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

Palestinian killed in attempted attack in southern Israel

A Palestinian is killed in an attempted attack in Kiryat Gat in southern Israel. He was shot dead by police after trying to snatch a soldier’s gun.

Netanyahu cancels Germany trip as violence continues

As the violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank continues, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancels next week’s trip to Berlin.

The trip was part of a summit meeting between Israeli and German ministers. Netanyahu and several cabinet ministers had been originally due to leave for Germany on Wednesday morning and return late Thursday night but the trip was shortened yesterday and today canceled entirely.

The Prime Minister’s Office said yesterday that Netanyahu felt it was important to be in the country at this challenging time.

Kiryat Gat attack: Soldier stabbed and wounded

A soldier sustains light wounds to his upper body in the attempted attack on a bus in Kiryat Gat, Ynet news reports.

The attacker was killed by police forces.

The Maariv website quotes local residents as saying that security forces are hunting a suspected accomplice.

Iraq, Syria wars contributed to heavy sandstorm, scientists say

Israeli scientists says the ongoing fighting in Syria and Iraq was a factor in the heavy sandstorm that struck the Middle East last month.

According to Haaretz, scientists from Ben-Gurion University say “the decline in farming and damage caused to the land due to the ongoing war in that region contributed to the storm.”

Meteorologists say the sandstorm, which choked the region under a blanket of thick dust and turned skies orange for days is the worst sandstorm to hit Israel since its establishment.

Trio wins Nobel in chemistry for work on DNA repair

Three scientists from Sweden, the US and Turkey win the Nobel Prize in chemistry for showing how cells repair damaged DNA, work that can be used to develop new cancer treatments.

Swedish scientist Tomas Lindahl, American Paul Modrich and US-Turkish national Aziz Sancar share the 8 million Swedish kronor (about $960,000) award.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences says their work on DNA repair “has provided fundamental knowledge of how a living cell functions.” Their findings can be used for the development of new cancer treatments, among other things, the academy says.

Lindahl, 77, is an emeritus group leader at Francis Crick Institute and Emeritus director of Cancer Research UK at Clare Hall Laboratory in Britain; Modrich, born in 1946, is an investigator at Howard Hughes Medical Institute and professor at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina; and Sancar, 69, is a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

— AP

Family of female stabber fights with police at hospital

The family of the woman terrorist who was shot after attacking a Jewish man in Jerusalem this morning clashes with Border Police officers stationed at Hadassah Medical Center Ein Kerem.

The family says that the officers would not allow them to visit the woman, the Walla website reports.

One of the family members is detained for questioning, Walla says.

Russia says warships deployed against Islamic State in Syria

Russia Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu says his country is using warships to target Islamic State in Syria.

Shoigu says in a statement that four ships fired 26 cruise missiles at a total of 11 targets, Russia Today reports. He says that data shows all the targets were destroyed and no civilian facilities were damaged.

PM to address press on security situation

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is holding a press conference in Jerusalem at 3:30 p.m. to update the media on the security situation, his communications staff says.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat are also attending the press conference in the Russian Compound area of the capital, as well as acting Israel Police chief Bentzi Sau and Jerusalem district commander Moshe Edri.

Israel asks Google to remove pro-terror YouTube clips

The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem files a formal complaint with Google over “dangerous” videos posted on its YouTube website that praise and encourage attacks against Israelis and Jews and asks for their removal.

“We would like to draw your attention to two examples on YouTube of violent and inciting content in which terrorists are praised and their acts staged in videos to promote further violence against Israelis and Jews,” the ministry writes. “The videos depict recent terror attacks, praise the assailants and present Jews and Israelis in a hateful and racist manner – and since their publishing, three more attacks have taken place so far. The comments to those videos are themselves of a racist and anti-Semitic nature.”

The complaint includes two examples (including the clip below) “out of many violent and inciting videos” posted on YouTube.

— Raphael Ahren

Kiryat Gat assailant named as West Bank Palestinian

The Arab killed after trying to snatch an IDF soldier’s gun in the southern town of Kiryat Gat is named as Ahmad Hatam, a Palestinian from the West Bank village of Yatta, near Hebron, Channel 2 reports.

IDF kills Palestinian in clashes near Ramallah – reports

IDF troops shoot and kill a Palestinian during clashes near the West Bank city of Ramallah, reports on social media say.

Several other Palestinians are wounded, the reports say.





Khamenei: No Iranian negotiations with US

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei says his country will never negotiate with the US as such talks never bear fruit and are dangerous, Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency reports.

