The Times of Israel liveblogged Wednesday’s events as they unfolded.
Israel will reportedly deport a French-Palestinian lawyer who was arrested on suspicion of planning to murder the late ultra-Orthodox spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.
Salah Hamouri, a lawyer for Palestinian rights group Addameer, which has now been outlawed by Israel, was arrested in 2005 and sentenced to 7 years in prison.
He was freed in the 2011 Shalit prisoner exchange deal, and was been repeatedly placed under administrative detention, a controversial measure enabling the holding of a person without trial in cases where revealing the evidence against them in court is deemed to have the potential to harm national security.
He has been barred from entering the West Bank, and therefore from visiting his wife and children, who live there.
Hamouri, a resident of East Jerusalem’s Kafr Aqab, was most recently arrested in March 2022 on suspicion of belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group.
He will be deported to France, the Ynet news site reports.
Europe’s top official for enforcing digital regulation warns Twitter boss Elon Musk that he must do more to fight disinformation in order to comply with EU law.
The EU commissioner for the internal market, Thierry Breton, held a video call with Musk and told him “there is still huge work ahead” to bring the platform in line with Brussels’ rules.
Breton posts a brief, silent video clip of his videoconference on Musk’s platform Twitter, but follows it up with a link to a longer statement on the rival Mastodon network.
“I welcome Elon Musk’s statements of intent to get Twitter 2.0 ready for the DSA,” Breton says, referring to the EU Digital Services Act, Brussels’ overarching internet law.
Huge work ahead still — as Twitter will have to implement transparent user policies, significantly reinforce content moderation and tackle disinformation.
Looking forward to seeing progress in all these areas. pic.twitter.com/Nc7sGlb9YL
— Thierry Breton (@ThierryBreton) November 30, 2022
“But let’s also be clear that there is still huge work ahead,” he said.
A 17-year-old is in moderate condition after being stabbed in a street in Holon.
Police believe the incident was criminally motivated.
The victim has been taken to hospital for treatment.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz rejects a request from Otzma Yehudit party leader Itamar Ben Gvir to visit a jailed soldier who is spending 10 days in a military prison for taunting left-wing activists in Hebron.
Gantz tells Ben Gvir his conduct “represents a cynical use of IDF soldiers, in a repugnant manner that harms the military.”
The minister says the military “has sole authority over issues of command and discipline. Any political intervention is utterly wrong.”
Ben Gvir in response says: “It is Gantz who is cynically using soldiers, by forsaking them and creating a vacuum of leadership. A defense minister who backs anarchists instead of his soldiers harms the army.”
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky says he does not want to see Israel “balance” its relationship between Ukraine and Russia.
Speaking to a New York Times conference, the Ukrainian leader indicated Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu will need to choose whether to maintain good relations with Kyiv or Moscow.
He says Ukraine continues to wait for substantial assistance from the Jewish state.
Military chief Aviv Kohavi says the Israel Defense Forces’ code of conduct will not change “with the weather,” referring to pressure from right-wing lawmakers, after a soldier was jailed for taunting an activist in the West Bank city of Hebron.
“The IDF is a highly moral army,” Kohavi says, “but there are irregular incidents.”
“I’m proud that we deal with these incidents harshly. Our moral compass is clear,” Kohavi says. “The IDF has a moral code of conduct, it doesn’t change with the weather, it’s stable.
“Only commanders in the IDF will dictate the rules, and only commanders in the IDF will decide how to handle soldiers, and only commanders in the IDF will decide how to deal with irregular incidents,” he says, referring to Itamar Ben Gvir’s calls to change the army’s rules and his criticism of the decision to jail the soldier.
Kohavi also hails the IDF’s “high level of professionalism” and says it prevented the formation of “a Hezbollah 2” in Syria that would have had thousands of missiles pointed at Israel.
The IDF “completely foiled” Iran’s attempts to establish itself in Syria, he says, while adding that “there’s still work to do.”
The Israel Defense Forces announces the formation of a new co-ed light infantry battalion, which will be stationed along the West Bank security barrier.
The 49th battalion, to be named Panther, will be part of the Border Defense Corps. The corps already includes several co-ed units that patrol Israel’s peaceful frontiers with Egypt and Jordan.
The IDF says the decision was made following a months-long operation in the West Bank, during which numerous reservist units were dispatched to the West Bank security barrier to prevent Palestinians from entering Israel. Several Palestinian terrorists managed to enter Israel through gaps in the fence earlier this year.
The unit will begin work sometime next year, with the first soldiers drafted today.
