The Times of Israel liveblogged Thursday’s events as they happened.
Ukrainian shelling blows up ammo depot in Russian border town, says local governor
MOSCOW — Ukrainian shelling blew up an ammunition depot in a Russian border village Thursday, the governor of Russia’s frontier Belgorod region says on Telegram.
“In a village of the Belgorod district, an ammunition depot was blown up as a result of shelling by the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” the governor of the Belgorod region Vyacheslav Gladkov says. “Residents will now be taken to a safe distance.”
Police gearing up for Friday prayers at Temple Mount after East Jerusalem violence
Police are gearing up for potential tensions at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City during prayers tomorrow, the Kan public broadcaster reports, following a night of unrest in East Jerusalem.
The report, without citing a source, says there is a concern any incident on the Temple Mount could inflame so-called mixed cities that have significant populations of both Jews and Arabs.
The broadcaster also says security officials believe the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group will try to whip up tensions ahead of prayers tomorrow.
NATO chief warns Russia against crossing ‘very important line’ on nukes
BRUSSELS — Russian President Vladimir Putin would be crossing a “very important line” if he were to order the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warns, with the military alliance and Russia both due to hold nuclear exercises in coming days.
NATO is holding its exercise, dubbed “Steadfast Noon,” next week. The long-planned maneuvers are conducted around the same time every year and run for about one week. They involve fighter jets capable of carrying nuclear warheads, but do not involve any live bombs.
Russia usually holds its own maneuvers around the same time, and NATO is expecting Moscow’s exercise of its nuclear forces sometime this month. Stoltenberg says NATO will “closely monitor” what Russia is up to.
Asked what NATO would do if Russia launched a nuclear attack, Stoltenberg says: “We will not go into exactly how we will respond, but of course, this will fundamentally change the nature of the conflict. It will mean that a very important line has been crossed.”
He adds that “even any use of a smaller nuclear weapon will be a very serious thing, fundamentally changing the nature of the war in Ukraine, and of course, that would have consequences.”
Stoltenberg’s remarks came after a meeting of NATO’s secretive Nuclear Planning Group, which was held among defense ministers in Brussels, as concerns deepen over Putin’s insistence that he will use any means necessary to defend Russian territory.
The meeting, which usually happens once or twice a year, comes against a backdrop of high tension as some NATO allies, led by the US, supply Ukraine with advanced weapons and munitions to defend itself against Russian aerial attacks.
Lebanese president officially declares backing for maritime border deal with Israel
Lebanese President Michel Aoun officially announces that Beirut has agreed to the US-brokered maritime border deal between Lebanon and Israel.
“I hope the end of these negotiations will represent a promising beginning that lays the cornerstone for economic revival,” he is quoted as saying by the Naharnet news site.
White House says return to Iran deal unlikely ‘in the near future’
WASHINGTON — The United States rules out any imminent revival of the Iranian nuclear deal, issuing a downbeat assessment of long-stalled talks over the 2015 accord.
“It’s not that we don’t want to see the JCPOA reimplemented, we of course do. We’re just not in a position where… that’s a likely outcome anytime in the near future,” White House spokesman John Kirby says, using the official acronym for the agreement.
IDF chief speaks with settler leader amid surging West Bank violence
The head of a settler umbrella group speaks with IDF chief Aviv Kohavi amid surging violence in the West Bank, according to the former’s office.
Yesha Council chief Shlomo Ne’eman was updated by Kohavi on the military’s ongoing anti-terror operations, according to a statement from the organization.
“The Yesha Council chairman asked the chief of staff to emphasize the army’s operations against the throwing of rocks and Molotov cocktails,” the statement says.
Israel shutters northern West Bank crossing after Palestinians fire toward it
The Defense Ministry shutters the Jalamah crossing in the northern West Bank, after Palestinians opened fire toward it.
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 possible suspects.
Top diplomat predicts Israel, Lebanon will hold joint ceremony to mark maritime deal
The director-general of the Foreign Ministry predicts Israel and Lebanon will end up holding a joint ceremony to mark their maritime border agreement.
Speaking with the Kan public broadcaster, Alon Ushpiz says such a ceremony would include “choreography like the Americans know how to do.”
