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Palestinian Authority PM expresses concern new UK PM could move embassy to Jerusalem

Mohammed Shtayyeh tells cabinet in Ramallah that any such step by Liz Truss would ‘be considered a flagrant violation of international law’

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh addresses the Glasgow Climate Conference on November 1, 2021. (WAFA)
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh addresses the Glasgow Climate Conference on November 1, 2021. (WAFA)

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

Court grants yet another delay to government in razing Khan al Ahmar

The West Bank Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar, October 21, 2018. (AP/ Majdi Mohammed)
The West Bank Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar, October 21, 2018. (AP/ Majdi Mohammed)

The High Court grants yet another three-month delay to the government in carrying out its evacuation of the West Bank Bedouin village of Khan al Ahmar.

The evacuation of the village, which was mandated by the court in 2018, has been pushed off repeatedly for a series of reasons.

In its ruling, the court grants the government another four-month delay, until February 2023, citing the current election and interim government.

A year ago, the court granted a similar delay after the government claimed to have made progress toward a plan for evacuation.

Shots fired toward IDF troops in northern West Bank; no injuries

Illustrative. Soldiers patrolling near Nablus, in 2014. (Israel Defense Forces /Flash90)
Illustrative. Soldiers patrolling near Nablus, in 2014. (Israel Defense Forces /Flash90)

Gunshots were fired at IDF troops stationed in the northern West Bank south of Nablus, the military says.

According to the IDF, no injuries were reported in the shooting, but certain roads were closed down afterward.

The shooting follows a similar incident in the West Bank earlier today, when also nobody was injured in the gunfire.

Palestinian Authority PM expresses concern new UK PM could move embassy to Jerusalem

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh holds a briefing with foreign press at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah, November 10, 2021. (Abbas Momani/AFP)
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh holds a briefing with foreign press at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah, November 10, 2021. (Abbas Momani/AFP)

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh expresses concern that new British Prime Minister Liz Truss may move the UK embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

In comments at a cabinet meeting reported by the official Palestinian news agency WAFA, Shtayyeh stresses “that any such step will be considered a flagrant violation of international law and of the historical responsibility of Britain — the country behind the infamous and illegal Balfour Declaration — which caused and continues to be responsible for the tragedy of the Palestinian people.”

Shtayyeh also says that “any change in the status quo in Jerusalem would undermine the two-state solution” and would exclude the UK “from any future international efforts to bring an end to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”

Last month, Truss, a strong supporter of Israel, told Prime Minister Yair Lapid that she is considering a relocation of the country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Following council meeting, EU lauds Israel cooperation amid extensive criticism

Prime Minister Yair Lapid takes part in a meeting of the EU-Israel Association Council via video from Jerusalem, on October 3, 2022. (EU)
Prime Minister Yair Lapid takes part in a meeting of the EU-Israel Association Council via video from Jerusalem, on October 3, 2022. (EU)

The European Union releases its full, 16 -page statement laying out its position for the EU-Israel Association Council meeting in Brussels.

While lauding cooperation between the EU and Israel on COVID-19, energy, Mediterranean security, cyber, trade and more — much of the document criticizes Israel for its policies toward the Palestinians. Some 21 of the 54 paragraphs deal with the Palestinians, use of force, and the peace process.

The EU expresses concern over journalist Shireen Abu Akleh’s death, the loss of life in the recent round of fighting in August, conditions in Gaza, the religious status quo in Jerusalem and the settlements, among other related issues.

The statement does condemn “indiscriminate launching of rockets by Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other terrorist groups,” while affirming Israel’s right to self-defense and calling for the release of Israelis held in Gaza.

The EU calls Iran “central to security in the region,” while saying that its support for armed proxies is a significant source of instability. “The restoration and full re-implementation of the JCPOA has the potential to contribute positively to regional prosperity and security,” the documents continues. “It could further encourage a constructive approach in the region as well as offer a platform for further efforts to build and consolidate confidence.”

On Ukraine, the EU “welcomes Israel’s assistance to Ukraine and its citizens, including the supply of defensive military equipment and humanitarian aid.” It also lauds Israel for working to ensure that it can’t be used to circumvent sanctions.

The EU discusses at length its commitment to fighting antisemitism, and the “increasing importance of Holocaust remembrance and civic education in order to counter the development of antisemitic prejudices and stereotypes.”

