The Times of Israel liveblogged Sunday’s events as they happened.
Victim of West Bank terror shooting named as Kim Levengrond Yehezkel
One of the victims of the deadly shooting attack in the northern West Bank this morning has been named as Kim Levengrond Yehezkel, 29, of the central Israeli city of Rosh Ha’ayin.
The identity of the second victim has not yet been cleared for publication.
A third person was also moderately wounded after being shot by the Palestinian gunman at the Barkan Industrial Park near the settlement city of Ariel.
EU envoy condemns deadly West Bank shooting attack
The European Union’s ambassador to Israel condemns the shooting attack in the northern West Bank this morning in which two Israelis were killed by a Palestinian gunman.
Following the developing news on the attack in Barkan industrial area in the West Bank this morning. My condolences to the families of the victims. May the perpetrator be brought to justice. Violence can never be condoned.
— Emanuele Giaufret (@EGiaufretEU) October 7, 2018
Prime minister’s wife arrives at court for start of expenses trial
The trial of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife Sara begins for allegedly misusing state funds to fraudulently pay for hundreds of meals.
The proceedings open with Netanyahu’s lawyer Yossi Cohen arguing to delay testimony from witnesses due to what he calls “disorder” in the materials given to the defense by the state prosecution.
“There were materials that were missing from the files that were given to us. We have not been able to prepare properly,” Cohen argues.
Prosecution attorney Jenny Avni responds that all the necessary files were handed to the defense.
Sara Netanyahu was charged with fraud and breach of trust in June.
Prosecutors accuse her of misusing state funds to pay for catered meals costing NIS 360,000 ($100,000) by falsely declaring there were no cooks available at the premier’s official residence.
German police break up violent neo-Nazi concert
BERLIN — German police ended a far-right concert early after eight officers were slightly injured by neo-Nazis throwing bottles and rocks at them.
The German news agency dpa reports that some 800 neo-Nazis attended the concert late Saturday in the eastern German town of Apolda, while around 500 people came for a counter-protest holding vigils and attending a late-night church service.
Police officers had to use pepper spray and batons when some neo-Nazis tried to break through police barriers.
The eastern state of Thuringia has long been a center for neo-Nazi concerts. Efforts to ban the concert didn’t succeed because the concert’s organizers simply moved to another venue after they were blocked from using their initial site.
Spanish journalist charged over fatal hit-and-run in Jerusalem
A Spanish journalist is indicted over a fatal hit-and-run in Jerusalem last month.
Julio de la Guardia, 49, is charged at the Jerusalem District Court with manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident, driving while intoxicated, running a red light and and driving over the speed limit.
Chaim Tukachinsky, 31, an ultra-Orthodox pianist, composer, and conductor, was killed in the accident.
Prosecutors request de la Guardia be held in custody until the end of legal proceedings against him.
Cabinet approves new members of high-level appointments panel
The government approves the appointment of two new public representatives to the committee that vets appointees to the most senior public service positions, putting the selection of new heads for the Israel Police and the IDF back on track.
Talia Einhorn is a law professor at Ariel University and is on the faculty of Tel Aviv University.
Moshe Tery served as chairman of the Israel Securities Authority from 2002 to 2008. He has also served as general manager of the Israel Postal Authority and director of the Israel Airport Authority.
Their appointments are unanimously approved by ministers. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly refrained from voting in order to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest in the appointments.
Einhorn and Tery were tipped to join the panel following last month’s resignations of former national security adviser Yaakov Nagel and Iris Shtark, a noted accountant.
The High Court of Justice had ordered a freeze on all proceedings of the four-person committee headed by Eliezer Goldberg, a former Supreme Court justice and state comptroller, following an appeal by the Movement for Integrity watchdog group, which had insisted that both Nagel and Shtark were too close to Netanyahu.
The Goldberg Committee is charged with examining any ethical difficulties that arise in the choice of appointees to the heads of key state agencies, including the IDF, Israel Police, Mossad, Shin Bet and Bank of Israel.
