Mayoral races headed for Haifa upset, Jerusalem runoff and incumbent win in TA
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Mayoral races headed for Haifa upset, Jerusalem runoff and incumbent win in TA

Einat Kalisch Rotem stuns Yona Yahav in north’s largest municipality, Moshe Lion and Berkovich run away with lead in capital and Huldai fends off upstart Zamir in first Hebrew city

  • People arrive at the Rodef Shalom Congregation where the funeral for Tree of Life Congregation mass shooting victims Cecil Rosenthal and David Rosenthal who are brothers was held October 30, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP)
    People arrive at the Rodef Shalom Congregation where the funeral for Tree of Life Congregation mass shooting victims Cecil Rosenthal and David Rosenthal who are brothers was held October 30, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP)
  • Men embrace outside the Rodef Shalom Congregation where the funeral for Tree of Life Congregation mass shooting victims Cecil Rosenthal and David Rosenthal who are brothers was held October 30, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP)
    Men embrace outside the Rodef Shalom Congregation where the funeral for Tree of Life Congregation mass shooting victims Cecil Rosenthal and David Rosenthal who are brothers was held October 30, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP)
  • An Israeli woman votes at a polling station in the center of Jerusalem during local elections on October 30, 2018.  (Photo by THOMAS COEX / AFP)
    An Israeli woman votes at a polling station in the center of Jerusalem during local elections on October 30, 2018. (Photo by THOMAS COEX / AFP)
  • A Druze man speaks to a police officer during a protest against municipal elections in front of a polling center in the village of Majdal Shams on October 30, 2018. (Photo by JALAA MAREY / AFP)
    A Druze man speaks to a police officer during a protest against municipal elections in front of a polling center in the village of Majdal Shams on October 30, 2018. (Photo by JALAA MAREY / AFP)
  • The scene of a fatal car crash on Route 90, near the Dead Sea on October 30, 2018. (Magen David Adom)
    The scene of a fatal car crash on Route 90, near the Dead Sea on October 30, 2018. (Magen David Adom)
  • An Israeli man hangs campaign posters for local elections in the center of Jerusalem on October 30, 2018. (Photo by THOMAS COEX / AFP)
    An Israeli man hangs campaign posters for local elections in the center of Jerusalem on October 30, 2018. (Photo by THOMAS COEX / AFP)
  • A man casts his ballot at a voting station on the morning of the Municipal Elections, on October 30, 2018, in Kedumim. (Hillel Maeir/Flash90)
    A man casts his ballot at a voting station on the morning of the Municipal Elections, on October 30, 2018, in Kedumim. (Hillel Maeir/Flash90)

The Times of Israel is liveblogging Tuesday’s events as they unfold.

Voters in northern Arab town attacked with tear gas

A polling station in the northern Arab town of Yasif is closed after a man sprayed voters with tear gas, police say.

No injuries are reported. Police say the incident is being investigated.

10 injured as stun grenade thrown inside polling station in Druze town

A stun grenade is thrown inside a polling station in the northern Druze town of Yarka, police say.

Two polling stations in the town have been closed as a result of the attack, according to the statement. Hebrew-language media reports that a scuffle broke out at the scene.

Police are investigating the incident.

Four Druze regional councils in the Golan Heights are holding their first elections since 1967; however, voting in Israeli elections remains taboo for many in the community.

US government broadcaster to punish workers for Soros report

The US government’s international broadcasting agency says it will discipline employees responsible for a television report on philanthropist George Soros that violated its professional ethics and standards.

The US Agency for Global Media says that those who produced the report would be placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into “apparent misconduct” and may face disciplinary measures, including firing depending on the results of the probe.

The report on Soros aired in May on Spanish-language Radio Television Marti network, which broadcasts to Cuba.

It described him as a “Jewish multi-millionaire” influencing nations through nongovernment groups. It referenced the conservative organization Judicial Watch as believing he was undermining democracies.

Recently, Soros has been accused without evidence by right-wing commentators and politicians of funding migrants heading to the US from Central America.

— AP

Kara calls for ‘peace and security’ during UAE visit

Communications Minister Ayoub Kara calls for “peace and security” during his visit to the United Arab Emirates, as Israel launches an unprecedented diplomatic push into Gulf states.

“Peace and security in every state… with economic and scientific progress is what guarantees a future for the coming generations,” Ayoub Kara says at a telecom conference in Dubai.

Kara’s statement comes amid a diplomatic push by Israel in the mainly Sunni Gulf, which Jerusalem sees as an ally against Shiite power Iran. It follows visits by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Oman on Thursday and Culture Minister Miri Regev to Abu Dhabi over the weekend.

— AFP

Authorities investigating possible voter fraud in Petah Tikvah

Authorities are investigating possible voter fraud in Petah Tikvah, the Walla news site reports. A resident who arrived at his local polling station earlier this morning was told that he had already voted according to election records.

Egyptian intelligence officials said to arrive in Gaza for ceasefire talks

Egyptian intelligence officials are arriving in the Gaza Strip for talks with Hamas leadership, Hebrew and Arabic language media says. The delegation is in the Palestinian territory to discuss ongoing efforts to broker a ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas.

