The Times of Israel liveblogged Sunday’s events as they unfolded.
Groups of Iranian students clash at a leading university in the capital Tehran, local media reports, amid weeks-long nationwide protests over the death of Mahsa Amini.
Classes at Tehran’s prestigious Sharif University of Technology were suspended and moved online earlier this month, following clashes between protesting students and security forces.
Tasnim news agency reports that when classes resumed yesterday, “a number of female students entered the men’s dining hall after removing their hijab,” breaching Iran’s rules on gender segregation in some public spaces and mandatory headscarves for women.
Today, a group of students “held a rally… protesting against the insults and desecration that had occurred at the university,” Tasnim says. The students, waving the Iranian flag, called on the university’s administration “to deal with lawlessness and violation of norms” on its campus, the report adds.
A separate group of students “chanted vulgar slogans, broke the door and windows of the dining hall and threw them towards the students inside,” Tasnim says, adding that “some students and university security personnel” were injured.
23 Oct 2022: Sharif University of Technology, Tehran:
The regime made a barricade in the dining hall to stop boys and girls from eating lunch together but the students broke it. Here they chant “freedom!” #IranRevoIution
— Emily Schrader – אמילי שריידר امیلی شریدر (@emilykschrader) October 23, 2022
Bezalel Smotrich responds to the publication of recordings in which he speaks out strongly against Netanyahu.
“Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and I are working in full and close cooperation, and, together, we successfully led the fight over the past year to bring down the bad Lapid-Bennett government with the Muslim Brotherhood.”
He says, “It is unsurprising that there are those who would choose this timing to try and divide the [right-wing] camp out of stress and panic over the right’s return to power according to all the polls. It won’t help them.”
Antisemites in Los Angeles, California declare their support for Kanye West’s recent tirades against Jews, hanging banners over a freeway in the city declaring that “Kanye is right about the Jews.”
It appears that the racist Goyim Defense League is behind the move. Members were photographed performing Nazi salutes beside the banner.
West has recently repeated antisemitic outbursts across social media and in news interviews, including vowing to go “death con 3 on Jewish people,” claiming that he is the target of a “Jewish underground media mafia,” and that “Jewish people have owned the Black voice.”
He was locked out of several social media accounts as a result of his comments.
Hate in America:
Yesterday, the head of an antisemitic and white supremacist group (and his supporters) dropped banners over the 405 in Los Angeles. One banner read, "Kanye is right about the Jews.” pic.twitter.com/FQBFIm0WLX
— Oren Segal (@orensegal) October 23, 2022
Kan news airs recordings of Religious Zionism-Otzma Yehudit party chief Bezalel Smotrich saying Benjamin Netanyahu “desperately wanted” to ally with the Islamist Ra’am party after the 2021 election and says the former premier is “lying through his teeth.”
He also calls Netanyahu “trouble,” and says he may yet be found guilty in his criminal trial.
Netanyahu is widely reported to have made Ra’am generous offers to clinch its support for him forming a government, but Smotrich ruled out the matter. However, since the formation of the current government, Netanyahu and Likud have railed against its inclusion of Ra’am, claiming the coalition was leaning on the backing of “terror supporters” — though the party has repeatedly condemned terror.
“If I’d wanted to take two parliamentary seats from Bibi, I should have laid into him. He’s lying through his teeth. He didn’t want to go with Ra’am? He desperately wanted to. I’m the only one who stood in the way,” Smotrich is heard saying to unidentified listeners.
However, he says that since Netanyahu is denying it, “I’m toeing the line. I don’t lie when I’m interviewed [about it]. I say, I’m not concerned with the past, that it’s not important.”
He adds that “even if he was willing to give them a bit less” than the current coalition, “it doesn’t make a difference, the moment he agrees to form a government with them, in the end he’s dependent on them. At first, he’d have given them less, and later, he’d have given them everything, otherwise they’d have brought him down and we’d go to elections.”
But Smotrich says he is “going along with his narrative now because it serves what I believe is right for the people of Israel.”
Smotrich also says Netanyahu will leave the scene eventually.
“Netanyahu won’t stay forever,” he says. “Physics and biology will take their course. Eventually, he’ll be found guilty in court or I don’t know what. We need a little patience.”
“There’s no doubt that Netanyahu is trouble, alright? But now you have to choose between troubles.”
As for why he opposes Ra’am’s inclusion despite its stated to desire to set aside the Palestinian issue and focus on civil matters, Smotrich says he wants to help the Arab public, but does not want Arab parties to achieve things as this would “puff up the chests” of the Arab public that members of their own community had bettered their lives.
He says he wants any benefits for the Arab public to come from “us, the state, the Jews.”
The Palestinian Authority has arrested 10 members of its security forces on suspicion of ties to terror groups in the West Bank, Channel 12 reports.