Long-lost London book by Nazi-backing French author released
PARIS — The second installment of long-lost manuscripts from famed French author — and notorious Nazi supporter — Louis-Ferdinand Celine were published today, based on his time in London.
For decades, it was thought Celine’s manuscripts had been destroyed by Resistance fighters after the author fled his Paris apartment in June 1944.
But at some point in the 2000s, the papers ended up with a retired journalist, who passed them — completely out of the blue — to Celine’s heirs last summer.
A first installment was published in May — the short novel “Guerre” (War) — based on his injury on the battlefield in Belgium in World War I and convalescence.
The new novel, “Londres” (London), follows him to England where he became a fixture among the drunks, down-and-outs and prostitutes of Soho.
France still struggles with Celine’s legacy.
The anti-war message and slang-filled style of his novels are still seen as progressive and ground-breaking.
They seem completely detached from the virulent antisemitism that emerged in a series of propaganda tracts he wrote after 1936, or the man who would dine regularly with the head of the Gestapo during the Nazi occupation of Paris.
Critics praised “Guerre” when it was released in May, and it has been a massive hit for publisher Gallimard, selling 163,000 copies.
Many were outraged however that Gallimard had barely mentioned Celine’s politics in its introduction and marketing.
The issue has been harder to ignore this time, since “Londres” includes Jewish characters — but again, there is little sign of any antisemitism in the way Celine describes them.
“The novel does not lend itself to oversimplifications,” scholar Regis Tettamanzi, who helped put it together from the manuscripts, tells AFP.
It is not yet clear whether English translations of the books are in the pipeline.
Florida school shooter to get life sentence, after jury can’t agree on death penalty
FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida — Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz will be sentenced to life without parole for the 2018 murder of 17 people at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, after the jury says that it could not unanimously agree that he should be executed.
The jury’s recommendation came after seven hours of deliberations over two days, ending a three-month trial that included graphic videos, photos and testimony from the massacre and its aftermath, heart-wrenching testimony from victims’ family members and a tour of the still blood-spattered building.
Under Florida law, a death sentence requires a unanimous vote on at least one count. Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer will formally issue the sentence later.
Cruz, his hair unkempt, largely sat hunched over and stared at the table as the jury’s recommendations were read. Rumblings grew from the family section — packed with about three dozen parents, spouses and other relatives of the victims — as life sentences were announced. Many shook their heads, looked angry or covered their eyes.
Police say body found outside Eilat; probe looking at ‘all directions’
Police say a body has been found in an open area outside the Red Sea coastal town of Eilat.
A forensic ID team was called to the scene and is investigating the case.
“At this stage, all directions of the investigation are being examined,” a police statement says.
Aoun to give speech laying out Lebanon’s position on maritime gas deal with Israel
Lebanese President Michel will give an address later this evening laying out Beirut’s on the US-brokered maritime border agreement between Lebanon and Israel, his office says.
Veteran far-right figure who collects fascist memorabilia chosen as head of Italy’s senate
ROME — Ignazio La Russa, who was elected speaker of the Italian senate today, is a veteran of the far-right who collects fascist memorabilia as a hobby.
The 75-year-old co-founded the post-fascist Brothers of Italy party with Giorgia Meloni, whose victory in elections last month put her on course to become prime minister.
As speaker, La Russa now has the role of guiding legislation through parliament’s upper house, but is also expected to wield power behind the scenes.
Meloni hailed him as a “patriot, a servant of the state” who for her party “is an irreplaceable point of reference, a friend, a brother, an example for generations of activists and leaders.”
La Russa has been a part of the nationalist Italian right since the end of the 1960s, when his long hair and beard prompted writer Umberto Eco to compare him to Rasputin.
But politics is also in his blood. His landowner father, Antonino La Russa, was a local official in Sicily for the National Fascist Party of dictator Benito Mussolini.
And after World War II, he was elected MP and then senator for its successor organization, the Italian Social Movement (MSI), set up by Mussolini’s followers.
UK denies diplomat’s visit to Tehran linked to ongoing protests
TEHRAN, Iran — Britain says that a recent visit to Tehran by a foreign ministry official was hosted by Iran, dismissing a report by an Iranian newspaper linking it to ongoing unrest.
Ultra-conservative newspaper Javan had published a photograph of Stephanie al-Qaq, the head of the ministry’s Middle East and North Africa department, in its edition yesterday under the headline “English spy led the riots up close.”
