ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 150

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Michaeli: Rabin was assassinated with the cooperation of Netanyahu

Speaking ahead of 27th anniversary, Labor leader singles out Likud leader and Ben Gvir for role in incitement; Likud sources say she’s desperate to pass election threshold

Labor party leader Merav Michaeli attends the Maariv conference in Tel Aviv, October 24, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Labor party leader Merav Michaeli attends the Maariv conference in Tel Aviv, October 24, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

The Times of Israel liveblogged Thursday’s events as they unfolded.

Israelis warned to avoid travel to Nigeria due to terror threats

Israel’s National Security Council warns Israelis to avoid all non-essential travel to Nigeria and calls on citizens there to cut short their visits.

The travel warning cites growing threats of terror attacks in the country, particularly in the capital, Abuja.

Israel’s warning follows similar cautions issued in recent days by the US and the UK.

UN Commission of Inquiry says it will investigate apartheid by Israel

Members of the open-ended UN Commission of Inquiry into Israel speak to the press in New York on October 27, 2022. (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)
Members of the open-ended UN Commission of Inquiry into Israel speak to the press in New York on October 27, 2022. (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)

The open-ended UN Commission of Inquiry into Israel and the Palestinians says it will investigate apartheid by Israel in the Palestinian territories.

UN investigator Navi Pillay calls apartheid “a manifestation of the occupation.”

“We’re focusing on the root cause, which is the occupation, and part of it lies in apartheid,” Pillay says.

“We will be coming to that. That’s the beauty of this open-ended mandate, it gives us the scope.”

Panel member Miloon Kothari says of apartheid, “We will get to it because we have many years and many issues to look at.”

“We think a comprehensive approach is necessary so we have to look at issues of settler colonialism,” Kothari says.

“Apartheid itself is a very useful paradigm, so we have a slightly different approach but we will definitely get to it.”

The commission is the first to have an open-ended mandate from the UN rights body, and critics say such permanent scrutiny shows anti-Israel bias in the 47-member-state council.

Proponents support the commission as a way to keep tabs on injustices faced by Palestinians under decades of Israeli rule.

Israel has previously said it will not cooperate with the commission, saying its members “have repeatedly taken public and hostile positions against Israel on the very subject matter that they are called upon to ‘independently and impartially’ investigate.”

Final poll ahead of vote shows Netanyahu bloc one short of majority

People walk past an election campaign billboard showing Benjamin Netanyahu, former Prime Minister and the head of Likud party, in Bnei Brak, Israel, Tuesday, October 25, 2022. Israel is heading into its fifth election in under four years on November 1. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
People walk past an election campaign billboard showing Benjamin Netanyahu, former Prime Minister and the head of Likud party, in Bnei Brak, Israel, Tuesday, October 25, 2022. Israel is heading into its fifth election in under four years on November 1. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

The Kan public broadcaster’s final poll ahead of the November 1 election indicates Benjamin Netanyahu’s religious-right bloc will fall just short of a majority in the 120-seat Knesset.

The poll also shows a rebound for the Left-wing Labor and Meretz parties, who had been hovering just above the election threshold in previous polls.

The survey gives Likud 31 seats, with Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid second on 24.

The far-right Religious Zionism continues to rise, and is forecast to be the third-largest party, with 14 seats.

The National Unity party polls at 11 seats; Shas, 8; United Torah Judaism, 7; Yisrael Beiteinu, 7; Labor, 6; Meretz, 5; Ra’am, 4;  and Hadash Ta’al, also at 4.

These results give Netanyahu’s bloc 60 seats.

The anti-Netanyahu coalition has 56, and Hadash-Ta’al, who stated that they will not join a coalition, holds the remaining 4 seats.

Both the Arab nationalist Balad party and Ayelet Shaked’s Jewish Home fail to cross the threshold, with 2.2% and 2% of the vote, respectively.

The poll was conducted among 1,301 people and has a margin of error of 2.7%.