The Israel Defense Forces publishes footage of joint aerial exercises it held this week with the US military, simulating strikes against Iran and its regional terror proxies.
During the drills, four IAF F-35i fighter jets accompanied four American F-15 aircraft through Israel’s skies, and an American KC-135 aerial refueling aircraft refueled several IAF F-16i fighter jets.
The IDF says the drills also “simulated an operational scenario and long-distance flights.”
“The Intelligence Directorate conducted an extensive simulation that replicated a campaign against distant countries,” the IDF says, apparently referring to Iran.
“This exercise tested the IDF’s abilities at gathering intelligence, researching and outlining targets, and making intelligence available to the operational forces,” the IDF adds.
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) November 30, 2022
Gilboa Prison commander Freddy Ben Shitrit has been let go from the Israel Prisons Service.
Shitrit was head of the prison at the time of the embarrassing prisoner breakout last September, which saw six Palestinian security prisoners flee the jail through a tunnel. All six were caught after several days of intense searches.
The Islamic State jihadist group says that its leader Abu Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi has been killed in battle and announces a replacement.
A spokesman for the group says Hashimi, an Iraqi, was killed “in combat with enemies of God,” without elaborating on the date of his death or the circumstances.
Speaking in an audio message, the spokesman identifies the group’s new leader as Abu al-Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurashi.
Israel’s embassy in Kyiv will temporarily reopen next week for the first time since late September, an Israeli official tells The Time of Israel.
There were discussions in the Foreign Ministry this week about permanently opening Israel’s embassy in Ukraine, but the security situation does not permit such a move.
Since May it has been periodically reopened for two-week stretches, though this time it will be open for 10 days. Three diplomats, including Ambassador Michael Brodsky, will work out of the embassy.
He and his staff work out of Warsaw, Poland when they are not in Kyiv.
With Russia stepping up its missile and drone attacks on Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities in recent weeks, the embassy has remained closed due to safety concerns.
None of the embassy’s local staff have been harmed in the strikes, and Israeli diplomats are in touch with them daily.
The Palestinian envoy to the UN warns that the two-state solution is at imminent risk as the General Assembly holds a plenary meeting on the conflict.
“We are at the end of the road for the two-state solution. Either the international community summons the will to act decisively or it will let peace die passively. Passively, not peacefully,” Riyad Mansour tells the world body.
He calls on the international community to pressure Israel and for the UN to grant the Palestinians full recognition.
“The alternative is what we are living under now — a regime that has combined the evils of colonialism and apartheid,” he says.
He blasts the incoming Netanyahu-led coalition as “the most colonial, racist and extremist government in the history of Israel” and celebrates the UN’s request for the International Court of Justice to weigh in on the conflict.
Mansour also lauds the harassment of Israeli journalists at the World Cup in Qatar as a “decisive blow to Israel’s delusions” of regional acceptance.
“The winner of this World Cup is already known. It is Palestine, with its flag carried by people from every corner of the Arab world and the rest of the globe,” Mansour says. “Ask any Israeli journalist at the World Cup and they will tell you that nothing can normalize Israeli occupation.”
The Ynet news site publishes details from what it says is the testimony of the soldier who has been sent to 10 days in military prison for a confrontation with left-wing activists.
The soldier on Friday confronted an activist in Hebron and boasted about far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir, who is set to become Israel’s next national security minister — an expanded public security minister role.
“Ben Gvir is going to sort things out in this place,” the soldier said. “That’s it, you guys have lost … the fun is over.” He also said that “I am the law.”
According to Ynet, in his testimony to military investigators the soldier said he had not been trained to deal with Israeli citizens. “In my training, I dealt with how to fight. There was no detailed discussion of how to confront anarchists.”
He noted that he had had little sleep prior to the incident and “this along with the pressure affected my reaction.”
He also asserted that his mental state was “very bad” as “my face is all around the country” over the incident.
The new US envoy to the Palestinians insists that the Biden administration is still committed to reopening a consulate in Jerusalem, despite private acknowledgement from American officials that they won’t be moving forward with the move due to Israeli opposition.
“I want to be clear that the US also remains committed to reopening our Consulate General in Jerusalem. We continue to believe that reopening the consulate would put us in the best position to engage with and provide support to the Palestinian people,” US Special Representative for Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr says in a call with reporters.
“We’re going to continue to discuss the timeline for reopening our consulate with our Israeli and Palestinian partners,” Amr continues. “At the same time, we right now have a dedicated team of colleagues on the ground working in Jerusalem at our Office of Palestinian Affairs focused every single day on engagement with an outreach to the Palestinians.”