760,000 Israelis vote in local elections so far

As of 11 am, 760,335 Israelis cast their ballots in their local elections, and voter turnout stands at 7.17%, according to Interior Ministry figures.

Rivlin says voting for mayor ‘no less important’ than Knesset elections

President Reuven Rivlin and his wife Nechama urge Israelis to vote as they cast their ballots at the Yefe Nof School in Jerusalem.

“This vote is no less important than a vote for the Knesset, where the country’s policies are determined,” he says.

Trump to end birthright citizenship — report

US President Donald Trump says tells the Axios news site that he intends to sign an executive order to end the policy that grants citizenship to anyone born on US soil. In an interview for the show “Axios on HBO” that is set to air next week, Trump calls the policy “ridiculous” and says it “has to end.”

“We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States … with all of those benefits,” he says. “It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”

One arrested after scuffle at Arara polling station

One man is in police custody after a fight breaks out at a polling station in the Bedouin town of Arara, in the Negev. According to reports, the other man involved in the fight was taken to hospital with light injuries.

Justice minister inadvertently breaks election law while voting

Justice minister Ayelet Shaked says she inadvertently broke Israeli election laws by posting a video of herself campaigning inside a polling station.

Shaked posted a video of herself casting a ballot for a local Jewish Home candidates, and urging other voters to do the same.

The video was quickly removed, and a statement from Shaked’s office said the minister did not realize she had broken the law.

“As soon as it was apparent that it was illegal, the minister removed the video from social media and has apologized for the error.”

Opposition MK Miki Rosenthal filed a complaint with the attorney general against Shaked over the video.

Police break up anti-election protest in northern Druze city

Police in the northern Druze city of Majdal Shams say officers broke up an anti-election protest earlier today that was blocking voters from a local polling station.

No injuries are reported. The police statement says all polling stations in the city are open.

Over a million Israelis vote in local elections so far

As of 1 p.m., 1,379,572 Israelis cast their ballots in their local elections, and nationwide voter turnout stands at 20.9%, according to Interior Ministry figures. Voter turnout in Jerusalem is significantly lower, with only 11% of residents taking part in the municipal elections.

5 reported killed in Dead Sea car crash

Two adults and three children are killed in a car accident on Route 90 near the Dead Sea, according to reports.

Magen David Adom paramedics say 5 passengers from one car are trapped inside a burning vehicle near Masada. An MDA statement says three passengers from the other vehicle involved in the crash have been airlifted to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba for treatment.

Pictures from the scene indicate the two cars crashed head-on.

6 kids, 2 adults killed in car accident near Dead Sea

Six children and two adults are killed in a car crash on Route 90 near the Dead Sea, according to authorities.

All eight killed were traveling in one car. After the head-on collision, the vehicle caught on fire and the passengers were trapped inside.

The scene of a fatal car crash on Route 90, near the Dead Sea on October 30, 2018. (Magen David Adom)

Three other passengers from the other vehicle sustained moderate injuries in the crash, and are being airlifted to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba.

Police say the accident occurred on Route 90 near Ein Gedi, and have closed the highway in both directions from Ein Bokek to Dragot.

Gaza arson balloon sparks fire in southern Israel forest

An arson balloon flown over the border from Gaza sparks a fire in Kissufim Forest in southern Israel.

KKL-JNF says firefighting teams are working to put out the blaze.

The fire at Kissufim comes after a brief lull in cross-border arson attacks.

2 police officers injured in Arara election violence

Police say two officers are lightly injured by rocks thrown at them by anti-election protesters in the southern Bedouin town of Arara.

Denmark says it foiled Iran assassination plot

The head of the Danish security service says a massive police operation in eastern Denmark last month was part of attempts to thwart an Iranian intelligence operation to kill an opposition activist.

Finn Borch Andersen says that police on Sept. 28 were searching for a stolen, Swedish-registered car when they briefly cut off the island where Copenhagen sits from the rest of the country and closed the borders with Germany and Sweden. They later found it had no connection with the case.

A Norwegian citizen of Iranian descent was arrested Oct. 21.

A terror attack in Iran on Sept. 22 left at least 25 people dead. Tehran afterward summoned Denmark’s ambassador and accused the Danish government of harboring “members of the terrorist group” believed to be behind the attack.

— AP

180,000 Israelis spend election day holiday at national parks

Some 180,000 Israelis spent the election day holiday in nature reserves or national parks.

According to the National Parks Authority, Ein Afek and Ein Gedi were the most visited nature reserves, while Yarkon, Ein Hemed and Castel were the busiest national parks.

This is the first year that local elections are designated a holiday, a bid to challenge widespread voter apathy and raise the country’s traditionally low turnout rates.

Over 2 million Israelis vote in local elections so far

As of 4 p.m., 2,130,458 Israelis cast their ballots in their local elections, and nationwide voter turnout stands at 40.2%, according to Interior Ministry figures. Voter turnout in Jerusalem is significantly lower, with only 18% of residents taking part in the municipal elections so far.

Victims of Dead Sea car crash identified as family of 8

The eight people who were killed in a head-on collision on route 90 near the Dead Sea earlier today were members of one family, authorities confirm.