Seven ‘Lion’s Den’ terror group leaders said to turn themselves in to PA

Gunmen at the funeral of those killed in clashes sparked by an overnight Israeli raid against the Lion's Den terror group, in the West Bank city of Nablus on October 25, 2022. (Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP)
Gunmen at the funeral of those killed in clashes sparked by an overnight Israeli raid against the Lion's Den terror group, in the West Bank city of Nablus on October 25, 2022. (Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP)

Seven members of Nablus’s “Lion’s Den” terror group have turned themselves into the Palestinian Authority’s protective custody since last night, Channel 12 reports, including two of the group’s founders.

This leaves only two senior members of the group still on the loose in the city, with others killed or arrested in recent days by Israel.

The report says the group has been responsible for 120 attacks to date.

It adds that the PA is also paying NIS 70,000 ($20,000) for each gun that is handed in.

It notes, however, that there are still dozens of armed men in Nablus who pose a potential threat to Israeli targets.

Michaeli: Rabin was assassinated with the cooperation of Netanyahu

Labor party leader Merav Michaeli attends the Maariv conference in Tel Aviv, October 24, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Labor party leader Merav Michaeli attends the Maariv conference in Tel Aviv, October 24, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Labor party leader Merav Michaeli accuses opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu of being complicit in the political assassination of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Michaeli, speaking at a conference ahead of Saturday night’s memorial ceremony marking 27 years since the Rabin assassination, also singles out Religious Zionism MK Itamar Ben Gvir.

“Yitzhak Rabin was murdered in a political assassination. He was murdered in a political assassination with the cooperation of Benjamin Netanyahu and Ben Gvir at the time, with the symbol from his Cadillac,” she says.

Ben Gvir first captured public attention when he was filmed as a teen boasting about stealing an emblem from Rabin’s car.

“We got to his car, and we’ll get to him, too,” he bragged shortly before Rabin’s assassination.

Netanyahu has been repeatedly accused of leading incitement that led to Rabin’s killing.

Rabin was murdered on November 4, 1995, by Yigal Amir, an extremist Jew, who was opposed to the Oslo Accords and the handing over of control of parts of the West Bank to the Palestinians as a part of the landmark peace agreement.

In the weeks before the assassination, Netanyahu, then head of the opposition, and other senior Likud members attended a right-wing political rally in Jerusalem where protesters branded Rabin a “traitor,” “murderer,” and “Nazi” for signing a peace agreement with the Palestinians earlier that year.

He also marched in a Ra’anana protest as demonstrators behind him carried a mock coffin.

Netanyahu has regularly rebuffed the allegations that he ignored inflammatory rhetoric that incited Rabin’s murder and characterized the accusations as a form of “political assassination.”

In response to Michaeli’s comments, sources close to Netanyahu told Channel 12 that she is “doing everything to clear the Knesset threshold. Nothing is sacred to her, not even Rabin. She’s trying to delegitimize the entire right-wing camp.”

Kanye West said infatuated with Hitler, wanted to name album after Nazi dictator

American rapper Kanye West performs at the Ramat Gan Stadium, near Tel Aviv, on September 30, 2015. (Flash90)
American rapper Kanye West performs at the Ramat Gan Stadium, near Tel Aviv, on September 30, 2015. (Flash90)

Amid the ongoing backlash against Kanye West’s antisemitic remarks, CNN reports that the rapper has a longstanding fascination with Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.

“He would praise Hitler by saying how incredible it was that he was able to accumulate so much power and would talk about all the great things he and the Nazi Party achieved for the German people,” a business executive who used to work with West tells CNN.

The network quotes four other people as saying that West, who now goes by Ye, wanted to name his 2018 album “Hitler.”

After signing Lebanon deal, Lapid meets with US mediator Hochstein

Prime Minister Yair Lapid (L) meets with US mediator Amos Hochstein after the signing of the Israel-Lebanon maritime agreement on October 27, 2022 (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
Prime Minister Yair Lapid (L) meets with US mediator Amos Hochstein after the signing of the Israel-Lebanon maritime agreement on October 27, 2022 (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

Prime Minister Yair Lapid meets with US mediator Amos Hochstein in Jerusalem hours after the completion of the Israel-Lebanon maritime deal.

Lapid thanks him for his efforts, saying the deal would not have been possible without him and the support of US President Joe Biden “who was there for us all the way.”