US President Joe Biden pledged during his campaign to reopen the Jerusalem consulate, but held off during the term of the last government led by Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid, who warned that it would risk toppling their coalition.
Possibly less committed to the longevity of the new hardline Israeli government than it was to the previous unity coalition, some Biden administration officials may feel emboldened to test Israeli opposition to reopening the consulate, but an official familiar told The Times of Israel last week that the conditions largely remain the same and that the US president is unlikely to start a public dispute with Jerusalem over this issue.
US officials have nonetheless continued to insist in public statements that the administration is committed to reopening the consulate.
Russia says it has seized east Ukrainian settlements near the embattled town of Bakhmut that Moscow has been trying to capture since this summer.
“In the Donetsk area, after offensive actions, Russian troops fully liberated the settlements of Bilogorivka and Pershe Travnya,” the defense ministry says in a briefing.
The small gains come as Russian forces, desperate for a win after retreating from Kherson in the south and Kharkiv in the northeast, have thrown all their might into the battle for Bakhmut.
Benny Gantz clarifies his recent comments that his National Unity party would back an override clause if it required 90 of the Knesset’s 120 lawmakers in order to reinstate legislation invalidated by the Supreme Court.
“If there’s thinking of doing an override, it needs to be symmetric and balanced between the two sides,” the party head says in response to a question from The Times of Israel, referring to the parliament and the top court.
“The question coming together now is what is the correct balance,” he says, and whether the simple majority of 61 MKs currently being discussed by the prospective coalition is an appropriate number, “or is there a different number and attitude.”
“I think there is room to look into it, to check, [but] we must not wreck [the legal system],” the defense minister says.
Gantz last week suggested the standards for an override could be “two-thirds of the High Court justices in order to invalidate a law, and two-thirds [of the Knesset] in order to overcome it and reinstate the law.”
“It’s completely clear that we have to respect the sovereignty in the Knesset and completely clear that we have to respect the court and the rule of law. We have to preserve the balance between the authorities,” he adds today.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz says acceding to the incoming police minister’s request to transfer West Bank Border Police to his control would cause “serious harm” to security.
“I think that moving the authority over the Judea and Samaria Border Police is serious harm,” the defense minister says in response to reporter questions at a Kfar Maccabiah press conference. Judea and Samaria, the biblical term for the West Bank, is also the military’s terminology for the area.
Far-right politician Itamar Ben Gvir is slated to become national security minister in the right-wing and religious government forming under presumed incoming prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Gantz says that military’s operational and command structure should remain independent from political control.
“I emphasize that while the [IDF] chief of staff and IDF commanders are subject to the decisions of the political echelon, they have the authority and responsibility to manage the IDF’s operational and command activities,” Gantz says.
In comments directed at IDF commanders, Gantz says: “I know that you will remain… loyal to your position and to the political echelon, and at the same time — that you will never bow your head to a political pressure system.”
Speaking to American journalist Bari Weiss, Benjamin Netanyahu says concerns about his far-right allies in the prospective new government are unwarranted, insisting he will continue to dictate policy and will not allow fringe positions to take the lead.
“The main policy or the overriding policy of the government is determined by the Likud and frankly, by me. I think I have more than a modest influence on it,” he says.
“I’ve often heard these doom projections [of dangers to democracy and liberalism], but none of them materialized,” he adds. “I maintained Israel’s democratic nature. I maintained Israel’s traditions.
“This Israel is not going to be governed by Talmudic law. We’re not going to ban LGBT forums. As you know, my view on that is sharply different [from those of the far right], to put it mildly. We’re going to remain a country of laws.”
Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu says Donald Trump’s meeting with Kanye West and known antisemite Nick Fuentes was “a mistake.”
“Trump’s decision to dine with [them] I think is wrong and misplaced. I think it’s a mistake,” he tells Common Sense. “He shouldn’t do that.”
But Netanyahu stresses that Trump “has been a tremendous supporter of Israel, and I’m unabashedly appreciative of what he did for Israel.
“I think he made a mistake. I hope it’s not repeated.”
Three Iranian teenagers are among 15 people who could face the death penalty over the killing of a pro-government paramilitary force member, the judiciary says.
Iran has been rocked by street violence since the September 16 death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian of Kurdish origin, after her arrest in Tehran for an alleged breach of the country’s dress code for women.
A group of 15 people has been charged with “corruption on earth” over the death of Ruhollah Ajamian, a member of the Basij paramilitary force, the judiciary’s Mizan Online website reports.