White House says it is ‘alarmed and appalled’ at suppression of Iran protests

Iranians hurl stones at police station in Zahedan on September 30, 2022. (Screen capture: Twitter)
Iranians hurl stones at police station in Zahedan on September 30, 2022. (Screen capture: Twitter)

The United States is “alarmed and appalled” at the crackdown by Iranian authorities on student protesters angered by the death of Mahsa Amini after her detention by morality police, the White House says.

“We’re alarmed and appalled by reports of security authorities, responding to university students’ peaceful protests with violence and mass arrests,” Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre says aboard Air Force One.

The students “are rightly engaged with the Iranian government’s treatment of women and girls and the ongoing violent crackdown on peaceful protests.”

Russian military admits Ukrainian forces have broken through in Kherson

A Ukrainian serviceman walks in a trench on a position held by the Ukrainian army between southern cities of Mykolaiv and Kherson on June 12, 2022, during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Genya SAVILOV / AFP)
A Ukrainian serviceman walks in a trench on a position held by the Ukrainian army between southern cities of Mykolaiv and Kherson on June 12, 2022, during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Genya SAVILOV / AFP)

The Russian military acknowledges that Kyiv’s forces have broken through Moscow’s defenses in the Kherson region.

Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov says in his daily briefing that “with numerically superior tank units in the direction of Zolota Balka and Oleksandrivka, the enemy managed to forge deep into our defenses.”

Konashenkov adds that “Russian troops have occupied a pre-prepared defensive line and continue to inflict massive fire damage” on Kyiv’s forces.

New British PM Truss calls herself a ‘huge Zionist’

Liz Truss arrives at Conservative Central Office in Westminster after winning the Conservative Party leadership contest in London, September 5, 2022. (AP/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Liz Truss arrives at Conservative Central Office in Westminster after winning the Conservative Party leadership contest in London, September 5, 2022. (AP/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

New British Prime Minister Liz Truss referred to herself as a “huge Zionist and a huge supporter of Israel,” reports the UK-based Jewish News.

Truss’s comments were made at a Conservative Friends of Israel reception, during which she said she will seek to “take the UK-Israel relationship from strength to strength.”

“In this world – where we are facing threats from authoritarian regimes who don’t believe in freedom and democracy – two free democracies, the UK and Israel, need to stand shoulder to shoulder and we will be even closer in the future,” Truss said.

Lapid, Netanyahu continue to trade barbs over burgeoning Lebanon maritime deal

Lebanese President Michel Aoun (L) receives a proposal from US Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea to resolve a maritime border dispute with Israel, October 1, 2022. (Lebanese Presidency)
Lebanese President Michel Aoun (L) receives a proposal from US Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea to resolve a maritime border dispute with Israel, October 1, 2022. (Lebanese Presidency)

Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu says that Prime Minister Yair Lapid is bargaining away Israel’s “sovereign territory” in a potential treaty to resolve the long-running maritime border dispute with Lebanon. Lapid, meanwhile, slams the former prime minister for being bitter about failing to reach any deal himself.

Netanyahu charges that if the deal, which he has yet to see, is signed, then the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah will be “getting sovereign territory of Israel.”

At a press conference, the Likud leader reaffirms his stance that the agreement “is illegal and we won’t be bound by it,” should he return to power after November’s election.

Lapid and the Foreign Ministry have said that the deal only concerns territory in Israel’s economic sphere, not territorial waters, and therefore does not require Knesset approval or a national referendum.

Shortly before Netanyahu’s press conference, Lapid said that the former prime minister is talking “without seeing the deal and without knowing what’s in it.”

Lapid accused Netanyahu of taking out his frustrations “on not reaching a deal during his 10 years in office” by sharing propaganda from Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah.

Meant to solve a maritime dispute that concerns the Qana gas field, the deal will reportedly cede the field to Lebanon, but deliver yet-to-be-decided economic rights to Israel via the company managing the gas’s potential extraction.

Among Israel’s diplomatic and security wins, the country is expected to receive recognition for its de facto maritime border with Lebanon, as created by a line of buoys its unliterally placed.

Gantz pays official visit to Azerbaijan to discuss diplomatic, security ties

Defense Minister Benny Gantz is greeted by an honor guard in Azerbaijan on October 3, 2022. (Nicole Laskavi/Defense Ministry)
Defense Minister Benny Gantz is greeted by an honor guard in Azerbaijan on October 3, 2022. (Nicole Laskavi/Defense Ministry)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz is wrapping up a previously undisclosed official visit to Azerbaijan, his office announces.