“This is a historic agreement that strengthens Israel’s security and Israel’s economy and will bring stability to the region,” Lapid says.

Lapid says the deal allows Israel to become a major supplier of gas to Europe at a time the world is in desperate need.”

Gafni says Netanyahu wanted to set up government with Arab party support

United Torah Judaism's Moshe Gafni speaks with Benjamin Netanyahu at the Knesset on November 24, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
United Torah Judaism's Moshe Gafni speaks with Benjamin Netanyahu at the Knesset on November 24, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

United Torah Judaism MK Moshe Gafni says Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu had sought to form a coalition with the outside support of the Islamist Ra’am party after the last election.

Netanyahu was widely reported to have held intensive negotiations with Ra’am chairman Mansour Abbas, though he continues to deny that it was about forming a government.

“I believe that Netanyahu wanted support from the outside, not a coalition,” Gafni told the Walla news site.

Gafni says Netanyahu wanted to use Ra’am as a security net, but far-right Religious Zionism leader Bezalel Smotrich “said no.”

Gafni says he thinks Smotrich made a mistake, and, in the end, they got “a very bad” government that included the left parties and Ra’am inside the coalition.

Gafni indicated that he would support such a move in the future noting that “parliamentary work includes cooperation with the Arab parties.”

Putin says decade ahead ‘most dangerous’ since WWII

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while speaking at the plenary session of the 19th annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club outside Moscow, Russia, Thursday, October 27, 2022. (Sergei Karpukhin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while speaking at the plenary session of the 19th annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club outside Moscow, Russia, Thursday, October 27, 2022. (Sergei Karpukhin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin says that the coming decade will be the “most dangerous” since the end of World War II, while accusing the West of seeking to dominate the world.

“Ahead is probably the most dangerous, unpredictable, and, at the same time, important decade since the end of the Second World War,” Putin tells members of the annual Valdai Discussion Club, adding that the situation is “to a certain extent revolutionary.”

The Ukraine offensive is only a part of the “tectonic shifts of the entire world order,” Putin says.

“The historical period of undivided dominance of the West in world affairs is coming to an end. The unipolar world is becoming a thing of the past,” he says.

“We are at a historical frontier,” he added.

Putin adds that the West is not able to “single-handedly govern humanity” but is “desperately trying to do it.”

Israeli, Lebanese officials at same table for signing but don’t speak

An Israeli delegation arrives at the Israeli border with Lebanon in Rosh Hanikra, Israel, Thursday, October 27, 2022. (AP Photo/ Maya Alleruzzo)
An Israeli delegation arrives at the Israeli border with Lebanon in Rosh Hanikra, Israel, Thursday, October 27, 2022. (AP Photo/ Maya Alleruzzo)

Israeli and Lebanese officials describe a tense but emotional ceremony to ratify the maritime border agreement in which representatives from the two enemy states sat at the same table but did not speak.

A Reuters reporter, citing an official at the Lebanese town of Naqoura, says the two delegations sat around a small table along with US mediator Amos Hochstein and a UN delegation.

The Israelis and Lebanese did not talk to each other, but at the end of the ceremony, Hochstein said, “We have a maritime border. Congratulations!” and everyone clapped, the report says.

Aliza Bin-Noun, political director at Israel’s Foreign Ministry, tells Army Radio that while they were all in the tent at the UN base together and seated at a square table, she could not interact with the Lebanese. There was no opportunity to talk, she says.

Israeli diplomat Aliza Bin-Noun speaks after the Israel-Lebanon maritime deal ceremony at the northern border on October 27, 2022 (GPO screenshot)

Nevertheless, she says it was a “very emotional” ceremony for her, noting that she grew up in Nahariya on Israel’s northern border and for her, Lebanon meant katyusha rockets and the threats from the Hezbollah terror group, not international agreements.

She notes that while the agreement is not a peace deal, it is nonetheless an agreement between states and suggests it could serve as a precedent for progress between Israel and other countries with which Israel has no ties.