But British ambassador Simon Shercliff insists that her “short visit to Tehran last month” had been for “official talks.”
The visit was hosted by the foreign ministry in Tehran, and “they asked us not to say anything publicly about the visit, so we did not,” Shercliff says on Twitter Thursday.
“I don’t remember any part of those official talks being about instigating riots,” he adds.
A wave of unrest has swept Iran since 22-year-old Kurd Mahsa Amini died on September 16 after her arrest by the morality police in Tehran for allegedly violating the country’s strict dress code for women.
The street violence has led to dozens of deaths — mostly of protesters but also members of the security forces — and hundreds have been arrested.
The Javan newspaper quoted “informed sources” as saying that Al-Qaq “entered the country a few days before the start of the riots and closely observed the process of managing the situation in Iran and evidence shows she had a role in leading the riots.”
Al-Qaq led the British delegation to currently stalled negotiations on reviving a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major powers.
Iranian officials have accused the country’s enemies, particularly the United States, of fanning the Amini protests.
Lapid meets with top security officials following East Jerusalem unrest
Prime Minister Yair Lapid holds consultations with top security officials following last night’s unrest in East Jerusalem.
A statement from his office says the briefing also dealt with “the continued preparations for the remainder of the [Sukkot] holiday,” which runs through Monday evening.
“The security forces are deployed throughout the country and are making possible all the holiday events in Jerusalem and in general,” he says.
He adds that Israel is “determined” to let the festivities go ahead while acting with a “strong and uncompromising hand against terror and violent disturbances.”
EU’s top diplomat warns Russian army will be ‘annihilated’ if Putin nukes Ukraine
BRUSSELS — EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell warns Moscow that its forces would be “annihilated” by the West’s military response if Russian President Vladimir Putin uses nuclear weapons against Ukraine.
“Putin is saying he is not bluffing. Well, he cannot afford bluffing, and it has to be clear that the people supporting Ukraine and the European Union and the Member States, and the United States and NATO are not bluffing neither,” Borrell says at the opening of a Diplomatic Academy in Brussels.
“Any nuclear attack against Ukraine will create an answer, not a nuclear answer but such a powerful answer from the military side that the Russian Army will be annihilated.”
Fears that Moscow could use a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine have grown after Putin issued veiled threats as he staged the annexation of four occupied regions in the face of losses on the battlefield.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has warned Russia it faces “severe consequences” if it launches a nuclear attack on its pro-Western neighbor.
Austrian soldier sparks outcry for wearing homemade Nazi uniform
VIENNA — The case of a junior Austrian army officer who has remained in service despite wearing a self-made Nazi uniform and making Hitler salutes provoked an outcry today, with the president among those expressing their shock.
According to a report by the Austrian daily Kurier, the soldier from Carinthia province had ordered a uniform, swastika insignia and flags over the internet to put together his own “SS uniform.”
Photos of the junior officer wearing his self-made uniform “at least five times — partly outdoors and partly wearing a helmet with a visible swastika,” surfaced on social media, the report says.
He was also reportedly witnessed making Hitler salutes on different occasions: in the canteen of a sports club, on the soccer field and in front of his comrades in the barracks.
Austrian defense minister Klaudia Tanner denounced the behavior of the soldier as “incredible misconduct,” while stopping short of dismissing him, a statement from her ministry says.
“The person concerned was immediately relieved of his duties and is employed in a non-military function,” the statement adds.
Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen expresses his shock over a soldier engaging in Nazi propaganda.
“Any form of Nazi glorification is to be condemned in the strongest terms and has no place in public service and in our society,” Van der Bellen says in a tweet, adding that those in the armed forces and the police had a “special responsibility” in this regard.
Austria — which the Nazis “annexed” into the Third Reich in 1938 — has some of the world’s strictest laws against Holocaust denial and pro-Nazi activities. Despite this, offenses involving expressions of pro-Nazi sentiment are not uncommon.
Netanyahu blames Jerusalem unrest on maritime border deal with Lebanon
Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu claims that Prime Minister Yair Lapid is redefining democracy by failing to obtain Knesset approval for the impending maritime border agreement with Lebanon.
