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PM calls to congratulate far-right Brazilian presidential elect

Netanayahu tells Jair Bolsonaro, who has vowed to move embassy to Jerusalem, that he’s confident his election will strengthen ties between Brazil and Israel

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

Jair Bolsonaro, then a presidential candidate with the Social Liberal Party, waves after voting in the presidential runoff election in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, October 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Silvia izquierdo)
Jair Bolsonaro, then a presidential candidate with the Social Liberal Party, waves after voting in the presidential runoff election in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, October 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Silvia izquierdo)

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

Iran’s Zarif joins condemnations of synagogue massacre

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif adds his voice to the condemnations of the massacre at the Tree of Live synagogue in Pittsburgh.

“Extremism and terrorism know no race or religion, and must be condemned in all cases,” Zarif posts on Twitter.

“The world deserves better than to have to live with weaponized demagoguery,” he says before extending his condolences to the families of the 11 people gunned down on Saturday.

Turkey calls for Khashoggi probe to be completed as ‘soon as possible’

Turkey calls for the investigation into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi to be completed “as soon as possible,” after state media reported Saudi Arabia’s chief prosecutor met with the head of the Turkish probe.

“We naturally see an advantage in our prosecutors sharing information and working together,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu tells a press conference in Istanbul.

“The cooperation must continue, but it must not be drawn out or turn into a diversion. The investigation must be completed as soon as possible, so that the whole truth is revealed,” he adds.

His comments come after Saudi Attorney General Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb met with Istanbul chief prosecutor Irfan Fidan in the Turkish city’s main Caglayan court for around 75 minutes, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Mojeb, who last week acknowledged that the killing was “premeditated” based on Turkish evidence, arrived in Istanbul early Monday and is expected to inspect the Saudi consulate where Khashoggi was killed.

The case has brought near unprecedented international scrutiny on Saudi Arabia, which is seeking to draw a line under the crisis after offering a series of differing narratives in the weeks following Khashoggi’s murder.

The 59-year-old Washington Post contributor, who had criticized Saudi Arabia’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, vanished after entering the consulate on October 2 to obtain paperwork for his marriage to his Turkish fiancee.


Military police open probe into death of Palestinian in northern West Bank clash

Israeli military police open a criminal investigation against a number of soldiers over the death of a Palestinian man during clashes with the troops in the northern West Bank last week, Army Radio reports.

Last Wednesday, soldiers from the mixed-gender Lions of the Jordan Valley Battalion conducted a predawn raid in the West Bank village of Tammun, close to Jenin.

During the operation, dozens of residents of the town began throwing rocks and setting off fireworks at the soldiers. In response, the troops fired live rounds, as well as tear gas, at the rioters, the army said at the time.

During these clashes, the man, 21-year-old Muhammed Bisharat, was shot in the chest and subsequently died of his wounds, according to the official Palestinian Authority news agency Wafa.

According to the PA outlet, ten other Palestinians sustained various injuries. No Israeli soldiers were injured.

Military police are investigating the soldiers’ use of force during the clash in order to determine if the live fire was necessary against the reportedly unarmed Bisharat, according to Army Radio.

The Israel Defense Forces did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

— Judah Ari Gross

UN envoy expresses condolences for 3 Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrike

The UN’s Middle East peace envoy offers his condolences to the families of the three Palestinian teenagers killed in an Israeli airstrike yesterday.

“Such tragedies must be avoided at all costs. Children must be protected, not exposed to #violence or put in danger,” tweets Nickolay Mladenov.

According to the IDF, the three were killed while attempting to damage the border fence in the southern part of the coastal enclave.

EU expects Bolsonaro to ‘consolidate democracy’ in Brazil

The European Union expects future Brazilian leaders to “work to consolidate democracy,” an EU spokeswoman says when asked whether president-elect Jair Bolsonaro posed a threat to democratic values.

Bolsonaro, who openly admires Brazil’s former military dictatorship and shocked many with his derogatory remarks on women, gays and blacks, won 55 percent of the vote in a run-off election Sunday.

European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker will sign a congratulatory letter to Bosonaro, spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud tells reporters.

“We respect the democratic choices made by the Brazilian people. Brazil is a democratic country with solid, strong institutions,” Bertaud says when asked whether Bolsonaro’s election posed a threat to democratic values.

“And we expect all future presidents to continue to work to consolidate democracy for the greater good of the Brazilian people.”


Health Ministry alerts passengers on El Al flight that fellow flier had measles

The Health Ministry announces that one of the passengers on an El Al flight last Thursday from Kiev to Tel Aviv had measles.