Russian ambassador says Israel shouldn’t worry about Moscow’s ties with Iran

Russian Ambassador to Israel Anatoly Viktorov speaks to the media at the Russian Consulate in Tel Aviv, on March 3, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni‎‏/Flash90)
Russian Ambassador to Israel Anatoly Viktorov speaks to the media at the Russian Consulate in Tel Aviv, on March 3, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni‎‏/Flash90)

Russian Ambassador to Israel Anatoly Viktorov says Israel should not be worried about Moscow’s increasingly close ties with Iran.

Speaking to the Kan public broadcaster, Viktorov says he “wants to promise that Russia is not against Israel and that Russia takes into account, as in other cases, Israel’s security sensitivities.”

Iran has supplied Russia with hundreds of drones in recent months to be used in the fighting with Ukraine and is reportedly planning on supplying ballistic missiles too.

“Our relations with Tehran are not anti-Israel,” he says, but notes they will continue.

Chief rabbi says woman implanted with wrong embryo is mother under Jewish law

Israel's Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau visits the Neve Shmuel High School in Efrat on October 17, 2021. (Gershon Elinson/Flash90)
Israel's Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau visits the Neve Shmuel High School in Efrat on October 17, 2021. (Gershon Elinson/Flash90)

Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau has said that the woman who was mistakenly implanted with a fetus that was not genetically hers, and gave birth to a girl yesterday, is the mother under Jewish law.

In a letter in response to a question on the issue, Lau argued that in situations like these the woman who carries the baby is considered the mother and not the biological donor of the egg, the Srugim news site reports.

Lau’s position would also seem to apply to all cases of surrogate pregnancy.

His opinion on the matter does not carry any legal weight.

The error occurred during fertility treatments at Rishon Lezion’s Assuta Medical Center, which has yet to determine the biological parents.

The new parents have said they plan to raise the baby as their own and have asked for genetic testing to be stopped, fearing others could claim the child.

However, Lau said it was important for the biological parents to be found to prevent a case in the future that the child could unwittingly marry a brother.

In border ceremony without handshakes, Israel-Lebanon agreement goes into effect

A UN peacekeeper soldier, left, salutes the convoy of the Lebanese delegation as it drives towards a UN post along the border where Lebanese and Israeli delegations were to meet to sign a maritime border deal on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)
A UN peacekeeper soldier, left, salutes the convoy of the Lebanese delegation as it drives towards a UN post along the border where Lebanese and Israeli delegations were to meet to sign a maritime border deal on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)

A maritime border deal between Israel and Lebanon goes into effect.

The deal was signed separately by Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun in Beirut and by Prime Minister Yair Lapid in Jerusalem, and went into effect after the papers were delivered to mediators at a ceremony at a UN base on the border.

Israel is represented by Energy Minister Karin Elharar. The exchange of letters was held in the base in the southern Lebanese town of Naqura, in the presence of US mediator Amos Hochstein and the United Nations’s special coordinator for Lebanon Joanna Wronecka.

The two sides delivered their letters to Hochstein, who checked that they were identical and signed the agreement. The Israeli and Lebanese delegations did not interact, Channel 12 reports.

Agencies contributed to this report

In Saudi Arabia, Arab Israeli banker talks up investment in kingdom

Li Tong (4th-R), CEO at BOC International Holdings; Susan Rice (3rd-R), British banker and Chair of the GEFI Global Steering Group; Francois Wat (2nd-R), senior Partner and co-head of Global Equity Advisory at Rothschild Paris; and Samer Haj-Yehia, chairman of Israel's Bank Leumi (R) attend a panel on the third day of the annual Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference in Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh on October 27, 2022. -  (Photo by Fayez Nureldine / AFP)
Li Tong (4th-R), CEO at BOC International Holdings; Susan Rice (3rd-R), British banker and Chair of the GEFI Global Steering Group; Francois Wat (2nd-R), senior Partner and co-head of Global Equity Advisory at Rothschild Paris; and Samer Haj-Yehia, chairman of Israel's Bank Leumi (R) attend a panel on the third day of the annual Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference in Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh on October 27, 2022. - (Photo by Fayez Nureldine / AFP)

The head of an Israeli bank appeared at a Saudi investor forum today and hailed “amazing” opportunities in the kingdom, a sign of the business world’s interest in seeing diplomatic ties between the former enemies.