Prosecutors allege Ajamian, 27, was stripped naked and killed on November 3 in Karaj, a city west of Tehran, by a group of mourners who had been paying tribute to a slain protester.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemns Russia’s attacks on Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure as “barbaric.”
“Over the past several weeks, Russia has bombed out more than a third of Ukraine’s energy system, plunging millions in the cold,” Blinken says after a meeting with NATO counterparts in Bucharest.
“These are President Putin’s new targets. He’s hitting them hard. This brutalization of Ukraine’s people is barbaric.”
NATO allies pledged to help Ukraine rebuild its shattered power grid as they met with the country’s foreign minister yesterday. Blinken says Western allies were setting up a coordination group to synchronize their support to restore Ukraine’s infrastructure.
Blinken adds that at the same time as they look to help Ukraine repair its grid, the United States and allies are also giving Kyiv air defense systems “to establish the best possible defense.”
A Palestinian man has been killed in clashes with Israeli security forces in the West Bank town of Ya’bad, near Jenin, Palestinian health officials say.
The Palestinian Authority Health Ministry says the man was shot in the chest during clashes with Israeli troops.
Palestinian media outlets say the troops arrested a man in the town.
There is no immediate comment from the military or police on the raid.
A top Border Police official tells Kan Radio he believes that “in the coming days we will get to each and every one of those involved” in last week’s bombings in Jerusalem “and bring them to justice.”
Chief Superintendent Oded Aflalo, head of the Operations Branch for Border Police, says “the investigation is ongoing on several levels: intelligence, which we will not detail, but which is advancing, and operational, in which the Border Police is working with the Shin Bet, the Yamam (police counter-terror unit) and other units.”
The two blasts near entrances to Jerusalem killed two people and injured 22 others. They were caused by bombs left near two bus stops.
Yesterday evening saw reports of intensive police and Shin Bet operations in East Jerusalem as part of the search for the people behind the attacks.
Reports said Israeli forces were narrowing their focus, but additional details were barred from publication.
Palestinian media are reporting an Israeli military operation in the West Bank town of Ya’bad, near Jenin.
Footage shows military vehicles in the town. Some reports claim one Palestinian has been hurt by gunfire.
There is no immediate comment from the Israel Defense Forces or Border Police on the raid.
⭕مراسلتنا: قوات الاحتلال تقتحم منزلاً في بلدة يعبد جنوب غرب جنين pic.twitter.com/KihpyQwEyy
— إذاعة الأقصى – عاجل (@Alaqsavoice_Brk) November 30, 2022
The French baguette — “250 grams of magic and perfection,” in the words of President Emmanuel Macron, and one of the abiding symbols of the nation — has been given UNESCO heritage status.
The bread sticks, with their crusty exterior and soft middle, have remained a quintessential part of French life long after other stereotypes like berets and strings of garlic have fallen by the wayside.
The UN agency grants “intangible cultural heritage status” to the tradition of making the baguette and the lifestyle that surrounds them.
More than six billion are baked every year in France, according to the National Federation of French Bakeries.
For Iranians, their football team’s World Cup loss against the United States was cause for either sadness or exuberant joy, depending on where they stand on a two-month-old protest movement.
Caught between the clerical regime and calls to show solidarity with protesters, the national team pressed near-relentlessly in the second half on Tuesday night but was unable to cancel out a 38th-minute opener by the US, resulting in an early exit.
That prompted the extraordinary spectacle of Iranians cheering a defeat inflicted by the Islamic Republic’s arch-enemy often labeled the “Great Satanץ”
“Who would’ve ever thought I’d jump three meters and celebrate America’s goal!” tweeted Iranian gaming journalist Saeed Zafarany.
Inside Iran, celebrations were especially marked in western Kurdistan province, the cradle of a movement sparked by the death of young Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in morality police custody after her arrest for allegedly infringing the nation’s strict dress code for women.
A video shared online by Kurdish activist Kaveh Ghoreishi shows a Sanandaj city neighborhood at night with sounds of cheering and horns blaring after the United States scored.
Iran is a country where people are very passionate about football. Now they are out in the streets in the city of Sanandaj & celebrate the loss of their football team against US.
They don’t want the government use sport to normalize its murderous regime.pic.twitter.com/EMh8mREsQn pic.twitter.com/MqpxQZqT20
— Masih Alinejad ????️ (@AlinejadMasih) November 29, 2022
Iranian media reports that four people have been sentenced to death in the country for supposed collaboration with Israel’s Mossad spy agency.
The Mehr news agency also claims the four took part in unspecified kidnappings.
Iran announces the arrest of Israeli spies from time to time. The veracity of such claims is unclear.
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