The parents are identified as Yariv and Shoshi Atar from the West Bank settlement of Psagot. The children’s names were not immediately released for publication.

The cause of the accident near the Ein Gedi nature reserve is not immediately clear.

First of synagogue massacre victims’ funerals underway

The casket of Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz has arrived at the Jewish Community Center in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood for the first of the funerals following the massacre that left 11 people dead at the Tree of Life synagogue Saturday.

Rabinowitz’ funeral was to begin at 11 a.m., and the funeral for brothers Cecil and David Rosenthal at noon.

All but one of the other funerals are scheduled through the rest of the week, ending on Friday.

Gunman Robert Bowers is due back in federal court for a hearing Thursday.

— AP

Dispatch from Tel Aviv: Activists for opposing parties find common ground

At Tel Aviv polling stations, the Times of Israel’s Melanie Lidman finds an atmosphere less rancorous than that of national elections, with opposing sides agreeing that it’s ultimately about finding ways to live together. Read more.

Netanyahu ‘heartbroken’ by Dead Sea car crash that killed family of 8

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he and his wife, Sara, are “heartbroken” to hear of the fatal car crash earlier today that killed a family of eight.

Netanyahu says they are “grieving along with the rest of Israel for the lives that were cut short.” The prime minister extends his condolences and urges Israelis taking advantage of the election day holiday to drive safely.

Ivanka and Jared Kushner to accompany Trump on Pittsburgh visit

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner will accompany US President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, in visiting Pittsburgh on Tuesday in the wake of the synagogue shooting that killed 11 worshippers.

The addition of the president’s Jewish daughter and son-in-law to the entourage was reported Tuesday morning.

They will be joined as well by White House adviser and Mideast peace negotiator Jason Greenblatt. Avi Berkowitz, assistant to the president, already is on the ground in Pittsburgh.

Trump is scheduled to spend about three hours in the city. Air Force One is scheduled to land in Pittsburgh later this afternoon.

— JTA

Dispatch from Pittsburgh: Rabbi eulogizes massacre victim with psalms

Muffled sobs echo in the darkened JCC auditorium as hundreds prepare to mourn beloved family member, friend, and neighbor Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz.

As the family enters the hushed hall, the community rises to its feet. While awaiting the family, a staff member at Rabinowitz’s medical clinic says there was a funereal atmosphere at the office yesterday as dozens of patients expressed their shock and condolences. He will be missed, she says, by many.

Wearing a tallit and yarmulke, Rabbi Doris Dayan from Rabinovitz’s Dor Chadash Reconstructionist community begins the service.

“Praise is the reality that helps us accept what is,” says Dayan, leading those assembled in the traditional prayer, “Baruch Dayan Ha’emet.”

Quoting from Ecclesiastes, Dayan muses on the meaning of the time for mourning and led the mourners in the recitation of psalms spelling out Rabinowitz’s name.

— Amanda Borschel-Dan

Pittsburgh mourners line up for Rosenthal brothers’ funeral

Hundreds of mourners dressed mostly in black are lined up, ringing the perimeter of Pittsburgh’s city’s oldest and largest synagogue, Rodef Shalom, to pay their final respects to two intellectually disabled brothers who were gunned down on Saturday.

A funeral was set to begin at noon (6 p.m. in Israel) for Cecil and David Rosenthal, who were both in their 50s.

They were among 11 people killed in the massacre inside the Tree of Life Synagogue.

The mourners include Dr. Abe Friedman, who said the Rosenthal family is well known in Pittsburgh for their philanthropy and kindness. Friedman would sit in the back row of Tree of Life each week along with the brothers, and would have been killed along with them had he not run late Saturday.

Services for Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz are also being held today.

— AP

Dispatch from Pittsburgh: Synagogue victim Rabinowitz eulogized as dedicated doctor

A childhood friend of Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz says their friendship was inevitable: “We were lined up by size.”

In a eulogy with more laughs than tears, the fellow doctor said that at a time when physicians became specialists, Rabinowitz became a family practitioner because of his commitment to humanity. The friend mentioned Rabinowitz’s inexpiable love for Abbot and Costello and his seriousness as a student.

“Laughter was the key to our friendship, but it sometimes got us in trouble,” he says.

“We were never more than a bike ride away from each other,” but later moved to different cities. “Just as I knew Jerry’s family he knew mine… he gave attention to everyone.”

“Jerry will stay in my heart forever, and so Miri will you,” said the friend, Mark.

Dr. Kenneth Selco, Rabinowitz’s medical partner, takes the podium and recalls their meeting over intramural football.

Selco joined Rabinowitz in 1986, when the AIDS epidemic was at its height. The two family practitioners ran the third largest AIDS clinic in the area. He also recalls Rabinowitz’s commitment to volunteering and charity, riding his bike hundreds of miles to raise funds.

Selco closes his remarks recalling Rabinowitz’s words: “Death is not the worst outcome, long suffering is.”

“I feel like I have lost a brother,” he concludes.

— Amanda Borschel-Dan

Firefighters extinguish to blazes caused by incendiary balloons from Gaza

Since this morning, firefighters have worked to extinguish two blazes caused by an incendiary balloons near Israeli towns along the Gaza Strip, a spokesman for the Israeli Fire and Rescue Services says.