Samer Haj-Yehia, the Arab Israeli chairman of Bank Leumi since 2019, was addressing the Future Investment Initiative, a three-day conference held in the Saudi capital and often referred to as “Davos in the Desert.”

“The opportunities are amazing and the fintech industry in particular is on the rise,” he says during a panel discussion.

“You see the economy is very healthy, unlike other economies around the world, and the prospects for the future are very positive,” he adds, highlighting strong access to capital in oil-rich Saudi and the young population’s adoption of “very advanced mobile technology.”

His comments follow rampant speculation about future bilateral ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel, which US officials stoked ahead of President Joe Biden’s visit to Jeddah in July.

Saudi Arabia does not recognize Israel and did not join the 2020 US-brokered Abraham Accords that saw the Jewish state establish ties with two of the kingdom’s neighbors, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Hezbollah declares ‘great victory’ after Israel-Lebanon maritime deal inked

Hezbollah supporters hold up portraits of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah as he speaks via a video link during a ceremony marking Prophet Muhammad's birthday, in the southern Beirut suburb of Dahiyeh, Lebanon, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022.  (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)
Hezbollah supporters hold up portraits of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah as he speaks via a video link during a ceremony marking Prophet Muhammad's birthday, in the southern Beirut suburb of Dahiyeh, Lebanon, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

Lebanese terror group Hezbollah will end an “exceptional” mobilization against Israel after threatening to attack for months, its leader Hassan Nasrallah says after Lebanon and Israel struck a maritime border deal.

“All the exceptional and special measures and mobilization carried out by the resistance for several months are now declared over,” Nasrallah says in a televised speech, calling the agreement a “great victory for Lebanon.”

Gantz meets with Erdogan on Turkey visit

Defense Minister Benny Gantz (L) meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) and Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar in Ankara on October 27, 2022. (Turkish Press Office)
Defense Minister Benny Gantz (L) meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) and Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar in Ankara on October 27, 2022. (Turkish Press Office)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz holds a meeting with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the presidential residence in Ankara.

Gantz is accompanied by his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar, whom he met with earlier in the day for a discussion on renewing defense ties between the countries.

‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ latest priceless artwork targeted by climate activists

Climate activists try to deface the Johannes Vermeer masterpiece 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' on October 27, 2022 (screen capture/Twitter)
Climate activists try to deface the Johannes Vermeer masterpiece 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' on October 27, 2022 (screen capture/Twitter)

The Johannes Vermeer masterpiece “Girl with a Pearl Earring” is the latest artwork targeted by climate activists in a protest at the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague. The priceless work reportedly was not damaged.

A video posted on Twitter showed one man pouring a can of what appears to be tomatoes over another man who then tries to attempt to glue his head to the world-famous painting.

Dutch broadcaster NOS reports that the Mauritshuis museum said the painting was not damaged.

One of the men, wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the words “Just Stop Oil,” shouts “How do you feel when you see something beautiful and priceless being apparently destroyed before your eyes? Do you feel outrage? Good. That is the feeling when you see the planet being destroyed before our very eyes.”

He goes on to say that the painting is protected by glass as one visitor to the museum shouts: “Shame on you!”

The museum did not immediately return calls and emails for comment. Police in The Hague said they had arrested three people for “public violence against property” but did not elaborate.

Some 196,000 eligible first- time voters in upcoming elections

Israelis cast their votes at a voting station in Jerusalem, during the elections for the 24th Knesset, March 23, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Israelis cast their votes at a voting station in Jerusalem, during the elections for the 24th Knesset, March 23, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

There will be some 196,000 new eligible voters in the upcoming elections, the Central Bureau of Statistics announces.

There will be some 6.2 million eligible voters in total for the November 1 vote, the CBS says, a 3.3% increase since Israel last went to the polls in March 2021.

