According to court documents, he is suspected of 21 offenses, including money laundering, theft, and fraud, as well as crimes entailing sexual and moral turpitude currently under gag order.

Erdogan criticizes Israel’s ‘oppressive’ treatment of Palestinians

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses Israel of “oppressive” policies vis-à-vis the Palestinians, including the alleged forced displacement of residents in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to local media reports.

“We must work with all our might to preserve the status and sanctity of Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine. The main thing is the establishment of lasting peace and stability on the basis of a two-state solution and established international parameters,” he says.

Erdogan also says continued dialogue with Israel is in Turkey’s interest, and calls for the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

The comments come after high-level conversations between Erdogan and Israeli leaders, following the release of an Israeli couple, Mordy and Natali Oknin, who had been arrested in Turkey and detained for eight days for photographing Erdogan’s palace.

The government specifically thanked Erdogan for his role in setting them free and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and President Isaac Herzog both held calls with the Turkish leader.

Health minister: It’s possible we’ll need a fourth COVID vaccine dose

Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz says Israelis may need to get a fourth COVID vaccine dose.

“It’s not unreasonable [to think] we’ll need a fourth vaccine,” says Horowitz in an interview with Channel 12, after Health Ministry data indicated that 9 percent of the new cases diagnosed yesterday had received the third, booster, dose.

He also tells the station he doesn’t think Israel is entering a fifth wave of infection, despite the rising number of COVID cases.

 

Israel slams Belgium for labeling settlement products, cancels diplomatic meetings

Israel condemns Belgium’s decision to start labeling products made in West Bank settlements.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry calls the decision “anti-Israeli” and says it “harms Israelis and Palestinians alike.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Idan Roll, who is visiting Belgium, cancels his meetings in the Belgian Foreign Ministry and with Belgian parliamentarians in retaliation.

“The decision by the Belgian government strengthens the radicals, does not advance peace in the region, and makes Belgium a source that does not contribute to the stability of the Middle East,” says Roll.

Rocket alert sirens to sound in Ashdod tonight as part of drill

Rocket alert sirens will be tested in the southern city of Ashdod tonight, between 7:05 p.m. and 7:45 p.m., as part of a drill.

Under new deal, Israel and Morocco could share intel, hold joint drills — official

A top Israeli defense official says Jerusalem and Rabat will begin cooperating deeply on security issues following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two countries.

“The agreement that we signed will allow us to cooperate — with exercises, with information. This is an agreement that will allow us to assist them with whatever they need from us, in accordance, of course, with our own interests. We have a strategic alliance of knowledge,” says Zohar Palti, the head of the Defense Ministry’s Political-Military Bureau, speaking to reporters on the sideline of Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s visit to Rabat.

For Israel, the renewed ties with Morocco do not have immediate, practical significance for national security in the way that its newfound relationships with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates do, working with Israel against their shared enemy, Iran. However, the relationship is considered of potentially greater importance, given the two countries’ natural ties, with some 700,000 Jewish Israelis having Moroccan roots.

“Israel is indebted to Morocco, which for years accepted Jews, protected them, and protected their heritage. That is the basis [for the relationship],” Palti says.

Israel and Morocco formally developed ties in the early 1990s, but Rabat officially halted them in 2000 with the outbreak of the Second Intifada. However, unofficially, the two countries maintained a degree of contact through their respective intelligence services.

“We must give credit to the generations of people from security services and other branches who built the infrastructure that we have here,” Palti says.

A prison commander says female IDF soldiers were ‘pimped’ for terrorist prisoners

Gilboa Prison commander Freddy Ben Shitrit appears to confirm reports from 2018 that female IDF soldiers who were doing their military service in the prison as guards were “pimped” and forced to have sex with Palestinian terrorists.

Ben Shitrit says the prison “pimped soldiers” and “they handed over female soldiers… to terrorists for sexual purposes.” The incident allegedly happened before Ben Shitrit served as commander in the prison.

The allegations were first reported in 2018 by Channel 20 and firmly denied by the prison services.

Ben Shitrit was testifying to a government panel regarding the failures that led to a prison break by Palestinian security prisoners earlier this year.

Hamas urges Moroccans to condemn Gantz’s visit

The Hamas terror group calls on Moroccans to condemn and denounce Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s visit to the country.

“Normalization — no matter how close — will not legitimize the occupation, which will remain our nation’s singular foe,” senior Hamas official Ismail Radwan says in a statement.

Germany set for new government that will end Merkel’s reign

The three parties negotiating to form Germany’s next government will finalize and present their coalition agreement Wednesday, two of the prospective partners say. The deal paves the way for center-left leader Olaf Scholz to replace longtime Chancellor Angela Merkel in the coming weeks.

The center-left Social Democrats have been negotiating with the environmentalist Green party and the pro-business Free Democrats since narrowly winning a national election on September 26. The latter two parties said the agreement will be presented on Wednesday afternoon.

If party members sign off on it, the three-way alliance — which has never yet been tried in a national government — will replace the current “grand coalition” of the country’s traditional big parties. The Social Democrats have served as the junior partner to Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats.

Merkel, who didn’t run for a fifth term, is expected to be succeeded by Scholz, 63, who has been her finance minister and vice chancellor since 2018.