Addressing naval commanders, Khamenei says the US definition of talks is to pave the way for “infiltration into the country’s economic, cultural, political and security sectors.”

Saudi billionaire prince doubles ownership of Twitter stock

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and his investment company say they have doubled their ownership of Twitter’s publicly traded shares in the past six weeks.

A joint statement by the prince and the Riyadh-based Kingdom Holding Company says their combined shares represent more than 5 percent of Twitter’s common stock, with a market value of $1 billion.

The prince and KHC, which he chairs, originally invested $300 million in Twitter in 2011 before the micro-blogging site went public two years later. With the most recent investments, Prince Alwaleed holds roughly 30,100,000 shares in Twitter and KHC has nearly 4,850,000 shares.

— AP

Palestinian report: 18 hurt, no deaths in clashes near Ramallah

Palestinian news agency Ma’an quotes the Red Crescent as saying that 18 people were hurt in clashes with the IDF near Ramallah this afternoon, but denies earlier reports on social media that a man was killed.

Israeli team makes headway in Google moon challenge

An Israeli team of engineers has made a much sought-after advance in a Google competition to send a rocket to the moon, the internet titan says.

SpaceIL has secured the first “ticket to the moon” in the form of a place on the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in 2017, Google says. The Israeli-made spacecraft will ride in a capsule on the Falcon 9, and then use navigation sensors to guide it to the surface of the moon.

The Israeli team is one of 16 teams from around the world who are trying to win the Google Lunar XPRIZE, which asks entrants to develop a robot that can successfully land on the moon’s surface, travel at least 500 meters and send images back to Earth. The winner will receive a $30 million prize.

A Google illustration of the SpaceIL craft landing on the moon.

An animated Google illustration of the SpaceIL craft landing on the moon.

Policeman hurt in Jerusalem stone-throwing attack

A police officer is lightly hurt when he is hit in the head by Palestinian stone throwers in the Old City of Jerusalem.

The officer is treated at the site before being evacuated to Hadassah Medical Center, Ein Kerem, Ynet says.

Police and Border Police officers arrest two Palestinians over the attack.

Video purports to show Israeli forces beating Palestinian detainee

A video released on social media and YouTube claims to show IDF troops and undercover Israeli police beating a Palestinian stone thrower during clashes near the Beit El settlement near Ramallah.

The video apparently shows uniformed and undercover security forces kicking at least one Palestinian detainee as he was lying on the ground.

The IDF Spokesman said the army was looking into the matter.






— Judah Ari Gross

IDF to Palestinian outlet: Israel doesn’t want more violence

The head of the IDF’s civil administration in the territories, Yoav Mordechai, tells the Palestinian news agency Ma’an that Israel is not interested in an escalation of violence, but will respond emphatically to those who do engage in violent acts.

Mordechai says Israel will not impinge upon daily life for the Palestinian people and emphasizes that Israel does not intend to change the status quo at the al-Aqsa Mosque at the Temple Mount.

Rivlin: Those seeking religious war have blood on their hands

President Reuven Rivlin warns against religious incitement at the Temple Mount and slams PA leader Mahmoud Abbas for saying Palestinians will not allow the al-Aqsa Mosque to be spoiled by Israelis’ “filthy feet.”

“Those who wish to turn the tragedy between us, Palestinians and Israel… into a religious war have blood on their hands,” Rivlin says. “We are sitting on a volcano.”


Nasrallah: Palestinians are at the start of third intifada

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah calls Benjamin Netanyahu confused and says that the Palestinians are on the verge of a third intifada.

“The next war is here, and it requires us to be ready,” Nasrallah tells a conference in Lebanon, Maariv reports.



PM praises Israeli resilience in face of ‘wave of terror’

Benjamin Netanyahu hails Israeli resilience in face of the ongoing deadly violence, during a visit to the Jerusalem police headquarters in the Russian Compound Wednesday.

“We are still in the midst of a wave of terror,” he says. “We will take firm action against terrorists, lawbreakers and inciters. We have bolstered our troops and using all methods necessary to fight this terrorism.

“In the war on terrorism, civilians are on the front lines and the greatest vigilance is required of them. I want to commend the courage and composure displayed by Israel’s citizens in recent days, as well as today in Jerusalem and Kiryat Gat. The objective of terrorism is to sow fear, and the first order of defeating terrorism is to show composure and resilience. We already knew these are difficult times, and we will overcome this wave of terrorism with determination, responsibility and unity.”

Three hurt in suspected Petah Tikva terror attack

At least three people are wounded in a suspected stabbing in Petah Tikva, next to Tel Aviv.