Religious Affairs Minister David Azoulay passes away after battle with cancer

Religious Affairs Minister David Azoulay of Shas passes away after a battle with cancer.

Azoulay had been battling cancer for some months. He has often been forced to miss work at the ministry due to his illness.

His son Yinon had been taking over his parliamentary duties while he had been receiving treatment, but the 64-year-old continued to hold the title of minister.

Shas MK David Azoulay during a Knesset committee meeting, February 13, 2013. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

Regev calls for more to be done to combat road accidents after family of 8 killed in Dead Sea crash

Culture Minister Miri Regev calls for more to be done to improve road safety after a family of eight lost their lives in a car accident on Route 90 near the Dead Sea.

“The heart weeps over this horrific accident. An entire family perished in a single instant — parents with their six children.

“We must continue to do everything possible to combat road accidents that exact a heavy which are exacting a price of human life,” she says in a statement.

Ministers mourn David Azoulay as ‘true public servant’

Israeli ministers mourn the passing of Religious Affairs Minister David Azoulay.

“The late Minister David Azoulay was a good-hearted man and a true public emissary who modestly connected the public’s various sectors,” says Education Minister Naftali Bennett.

“He immigrated from Morocco, served in the IDF as a combat medic, and worked extensively in the local and national arena. David, your smile will be missed,” Bennett concludes.

“I weep over my dear friend, my beloved, my partner for decades, Rabbi David Azoulay, who has passed away after much anguish at just 64-years-old,” says Interior Minister Aryeh Deri of his fellow faction member who died after a long battle with cancer.

“Rabbi David was a humble man, a man of action, a righteous man. He passed, leaving behind his family, the Shas family, and the people of Israel,” Deri adds.

Netanyahu offers condolences over passing of Minister David Azoulay

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “express[es] deep sorrow over the passing of Minister David Azoulay.

The funeral procession and its date will be announced later, a statement from the PMO says.

“David served for more than two decades as a member of the Knesset, and initiated many laws designed to benefit the citizens of Israel,” Netanyahu says in a statement.

“He was an excellent and industrious minister who enlightened everyone, loved peace and pursued peace,” he adds.

Governor and Pittsburgh mayor won’t join Trump

Pennsylvania’s governor and Pittsburgh’s mayor both say they will not join US President Donald Trump during his scheduled trip to Pittsburgh.

Trump faces an uneasy welcome Tuesday afternoon in the anguished community of Squirrel Hill, home to the Tree of Life synagogue where 11 people were gunned down during Sabbath services on Saturday.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s campaign spokeswoman, Beth Melena, says the governor based his decision on input from the victims’ families who told him they did not want the president to be there on the day their loved ones were being buried.

Democratic Mayor Bill Peduto says he also won’t greet Trump.

Peduto earlier said the White House ought to consult with the families of the victims about their preferences and asked that the president not come during a funeral.

— AP

Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner to accompany president on Pittsburgh visit

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner will accompany US President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, in visiting Pittsburgh on Tuesday in the wake of the synagogue shooting that killed 11 worshippers.

They will be joined as well by White House adviser and Mideast peace negotiator Jason Greenblatt. Avi Berkowitz, assistant to the president, already is on the ground in Pittsburgh.

Trump is scheduled to spend about three hours in the city. Air Force One is scheduled to land in Pittsburgh at 3:45 p.m. local time

— JTA

Russia to respond to NATO exercises with missile tests

Russia plans to test missiles off Norway this week in an area where NATO is carrying out its biggest military exercises since the end of the Cold War, a move seen as an escalation of tensions in the Far North.

“We were notified last week about the planned Russian missile tests outside the coast here,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg tells reporters in western Norway where the Trident Juncture 18 exercises are taking place.

The maneuvers are aimed at training the Atlantic Alliance to defend a member state after an aggression.

Mobilizing some 50,000 troops, 65 ships, and 250 aircraft from 31 countries several hundred kilometers (miles) from Norway’s border with Russia in the Arctic, the exercises have angered Moscow, which had vowed to “retaliate.”

“Despite the pretty awkward attempts by representatives of the Alliance and its member states to present this military activity as defensive, it is obvious that this show of force is clearly of an anti-Russian nature,” the Russian foreign ministry says.

The Russian military announced last week it was deploying four vessels in the North Atlantic for exercises of its own.

“Russia has significant naval forces in this area,” Stoltenberg says. “I expect Russia to behave in a professional way.”

— AFP

Israel, Boeing sign ‘reciprocal’ spending deal

Israel’s Economy Ministry announces that it has reached a deal with Boeing which will see the multinational corporation spend billions of dollars in the Jewish state.

The “reciprocal procurement” agreement will have Boeing collaborate with Israeli companies for at least 35 percent of the value of any transaction it signs with the Israeli government, Reuters reports.

Rivlin mourns passing of Minister David Azoulay; funeral set for tonight

“I was very saddened to learn of the passing of my dear friend, Religious Affairs Minister David Azoulay,” says President Reuven Rivlin in a statement.

The president says that more than anyone else, Azoulay was connected to all of the tribes of Israel.

The funeral is set for 10:30 p.m. in Jerusalem.