“Lapid defined democracy differently,” says Netanyahu, adding that the premier “said he doesn’t want to bring the agreement to Knesset because the opposition is against it.”
Yesterday, the Lapid-led government decided to send the agreement to Knesset for a two-week review period, after which the cabinet itself will vote on its final approval.
Netanyahu has charged that Lapid, a caretaker prime minister on the eve of elections, does not have the authority to make the deal and said he will not consider himself bound by the agreement if he returns to power. Earlier this week, the attorney general said Knesset approval was not necessary to finalize the agreement, although it would be worthwhile to be obtain given the political flux.
Railing against the deal, which would concede Israeli rights to the deep-sea Qana gas field in exchange for recognition of its maritime border with Lebanon and a percentage of revenue from Qana, Netanyahu denounces it as a “surrender to terror” that emboldens Israel’s enemies.
The deal, he says, “creates a dangerous equation” in which the party who threatens ultimately receives a benefit.
“When you surrender to terror, you get terror,” he says.
As the talks neared the finish line in recent months, Hezbollah terror chief Hassan Nasrallah threatened Israel over the Karish gas field, which remains in Israeli control under the agreement.
Tying what he has previously alleged to be a causal relationship to the current unrest in East Jerusalem, Netanyahu charges that “When you surrender to Nasrallah in Lebanon, you get riots in Jerusalem.”
US jury reaches decision on death sentence for Parkland school shooter
FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida — A jury says that it has reached a decision on whether to recommend that Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz be executed for the 2018 massacre that killed 17 people at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The recommendation isn’t immediately released and comes in its second day of deliberations, promising an end to a three-month trial that included graphic videos, photos and testimony from the massacre and its aftermath, heart-wrenching testimony from victims’ family members and a tour of the still blood-spattered building.
The jury’s decision must be unanimous if it intends to recommend the death penalty, and if that happens, it will be up to Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer to make a final decision. If all jurors can’t agree on recommending death, then Cruz would get life in prison.
Israeli judo team picks up bronze at world championships
Israel’s national judo team picks up a bronze medal at the world championships in Uzbekistan, beating the Netherlands to finish third in the group stage.
The feat comes after no Israeli judokas won medals in the individual categories during the competition, in a disappointing result for the national squad.
Kremlin-installed head of Kherson asks Russia to evacuate locals amid Ukraine conteroffensive
MOSCOW — The Moscow-installed head of Ukraine’s southern Kherson region, which the Kremlin says it has annexed, asks Russia to help evacuate civilians from the area, in a sign that a Ukrainian counteroffensive is advancing.
“We suggested to all people of the Kherson region to, if they wish, leave to other regions to protect themselves from missile hits,” the head of the Russian-backed administration, Vladimir Saldo, says on Telegram.
“In addressing the leadership of the country [Russia], I ask you to help organize this work.”
He added: “We, the people of the Kherson region, know that Russia does not abandon its own.”
Saldo says the region is being hit by an increasing amount of rocket attacks bringing “serious damage,” claiming civilian infrastructure was being targeted.
He says those leaving will go to Crimea, a peninsula that Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014, and southern Russian regions.
The call came a day after Kyiv said it had retaken five settlements in the Kherson region.
Last week, Ukraine — which announced its counteroffensive in the south in August — said it had recaptured over 400 square kilometers (155 miles) in Kherson in less than a week.
Kherson is one of the four regions in Ukraine that Moscow recently claimed to have annexed.
The city of Kherson, which lies near Moscow-annexed Crimea, was the first major Ukrainian city to fall to Russian forces after the Kremlin launched its attack on February 24.
French FM to visit Beirut, will hail ‘historic’ maritime border deal between Israel, Lebanon
France’s Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna is set to arrive today in Beirut, where she will meet with Lebanese President Michel Aoun; Prime Minister Najib Mikati Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri; and her counterpart, Abdallah Bou Habib.
According to the Quai d’Orsay, the visit will be “an opportunity to commend the historic US-brokered maritime border agreement concluded this weekend between Israel and Lebanon, following negotiation in which France actively contributed along with other international partners.”
Prime Minister Yair Lapid singled out France for praise last night during his press conference on the emerging deal.
As Aoun’s term nears its end in a country mired in political and economic deadlock, Colonna will stress France’s commitment to the proper operation of Lebanon’s governing institutions.