The ministry urges all fellow passengers to immediately see a doctor if they develop a fever or a rash.

Since the beginning of the year over 620 Israelis have fallen ill with measles, according to Health Ministry figures, up from 34 a year before, an almost 2,000 percent rise.


PM rebuffs ultra-Orthodox refusal to say massacre happened at synagogue

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pushes back on the refusal by ultra-Orthodox leaders to characterize the location of the Pittsburgh shooting as a synagogue.

“Jews were killed in a synagogue. They were killed because they are Jews. The location was chosen because it is a synagogue. We must never forget that. We are one,” Netanyahu tweets from the prime minister’s official Twitter account.

On Sunday, Israel’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau condemned the killing of 11 American Jews in the Conservative Tree of Life Synagogue, but seemed to equivocate on calling the house of worship a synagogue, instead terming it “a place of clear Jewish character.”

Lapid calls on government to implement Kotel deal in response to synagogue shooting

Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid opens his party’s faction meeting by calling on the government to unfreeze its compromise deal to expand the pluralistic prayer platform at the Western Wall in response to the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh last week.

“The government must implement the Western Wall framework which was agreed upon by all streams of Judaism, including the Orthodox,” Lapid says.

“It must recognize conversions from all streams of Judaism. It must recognize marriages from all streams of Judaism and pass the Civil Union law which we proposed in the Knesset,” he adds.

“The terrible murders in Pittsburgh are a reminder to everyone who says that Reform and Conservative Jews aren’t real Jews. Those good Jews, who love Israel, were murdered in synagogue, on Shabbat morning, opposite the Holy Ark, wrapped in a tallit just after they said, “How great are your tents, O Jacob, your dwelling places, O Israel!”

Foreign Press Association slams police’s High Court proposal to limit media coverage

The Foreign Press Association releases a statement rejecting the Israel Police’s proposals submitted to the High Court of Justice that aim to limit media coverage of public events.

The procedures were presented by the police as part of a High Court Court case in which representatives of the FPA along with rights groups have petitioned against police procedures that allow Israeli authorities to prevent reporters and photographers from covering events of public interest.

The FPA says that it objects to several of the proposed rule changes including the right claimed by police to restrict reporters’ access when “the entry of the media personnel shall lead to a severe infringement of a person’s privacy,” or “there is real concern for severe harm to the bodily integrity of the media personnel if access shall be permitted,” or “there is real concern that the entry of the media personnel will escalate a violent atmosphere to a level which could endanger human lives.”

The petition follows several incidents in which FPA members were banned by police from covering events in and around Jerusalem and included a number of cases where reporters were allegedly assaulted by authorities.

“While we respect the court-ordered dialogue with police, these proposed procedures remain far too vague and open the door for excessive and arbitrary restrictions,” says FPA chairman Josef Federman.

“Access to the Temple Mount has been heavily restricted over the past 18 months, thereby imposing a frequent media blackout on the most important site in the region,” Federman adds.

Palestinians say 27-year-old shot dead in clashes with IDF on northern Gaza border

Muhammed Abu Abada, 27, was shot dead near Beit Lahia by Israeli forces, the Hamas-run Health Ministry says.

The IDF says it is looking into reports of clashes in the northern Gaza Strip.

— with Adam Rasgon

Homophobic graffiti found on Jerusalem apartment building where pride flag flown

Residents of the Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood in Jerusalem find homophobic graffiti spray-painted on a building where a LGBT pride flag hung from one of the apartment balconies.

“Fucking gays take down your flag so we will not burn you,” the graffiti reads.

The incident comes less than a week after an LGBT memorial monument was vandalized in Tel Aviv.

*שתפו בכל הכוח**לא נכנעות ללהט"בפוביה – הולכים להצביע!*בעיר שבה נרצחה שירה בנקי ז"ל בדקירות סכין ב-2015, במצעד הגאווה…

Posted by ‎הבית הפתוח בירושלים‎ on Monday, 29 October 2018

Suicide bomber wounds 9 in Tunisia

A suicide bomber blew herself up near police vehicles in the center of the Tunisian capital, injuring nine people, the interior ministry says.

Ministry spokesman Sofiene Zaag tells AFP that all but one of the casualties were police, after a strong explosion Monday rattled Tunis, the scene of major jihadist attacks in 2015.


US embassy in Jerusalem lowers flag in memory of synagogue shooting victims

The US embassy in Jerusalem announces that it has lowered its flag to half staff in memory of the victims of the shooting at the Tree of Live Synagogue in Pittsburgh last week.