Knife-wielding Palestinian teen arrested near Tomb of the Patriarchs

A knife found on a Palestinian teenager in the West Bank city of Hebron, October 27, 2022. (Israel Police)
A knife found on a Palestinian teenager in the West Bank city of Hebron, October 27, 2022. (Israel Police)

A Palestinian teenager armed with a knife has been arrested by officers in the West Bank city of Hebron, police say.

According to a Border Police spokesman, the 16-year-old resident of the city was spotted by troops on stairs leading to the entrance to the Tomb of the Patriarchs, known to Muslims as the al-Ibrahimi Mosque.

“Border Police troops approached the suspect and during a search, the suspect threw a knife which he had hidden,” police say.

The suspect was arrested without any gunfire, police say, adding that he has been taken for further questioning.

Police say the officers “prevented an incident of harm to our forces or innocent civilians.”

Biden lauds Israel-Lebanon maritime agreement

President Isaac Herzog, left, and US President Joe Biden, right, at the White House, October 26, 2022. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)
President Isaac Herzog, left, and US President Joe Biden, right, at the White House, October 26, 2022. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

US President Joe Biden lauds the Israel-Lebanon maritime agreement due to be finalized in a signing ceremony on the border.

“I am proud to congratulate Israel and Lebanon on officially concluding their agreement to resolve their long-standing maritime boundary dispute. Today in Naqoura, Lebanon, both Parties took the final steps to bring the agreement into force and submitted the final paperwork to the United Nations in the presence of the United States,” Biden says in a statement.

“As I said when this historic agreement was announced, it will secure the interests of both Israel and Lebanon, and it sets the stage for a more stable and prosperous region.” he says, adding that the US “will continue to serve as a facilitator as the parties work to uphold their commitments and implement this agreement.”

“This agreement takes us one step closer to realizing a vision for a Middle East that is more secure, integrated, and prosperous, delivering benefits for all the people of the region,” he says.

European Central Bank makes another large interest rate hike to combat inflation

The European Central Bank unleashes another jumbo rate hike on the eurozone today to combat record-high inflation, even as concerns mount about a darkening economic outlook.

The ECB again lifted its three key rates by 75 basis points, leaving them sitting in a range of between 1.5 and 2.25 percent. The ECB has now hiked rates three times since July, following in the footsteps of other central banks around the world.

Bennett calls for broad unity government after elections

Former prime minister Naftali Bennett arrives at a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on October 23, 2022. (Alex Kolomoisky/Pool)
Former prime minister Naftali Bennett arrives at a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on October 23, 2022. (Alex Kolomoisky/Pool)

Former prime minister Naftali Bennett calls for a broad unity government after the elections that include the largest parties.

Speaking before a cabinet meeting to authorize the Lebanon maritime deal, Bennett, who is not running in the current election, calls on all parties and leaders to remain respectful of each other in the run-up to the November 1 vote.

“Immediately after the elections the correct thing for the State of Israel is to establish a broad unity government based on the largest parties on the left and right and then to bring in all the parties that recognize Israel as a Jewish and democratic state,” he says.

“We can’t have losers in this election. All of the people of Israel can win. At this time we are in need of unity,” he says.

Such a government appears unlikely with several parties continuing to refuse to sit with Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption. He denies the charges.

Apple Music drops Kanye West playlist over antisemitism — report

FILE - Kanye West watches the first half of an NBA basketball game between the Washington Wizards and the Los Angeles Lakers in Los Angeles, on March 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, File)
FILE - Kanye West watches the first half of an NBA basketball game between the Washington Wizards and the Los Angeles Lakers in Los Angeles, on March 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, File)

Apple Music has dropped Kanye West’s Essentials Playlist amid the ongoing fallout over the rapper’s antisemitic tirades, the UK’s Daily Mail reports.

The move would be the first by a major streaming service to drop his music after he lost a series of endorsements and partnerships in recent days.

For weeks, the musician now known as Ye has made antisemitic comments in interviews and social media, including a Twitter post earlier this month inwhich he said he would soon go “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE,” an apparent reference to the US defense readiness condition scale known as DEFCON. His posts led to his suspension from the platform.