 

Voter turnout stands at 40 percent; 15 percent increase from last local election

As of 5 p.m., 2,588,117 Israelis cast their ballots in their local elections, and nationwide voter turnout stands at 39.26 percent, according to Interior Ministry figures. The number represents a 15% increase from voting at the same time in the last municipal elections, which took place in 2013.

— Raoul Wootliff

Second caravan reaches city in far-southern Mexico

More than 1,000 migrants in a second caravan that forced its way across the river from Guatemala have now begun arriving in the southern Mexico city of Tapachula.

The first contingents began arriving to camp out in Tapachula’s main plaza on Tuesday.

Fifty-four-year-old Gerbert Hinestrosa of Santa Barbara in Honduras is traveling with his wife and teenage son. He says he realizes how hard it will be to make it to the US border.

He says, “Right now I feel good.” And he adds: “We have barely started, but I think it is going to be very difficult.”

The first, larger caravan also passed through Tapachula about 10 days ago, and now is about 250 miles ahead, in the Oaxaca state city of Juchitan.

— AP

Police respond to report of Palestinian seriously injured in West Bank drive-by shooting

Police say they are investigating a report of a Palestinian who was seriously injured after being shot while driving in the northern West Bank.

The victim from the village of Funduk near Nablus arrived at the gate of the Karnei Shomron settlement where he was treated by Magen David Adom medics and evacuated to a nearby hospital.

Police say that the background of the incident appears to be criminal.

Driver who hit family of 8 in dead sea crash completes medical treatment; now being interrogated

The driver of the vehicle that crashed into the car carrying a family of 8 that were killed near the Dead Sea is currently being interrogated by authorities after completing medical treatment, police say.

Denmark recalls ambassador to Iran over foiled ‘attack’

Denmark Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen announces that Copenhagen will recall its ambassador to Iran and push the EU to sanction Tehran following a suspected attempted attack by an Iranian intelligence service on Danish soil.

Denmark alleges that the Iranian intelligence service plotted to assassinate the leader of the Danish branch of an ethnic Arab separatist movement in Iran.

 

Northern Ireland police investigate group in KKK costumes

Northern Ireland police says they are investigating as a hate crime reports that a group of nine people dressed in Ku Klux Klan costumes posed outside an Islamic center.

A picture published on social media showed the group, also carrying crucifixes, close to the Bangladesh Islamic Centre in Newtownards on Saturday and there were reports of them visiting bars in the town.

A pig’s head was left outside the center in August last year, British media reported.

“We are treating this as a hate crime,” Inspector Richard Murray from the Police Service of Northern Ireland says in a statement.

The group also posed for pictures at a pub in the town with Sharon Mellor, the girlfriend of Tony Martin, leader of the fringe far-right group National Front, the Belfast Telegraph reported.

The newspaper published a picture showing Mellor with someone dressed in a KKK costume spattered with blood holding a beer.

She told the paper the people were “random strangers.”

“A few blokes were dressed up for Halloween, no idea who they were,” she said.

The paper said Mellor “joked” three years ago about having tried to set fire to the Islamic center in the town.

One of the pubs the group entered on Saturday night was The Spirit Merchant owned by JD Wetherspoon.

Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon says: “We can confirm that a group dressed in KKK clothing came to our pub.

“They were refused entry by door staff, but pushed past them into the pub. They were told by bar staff that they would not be served. They remained in the pub for five minutes, unserved, and then left.”

The Ku Klux Klan is a white supremacist group founded in the 19th century after the abolition of slavery in the United States.

— AFP

Slain brothers remembered as ‘beautiful souls’

More than 1,000 people have poured into one of Pittsburgh’s largest synagogues to mourn the two intellectually disabled brothers who were killed in Saturday’s massacre.

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers says Cecil and David Rosenthal were the very definition of “beautiful souls” at their joint funeral Tuesday at Rodef Shalom. Myers also survived the attack and is officiating at five other victims’ funerals.

He says their absence will be deeply felt at Tree of Life, the Pittsburgh synagogue where 11 people were gunned down Saturday in the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history.

Their family asked for donations to be sent to Tree of Life or Achieva in lieu of flowers.

Services for Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz were also being held Tuesday.

— AP

FBI looking into bid to smear Russia probe chief Mueller

The FBI is investigating an alleged scheme to pay women to smear Russia collusion probe head Robert Mueller with sexual harassment allegations, Mueller’s office says.

The scheme was uncovered after one woman who said she worked for Mueller decades ago told several journalists she had been offered $20,000 to accuse him of sexual misconduct.

“When we learned last week of allegations that women were offered money to make false claims about the Special Counsel, we immediately referred the matter to the FBI for investigation,” Mueller’s spokesman Peter Carr says.

— AFP

Voter turnout stands at 50 percent; 13 percent increase from last local election

As of 8:30 p.m., 3,379,980 Israelis cast their ballots in their local elections, and nationwide voter turnout stands at 49.64 percent, according to Interior Ministry figures. The number represents a 13% increase from voting at the same time in the last municipal elections, which took place in 2013.