Israeli judoka takes team’s second gold at UAE tourney

Israeli judoka Peter Paltchik gives his team its second gold medal in the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2018.

Paltchik defeated Azerbaijani judoka Almer Gazimov in the under 100 kg category to take the title in the international ceremony.

Yesterday, Israeli judoka Sagi Muki took the team’s first gold medal and the Israeli national anthem played in the United Arab Emirates for the first time ever.


IDF: Thousands of Palestinians rioting along northern Gaza border

Thousands of Palestinians are rioting along the northern Gaza security fence, the army says.

Some 3,000 people are throwing rocks and firebombs at Israeli troops on the other side of the border and attempting to damage the fence itself. Israeli soldiers are using tear gas and live fire against the rioters, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

One Palestinian, 27-year-old Muhammed Abu Abada, was shot dead by Israeli forces during the riots near the town of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza, Hamas-run Health Ministry says.

In addition, a group of Palestinian boats set sail from the coastal enclave, heading toward the edge of the permitted fishing zone apparently in order to break through the Israeli- and Egyptian-imposed naval blockade.

Israeli navy ships are on the scene, the IDF says.

— Judah Ari Gross

Tree of Life rabbi: ‘We will rebuild’ after synagogue massacre

The rabbi of the Tree of Life synagogue where 11 people were shot dead on Saturday says his community “will rebuild” following the massacre.

Jeffery Myers recalls the harrowing moments of the shooting during an interview on the “Today” show.

He says he first heard the sound of crashing metal and thought one of his older congregants had fallen. When he realized it was gunfire he ordered everyone in the sanctuary to drop to the floor and remain silent, hoping that the wooden pews would protect them from the bullets.

“I went up into the choir loft, and I heard him execute my congregants,” he tells The Today Show. “I didn’t watch. I couldn’t watch.”

He adds that he never saw the gunman himself.

Myers says he would be willing to sit down with US President Donald Trump to discuss the shooting. Some are accusing the president of inciting the hatred in the US that led to the shooting.

Suspicious package addressed to CNN said intercepted at Atlanta post office

Another suspicious package addressed to CNN was intercepted at an Atlanta post office today, the network’s president reports.

“There is no imminent danger to the CNN Center. All mail, at all CNN domestic bureaus, is being screened at off-site facilities,” Jeff Zucker says in an announcement to CNN employees.

Cabinet members holding back army from hitting Hamas, but they’re wrong, says Liberman

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman says there is no way to reach an agreement with the Hamas terror group to end months of border violence, but some cabinet members are holding from using military force to achieve this goal.

Liberman, who has repeatedly urged a strong blow against Hamas to convince the de facto rulers of Gaza to restore quiet along the border, clarifies that any such action would not include a ground operation.

His comments come after tensions along the restive border once again ramped up, following a weekend that saw heavy rocket fire on Israeli communities in the south and retaliatory strikes from the IDF, threatening to bring the sides back to the brink of war.

“I think that some of the cabinet members are captive to mistaken concepts, and we know where these roads lead to,” Liberman says at the opening of his Yisrael Beytenu party’s weekly faction meeting in the Knesset. “Anyone who is building on an agreement with Hamas is seriously mistaken.”

“We have enough means to restore the quiet and calm without a ground operation. Even if we kill all of the 40,000 Hamas and [Palestinian] Islamic Jihad activists, it is not worth losing a single Israeli soldier,” he adds.

Survivor of synagogue shooting says community uninterested in visit from ‘nationalist’ Trump

One of the survivors of the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh urges US President Donald Trump not to pay his respects by visiting the community.

“I hope he doesn’t (come). We have no use for him,” says Barry Werber to Hadashot news.

“It’s part of his program to instigate his base. He’s calling himself a nationalist. The last political group I heard that called themselves nationalists were the Nazis.”

US official: Pentagon could send thousands more troops to US-Mexico border

The Pentagon could send thousands more troops to the US-Mexico border, a US official says as President Donald Trump warned a caravan of Central American migrants that the military was waiting for them.

The Wall Street Journal reports that 5,000 troops would deploy to the southwest US border, much higher than earlier estimates of about 800 last week.

A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, says the 5,000 figure was right but cautioned that planning is still under way and no final decisions have been made on numbers.


Erdogan opens new Istanbul Airport, planned to be world’s largest

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan opens Istanbul’s new international airport, which his government says will eventually become the world’s largest, with great fanfare.