Gantz meets Turkish counterpart: ‘A clear signal for positive developments ahead’

Defense Minister Benny Gantz (L)meets with his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar, in Ankara on October 27, 2022 (Elad Malka/Defense Ministry)
Defense Minister Benny Gantz (L)meets with his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar, in Ankara on October 27, 2022 (Elad Malka/Defense Ministry)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz meets with his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar, in Ankara, ahead of a meeting with the country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In a statement following their meeting, Gantz says “it is no secret that our ties have faced challenges,” but that the landmark trip, the first in a decade, is a “clear signal for positive developments ahead.”

“I am glad to say that Turkey is one of our top five trading partners. Over the years, our economic ties have grown,” Gantz says.

“On the diplomatic front, the return of our ambassadors has set the stage for us today. In fact, my visit to Ankara is the third by an Israeli leader in less than a year. The gates have opened and there is great potential for cooperation in trade, tourism, industry and more,” he says.

“Turkey and Israel have both built modern, advanced societies on a foundation rich in history. Our future is promising, yet dependent on our shared interest to maintain security and stability in the region and the world.” he continues.

“I believe a lot more can be done together in order to reduce the influence of those who destabilize our regions, by supporting or conducting terrorism against innocent civilians,” Gantz adds.

Gantz notes Israel’s ties with Turkish rivals Greece and Cyprus, before saying that “moving forward, we must adopt a steady, positive approach in our relations, maintaining open dialogue.”

The trip is aimed at renewing official defense relations between the two countries.

Israeli, Bahraini, UAE and US paratroopers make joint jump to mark Abraham Accords

Paratroopers from Israel, Bahrain, the UAE and the US are seen in Bahrain on October 26, 2022. (Screenshot: Instagram/nasser13hamad: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Paratroopers from Israel, Bahrain, the UAE and the US are seen in Bahrain on October 26, 2022. (Screenshot: Instagram/nasser13hamad: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

A delegation of Israeli paratroopers held a jump over Bahrain yesterday alongside soldiers from the Gulf nation, the UAE and the United States to mark two years since the signing of the Abraham Accords.

The Israel Defense Forces says some 40 paratroopers participated in the event.
Additionally, the sides held bilateral discussions “to strengthen cooperation between the armies.”

Senior IDF officers, including Maj. Gen Itai Veruv, commander of the Depth Corps and Military Colleges, and head of the IDF Infantry and Paratroopers Corps Brig. Gen. Guy Levy, participated in the meetings.

“We engaged in strategic discussions, analyzing situations and making plans for cooperation for the future. Two years ago such a meeting was nothing more than a far-fetched imagination or a dream. The thought that we would sit like this naturally and discuss as partners, open up knowledge and create a platform for collaboration was unthinkable,” says Veruv in remarks published by the IDF.

Smotrich says he’s ready to be defense minister despite short military service

Religious Zionism leader Bezalel Smotrich speaks at a conference of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce in Tel Aviv, on October 23, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Religious Zionism leader Bezalel Smotrich speaks at a conference of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce in Tel Aviv, on October 23, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Religious Zionism leader Bezalel Smotrich says he’s ready to be defense minister in the next government despite only completing a shortened military service and having no combat experience.

Speaking to the Ynet news site, Smotrich was asked about the controversy in recent days about Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s military service and his own limited service, given his ambitions should the right-wing form the next government.

Smotrich says he only served for 14 months as an enlisted man in the operations division of the General Staff after being conscripted at the age of 28.

“I can be defense minister,” says the far-right leader. “My service prepared me more than many other things.”

“It’s true, I didn’t get to be a combat fighter and I didn’t run around on the hills, but I was in the nerve center of the army, in the general headquarters. In the places where they sit and manage the army, make the decisions and write the operational plans. I played a very significant role there that I cannot and do not want to detail,” Smotrich says.

Current defense minister Benny Gantz was IDF chief of staff, as were many of his predecessors. However, there have been several defense ministers without significant military experience.

Lapid hails IDF’s all-female tank crew decision: ‘Women can do anything’

Prime Minister Yair Lapid hails the IDF’s decision to go ahead with all-female tank crews.

“I congratulate the IDF chief of staff on the decision to start enlisting women as tank operators,” Lapid tweets.