 

Low national religious turnout in Jerusalem spells possible trouble for Elkin

Hadashot news reports high voter turnout in the secular and ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods of Jerusalem, signaling promising results for mayoral candidates Ofer Berkovitch and Moshe Lion.

The news channel is reporting low turnout in the national religious and traditionally-religious neighborhoods, spelling possible trouble for Zev Elkin.

Far-right group sending voters fake messages ‘warning’ them of high Arab turnout

Residents of the mixed Arab-Jewish town of Ramle say they have been receiving text messages from the far-right Otzma Yehudit group warning them that Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi has arrived in the city and is encouraging its Arab voters to head to the polls.

The Times of Israel confirms that Tibi was at his home when the message blast was sent.

Similar fake messages are being reported in Rehovot and Petah Tivka, which are respectively warning residents of active presence of left-wing groups in the city and high Bedouin turnout.

US missionary killed in restive northwest Cameroon

An American missionary has died after his vehicle was “riddled with bullets” in Bambui township, in northwest Cameroon’s restive anglophone region, a religious official from the local archdiocese tells AFP.

A hospital source confirms that the unnamed man “died this afternoon” of his wounds, following the attack. The two anglophone regions in western Cameroon are the site of an uprising by armed separatists, who have also called for a boycott of local schools. They argue that the French-language education system penalizes English-speaking students.

— AFP

PM urges Jerusalemites to get out and vote for Elkin in last-minute plea

In a recorded statement sent out in the final hour of the campaign, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calls on Jerusalemites who have not voted to support Ze’ev Elkin.

“Go and vote. The battle is tight. I say this as a Jerusalemite. You need a person like Minister Ze’ev Elkin, a very talented man who has done a lot for Jerusalem and will do more.”

PM to attend funeral of Religious Affairs Minister David Azoulay

Netanyahu to attend the funeral of David Azoulay at the Sanhedria cemetery in Jerusalem at 11 PM, his office says.

Kansas militia men blame Trump’s rhetoric for planned attack

Attorneys for Kansas militia members who conspired to bomb a mosque and apartment complex housing Somali immigrants ask the court to take into account at a sentencing hearing next month what they called US President Donald Trump’s rhetoric encouraging violence.

One has asked the judge to also consider the fact that all three men read and shared Russian propaganda on their Facebook feed designed to sow discord in the U.S. political system.

A federal jury convicted Patrick Stein, Gavin Wright, and Curtis Allen of one count of conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and one count of conspiracy against civil rights in April. Wright was also found guilty of lying to the FBI. The attack, planned for the day after the 2016 general election, was thwarted by another member of the group who tipped off authorities about escalating threats of violence.

U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren will consider at their sentencing on Nov. 19 and 20 how much time each man will spend in prison. Conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction carries a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment, while the sentence for the civil rights violation carries no more than 10 years. The sentencing had previously been scheduled for Friday.

Prosecutors are seeking life terms for all three, while defense attorneys are variously pleading for shorter terms of 15, 10, or even time served.

The government pointed to the seriousness of the offense, which it says continues to have “a deep, lasting impact on the victims’ sense of security in their homes and at their mosque. It also wanted to ensure the men can never threaten the safety of the public again. And it argued for the need to send a strong deterrent message that violence against the government or any person will not be tolerated.

— AP

Driver who hit family of 8 in Dead Sea crash arrested on suspicion of manslaughter

Police announce that the driver of the car that crashed into another van killing all eight passengers has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.

 

Trump lands in Pittsburgh after synagogue massacre

The US President and First Lady have landed in Pittsburgh to console the Jewish community targeted in a shooting attack on Saturday at the Tree of Life Synagogue where 11 people were gunned down.

High turnout documented as polling ends in municipal elections

As the polls closed at 10:00 p.m., 3,637,247 Israelis had cast their ballots in the local elections, and nationwide voter turnout stood at 55.1 percent, according to Interior Ministry figures. The number represents a 10.5% increase from voting at the same time in the last municipal elections, which took place in 2013.

Atar family named as victims of Dead Sea Crash that killed 8

The Atar family has been identified as the victims of the car accident near the Dead Sea.

Parents Yariv, 45, and Shoshi, 47, were killed along with their six children: Yaakov Yisrael, 12, Ateret, 11, Ayelet, 9, Moria, 7, Yedid, 5, and Avigail, 3.

The family was from the central West Bank settlement of Psagot.

Yariv and Shoshi Atar, killed in a car crash near the Dead Sea on October 30, 2018. (Courtesy)
The Atar family, killed in a car crash near the Dead Sea on October 30, 2018. (Courtesy)

Exit poll has Haifa incumbent mayor unseated

According to an exit poll conducted by Haifa Radio, Einat Kalisch-Rotem has won the election to become the northern city’s next mayor, defeating incumbent Yona Yahav 57.8% to 35.8%.

Kalisch would become the city’s first female mayor.

Voter turnout in Jerusalem marked at 35% with 225,000 residents heading to polls

In Jerusalem, voter turnout has been documented at 34.9%, with 222,500 residents voting in total.

Excluding East Jerusalem — where many Palestinians are unable to vote or choose to boycott elections — voter turnout in the capital stands at 51%.