“I hope that Istanbul Airport will benefit our region and the world,” Erdogan says at the lavish opening ceremony featuring numerous world leaders. The inauguration is largely symbolic as the airport will not be fully open until the end of the year.


UN Security Council holds moment of silence in memory of Tree of Life victims

The Security Council observes a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Five dead in suspected IS attack in central Libya

At least five people were killed Monday and 10 others were kidnapped in an attack by suspected Islamic State group jihadists on a town in central Libya, local and military sources say.

Three civilians were among the dead, while a soldier was wounded and 10 people were “missing, probably kidnapped,” says General Ahmed al-Mesmari, spokesman for the Libyan National Army.

The raid targeted the desert town of Al-Fuqaha in Jufra district, which has for over a year been held by forces allied to Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar, who leads the self-styled LNA.

LNA forces responded to the attack but the IS fighters fled south, killing a five victim and injuring another at a security checkpoint, Mesmari says.

Earlier, municipal council member Abdellatif Jalala told AFP that three civilians and a policeman had been killed in the dawn attack, more than 800 kilometers (490 miles) south of the capital Tripoli.

He says the assailants kidnapped at least eight others before fleeing into the Haruj mountains further south.

Jufra lawmaker Ismail al-Sharif says IS fighters attacked the city with 25 vehicles, beheaded five civilians and torched local government and security offices.

The attackers set fire to police posts and public buildings in Al-Fuqaha, he added.

Both Sharif and Jalala say the raid was likely retaliation for arrests earlier this month of alleged IS members in the area.


PM: While Israel intent on preventing Gaza humanitarian crisis, top priority is preventing infiltration

Israel’s top priority in dealing with the ongoing violence on Gaza is to prevent the infiltration of terrorists into Israel and to prevent the situation from spiraling out of control, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says.

“We are acting first of all to protect Israel from infiltration by people who come to harm us — our soldiers and our communities — and who want to cross the border and kill our civilians and soldiers. We prevented it so far,” he tells reporters during a briefing in his Jerusalem office.

“On the other hand, we’re trying to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza,” he adds. To that end, Israel is ready to accept the involvement of the United Nations and of Arab countries in order to bring about a solution, he says.

— Raphael Ahren

Israeli official: We’ve continued strikes in Syria since Russian plane downed

The IDF has continued attacking targets in Syria even after a Russian spy plane was shot down last months, a senior Israeli official says.

“The army’s coordination with the Russian army continues exactly as it did before the event,” the official says, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Moscow blamed the September 17 incident, during which Syria destroyed a Russian Il-20 survey aircraft, killing 15 Russian servicemen, on Israel, arguing that Israeli jets were hiding behind the Russian plane.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may possibly meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in early November at a summit in Paris, but the meeting has not been finalized, the official says.

Netanyahu has reiterated several times that Israel will continue to act to prevent Iran’s military entrenchment in Syria and the smuggling of advanced weapons into Lebanon. But the senior official’s comment appeared to be the first public acknowledgement that Israel has indeed carried out strikes in Syria after the downing of the Russian spy plane.

— Raphael Ahren

Gaza health ministry: 80 injured in clashes with IDF on northern Gaza border

In addition to the one Palestinian that was killed, a spokesman for the Gaza health ministry says that 80 were injured in clashes with Israel.

Fifteen of the injured were from live bullets, the spokesman says.

Senior official: It is possible that we’ll have to deliver a harsh strike on Gaza

A senior Israeli official stresses that Israel is not interested in war with Gaza, but rather seeks to restore calm.

“It is possible that we will have to deliver a harsh strike on Gaza, that we won’t be able to prevent it. But our first goal is to restore calm for a certain period of time without having to enter a large-scale military operation.”

Bennett to hold ’emergency meeting’ with US Jewish leaders in response to shooting

Diaspora Minister Naftali Bennett will hold an “emergency meeting” with senior American Jewish leaders tomorrow to discuss how Israel can assist the US Jewish community following Saturday’s devastating attack targeting a synagogue in Pittsburgh in which 11 congregants were killed, a source in the US says.

Bennett, who also serves as education minister, will meet with representatives from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the Jewish Federation and the Anti-Defamation League, according to the official, who asked not to be identified.

Following the meeting, which will be held in New York, Bennett will consider directing funds to Diaspora communities for additional security measures in synagogues and community centers.

— Judah Ari Gross

Trump slams Florida governor candidate as ‘thief’

US President Donald Trump attacks Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum as a “thief,” accusing the Tallahassee mayor, who is African-American, of running a corrupt city.