Iranian judges ordered not to go soft on ‘main elements of riots’
TEHRAN, Iran — Iranian judges have been issued orders against handing down soft sentences for people found to be the “main elements of riots” that flared over Mahsa Amini’s death, the judiciary says.
A wave of unrest has gripped the Islamic republic since Amini died on September 16 after her arrest by the morality police in Tehran for allegedly violating the country’s strict dress code for women.
The street violence has led to dozens of deaths — mostly of protesters but also members of the security forces — and hundreds have been arrested.
“Iran’s judiciary chief Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei ordered judges to avoid… issuing weak sentences for the main elements of these riots,” says the judiciary’s Mizan Online website.
“Undue sympathy and weak sentences for the main elements are an injustice to the people,” Ejei is quoted as saying.
“At the same time, some stages of leniency should be considered for people who are included among the less guilty elements,” he says.
The judiciary chief echoes remarks by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who yesterday referred to the involvement of “enemies” in the protests.
“Undoubtedly, such events, in which the behind-the-scenes hands of the enemies are visible, should not stop us from moving forward and progressing in different sectors,” says Ejei.
7-year-old Israeli boy hurt as stones hurled in West Bank; settlers clash with Palestinians
A 7-year-old Israeli boy is lightly hurt after Palestinians hurled stones at Israeli vehicles in the Huwara area in the northern West Bank, medics say.
The Rescuers Without Borders emergency service says another two children are treated for anxiety following the attack.
According to Palestinian media reports and footage published online, dozens of settlers from the nearby settlement of Yitzhar arrived at the scene and clashed with Palestinians in response.
נראה כמיליציה משולבת: מתנחלים יורדים לבצע פעולת נקם בתוך הכפר הפלסטיני חווארה בטענה כי זרקו עליהם אבנים, מכים עם אלות, מנפצים רכבים ותוקפים תושבים, לצד חיילים ששומרים עליהם. pic.twitter.com/m6nynEnDbv
— Yuval Abraham יובל אברהם (@yuval_abraham) October 13, 2022
Fatah and Hamas discuss reconciliation in Algeria
ALGIERS, Algeria — Divided Palestinian factions met in Algiers today amid efforts to persuade them to sign a reconciliation deal to lay out timelines to hold elections within a year, officials say.
“The Palestinians have been divided for more than 15 years, which has hugely weakened our cause,” says Azzam al-Ahmed, the head of the Fatah delegation in the Algerian capital.
Ismael Haniyeh, chief of the terror group Hamas, says the Algerian-mediated talks which began Tuesday have been “positive and calm.”
The Fatah party of Palestinian Authority President Mahoud Abbas and its main rival Hamas have been at odds since elections in 2006, which were won by Hamas but never recognized by the international community.
Months later, the Islamist terror organization seized control of the Gaza Strip in a deadly conflict that consolidated years of division, with Fatah administering Palestinian-run areas of the West Bank.
Parliamentary and presidential polls, the first since the division, had been set to take place last year, but were canceled.
Hossam Badran, a senior Hamas official says that they had “agreed to hold elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council, the presidency and the Palestinian National Council within a year.”
But Fatah, whose head Mahmoud Abbas is at meetings in Kazakhstan rather than at the talks in Algiers, sparked doubts yesterday night that a draft agreement would be signed.
It demanded that members of any resulting national unity government abide by international law, a point rejected by Hamas.
“The document proposed by Algeria was general and doesn’t go into details,” says Palestinian analyst Khalil Shaheen.
Four police reserve companies called up amid growing unrest in East Jerusalem
Public Security Minister Omer Barlev orders an immediate call-up of four police reserve companies amid the rising unrest in East Jerusalem.
“The incidents that took place last night are very serious, and Israel Police acted with determination to restore peace, and it achieved that,” Barlev says in remarks provided by his office.
More than 20 Palestinians were detained for alleged rioting in East Jerusalem yesterday.
“Along with the bolstering police and Border Police forces… our intention is to expand the freedom of movement for the residents of the Shuafat refugee camp, most of whom wish to continue their normal lives,” Barlev says.
The refugee camp has seen heavy police activity in recent days, as forces search for a Palestinian gunman who killed an Israeli soldier at a nearby checkpoint on Saturday.