“Women can do everything and should be in every role and at every table of decision-makers. We will continue to work to integrate and promote women in the army, the labor market and in senior positions in the government,” he says.

Egypt agrees on $3 billion loan deal with IMF as pound hits new low

FILE - An Egyptian vendor walks past a poster showing a U.S. dollar outside an exchange office in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016.  (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)
FILE - An Egyptian vendor walks past a poster showing a U.S. dollar outside an exchange office in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

Egypt has clinched a $3 billion loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund against the backdrop of a 15 percent depreciation of the local currency against the dollar, the government says.

The IMF had demanded the devaluation as a condition of the loan and the North African nation is among the top five countries in the world most at risk of defaulting on its foreign debt, according to the international credit rating agency Moody’s.

The IMF deal is also conditioned on reforms that include further cuts to subsidies, bringing yet more pain for struggling households.

In August, global investment firm Goldman Sachs estimated that Egypt would need about $15 billion in funding to be able to repay its foreign debt, currently estimated at about $150 billion.

Israel said to warn Syria it will step up strikes over Iran weapons transfers

A trail of smoke is reportedly seen over the Syrian capital Damascus amid an alleged Israeli airstrike, October 24, 2022. (Social media)
A trail of smoke is reportedly seen over the Syrian capital Damascus amid an alleged Israeli airstrike, October 24, 2022. (Social media)

Israel has sent a message to Syria that it intends to step up strikes if Syria continues to facilitate Iranian weapons transfers to the area, the Saudi al-Arabiya site reports.

Citing unnamed sources, the network says Iran is sending weapons disguised as aid for Syria and Lebanon by air, land and sea.

The report, citing the same source, did not say how or when the Israeli message had been delivered.

The report comes after a third strike in three days was blamed on Israel.

There was no immediate comment from Israel, which has admitted to conducting hundreds of sorties against Iran-backed groups attempting to gain a foothold in the country over the last decade and at weapons deliveries destined for the Lebanese Hezbollah terror group.

Cabinet approves budget cuts of NIS 4.5 billion to pay for teacher wage deal

From left to right: Teachers' Union Secretary-General Yaffa Ben David, Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Bitton and Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman hold a press conference following the new salary agreement with teachers on August 31, 2022. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
From left to right: Teachers' Union Secretary-General Yaffa Ben David, Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Bitton and Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman hold a press conference following the new salary agreement with teachers on August 31, 2022. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

The cabinet approves an across-the-board cut of NIS 4.5 billion ($1.27 billion) from its 2023 budget on Thursday in order to fund a wage deal with the teachers.

The new salary deal — signed in October — will be funded for the rest of this year by reserve funds from the Education Ministry. In 2023, 6.6% of the budget for each ministry will go toward funding the agreement.

One dead as security forces fire on protesters in Iran’s Mahabad

Iranian security forces shot dead a young man during protests over Mahsa Amini’s death in the western city of Mahabad today, the Hengaw Organisation for Human Rights says.

“A young Kurdish man was killed by direct fire from Iranian security forces,” Hengaw, a Norway-based group, says on Twitter. “This young man was shot in the forehead.”

Lebanon says no ‘political implications’ to Israel sea border deal

In this photo released by Lebanon's official government photographer Dalati Nohra, Lebanese President Michel Aoun, right, receives from US Envoy for Energy Affairs Amos Hochstein, the US-brokered deal setting a maritime border between Lebanon and Israel, at the presidential palace, in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022.  (Dalati Nohra via AP)
In this photo released by Lebanon's official government photographer Dalati Nohra, Lebanese President Michel Aoun, right, receives from US Envoy for Energy Affairs Amos Hochstein, the US-brokered deal setting a maritime border between Lebanon and Israel, at the presidential palace, in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. (Dalati Nohra via AP)

Lebanon’s president denies that a maritime border deal due to be signed later today had “political implications,” after Israel said the deal between the two enemy states amounted to Beirut recognizing Israel.

“Demarcating the southern maritime border is technical work that has no political implications or effects contradicting Lebanon’s foreign policy,” says Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun of the deal between the two enemy states.

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