Gantz, who is returning to Israel this evening, says the visit dealt with diplomatic and security issues. Gantz met with President Ilham Aliyev as well as Azerbaijani counterpart Zakir Hasanov.

According to his office, Gantz stressed during the visit the importance of Israel-Azerbaijan ties and “the importance of working toward peace and stability in the world and in the region.”

Hurricane Orlene lashes Mexico’s Pacific coast

Fishermen take a boat out of the water ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Orlene, in Mazatlan, state of Sinaloa, Mexico, on October 2, 2022. (AFP)
Fishermen take a boat out of the water ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Orlene, in Mazatlan, state of Sinaloa, Mexico, on October 2, 2022. (AFP)

Hurricane Orlene makes landfall on Mexico’s Pacific coast, bringing strong winds, heavy rain and a risk of flooding and landslides, forecasters say.

Orlene comes ashore south of the beachside city of Mazatlan in Sinaloa state as a Category One hurricane — the weakest on a scale of five.

Boats had been brought ashore in Mazatlan ahead of Orlene’s arrival, and businesses boarded up windows and laid down sandbags in case of flooding.

Orlene had strengthened to a powerful Category 4 hurricane yesterday in the Pacific, prompting warnings for inhabitants of at-risk areas to take refuge in temporary shelters. But the storm gradually lost strength as it approached the coast and was expected to quickly lose its hurricane force after making landfall.

High Court demands government response to petition over Lebanon maritime deal

Prime Minister Yair Lapid flies over the Karish gas field on July 19, 2022. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
Prime Minister Yair Lapid flies over the Karish gas field on July 19, 2022. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

The High Court asks the government to respond by October 27 to a petition demanding that any maritime border deal with Lebanon come to a full vote in the Knesset.

The petition was filed by the Lavi organization for citizens’ rights, which argues that because the current government is a caretaker government — ahead of the November 1 election — the entire Knesset must vote on the deal.

While negotiations have been going on for years, a final version of the deal is reportedly close to being signed.

Liberman: Ease entry for Russians, Ukrainians with one Jewish great-grandparent

Sasha Zlobjn, the 10,000th person to immigrate to Israel since Russia invaded his native Ukraine, stands in Ben Gurion Airport shortly after landing on March 28, 2022. (Immigration and Absorption Ministry)
Sasha Zlobjn, the 10,000th person to immigrate to Israel since Russia invaded his native Ukraine, stands in Ben Gurion Airport shortly after landing on March 28, 2022. (Immigration and Absorption Ministry)

Finance Minister and Yisrael Beytenu chief Avigdor Liberman proposes easing entry requirements to Israel for residents of the former Soviet Union with at least one Jewish great-grandparent in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

However, he denies aiming to permanently change Israel’s Law of Return — the basis for its immigration policies — to include members of this “fourth generation.”

Earlier today, Liberman organized an interministerial meeting to discuss granting extended tourist visas to such a population, sparking a flurry of accusations that he was looking to rewrite the Law of Return, which currently guarantees citizenship to anyone with at least one Jewish grandparent or who has converted to Judaism.

“We are not proposing including the fourth generation in the Law of Return or giving them automatic citizenship, but rather to treat them on the basis of our historical obligation to humanitarian and Jewish values,” Liberman says, in an extended Twitter thread.

“The Jewish people experienced no shortage of tragedies and misery in the Second World War, which was at a time when no country accepted Jewish refugees. This is the fourth generation, the offspring of Jews who have a clear link to Judaism and a direct connection to their families living in Israel,” he says.

Addressing EU-Israel confab, Lapid stresses shared ‘liberal and democratic’ values

Prime Minister Yair Lapid takes part in a meeting of the EU-Israel Association Council via video from Jerusalem on October 3, 2022. (Kobi Gideon / GPO)
Prime Minister Yair Lapid takes part in a meeting of the EU-Israel Association Council via video from Jerusalem on October 3, 2022. (Kobi Gideon / GPO)

In his statement at the start of the EU-Israel Association Council meeting in Brussels, Prime Minister Yair Lapid stresses the “liberal and democratic values” that the sides share.

“We are all united in our desire to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” he says. He also highlights the shared support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity, and the need to “defend freedom of expression, freedom of religion and freedom of the press around the world.”