It cites unnamed Palestinian sources. The 10 are reportedly being held at Jericho Prison.
Flares are fired by the Israeli military over the Lebanese border, in response to a suspected smuggling attempt.
The Israel Defense Forces says the flares were launched as part of “initiated activity” near the town of Ghajar.
Local authorities tell residents that there are no fears of a security incident.
Smugglings of drugs, and sometimes weapons, into Israel is frequent on the border with Lebanon.
— علي شعيب || Ali Shoeib 🇱🇧 (@alishoeib1970) October 23, 2022
Israel’s Secondary School Teachers’ Association, which represents high school staff, threatens a job action over what it says is a “standstill” in talks with the Treasury over employment conditions of high school teachers.
In a letter addressed to Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton, association head Ran Erez says the measures are meant as a “warning” at this point and will not fully disrupt the school year.
As part of the association’s planned measures, high school teachers (grades 10-12) will not participate in any activity after school hours. This includes professional conferences, seminars, organized trips, and any form of extra-curricular activity.
A special committee will be established to examine exceptions case-by-case, the association says. The measures are set to come into effect on Tuesday, October 25.
French President Emmanuel Macron says that Ukrainians will decide when peace is possible, speaking at the start of a peace summit in Rome.
“Let’s not let peace be hostage to Russian power,” Macron says during a speech at the start of the gathering organized by the Community of Sant’Egidio, a Catholic charity based in Rome. “Peace is possible, but only they (Ukrainians) will decide when they decide it.”
Salman Rushdie’s agent says the author has lost sight in one eye and the use of a hand, as he recovers from an attack from a man who rushed the stage at an August literary event in western New York, according to a published report.
Literary agent Andrew Wylie tells the Spanish language newspaper El Pais that Rushdie suffered three serious wounds to his neck and 15 more wounds to his chest and torso in the attack that took away sight in an eye and left a hand incapacitated.
Rushdie, 75, spent years in hiding, after Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a 1989 edict, a fatwa, calling for his death after publication of his novel “The Satanic Verses,” which some Muslims consider blasphemous. Over the past two decades, Rushdie has traveled freely.
Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview, New Jersey, was incarcerated after pleading not guilty to attempted murder and assault in the August 12 attack on Rushdie, as he was being introduced at the Chautauqua Institution, a rurally located center, 55 miles southwest of Buffalo, that is known for its summertime lecture series.
After the attack, Rushdie was treated at a Pennsylvania hospital, where he was briefly put on a ventilator to recover from what Wylie tells El Pais was a “brutal attack” that cut the nerves to one arm.
Wylie tells the newspaper he cannot not say whether Rushdie remained in a hospital or discuss his whereabouts.
“He’s going to live… That’s the important thing,” Wylie says.
US special energy envoy Amos Hochstein tells CNN’s “Face the Nation” that Lebanon and Israel will sign their new maritime boundary deal on Thursday. Hochstein says he will attend the indirect signing ceremony.
Israel had hoped for a ceremony with Israeli and Lebanese officials sitting in the same room.
Hours earlier, the High Court of Justice rejected all four petitions against the agreement, clearing the path for the cabinet to approve the deal later this week.
The cabinet is meeting at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem to vote on the agreement.
One person was killed by a homemade bomb in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson today, according to the Russia-installed authorities in the region of the same name.
“An improvised explosive device, attached to a street pole and detonated remotely, killed a civilian from Kherson,” local pro-Russian official Kirill Stremousov writes on social media.
He says a passerby was wounded.
Faced with an advancing counteroffensive by Ukrainian troops, the pro-Kremlin authorities in Kherson region, which Moscow claims to have annexed, are moving residents of the city to Russian-controlled areas on the left bank of the Dnieper River.
Kyiv’s energy operator says scheduled power cuts have been introduced in the Ukrainian capital as Russia has repeatedly targeted the nation’s power network.
More than one million Ukrainian households have lost electricity following recent Russian strikes, according to the Ukrainian presidency, with at least a third of the country’s power stations destroyed ahead of winter.
Moscow announced a new incursion today, saying it destroyed a depot in central Ukraine that was storing over 100,000 tons of aviation fuel.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky yesterday denounced “vile strikes on critical objects” by Russia after fresh attacks on energy facilities and power outages were reported nationwide including in western Ukraine — far from the frontline.
Police publish bodycam footage of an officer chasing and eventually shooting a Palestinian teen yesterday after he allegedly stabbed and seriously hurt an Israeli man in East Jerusalem.
The footage shows the officer chasing after the suspect in a soccer field in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, as dozens of young children play nearby.
As the officer shouts at the suspect in Arabic to stop, he runs off, leading the officer to begin a pursuit.
