The Times of Israel liveblogged Wednesday’s events as they unfolded.
In recordings broadcast tonight by Channel 13, former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife Sara can be heard calling then-Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin a “shit” and a “moron.”
The conversation between Sara Netanyahu and former family adviser Nir Hefetz, who is now a state’s witness against Benjamin Netanyahu in his corruption trial, reportedly took place while Netanyahu was prime minister.
In the conversation, Sara Netanyahu is complaining about the security at their private residence in Jerusalem.
“Tell Diskin. How does he decide on things,” she says. “It is a complete cheek. I know the Shin Bet, I have been involved in security for 20 years now, you know how they work, they only cover their asses, believe me.”
“And this Diskin is impudent, he’s a shit, how did they extend his tenure by a year, he’s a moron,” she says.
In an interview, Hefetz also talks about Netanyahu’s son Yair, saying that he tried to influence security policy around Temple Mount clashes, calling his father weak.
Police have confirmed that the Palestinian gunman shot dead after opening fire at security guards at the entrance of Ma’ale Adumim this evening is Udai Tamimi.
Tamimi is the gunman who killed Sgt. Noa Lazar at a checkpoint near the Shuafat refugee camp earlier this month, and has been on the run since.
Israel had launched a massive manhunt to find Tamimi who fled back into the camp after the shooting.
Grant Shapps is appointed interior minister by embattled UK Prime Minister Liz Truss after she suffered the second high-profile ministerial loss of her six-week premiership.
A statement by Truss’s 10 Downing Street office confirms the appointment hours after Suella Braverman said she had resigned from the post after using her personal email to send an official document.
But Braverman also expressed “serious concerns” over government policy.
Transport secretary under ex-premier Boris Johnson, Grant Shapps had thrown his hat into the ring to replace his old boss during the summer.
The 54-year-old, famed for his use of Excel spreadsheets, promised tax cuts and competent government and was widely seen as an effective communicator and campaigner, although a long shot as Conservative leader.
He attracted controversy earlier in his career, however, over the use of the pseudonyms Michael Green, Corinne Stockheath and Sebastian Fox.
He denied it at the time, but in 2015 admitted to having done business under a pseudonym while an MP.
Shapps, a businessman-turned-politician who once served as National President of the Jewish youth organization BBYO.
TOI staff contributed to this report.
A Lod court orders a woman who received the wrong embryo during fertility treatments to hand over the results of genetic testing done on the baby.
If the baby is found to be that of another couple, suspected to be the biological parents, the woman carrying the baby, and her husband, could be forced to give it up.
Lawyers representing the pregnant woman say they plan to appeal the ruling.
“It’s not their baby, it’s mine. Let me give birth in peace,” the woman carrying the fetus tells Channel 12 after the ruling.
The couple has said it had taken them years for the wife to get pregnant, requiring multiple rounds of fertility treatments at Rishon Lezion’s Assuta Medical Center, including hormone therapies, egg extractions and other procedures, before they were finally successful.
A security guard is lightly hurt after being shot near the entrance of Ma’ale Adumim in the West Bank, medics say
An alleged Palestinian assailant has been shot, according to first responders.
The guard, in his 20s, has been taken by the Magen David Adom ambulance service to the Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem, with a gunshot injury in his hand.
In its submission to the High Court, the government says there is an urgent need to sign the maritime border deal with Lebanon.
The court will hear petitions tomorrow against the deal, which the government does not intend to bring before the Knesset for a vote or to a referendum.
The state’s position is that there are weighty security, political and economic-energy reasons that support the approval of the agreement, which was preceded by a protracted process of years-long negotiations by various governments, including during the election period.
The state argues there is a limited window of opportunity to get the deal signed.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz with speak tomorrow with his Ukrainian counterpart Oleksii Reznikov.
The call comes amid Ukraine’s request for Israel to supply it with air defense systems and Jerusalem’s refusal to send over weapons.
Early voting for Israeli diplomats and staff at the country’s embassies abroad begins tonight, with the envoy to New Zealand expected to cast the first vote of the November 1 elections.
The booth set up for diplomatic staff at the embassy in Wellington will open at 11 p.m. Israel time.