The tweet against Gillum comes after Trump said he would tone down his campaign rhetoric Saturday following a shooting rampage at a synagogue in Pittsburgh that killed 11 Jewish worshippers.

“In Florida there is a choice between a Harvard/Yale educated man named @RonDeSantisFL who has been a great Congressman and will be a great Governor – and a Dem who is a thief and who is Mayor of poorly run Tallahassee, said to be one of the most corrupt cities in the Country!” Trump tweets.

Trump has been accused of fueling racial tensions. He has described some Mexicans as “rapists,” branded a black congresswoman “low IQ,” and blamed “both sides” for deadly violence at a white supremacist rally last year in Virginia.

The president cites no evidence for his Gillum attack.

The FBI has been conducting a probe of alleged public corruption in Tallahassee, and while Gillum has said he has been told he is not the target, Republicans have used the investigation as a cudgel against him.

The progressive Gillum, who pulled off a shock victory in the Democratic Party primary in August, responded swiftly to Trump, saying on Twitter that the president “is howling because he’s weak. Florida, go vote today.”

The midterm elections are on November 6, but several states including Florida allow early voting.

DeSantis himself has been widely criticized for urging Florida voters not to “monkey this up” by electing Gillum, a comment denounced as racist.

The governor’s race is rated a tossup by the Cook Political Report.

Gillum said earlier Monday that Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama will campaign with him Friday in Miami.


Syrian opposition draws up ‘road map’ for constitution

The Syrian opposition presents a “road map” to peace, including steps to be taken ahead of an election and guidelines for a plan to write the country’s post-war constitution.

The document, drawn up by representatives of the opposition invited to Rome by the Catholic Sant’Egidio community, will be presented to key players in the conflict — from Russia to Turkey and the EU — over the next few weeks.

The leaders of Turkey, Russia, France and Germany on Saturday called for a political solution to the devastating seven-year civil war and a lasting ceasefire in the last major rebel-held bastion of Idlib.

Their statement calls for a committee to be established to draft Syria’s post-war constitution before the end of the year, “paving the way for free and fair elections” in the war-torn country.

A rival UN plan for a committee to write the constitution ran aground last week, with UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura saying Damascus rejected the UN having a role in the selection process.

The “road map,” presented by the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), the main opposition force, as well as several minor groups, details the shape a new government and parliament could take.

It calls for the makeup of the committee to “reflect the composition of the country” and says all “arrangements/rules/law aiming at dissolving/obstructing/impeding the political activities of the opposition” must be scrapped.

The commission, within a nine-month timeframe, should not only prepare the constitution but also draft party and electoral law.

A new transitional government should organize general and presidential elections through an election commission set up by the committee under the supervision of the UN, it said.

It also called for a “general amnesty” and the “abolition of all laws, legislations and procedures aimed at prosecuting and punishing the participants of the events in Syria” since 2011, as well as the safe and voluntary return of refugees.


Dogs can be trained to sniff out malaria: researchers

Dogs can be trained to sniff out certain cancers, people at risk of a diabetic coma and now, children with malaria just by smelling their socks, researchers say.

According to the findings presented at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene annual meeting in New Orleans, dogs were trained to sniff out malaria parasites in African children who tested positive for the mosquito-borne disease, but did not have a fever or other outward symptoms.

Malaria kills some 445,000 people worldwide each year, and is caused by parasites that are transmitted by infected mosquitoes.

Cases of malaria are on the rise, globally. The World Health Organization said there were 216 million cases of malaria in 2016, up five million over a year earlier.

“Worryingly, our progress on the control of malaria has stalled in recent years, so we desperately need innovative new tools to help in the fight against malaria,” says co-author James Logan, head of the department of disease control at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

“Our results show that sniffer dogs could be a serious way of making diagnosis of people who don’t show any symptoms, but are still infectious, quicker and easier.”

A total of 175 sock samples were tested, including 30 malaria-positive children in The Gambia and 145 from uninfected children.

Dogs were able to correctly identify 70 percent of the malaria-infected samples.

The canines were also able to identify 90 percent of the samples without malaria parasites.


Iranian official says president’s cellphone was tapped

Iranian officials say President Hassan Rouhani’s mobile phone was tapped, without providing details on who was behind it or what information they might have gleaned.

The semi-official ISNA news agency quotes Gen. Gholam Reza Jalali, the head of a military unit charged with combatting sabotage, as saying Rouhani’s phone was tapped “recently” and would be replaced with a more secure device. He did not provide further details.