350 from towns on Gaza border protest against government handling of security situation

Some 350 residents of Israeli communities along the Gaza border are currently demonstrating at the entrance to the southern city of Ashkelon against the government’s handling of the current security situation.

The protesters are blocking the intersection in what is the third such demonstration in the past week.

44% of prison inmates vote in local election with 4,222 of 9,290 casting ballots

The Israel Prisons Service says turnout among inmates stood at 44% with 4,222 of 9,290 eligible convicts voting.

The voting was completed without incident.

Hundreds protest Trump visit to Pittsburgh after synagogue shooting

Hundreds of protesters take to the streets of Pittsburgh to denounce a visit by US President Donald Trump in the wake of a mass shooting at a synagogue that left 11 people dead.

Demonstrators gather near the Tree of Life synagogue, where the shooting took place, holding signs that read “President Hate, Leave Our State!” and “Trump, Renounce White Nationalism Now.”

Trump arrived in the city with his wife Melania to pay his respects to the victims, but some say he has not done enough to squelch hate speech, and in fact fans extremism through his vitriolic tweets.

The protest is sponsored by the “Jewish resistance” organization Bend the Arc. Protesters are marching in the hearts of the city’s Jewish neighborhoods holding banners and softly singing psalms in round.

Protesters are currently stopping traffic at rush hour.

— AFP and Amanda Borschel-Dan

Gap between Huldai and Zamir said to be ever-narrowing in Tel Aviv

Hadashot news says that ballot tallies in northern Tel Aviv show a close battle between mayoral candidates Ron Huldai and Asaf Zamir.

Funeral begins for Religious Affairs Minister David Azoulay

The funeral for Religious Affairs Minister David Azoulay has begun at the Sanhedria cemetery in Jerusalem.

Trump arrives at Pittsburgh synagogue targeted in anti-Semitic attack

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have arrived at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh where 11 people were shot dead on Saturday.

The first couple, accompanied by daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner will light a memorial candle and later place stones at the White House with Stars of David on them to commemorate those killed in the attack.

Bennett: Using synagogue shooting to attack Trump is unfair and wrong

Education Minister Naftali Bennett says that the use of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting to attack US President Donald Trump is “unfair and wrong.”

“With President Trump we never have to worry if he has our backs. He has delivered on every promise. This is something we will never forget. He is fighting terror worldwide including Israel’s greatest enemy, the murderous regime of Tehran,” says Bennett, who is currently in Pittsburgh in solidarity with the Jewish community there.

“His condemnation of antisemitism — when he said he would destroy those that seek to destroy the Jewish people — was the strongest condemnation of antisemitism that I have ever heard from a politician outside the State of Israel,” the minister adds.

Azoulay family asks PM not to attend funeral of minister to minimize security arrangements

The family of Religious Affairs Minister David Azoulay has asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to attend his funeral in order to minimize the security arrangements.

The prime minister has agreed to the family’s request.

Protesters turn backs on Trump as his cavalcade passes

As the Trump cavalcade passes in Pittsburgh on its way from the Tree of Life synagogue, dozens of protesters chant, “Turn your backs” and turn around.

— Amanda Borschel-Dan

Demonstrators greet Trump with signs calling for him to renounce White nationalism

More than 1,000 protesters have gathered peacefully near the Tree of Life synagogue as US President Donald Trump pays his visit, according to an estimate by a police officer at the scene.

The demonstrators are holding signs that read “President Hate, Leave Our State!” and “Trump, Renounce White Nationalism Now.”

First winner announced in local elections: Wohil Mughrabi of Druze village of Ein Qiniya

Wohil Mughrabi has won the election in the Druze village of Ein Qiniya in the Golan Heights.

Mughrabi took 20 of 21 votes cast in the village, whose residents overwhelmingly boycotted the vote.

Gap between Berkovitch and Lion said narrow in Jerusalem vote with Elkin trailing far behind

After 17,000 of 222,500 votes counted, Army Radio says Jerusalem mayoral candidates Moshe Lion and Ofer Berkovitch are neck and neck.

Yossi Deitch and Ze’ev Elkin are reported to trail well behind.

Funerals begin after ‘racist’ shooting in Kentucky

The first of two African American grocery shoppers shot dead by a white gunman in an attack described by police as racially motivated is being laid to rest.

Maurice Stallard, 69, and Vickie Lee Jones, 67, were gunned down on Wednesday last week at a suburban store in Louisville, Kentucky.

Their deaths came days before an anti-Semitic massacre in Pittsburgh and as a spate of mail bombs sent to high-profile liberals was fueling a national reckoning over deepening political and racial divisions.

Stallard’s funeral is due to take place at a church in southeast Louisville while Jones will be laid to rest in the city on Saturday.

— AFP

After 5% of votes cast in Tel Aviv, Huldai leads by 10 percentage points

After 10,000 of 188,000 votes have been counted in the Tel Aviv mayoral election, Ron Huldai leads Assaf Zamir by 10%.

 

Berkovitch says he expects to move on to runoff in Jerusalem mayoral elections

Jerusalem mayoral candidate Ofer Berkowitz says he expects to move on to the runoff round in the municipal elections.

“We are ready for victory in the second round,” Berkovich tells his supporters.