Israel’s draft statement on the meeting, which it circulated to the EU side, emphasizes Israel’s status as a Jewish democratic state with Jerusalem as its indivisible and eternal capital, according to Lapid’s office.

In his remarks, Lapid invites the EU to become part of the Negev Forum, the regional cooperation framework launched this summer in Sde Boker.

Speaking by videoconference, Lapid emphasizes Israel’s support for the Palestinian Authority and his support for a two-state solution. “We are working with them and helping their economy develop,” he says, before adding that “the Palestinians need to put an end to terrorism and incitement.”

“Israel wants peace that will lead to security, not peace that will destabilize the Middle East,” he continues.

US Supreme Court to hear social media terrorism lawsuits

The US Supreme Court building in Washington, June 27, 2022. (AP/Patrick Semansky, File)
The US Supreme Court building in Washington, June 27, 2022. (AP/Patrick Semansky, File)

The US Supreme Court says it will hear two cases seeking to hold social media companies financially responsible for terrorist attacks.

Relatives of people killed in terrorist attacks in France and Turkey had sued Google, Twitter, and Facebook. They accused the companies of helping terrorists spread their message and radicalize new recruits.

The court will hear the cases this term, which begins today, with a decision expected before the court recesses for the summer, usually in late June. The court did not say when it would hear arguments, but the court has already filled its argument calendar for October and November.

Mob chief Benny Shlomo identified as man slain in gas station shooting

Benny Shlomo (Screen grab from archive footage broadcast by Channel 13)
Benny Shlomo (Screen grab from archive footage broadcast by Channel 13)

Benny Shlomo, a well-known figure in organized crime in Israel, is named as the man gunned down at a gas station near Tel Aviv earlier today.

A second man with Shlomo was seriously wounded and is currently hospitalized. Police said two suspects pulled up to the gas station in a car, opened fire on Shlomo and the other man and then took off.

Shlomo was released from prison last year after serving time for assault. His crime organization is said to be in a longtime feud with a mob led by Shalom Domrani.

In May, an assassination attempt on a senior figure in the Shlomo family mob was thwarted, months after a senior Domrani member was killed in a car bomb in Ashkelon.

In bid to battle inflation, Bank of Israel hikes interest to highest rate in 11 years

Illustrative photo of the new 100 Israeli Shekel bill. December 31, 2017. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of the new 100 Israeli Shekel bill. December 31, 2017. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

In its ongoing campaign against inflation, the Bank of Israel announces its fifth consecutive interest rate hike.

The interest rate is rising 0.75 percentage points to now stand at 2.75%, the highest figure since 2011.

In a statement, the bank notes that inflation in Israel is at 4.6% over the past 12 months.

At first EU-Israel council meeting in a decade, Borrell highlights ‘frank’ concerns

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell (R) shakes hands with Intelligence Minister Elazar Stern before an EU-Israel Association Council at the European Council in Brussels, on October 3, 2022. (Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP)
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell (R) shakes hands with Intelligence Minister Elazar Stern before an EU-Israel Association Council at the European Council in Brussels, on October 3, 2022. (Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP)

At the start of the first Israel-European Union Association Council meeting in a decade, the EU chooses to highlight areas of disagreement, especially Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.

“We will discuss frankly and openly about some specific issues which are of our mutual concern,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell says in Brussels. “I am talking about the situation in the Palestinian territories and the Middle East peace process which is stalled.”

Prime Minister Yair Lapid has touted the meeting as a victory for his diplomatic approach, which seeks to expand channels of dialogue even when the two sides don’t agree on all issues. The premier did not make the trip, instead calling on Intelligence Minister Elazar Stern to lead the Israeli delegation. Lapid is dialing in from Israel.

“All in all, today is a good occasion to show our determination to have a positive and fruitful relationship with Israel, pushing for peace,” Borrell says.

Borrell says Lapid’s support for a two-state solution during his address to the UN General Assembly last week was “very important.”

“We want the resumption of a political process that can lead to a two-state solution and a comprehensive regional peace,” Borrell says. Borrell also acknowledges that the two sides disagree on EU-mediated efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. “For the time being in any case, those negotiations are stalled,” he adds.

The Association Council is a meeting that was meant to occur annually between Israel and the EU to cover matters of mutual concern. The last time the two sides met was in 2012. Lapid — during his recent stint as foreign minister — made it a goal to reconvene the forum.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry declines to respond to Borrell’s opening remarks.