Following New Zealand, 101 other ballot stations will be opened at embassies and missions abroad, with the final votes taking place in the Los Angeles and San Francisco consulates.
According to the Foreign Ministry, some 4,500 Israelis are eligible to vote abroad, including diplomats, representatives of other government ministries, the military and police and their families.
Votes in an Israeli election will be cast for the first time in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, where Israel recently opened an embassy.
This is Israel’s fifth general election in under four years.
British Home Secretary Suella Braverman left her job, the second senior minister in a week to leave Prime Minister Liz Truss’ government.
It was not immediately clear whether she quit or was fired.
Braverman, appointed less than two months ago, is a popular figure on the ruling Conservative Party’s right wing and a champion of more restrictive immigration policies.
Truss fired her Treasury chief, Kwasi Kwarteng, on Friday after the economic package the pair drew up spooked financial markets.
Lebanon warns a cholera outbreak that has left five dead is “spreading rapidly” in the cash-strapped country, with cases rising after the extremely virulent disease spread from neighboring Syria.
Lebanon’s first cholera outbreak in decades began earlier this month as it struggles amid poor sanitation and crumbling infrastructure after three years of unprecedented economic crisis.
“The epidemic is spreading rapidly in Lebanon,” Health Minister Firass Abiad tells reporters.
Since October 6, Lebanon has recorded 169 cholera cases — almost half of them in the past two days — as well as five deaths, according to the health ministry.
Rachel Pisam, an ultra-Orthodox mother of 11 and grandmother of 18, is the first Israeli woman appointed to the rank of deputy chief in the Fire and Rescue Service.
Pisam, 55, is appointed to head the manpower department, and is the first woman to attain the rank in the service, the equivalent of a general in the IDF.
“There is no more worthy and important choice than this,” says Internal Security Minister Omer Barlev. “Rachel is a trailblazer, and will be the first woman to be awarded the rank of deputy chief.”
The people of Ukraine and their representatives are awarded the European Union’s top human rights prize for their resistance to Russia’s invasion and ongoing war.
The EU award, named for Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, was created in 1988 to honor individuals or groups who defend human rights and fundamental freedoms. Sakharov, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, died in 1989.
It’s the second straight year EU lawmakers used the Sakharov Prize to send a message to the Kremlin. Imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny won it last year.
When they nominated Ukraine, EU lawmakers praised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for his “bravery, endurance and devotion to his people” and highlighted the roles of Ukraine’s state emergency services.
Among others, they also cited Yulia Pajevska, the founder of the medical evacuation unit Angels of Taira, human rights activist Oleksandra Matviychuk, the Yellow Ribbon civil resistance movement and Ivan Fedorov, the mayor of the occupied city of Melitopol.
Amos Dov Silver, the founder of the Telegrass virtual marijuana marketplace, is ordered released to house arrest after more than three and a half years in prison.
The Central District Court orders Silver sent home on condition he wear an electronic ankle monitor.
However, the prosecution asks for a 48-hour delay as it considers its next steps.
Telegrass, a sprawling forum that used the Telegram messaging app to connect drug dealers and consumers, was shut down in 2019 and dozens of people connected to it, including Silver, were arrested in Israel, the United States, Ukraine and Germany.
Silver, who was extradited from Ukraine, was held in jail as the prosecution argued he was a flight risk and a danger to society. His trial is ongoing.
The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee is debating the US-brokered Israel-Lebanon maritime border deal agreed on last week.
Despite the debate, the Knesset will not be asked to approve the deal, which will go back to the cabinet for final authorization next week.
Opposition politicians have demanded that the outgoing government bring the deal before parliament, accusing Prime Minister Yair Lapid of surrendering Israel’s interests to the Hezbollah terror group.
Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara has ruled that the government does not need to seek Knesset approval or a referendum on the deal.
Qatar becomes the first Middle Eastern country to receive Chinese giant pandas — Suhail and Soraya — who, in true Gulf fashion, took up residence in luxury air-conditioned quarters.
Crowds of children and reporters watch as the four-year-old male and three-year-old female take their first steps in a temporary enclosure in a ceremony at the Al Khor park about 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Doha.