The three would-be governing parties have said they hope parliament will elect Scholz as chancellor in the week beginning December 6. Before that can happen, the coalition deal requires approval from a ballot of the Greens’ roughly 125,000-strong membership and from conventions of the other two parties.

2 journalists at Norway state broadcaster arrested in Qatar

Security forces in Qatar detained two journalists from Norwegian state television for over 30 hours and deleted footage they gathered at a migrant labor camp as they tried to report on worker issues ahead of the FIFA 2022 World Cup, authorities say.

Qatar’s government later accused NRK journalists Halvor Ekeland and Lokman Ghorbani of “trespassing on private property and filming without a permit” as the two returned early Wednesday to Norway following their arrest. Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere responded by saying their arrest was “unacceptable.”

“A free press is crucial in a functioning democracy,” Gahr Stoere wrote on Twitter. “This also shows the importance of this year’s awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize (to journalists). I am very happy that Halvor Ekeland and Lokman Ghorbani have now been released.”

Norwegian news agency NTB later reported that the Qatari ambassador to the country was summoned to Oslo’s foreign ministry over the matter.

The arrests, a year ahead of the World Cup, show the ongoing sensitivity felt by the autocratic government of Qatar, a small, energy-rich nation on the Arabian Peninsula. Other journalists have faced similar problems and detentions while reporting in Qatar as well ahead of the World Cup.

Ekeland, a sports journalist, and Ghorbani, a photographer, had been in Qatar as the country marked one year to go before the World Cup. The two were reportedly detained after reporting on the condition of migrant laborers during a live report.

EU health agency calls for ‘urgent’ COVID measures

The European Union health agency calls on member states to “urgently” introduce anti-Covid measures to reduce the potentially “very high” burden the disease will have in December and January.

The director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Andrea Ammon, recommends Covid booster shots for all adults over the age of 18, “with a priority for people above 40 years old.”

The agency also urges countries to increase their overall vaccination rates, especially those with low uptake.

Lapid to meet with leaders of Britain, France as Iran talks resume

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will fly to Europe next week to hold talks with the UK’s Boris Johnson and France’s Emmanuel Macron on the resumption of negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program and on bilateral ties.

Indirect talks between the US and Iran over a return to the 2015 JCPOA are set to resume next Monday.

Lapid will take off Sunday morning for London, and will hold meetings on Monday with his British counterpart Liz Truss, Johnson, and the Conservative Friends of Israel.

On Tuesday, Lapid will meet with French FM Jean-Yves Le Drian, followed by his sit-down with Macron.

He is expected to return to Israel early Wednesday morning.

No babies in Parliament: UK lawmakers outraged by infant ban

Several British politicians demand a change in parliamentary rules after a lawmaker was told she couldn’t bring her 3-month-old baby into the House of Commons chamber.

Labour Party legislator Stella Creasy says she received a letter from House of Commons authorities after she took her son Pip to a debate.

She says she had previously taken both Pip and her older daughter to Parliament without problems, but had been told the rules had changed in September. Members of Parliament are now advised that they “should not take your seat in the chamber when accompanied by your child.”

Creasy says the rule undermined efforts to make politics more family-friendly.

“There are barriers to getting mums involved in politics, and I think that damages our political debate,” she tells the BBC.

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, a Conservative, says he has “a lot of sympathy” for Creasy, but says the decision is for the House authorities to make.

“I think we do need to make sure our profession is brought into the modern world, the 21st century, and can allow parents to juggle the jobs they do with the family time that they need,” Raab says.

Green Party lawmaker Caroline Lucas says the baby ban was “absurd.” She says babies are “far less disruptive than many braying backbenchers.”

Back from Iran, IAEA chief says he couldn’t reach agreements

The UN nuclear watchdog’s head says that he “could not agree” in talks with Iranian officials to resolve disputes over the country’s atomic program, a day after returning from Tehran.

“We could not agree yesterday, in spite of my best efforts,” Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), tells reporters.

Health Ministry warns new restrictions possible if daily cases top 1,000

The Health Ministry warns that fresh restrictions on gatherings could be imposed if the number of daily COVID infections surpasses 1,000.

The number of cases has slowly started to rise, with more than 600 on Tuesday.

The statement is made by Ilana Gens, who oversees public health services in the Health Ministry, during a Knesset committee hearing.

Accomplice in deadly May terror shooting sentenced to 10 months

A Palestinian man convicted of aiding a terrorist following a deadly drive-by shooting at Tapuah Junction in the West Bank in May is sentenced to 10 months in prison.

Lafi Shalabi reaches a plea bargain with the prosecution.  He will also compensate the families of the victims.

Shalabi is accused of hiding his cousin — the terrorist Muntasir Shalabi, 47 — from the Israeli army after he carried out the shooting that killed Israeli student Yehuda Guetta of Jerusalem, 19. The attack also injured several other Israelis, some of them seriously.

According to the Ynet news site, two weeks ago, while he was in Israeli custody, Lafi Shalabi was elected mayor of his West Bank village of Turmus Aya.

Yehuda Guetta, 19, was killed in a drive-by shooting in the West Bank (courtesy)
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