Former minister convicted in plea deal over ‘submarine affair’

Former Keren Hayesod chair and government minister Eliezer (Modi) Zandberg on July 21, 2004. (Flash90)
Former Keren Hayesod chair and government minister Eliezer (Modi) Zandberg on July 21, 2004. (Flash90)

Eliezer (Modi) Zandberg, a former government minister and head of Keren Hayesod, is convicted of breach of trust by the Tel Aviv District Court over what is known as the ‘submarine affair’ in a plea bargain.

The “submarine affair” involves allegations of graft over a large contract with the German industrial and ship-building conglomerate Thyssenkrupp for the acquisition of several naval vessels.

Zandberg is convicted of arranging and participating in three meetings between Thyssenkrupp agent Miki Ganor and then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief of staff Eyal Haimovsky during his time as chair of Keren Hayesod, an official fundraising organization for the State of Israel, from 2010 to 2018.

Zandberg also pleads guilty to having passed on information he obtained from state employees to Ganor to help him advance the Thyssenkrup deal while having received NIS 103,000 ($29,000) from Ganor in 2012-2016.

This was a conflict of interest for Zandberg given his position, the conviction states. Under the terms of the deal, the court will be asked to impose a seven-month suspended sentence, carried out as community service, and a NIS 50,000 fine.

While Netanyahu has been investigated over his own role in the ‘submarine affair,’ he was never officially a suspect in the case.

1 confirmed dead in shooting near Tel Aviv; police suspect motive is criminal, not terror

Paramedics at the site of a shooting incident in Azor on October 3, 2022. (MDA)
Paramedics at the site of a shooting incident in Azor on October 3, 2022. (MDA)

One of the men wounded in a shooting in Azor, near Tel Aviv, is confirmed dead, according to first responders.

The other man is still in serious condition at Wolfson Hospital in Tel Aviv.

Police say that the incident, which unfolded at a gas station, appears to be criminal in nature and not linked to terrorist activity. They say that two suspects arrived by car, opened fire at the two victims and then took off.

2 seriously hurt in shooting incident near Tel Aviv

Paramedics at the site of a shooting incident in Azor on October 3, 2022. (MDA)
Paramedics at the site of a shooting incident in Azor on October 3, 2022. (MDA)

Two men in their 40s are seriously wounded in a shooting incident in the town of Azor near Tel Aviv.

Police say the incident is being investigated.

First responders say that one man is critically wounded and another is seriously wounded, and they are being transported to Wolfson Hospital.

Poland officially demands $1.3 trillion in World War II damages from Germany

A symbolic grave in the Bialucki Forest near Ilowo on July 13, 2022 the site where the mass grave of about 8,000 Nazi victims from the nearby Soldau concentration camp in Dzialdowo was unearthed at the beginning of July 2022. (JANEK SKARZYNSKI / AFP)
A symbolic grave in the Bialucki Forest near Ilowo on July 13, 2022 the site where the mass grave of about 8,000 Nazi victims from the nearby Soldau concentration camp in Dzialdowo was unearthed at the beginning of July 2022. (JANEK SKARZYNSKI / AFP)

Poland’s foreign minister signs an official note to Germany requesting the payment of some $1.3 trillion in reparations for the damage incurred by occupying Nazi Germans during World War II.

Zbigniew Rau says the note will be handed to Germany’s Foreign Ministry. The signing comes on the eve of Rau’s meeting in Warsaw with Germany Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who is attending a security conference.

Rau says the note expresses his view that the two sides should take action “without delay” to address the effects of Germany’s 1939-45 occupation in a “lasting and complex, legally binding as well as material way.”

The Times of Israel previously reported that Poland’s reparations demand includes cases of Jews killed by Poles during the Holocaust. Included in the list of atrocities are villages that were the sites of Polish pogroms against Jews — perhaps most infamously the village of Jedwabne, where over 300 Jews were burned alive by ethnic Poles — as well as other Jewish deaths that can be tied to Polish citizens.

The author of the report setting out the demand justified it by arguing that Poland’s Nazi and other occupiers should have prevented those killings. “Due to Germany’s aggression, the Third Reich & the USSR occupied Polish lands. International conventions state occupiers are responsible for the population’s safety, lives & property. Jedwabne was under USSR & Third Reich occupation, killing the citizens of the Second Republic,” wrote Arkadiusz Mularczyk in a tweet.