Police publish footage of the officer who chased and shot a Palestinian teenager who allegedly stabbed an Israeli man in East Jerusalem a short while earlier yesterday. pic.twitter.com/GLAlCpUQIF
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) October 23, 2022
At one point the alleged stabber turns around with an object in his hand and runs toward him. The officer fires one shot and the young man falls.
The suspect was taken to the Hadassah Mount Scopus hospital in serious condition.
A short while earlier, the teenager allegedly stabbed and seriously wounded an Israeli man in his 20s in a park in the Givat Hamivtar neighborhood between French Hill and Ramat Eshkol, close to Shuafat.
The victim underwent surgery yesterday at Shaare Zedek Medical Center, and the hospital says his condition is stable.
Prime Minister Yair Lapid meets with his Albanian counterpart, Edi Rama, in the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem.
The two discuss the Iranian threat, and Lapid offers assistance in cyber-defense.
Tirana cut diplomatic ties with the Islamic Republic in September after a series of cyberattacks it attributes to Iran.
“Iran represents a joint threat for Israel and Albania,” says Lapid. “We saw this in the recent Iranian cyberattacks against Albania. Israel will assist in any way in the effort against Iran. We see this as a national interest and a historical responsibility.”
The two leaders also discuss expanding tourism and trade, according to the Israeli readout.
Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu holds phone calls with his British, French and Turkish counterparts, during which they discuss Ukraine, the Russian defense ministry says.
In all three calls, Shoigu conveys “concerns about possible provocations by Ukraine with the use of a ‘dirty bomb.'”
The statement does not provide further details.
On Friday, Shoigu held a rare phone call with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. Both sides confirmed they discussed Ukraine.
In a U-turn of his previous position, opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu says far-right MK Itamar Ben Gvir “certainly can” be a minister in his cabinet if he forms a government after the election.
In 2021 ahead of the previous election, Netanyahu said Ben Gvir was “not fit” to be in the cabinet,” because “his positions are not mine,” though he acknowledged then that he would be part of the coalition he hoped to form.
Speaking now at a conference organized by Channel 14, Netanyahu is asked directly whether Ben Gvir can serve as a minister. He “certainly can,” the former prime minister answers, adding that “anyone” elected from Religious Zionism can be a minister and that “this is entirely obvious.”
Asked about Religious Zionism chief Bezalel Smotrich’s statements that the party will demand top ministries in a future government including defense and finance, Netanyahu says: “I certainly understand [his assertions] but I’m sorry to say that will not happen. Or rather I’m not sorry, I’m happy to say that will not happen.”
He says Likud needs to win a large number of seats “to be able to govern.” This will enable to the party to clearly set the policy agenda, he says.
“Let it be clear,” he goes on. “Everyone will be full and respected partners in the government but central portfolios such as defense, foreign affairs and finance — these portfolios need to be held by Likud.”
The suspect in the murder of a Dimona resident last month has been indicted at Beersheba’s District Court for killing a man who had asked him to stop making noise outside a local synagogue.
Sharon Sankar, 45, is charged with stabbing 59-year-old Eliyahu Hazan in the stomach, causing his death.
Sankar allegedly made noise and yelled expletives outside the synagogue during evening prayers. Hazan went out to ask him to stop and was then stabbed.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz holds a first meeting with Herzi Halevi following a cabinet vote this morning to approve him as the next military chief.
Gantz’s office says the two discussed “various issues” that will be relevant for when Halevi enters the role on January 17.
“Herzi is an excellent, experienced officer with leadership skills and a breadth of vision that will help him advance the IDF and Israel’s security, [amid] the challenges we are facing in each of the theaters,” Gantz says in a statement.
“I trust him and wish him great success,” he adds.
The head of police’s Northern District has recommended the removal of Kiryat Shmona’s police chief following the murder of a young new immigrant in the city a few weeks ago.
Yoel Lehingahel, 18, was stabbed to death earlier this month after a fight broke out at a party in the northern city. Police forces were accused of mishandling the event as officers arrived on the scene prior to the murder but failed to take action.
According to media reports, a surprise inspection last week showed that there had been a failure to remedy regulations.
Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization says an email server of its subsidiary was hacked in a “foreign” attack amid protests over the death of Mahsa Amini.
A group called Black Reward on Friday issued an ultimatum on Twitter, threatening to release documents on Tehran’s nuclear program unless all “political prisoners, prisoners of conscience and people arrested in the recent protests” were released within 24 hours.
Material on social media said to be released by the group on Saturday included a short clip from a purported nuclear site in Iran, as well as documents containing agreements, maps and payslips.
The nuclear agency acknowledges in a statement that a hack had targeted its subsidiary, the Atomic Energy Production and Development Company, but downplays the importance of the documents.
As promised, Black Reward just published the first part of Nuclear docs/footage they hacked, in their Telegram channel.
This is one of Iran’s nuclear reactors.