Trumps exit Pittsburgh synagogue after paying respects for 20 minutes

Trump and his family have left the synagogue in Pittsburgh after about 20 minutes inside.

The first couple had placed a white flower and small stone on each star erected in memory of the 11 victims at the makeshift memorial outside the Tree of Life synagogue.

Cries of protesters from just beyond the cordon were audible, including “words have meaning,” and “no more hate.”

With 14% of votes counted, Huldai leads Zamir by 6% in Tel Aviv mayoral race

After 14% of the 188,000 votes have been counted in the Tel Aviv mayoral race, incumbent Ron Huldai leads challenger Assaf Zamir by 6%; 41% to 35%.

Trump visits shooting victims at Pittsburgh hospital

US President Donald Trump is visiting the victims of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting at the UPMC Presbyterian hospital.

 

Lion leading pack in Jerusalem with Berkovitch trailing by 1%

Moshe Lion is currently leading the pack of Jerusalem mayoral candidates after 20% of the votes have been counted.

Lion leads with 29.9%, followed by Ofer Berkovitch with 28.9%, Yossi Deitch with 21.8% and Ze’ev Elkin with 19.2%.

Likud MK Jacky Levy slated to easily take Beit She’an mayor race

Likud MK Jacky Levy enjoys a large lead over incumbent mayor Rafi Ben Sheetrit in the Beit She’an mayoral election, after 70% of the votes have been counted.

Levy has the endorsement of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Huldai leads Zamir in Tel Aviv mayor race by 4%

Ron Huldai is leading Assaf Zamir by 4% in the Tel Aviv mayoral race after 10% of the votes have been counted.

Gush Etzion Regional Council slated to require runoff

The elections in the Gush Etzion Regional Council are slated to require a runoff, with none of the three candidates managing to garner 40% of the vote.

Current chairman Shlomo Ne’eman is tied with challenger Benny Saville at 36%, with 20% of the votes counted.

Gush Etzion Field School head Yaron Rosental trails behind with 26% of the vote.

Gantz maintains small lead in Binyamin Regional Council elections

Yisrael Gantz leads Shiloh Adler by 300 votes after 82% of the votes have been counted in the Binyamin Regional Council elections.

Gantz was the deputy chairman before announcing his candidacy and Adler was the secretary-general of the Yesha settlement umbrella council.

All three female candidates for mayor in settlements slated for defeat

All three female candidates for mayor in the settlements are slated for defeat in the municipal elections.

Beit El Local Council chairman Shai Alon, Karnei Shomron Local Council chairman Yigal Lahav and Har Hebron Regional chairman Yochai Damari overwhelmingly defeat Yael Ben Yashar, Ruti Spitzer and Sosh Adar, respectively.

No woman has served as council chair in the settlements since Daniella Weiss concluded a second term as Kedumim Local council chairwoman in 2007.

Weiss remains the only woman to ever serve as local council chair.

Huldai slated for 5th straight election win in Tel Aviv as lead over Zamir grows

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai is slated to win his fifth consecutive election as his lead over Assaf Zamir grows to nearly ten percent, after more than 35% of the roughly 188,000 votes have been counted.

Lion, Berkovitch maintain lead in Jerusalem with third of vote counted

Moshe Lion and Ofer Berkovitch maintain their leads over Yossi Deitch and Ze’ev Elkin in the Jerusalem mayoral election after a third of the votes have been counted.

Lion has 31.5% of the votes, Berkovitch 29.9%, Elkin 19.6% and Deitch 18.7%.

With no candidate slated to earn 40% of the vote, Lion and Berkovitch will likely head to a runoff in two weeks.

Mayoral races headed for Haifa upset, Jerusalem runoff and incumbent win in TA

As final votes are being counted, Einat Kalisch Rotem and Ron Huldai prepare to give victory speeches to their supporters in Haifa and Tel Aviv. Moshe Lion and Ofer Berkovitch also give speeches to their supporters in Jerusalem as they move on to a runoff.

With a substantial lead over incumbent Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav, Kalisch Rotem is slated to become the northern city’s first female mayor.

Huldai is slated to win a fifth consecutive term in Tel Aviv, as his 10% lead over his deputy-turned-rival Assaf Zamir solidifies.

Lion and Berkovitch fend off Ze’ev Elkin and Yossi Deitch and will face off in a runoff election to lead Jerusalem in two weeks.

Berkovitch takes substantial lead over Lion in Jerusalem mayoral race

After 45 percent of the votes have been counted in the Jerusalem mayoral election, Ofer Berkovitch takes a substantial lead over Moshe Lion.

Berkovitch currently enjoys 36% of the vote compared to Lion’s 26%. Berkovitch needs 40% of the vote to avoid a runoff against Lion in two weeks.

IDF fires warning at Gazans launching incendiary balloons at Israel

An Israeli drone opens fire at a group of Palestinians launching airborne arson devices at southern Israel from the southern Gaza Strip, Palestinian media reports.

The Israeli military confirms that one of its aircraft shot at “a terrorist spotted releasing incendiary balloons” toward Israeli territory.

According to the Hamas-linked Shehab news outlet, no Palestinians were injured in the airstrike, east of Bureij in southern Gaza.

— Judah Ari Gross

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