Amid threats, boosted security provided to Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli

Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli arrives at the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, September 18, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli arrives at the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, September 18, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Transportation Minister and Labor leader Merav Michaeli is being given boosted security amid a wave of threats against her.

Her party says that Michaeli’s security detail has been enlarged “in light of increased threats” against her.

The minister drew considerable ire last week when she announced that the future light rail in the Tel Aviv area will operate on Shabbat, something deeply unpopular with many in the religious sectors.

In a video statement, Michaeli recounts many of the harsh statements against the move, saying: “None of these people scare me,” and vowing to move ahead with the plan.

Meretz, Labor parties sign surplus-vote agreement

File: Meretz leader Zehava Galon, left, speaks to thousands of Israeli Left wing activists during a rally in Tel-Aviv on May 27, 2017; Labor leader Merav Michaeli attends a conference in Rishon Lezion on July 19, 2022. (Gili Yaari/Flash90); (Flash90)
File: Meretz leader Zehava Galon, left, speaks to thousands of Israeli Left wing activists during a rally in Tel-Aviv on May 27, 2017; Labor leader Merav Michaeli attends a conference in Rishon Lezion on July 19, 2022. (Gili Yaari/Flash90); (Flash90)

Meretz and the Labor party sign a surplus-vote agreement, a common practice among politically aligned parties in the run-up to elections.

Meretz Secretary General Tomer Resnick says the agreement will help the two parties form a government under Yesh Atid leader Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

“Meretz will be there all the way, as a strong left wing in the ‘change government’ led by Lapid,” Resnick says, adding that “together we will establish a responsible government with our partners” and leave Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu and his far-right partner Itamar Ben Gvir in the opposition.

The center-left Labor party says the agreement will strengthen the parties of what it calls the “democratic bloc,” adding that the last election’s surplus votes agreement delivered an additional seat to Meretz.

According to surplus-vote agreements — which need to be finalized with the Central Elections Committee by October 21 — the party that is closest to an additional Knesset seat can sweep surplus votes from its agreement partner and use them to complete the numbers necessary for the additional seat.

High Court rejects petition calling for investigation of Likud over Silman reserved spot

MK Idit Silman a seen at the Knesset on June 6, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
MK Idit Silman a seen at the Knesset on June 6, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The High Court rejects a petition calling to criminally investigate the Likud party over improper behavior.

The petition was filed by the Movement for Quality Government, which called for an investigation into Likud for granting a reserved spot on its list to former Yamina MK Idit Silman.

The group charges that Likud promised her a reserved spot in exchange for her working to bring down the outgoing government, something that is illegal.

Last month Meretz asked the Central Elections Committee to disqualify Silman from running, on similar grounds, but the request was rejected. Meretz vowed to appeal.

Russia says it will ‘consult’ locals on annexed Ukraine regions’ borders

A Russian soldier guards an area near a memorial in Kherson region, south Ukraine, May 20, 2022, with a replica of the Victory banner marking the 77th anniversary of the end of World War II in the background. (AP)
A Russian soldier guards an area near a memorial in Kherson region, south Ukraine, May 20, 2022, with a replica of the Victory banner marking the 77th anniversary of the end of World War II in the background. (AP)

Russia plans to confer with residents in two Moscow-annexed regions in Ukraine while determining the exact borders of the areas to be integrated into Russia, the Kremlin says.

“We are going to continue to consult the populations of these regions,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says, referring to the southern Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions that are partially controlled by the Ukrainian military. “No doubt, any configuration will depend only on the will of the people who live in a particular territory,” he says.

Iran’s Khamenei accuses US, Israel of engineering ongoing ‘riots’

In this October 1, 2022, photo taken by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by the AP outside Iran, tear gas is fired by security to disperse protesters in front of the Tehran University, Iran. (AP Photo)
In this October 1, 2022, photo taken by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by the AP outside Iran, tear gas is fired by security to disperse protesters in front of the Tehran University, Iran. (AP Photo)

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accuses arch-foes the United States and Israel of fomenting unrest in the Islamic Republic following the death of Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini.

“I say clearly that these riots and the insecurity were engineered by America and the occupying, false Zionist regime, as well as their paid agents, with the help of some traitorous Iranians abroad,” he says in his first public comment on the unrest sparked by Amini’s death.

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