Iran moved to boost its cyber capabilities in 2011, after the Stuxnet computer virus destroyed thousands of centrifuges involved in its contested nuclear program. Stuxnet is widely believed to be an American and Israeli creation.

— AP

Pittsburgh synagogue shooter arrives at federal courthouse

US marshals say the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect has arrived at a federal courthouse, ahead of an afternoon appearance.

A government car with a wheelchair visible inside could be seen arriving Monday.

Robert Gregory Bowers traded gunfire with police during Saturday’s massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue and was shot multiple times. He underwent surgery and survived.

Bowers is scheduled to appear before a US magistrate judge in downtown Pittsburgh at 1:30 p.m. Authorities say he expressed hatred toward Jews during the rampage Saturday and in later comments to police.

Authorities released Bowers’ driver’s license photo Monday.

— AP

Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect accepts public defender

The Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect appears briefly in court in a wheelchair and accepts having a public defender represent him.

— AP

Woman gang raped by group of Israeli-Arabs on Netanya beach recognized as terror victim

The Appeals Committee for the Victims of Hostile Acts votes to recognize a woman who was gang raped in 2007 by a group of Arab-Israelis on a beach in Netanya as a victim of terror.

The woman was 16 at the time of the incident, when she was raped by a group of six men who were all convicted and given jail sentences between 15 and 19 years long.

Military police said to open probe into IDF killing of Gazan paramedic

The IDF’s military police have decided to open a probe into the killing of a Palestinian medic during the weekly Friday protests along the Gaza border in June, Hadashot news reports.

Razan al-Najjar, 21, a volunteer with the Gaza health ministry, was fatally shot in the chest near Khan Younis.

The army initially said an internal review had determined Najjar was not intentionally targeted by snipers, following international outcry over her death.

Trump escalates threats against migrant caravan

Eager to focus voters on immigration in the lead-up to the midterm elections, US President Donald Trump escalates his threats against a migrant caravan trudging slowly toward the US border, as the Pentagon prepared to deploy thousands of US troops to support the border patrol.

Trump tweets, “This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!”

His warning comes as the Pentagon began executing a support mission, dubbed Operation Faithful Patriot, to provide military assistance requested by the Customs and Border Patrol. Two US officials said the troop total was likely to be slightly above 5,000, with troops coming mainly from major Army bases from coast to coast. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a troop plan that was not yet publicly announced.

The Customs and Border Patrol is pushing a surge in personnel in response to the caravan of Central American immigrants, which was still hundreds of miles from the US border, three administration officials said. The military troops are intended to assist the border patrol, not engage directly with migrants, several officials said.

PM to Bolsonaro: I’m confident your election will bring strengthening of Israel-Brazil ties

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu phones far-right Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro to congratulate him on his electoral victory.

“I am confident that your election will bring great friendship between our two peoples and strengthen the ties between Brazil and Israel,” Netanyahu tells him.

Trump to travel to Pittsburgh on Tuesday to pay respects, after synagogue shooting

The US president and first lady will travel on Tuesday to Pittsburgh to pay their respects following the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announces.

“The president cherishes the American Jewish community and everything that it stands for and contributes to our country,” Sanders says, noting that the president’s daughter and son-in-law are Jewish too.

3 Palestinian teens killed in Israeli strike buried in Gaza

Hundreds of Palestinians lay to rest three teenage boys killed in an Israeli airstrike, with their families insisting they had no militant ties, as mourners called on Gaza’s militant groups to retaliate.

The IDF said the trio had be attempting to sabotage the border fence when targeted.

The deaths a day earlier of the teens — ages 13 to 15 — threaten to plunge the area into further violence after a brief exchange of fire over the weekend. The Israeli army struck 80 targets in Gaza in response to the heaviest rocket salvos from the Hamas-ruled territory in months.

The boys’ bodies were wrapped in Palestinian flags and carried by mourners who shot in the air as they chanted “God is great.”

Aisha Abu Daher says her 13-year-old son Abdel-Hamid had “nothing to do with resistance,” referring to the militant factions. Abdel-Hamid and his friends drank tea in the afternoon and rode a donkey cart, a daily habit, and did not come home, she said.

“I went to a wedding, and in the evening I worried when he did not return,” she said over the phone from her home in the central Gaza Strip, about one kilometer (a half mile) away from the border area. “I don’t know why they went or what they were doing there, but I’m sure they were not doing anything bad.”

The three boys all lived in Wadi al-Salaqa, a farming village in central Gaza near the Israeli border.

— AP

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