The Chinese government sent the animals as gift to mark the World Cup that starts November 20. China has not qualified for the event, but is a major customer for Qatar’s natural gas.
Suhail is the name of one of the brightest stars visible in the Gulf region, while Soraya is the Arabic name for the Pleiades star cluster.
Qatar is the 20th country to be given pandas outside China and Taiwan, which China’s Communist Party has never controlled but claims as its own.
The UN Security Council issues a joint statement backed by all of its members hailing the Israel-Lebanon maritime agreement.
“The members of the Security Council commended the announcements that Lebanon and Israel have agreed to end their dispute over their maritime boundary and delineate it permanently,” the statement issued eight days after the agreement reads.
“This is a major step, which will contribute to the stability, the security, and the prosperity of the region. It will benefit both countries and their people and will allow both parties to benefit equitably from energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean.”
Two prisoners are hospitalized after setting fire to a mattress in the Nitzan prison in the central city of Ramle, the prison service says.
No details are given on their condition, identity or the reason behind the blaze.
The fire is brought under control and the prison has returned to normal routine, the statement says.
Nitzan houses a general prison population and not security prisoners.
Ukraine has sent a formal request to Israel for air defense systems, the Walla news site reports, publishing a copy of the notice sent yesterday.
In the letter, Ukraine notes that in addition to Iranian drones, Russia is also acquiring Iranian ballistic missiles.
Given the Iranian involvement in the latest attacks, Ukraine asks Israel to send it several of its short, medium, and long-range air defense systems and supply Israeli experts to train Ukraine in their use.
The letter notes that Iran is gaining operational battlefield experience for its attack systems that will ultimately be turned against Israel.
The report comes hours after Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz reiterated that Israel would not send arms to Ukraine but could build a rocket and drone warning system for the Ukrainians.
Since the early days of the invasion, senior Ukrainian officials have asked Israel to send its missile defense systems, especially the Iron Dome, in public addresses and in private conversations with decision-makers in Jerusalem.
But Jerusalem has so far avoided providing direct military aid to Kyiv — neither offensive arms nor advanced defensive technology — since Russian troops invaded Ukraine on February 24, in an attempt to avoid sparking a crisis with Moscow.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko says that “several Russian rockets” had been downed over the Ukrainian capital after reports of loud explosions in the center of the city.
“Air defenses have shot down several Russian rockets over Kyiv. Stay in shelters!” Klitschko says on social media.
On Monday, Russian attacks with Iranian-made drones aimed at energy infrastructure killed at least five people in Kyiv.
Kyiv region governor, Oleksiy Kuleba, writes on social media that air defenses were also working in the area.
Ukraine’s military command in the north said on Facebook that another “two missiles” had been shot down in Chernigiv region, neighboring Kyiv.
Fresh strikes on energy infrastructure were also reported in the Vinnytsia region in central Ukraine.
A small Israeli military drone crashed in the West Bank city of Hebron earlier today, the Israel Defense Forces says.
The drone, a Skylark model, was on a reconnaissance mission when it fell out of the sky for as-yet-unknown reasons.
The device was collected by troops shortly after, the IDF says.
The “sky rider,” as it’s known in Hebrew, is a tactical surveillance drone created by Elbit Systems and operated by the IDF’s Artillery Corps.
The miniature UAV can be launched by one or two people, depending on the model, and once airborne provides a live video feed to soldiers on the ground.
Former US president Donald Trump is expected to testify today in a defamation case pitting him against a prominent American columnist who says he raped her in the 1990s.
E. Jean Carroll, 78, alleges that Trump sexually assaulted her in a New York department store.
Last week, a New York federal court judge rejected a motion by Trump, who has denied the accusation, to further delay his deposition.
Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled that Carroll’s and Trump’s depositions should be held on October 14 and 19, respectively.
Trump is expected to submit a sworn deposition from his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida, The New York Times reports.
Russian President Vladimir Putin imposes martial law in the four regions that Moscow recently annexed from Ukraine.
He also granted emergency powers to the heads of other Russian regions.
Putin didn’t immediately spell out the measures that would be taken under martial law. But Russian legislation envisages that it may involve restrictions on travel and public gatherings and tighter censorship, as well as giving broader powers to law enforcement agencies.