— Stuart Winer
Palestinian terror suspect said to have left suicide letter
The suspected Palestinian gunman in this morning’s deadly shooting attack in the northern West Bank left a suicide note with a friend three days ago, Hadashot TV news reports.
The report says the friend, who worked at the same factory in the Barkan Industrial Zone, did not report the letter. He has been arrested and Israeli security forces are investigating whether knowledge of the letter could have prevented the attack, according to the network.
German far-right party’s planned Jewish wing denounced by local Jewry
BERLIN — Plans by the far-right Alternative for Germany party to launch a “Jewish” division within its ranks on Sunday sparks an outcry, with community leaders blasting an apparent bid to fend off allegations of anti-Semitism.
The party has scheduled an announcement later Sunday on what it calls a new Jewish grouping within its ranks. Few other details have emerged.
Leading members of the AfD have come under fire repeatedly for comments that appear to play down the Holocaust.
Ahead of Sunday’s launch, Jewish organizations including the Central Council of Jews in Germany issued a statement describing the AfD as “a racist and anti-Semitic party.”
“The AfD is a party that provides a home for hatred for Jews as well as the relativizing, or even denial of the Holocaust,” it says.
The AfD’s deputy parliamentary group leader Beatrix von Storch hit backs in an interview published Sunday by broadsheet Welt am Sonntag.
Taking aim at the Central Council of Jews, von Storch compares it to “official churches,” which she dismisses as “part of the establishment.”
The deputy parliamentary group leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party, Stephan Harbarth, calls the AfD’s bid to start a Jewish wing “hypocrisy.”
“Whoever calls the Holocaust a speck of bird poo in German history does not fight anti-Semitism, but mocks its victims, and definitely does not stand on the side of the Jews,” Harbarth tells Sunday’s edition of daily Bild.
Tel Aviv man arrested over swastika graffiti
A 30-year-old resident of Tel Aviv was arrested early this morning on suspicion of spray painting swastikas on buildings in the city, police say.
The suspect has been handed over to investigators and will be brought before a court later today for a remand hearing, according to police.
2 Jerusalem residents charged with assaulting Arabs in suspected hate crime
Two Jerusalem residents are indicted for assaulting a group of Arabs in a suspected hate crime last month.
According to the indictment filed at the Jerusalem District Court, 21-year-old Avihu Cohen and an unnamed 16-year-old minor were among over 15 people who went looking for Arab residents of the city on the night of September 26.
After finding four Arabs from the Beit Safafa neighborhood, Cohen approached one of them in a threatening manner and punched him in the face, the indictment says.
As the Arabs fled, Cohen and the others gave chase while throwing stones and cursing them, according to the indictment, and after one of the Beit Safafa residents fell to the ground members of the group punched, kicked and used an electric shocker on him, as well as beating him with bicycle helmets.
Cohen and the minor are charged with causing serious injury under aggravated circumstances for racist motives and assault that results in serious injury under aggravated circumstances for racist motives.
The minor, who the indictment says ran from police when officers came to his house, is also indicted for violating a legal order and interfering with a police officer.
Deputy minister lashes EU over response to West Bank shooting attack
Michael Oren, a Kulanu MK and deputy minister of diplomacy, is taking aim at the European Union over its response to a deadly shooting attack earlier today in the West Bank.
Oren is reacting to an earlier tweet from Emanuele Giaufret, the EU’s ambassador to Israel.
EU again condemns terrorist murders of innocent Israelis by saying “violence can never be condoned.” The EU never says that when terrorists kill Europeans. Could it be that the EU agrees with the Palestinian terrorist’s motivations just not his methods?
— Michael Oren (@DrMichaelOren) October 7, 2018
Erdogan: Turkey closely monitoring Saudi consulate, airports for missing writer
ISTANBUL — Turkey’s president says the Saudi Consulate and Istanbul’s airports were being closely monitored for clues following a Saudi writer’s disappearance.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan makes the comments to journalists Sunday in Ankara, Turkey.
Erdogan says he’s still hoping that Jamal Khashoggi is OK.
“God willing we will not be faced with the situation we do not desire,” he adds.