Yesterday, they gave 24hrs to the I.R. to release ALL political prisoners or they leak the docspic.twitter.com/4nxXetC3tn
— Pouria Zeraati (@pouriazeraati) October 22, 2022
“Unauthorized access by a source originating from a specific foreign country to the email system of this company led to the publication of the content of some emails on social media,” it says in a statement.
These emails contain “technical messages and normal and daily exchanges,” it added.
“The purpose of such illegal efforts, which are made out of desperation, is to attract public attention, creating media atmospheres and psychological operations,” the statement continued.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban makes veiled comparisons between the Soviet troops that attacked Hungary during the 1956 revolution and the institutions of the European Union today.
Marking the 66th anniversary of that crushed uprising, Orban suggests that the EU, which has sought to rein in democratic backsliding in Hungary, will end up like the Soviet Union, which dissolved more than three decades ago.
“Let’s not bother with those who shoot at Hungary from the shadows or from the heights of Brussels. They will end up where their predecessors did,” Orban says in a speech to a select group of guests in the rural city of Zalaegerszeg in western Hungary, breaking with a tradition of giving a speech in Budapest on the anniversary.
Defense Ministry Director-General Amir Eshel is heading to Washington for a series of meeting with American officials on “global and regional changes,” including the “growing Iranian threat,” according to his office.
The Defense Ministry says Eshel will meet several senior White House, State Department, and Pentagon officials this week.
“The strategic dialogue between the countries will focus on global and regional changes and their consequences, the growing Iranian threat, the security challenges shared by Israel and the United States, and on strengthening Israel’s qualitative military edge,” the ministry says in a statement.
Joining Eshel is Dror Shalom, who heads the ministry’s Political-Military Bureau, and several other ministry officials in the fields of research and development and procurement, the statement adds.
Two pilots have been killed after a Russian military jet crashed into a two-story building in the Siberian city of Irkutsk during a test flight, the local governor says.
“Both pilots were killed. None of the local residents were hurt… The Su aircraft was carrying out a test flight,” regional governor Igor Kobzev says on social media, posting a video of the building with smoke billowing against a dark sky and firefighters working at the scene.
— (((Tendar))) (@Tendar) October 23, 2022
Giorgia Meloni officially takes over as Italy’s first woman prime minister at the helm of the country’s most right-wing government since World War II.
Four weeks after her post-fascist Brothers of Italy party won general elections, Meloni joins outgoing premier Mario Draghi for a handover ceremony at Chigi Palace, the prime minister’s seat in Rome.
After almost 90 minutes of private talks, the pair smile broadly as Draghi, a former European Central Bank chief, symbolically hands over to Meloni a small bell used in cabinet debates.
She will later hold her first meeting of ministers comprising members of her party and its allies, former premier Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party and Matteo Salvini’s far-right League.
British Conservative Rishi Sunak announces he is running for prime minister, just weeks after failing in a first attempt and setting up a potentially bruising battle with his former boss Boris Johnson.
Ex-finance minister Sunak says he has a “track record of delivery” as he vows to lead Britain out of a period of “profound economic crisis,” which experts say has been worsened by the aborted policies of outgoing leader Liz Truss.
“I want to fix our economy, unite our party and deliver for our country,” he says in a short statement posted on Twitter confirming his widely expected candidacy.
The United Kingdom is a great country but we face a profound economic crisis.
That’s why I am standing to be Leader of the Conservative Party and your next Prime Minister.
I want to fix our economy, unite our Party and deliver for our country. pic.twitter.com/BppG9CytAK
— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) October 23, 2022
The no-frills announcement contrasts with his last failed bid to be Tory leader, when he faced criticism for a slickly produced video launched just days after he had helped depose ex-prime minister Johnson by resigning in July.
Sunak is the second Conservative MP to declare a run at the top job after cabinet member Penny Mordaunt launched her campaign on Friday.
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama arrives in Israel for a three-day visit that will have a particular focus on cybersecurity.
Rama is slated to meet this afternoon with Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who invited him to visit.
The Albanian leader will also meet with President Isaac Herzog, Knesset leader Mickey Levy and Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman, in addition to the head of Israel’s National Cyber Directorate, Gaby Portnoy.
In September, Israel offered cyber defense assistance to Albania, days after the Balkan state severed its diplomatic ties with Iran citing accusations that the Islamic Republic had carried out cyberattacks against the country in July.
Long-time Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is slated to land in Israel tomorrow for a two-day visit intended to advance bilateral ties.
It will focus on enhancing cooperation in the fields of energy, water, agriculture and food security.
Rutte will meet Prime Minister Yair Lapid, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu. He will also speak with President Isaac Herzog.
Israel’s Ambassador to The Netherlands Modi Ephraim will join Rutte for the visit.
Lapid invited Rutte to visit in July, when the Dutch leader called to offer his congratulations on assuming the premiership. They spoke then about Iran and the war in Ukraine.
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