Channel 2 says one person is in serious condition, and security sources say the attacker is in custody.

Channel 10 television posted an image on Twitter of the terrorist being arrested outside a shopping mall in the city.



Rescue service: 1 person hurt in Petah Tikva attack

Magen David Adom says its paramedics are treating a 25-year-old man who is in moderate but stable condition after a knife attack in Petah Tikva on Wednesday evening.

The rescue service says the man was to be transported to the nearby Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva.

— Judah Ari Gross


Report: Arab teen tries to stab police in Jerusalem

A 15-year-old Arab boy is arrested in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu Tor after trying to attack Israel Police forces.

Channel 2 says the boy slowly approached the forces before pulling out a knife and trying to stab the officers.

This is the fifth attack or attempted attack on Israelis today.

Police: Petah Tikva stabber is Palestinian from Hebron

Israel Police identify the terrorist who stabbed an Israeli man outside the mall in Petah Tikva this evening as a 30-year-old Palestinian from the West Bank city of Hebron.

In a Facebook post, police say the terrorist disembarked from a bus at a stop next to the mall and began to stab his victim in his upper body.

According to the police, Israelis at the scene of the attack overpowered the terrorist, who was then arrested and taken for questioning.

Netanyahu pays tribute to ‘exceptional’ security forces

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pays tribute to Israel’s security forces, praising their “great courage” in face of the ongoing cycle of violence.

Writing on Facebook, the prime minister says: “I would like to thank all Israeli police officers, Border Police forces and IDF soldiers who in recent days have been operating exceptionally and showing great courage in confronting immediate threats. The people of Israel thank you for your dedication and sacrifice. We love you.”

The post includes video of Netanyahu at the Jerusalem district headquarters earlier today.


Herzog calls on Netanyahu to resign after wave of terror

Zionist Union chairman Isaac Herzog calls Benjamin Netanyahu an ineffective leader and demands that he steps down over his inability to restore calm after days of violence between Israel and the Palestinians.

“The responsibility for the security of Israel’s citizens rests on the shoulders of one person, Prime Minister Netanyahu,” Maariv quoted the opposition leader as saying. “He is even incapable of quieting the chatter of his ministers and acting like a leader, and as such has failed in his role. [He] should draw the right conclusions and promptly resign.”

Hamas: Petah Tikva stabber was one of ours

The Islamist Palestinian group Hamas says the terrorist who stabbed an Israeli in Petah Tikva earlier this evening is a member of the organization, the Ynet website reports.

Policeman lightly hurt in Lod clashes

A policeman is lightly injured in Lod after being hit by a stone during clashes with local Arab residents. He has been taken to the nearby Assaf Harofeh hospital for treatment.

The protesters are reported to be throwing stones and bottles at police. Officers at the scene are trying to bring the situation under control.

Two people have been arrested.

Jerusalem schools to strike over security budget shortfall

Middle schools and high schools in Jerusalem will be shuttered on Thursday, parents and the municipality say, due to concerns over the lack of security provisions during the ongoing violence in the city.

The cost of providing security at the schools stands at some NIS 15 million (approx. $4 million), the Ynet website says.

Discussion are also being held on possible strikes in the Arab cities of Nazareth and Umm al-Fahm, as well as in the mixed Jewish-Arab city of Haifa.

Security forces foil attack near Ma’ale Adumim

Israeli security forces foil an attempted vehicular attack by a Palestinian near Ma’ale Adumim in the West Bank.

A car traveling from the direction of Ma’ale Adumim attempted to break through the barricade at the A’Zaim checkpoint, and run over a police officer,” the police say in a statement. “The Border Police officer that was in immediate danger fired at the terrorist and injured him.”

Two people are lightly hurt, Channel 2 says.

— Judah Ari Gross

9 arrested in Umm al-Fahm and Jaffa

Seven people, most of them minors, are arrested during protests in Umm al-Fahm.

The police say dozens of masked youths gather at the entrance to the Arab town after a protest disperses, and throw Molotov cocktails at a nearby field, Channel 2 says.

Police in Jaffa arrest another two minors throwing stones at a bus in Ajami area of the city.

No one is hurt but the bus sustains some damage, the Ynet news website says.

Barkat defends carrying weapon in East Jerusalem

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat defends his decision to carry a rifle while visiting an Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem on Monday night. His office says Barkat is a former military officer and licensed to carry the weapon.

“Many terror attacks in Jerusalem have been prevented or neutralized due to the quick actions and response of responsible bystanders,” the statement says, noting that the mayor helped stop a knife-wielding Palestinian attacker earlier this year.

— AP

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