“All of this comes without compromising the operational considerations of the security forces,” Barlev adds.
Holocaust survivor opens Italy’s new parliament as far-right set to take power
ROME — Italy’s Fascist past and its future governed by a party with neo-fascist origins come to an emotional head today as a Holocaust survivor presides over the first seating of parliament since general elections last month.
Liliana Segre, a 92-year-old senator-for-life, heads the opening session of the upper chamber, subbing in for a more senior life senator who couldn’t attend. Her speech formally opens the sequence of events that is expected to bring the Brothers of Italy party, which won the most votes in the September 25 elections and which has its roots in a neo-fascist movement, to head Italy’s first far-right-led government since the end of World War II.
Speaking to the Senate, Segre marvels at the “symbolic value” of the coincidence of her role and the historic moment that Italy is witnessing. She noted that she was presiding over the Senate as Italy soon marks the 100th anniversary of the March on Rome, which brought Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini to power, and as war rages once again in Europe with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Today, I am particularly moved by the role that fate holds for me,” Segre tells the hushed chamber. “In this month of October, which marks the centenary of the March on Rome that began the Fascist dictatorship, it falls to me to temporarily assume the presidency of this temple of democracy, which is the Senate of the Republic.”
Segre was one of the few Italian children who survived deportation to a Nazi death camp, and she has spent recent decades telling Italian schoolchildren about the Holocaust. Her advocacy led Italian President Sergio Mattarella to name her a senator-for-life in 2018 as Italy marked the anniversary of the introduction of Fascist-era racial laws discriminating against Jews.
At least 10 hurt in Iraq rocket attack ahead of parliamentary vote on new president
BAGHDAD — Rocket fire targeting Baghdad’s Green Zone wounded 10 people as lawmakers gather today in a bid to elect a new president, a security official says.
Nine Katyusha-style rockets targeted the capital’s fortified government and diplomatic district, the security forces say in a statement. At least ten people were injured, a security official tells AFP, adding that one of the projectiles fell near parliament.
Elite Israeli air force unit rescues American who had heart attack from cruise ship
The Israeli Air Force’s elite helicopter-borne search and rescue unit evacuated an elderly American citizen from a cruise in the Mediterranean early this morning, after she apparently had a heart attack.
The Unit 669 crew brought the woman to the Rambam hospital in Haifa, where she is currently being treated.
The evacuation was made following a request made by American officials, according to a military source.
WWII munitions on seabed hindering Nord Stream pipeline probe
COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Investigations into the suspected sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines linking Russia with Europe are “progressing well,” despite World War II munitions on the seabed, Denmark says.
“It’s a zone marked by the presence of munitions — used or not — from World War II,” Danish Defense Minister Morten Bodskov tells reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of the NATO defense alliance in Brussels.
“There’s a lot of stuff at the bottom of the sea, so it’s not so easy.”
“But the work is continuing and going well,” he adds.
The two Nord Stream pipelines were damaged by four explosions under the Baltic Sea at the end of September, causing major gas leaks.
Sweden has announced that preliminary underwater inspections backed up suspicions of probable sabotage.
“With Sweden and Germany, Denmark is carrying out an inquiry which is progressing well,” the minister says.
“What we discover will of course be made public.”
With fingers being pointed at Russia for the sabotage, Moscow demanded to be part of the investigations into the explosions which happened in international waters, but Copenhagen and Stockholm refused.
Abbas meets with Putin, rails at ‘Israeli violations against the Palestinians’
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas meets with Russian leader Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of an international conference in Kazakhstan, their first face-to-face meeting since Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year.
“President Abbas briefed Putin on the latest political developments regarding the Palestinian issue, as well as on the continued Israeli violations against the Palestinian people, land, and Muslim and Christian holy sites, including the continued settlement construction, demolitions, extrajudicial killings, and the army siege imposed on the cities, refugee camps, and towns, particularly on Shuafat refugee camp, Nablus, and Jerusalem,” a statement carried by the PA’s official Wafa news agency says.
According to the statement, the two also discussed numerous regional and international issues, while Abbas “further praised Russia’s positions at all international forums in support of the Palestinian people and their just cause.”
Putin reiterated Moscow’s support for a resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict in accordance with UN decisions, according to a translation of his remarks from Russia’s RT broadcaster.
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