Putin didn’t spell out the extra powers to be given to the heads of Russian regions under his decree, in moves that were the latest sign that the fighting in Ukraine isn’t going his way.
The Russian leader also declared that a Coordination Committee will be set up to improve communication between various government agencies dealing with the fighting in Ukraine, which he continued to call the “special military operation.”
The upper house of the Russian parliament is set to approve Putin’s decision later today.
Several loud explosions are heard in central Kyiv today, AFP reporters say, after Russian forces earlier this week targeted energy facilities in the capital and surrounding region.
At least two blasts ring out at about 14:20 Kyiv time (11:20 GMT). On Monday, Russian attacks with Iranian-made drones aimed at energy infrastructure killed at least five people in the city.
Ukraine says its military has shot down more than 220 Iranian-made drones in a little more than one month, following this week’s attacks that used “kamikaze drones.”
“Since the first downing of an Iranian-made Shahed-136 kamikaze drone on the territory of Ukraine on September 13, the… Air Force and other components of the Defense Forces of Ukraine have destroyed 223 UAVs of this type,” the military says in a statement.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz reiterates that Israel will not send weapons to Ukraine, but says Jerusalem could build the embattled country a civilian early warning system to warn of incoming strikes, like the one used in Israel.
Speaking to ambassadors from EU nations a day after Ukraine said it would submit a formal request for Israeli air defense systems like Iron Dome, Gantz ruled out such a move.
“Israel conducts a policy of supporting Ukraine through humanitarian support, and the supply of life-saving systems and defensive equipment,” Gantz said.
“However, I would like to emphasize that Israel will not transfer weapon systems to Ukraine due to a variety of operational considerations. We will continue to support Ukraine within our limitations, as we have done so far,” he said.
“As part of the expansion of aid and the supply of life-saving equipment, after a conversation with representatives from Ukraine, we applied for data that would allow us to assist in the construction and supply of a smart alert system like there is in Israel against aerial and other threats,” Gantz says.
“Such a system will have advantages both in saving civilian lives and in targeting alerts and alarms to the relevant areas,” he said.
Israel has been hesitant to send weapons to Ukraine, fearing it could impact its sensitive ties with Russia, which has a large military presence in Syria.
Israel’s warning system uses a mix of radars and electrooptic devices to detect incoming launches, classify the size and the threat they represent, and pinpoint on a map the areas that are in danger.
Citizens receive warnings through sirens, alerts on their phones and messages on the TV and radio.
Saudi Arabia welcomes a decision by Australia to end its recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“Saudi Arabia calls on the international community to increase efforts to find an equitable solution to the Palestinian issue, and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital city, in accordance with the Arab peace initiative,” says a statement from the Saudi Foreign Ministry
“Saudi Arabia will continue to support the Palestinian people and stand by them,” the statement says.
The EU is working toward fresh sanctions on Iran after collecting “sufficient evidence” it is supplying Russia with deadly drones for use in Ukraine, a spokeswoman says.
“Now that we have gathered our own sufficient evidence work is ongoing in the (European) Council in view of a clear, swift and firm EU response,” says Nabila Massrali, spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.
Three Israelis are injured in a clash with Palestinians near the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Amos and the Palestinian town of Kisan, medics say.
The Magen David Adom ambulance service says two of the Israeli civilians are moderately hurt, while the third is lightly hurt.
They are being taken by MDA medics to a hospital for further treatment.
According to Palestinian media reports, masked settlers attacked Palestinians who were harvesting olives in the area.
Several Palestinians are also reported hurt in the clash.
Video of yhe attack by masked settlers, as documented and shared with me by activists on the ground near Kisan, south of Bethlehem. pic.twitter.com/toSlJ7x01B
— Jalal (@JalalAK_jojo) October 19, 2022
There is no immediate comment from the Israeli military on the incident.
As The Times of Israel’s political correspondent, I spend my days in the Knesset trenches, speaking with politicians and advisers to understand their plans, goals and motivations.
I'm proud of our coverage of this government's plans to overhaul the judiciary, including the political and social discontent that underpins the proposed changes and the intense public backlash against the shakeup.
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