That apparently refers to Turkish officials saying they believed that Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi Consulate after disappearing Tuesday. Saudi officials have called the allegation “baseless.”
Erdogan calls Khashoggi a “journalist and a friend.” He says he was personally following the case and would announce the results of the investigation at an undisclosed time.
After West Bank shooting, Bennett says Israel must end Palestinian ‘celebration’
Education Minister Naftali Bennett accuses Gaza’s Hamas rulers and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas of celebrating this morning’s deadly shooting attack in the West Bank.
“While Israel endures terrible sadness, Hamas is handing out candies and Abbas is looking after salaries. We must stop this celebration,” says Bennett in a statement, referring to the PA’s paying of salaries to the families of Palestinian security prisoners.
He also mourns Kim Levengrond Yehezkel and Ziv Hajbi, who were killed in the attack at the Barkan Industrial Zone.
“Like every day, this morning, Ziv and Kim took their children to kindergarten and school, and went to work in the Barkan Industrial Zone. They did not imagine it would be the last time they would see their children. This morning, a cruel terrorist cut their lives short,” adds Bennett, who heads the pro-settlement Jewish Home party.
Netanyahu predicts troops will soon catch ‘despicable murderer’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu predicts Israeli forces will soon catch the Palestinian terror suspect who killed two Israelis in a shooting attack this morning in the northern West Bank.
“Our security forces are in pursuit of the despicable murderer. I’m sure that we’ll catch him and bring him to justice soon,” Netanyahu writes in a post on his personal Twitter account.
He also sends condolences to the families of the two victims of and wishes a third woman who was moderately wounded in the shooting at the Barkan Industrial Zone a quick recovery.
IDF chief visits scene of West Bank attack, orders reinforcement of troops
IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot has visited the scene of a deadly shooting attack in the West Bank earlier today, the Israel Defense Forces says.
While at the Barkan Industrial Zone, Eisenkot held a security assessment “in which he ordered a reinforcement of troops and various defense efforts,” the IDF says.
Eisenkot also orders the continuation of efforts to track down and capture the suspected Palestinian assailant, according to the army.
China says missing Interpol head under investigation
The disciplinary organ of China’s ruling Communist Party says the head of Interpol, a senior Chinese official, is under investigation, on suspicion of unspecified legal violations.
The party’s watchdog for graft and political disloyalty says on its website late Sunday that Meng Hongwei, China’s vice minister of public security, is “suspected of violating the law and is currently under the monitoring and investigation” of China’s new anti-corruption body, the National Supervision Commission.
Meng’s wife tells reporters in the French city of Lyon on Sunday she has not heard from her husband since September 25. She says he sent an image of knife that day, she thinks as a warning he was in danger.
Interpol, which is based in Lyon, said Saturday it made a formal request to China for information about Meng.
US envoy: Industrial park a model of coexistence, attack ‘shattered that harmony’
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman condemns the deadly shooting attack at an industrial park in the northern West Bank this morning.
The Barkan Industrial Zone has been a model of Israeli–Palestinian coexistence since 1982, with thousands working and prospering together. Today a terrorist shattered that harmony by brutally murdering two Israelis at work. Our deepest condolences to the families of the victims.
— David M. Friedman (@USAmbIsrael) October 7, 2018
US peace envoy condemns ‘reprehensible’ West Bank terror shooting
Jason Greenblatt, the US envoy for Middle East peace, condemns this morning’s deadly shooting attack at an industrial park in the northern West Bank.
The Barkan industrial center is a beacon for coexistence and a model for the future. Today's terror attack is reprehensible and should be universally condemned. Join me in praying for the wounded and sending comfort to the families of the victims.
— Jason D. Greenblatt (@jdgreenblatt45) October 7, 2018
IDF names attacker in West Bank terror shooting, maps home for demolition
The Israeli army names the Palestinian man suspected of carrying out a deadly terror attack in the northern West Bank on Sunday in which two Israelis were killed and a third injured, identifying him as Ashraf Walid Suleiman Na’alowa.
Members of Na’alowa’s family have been arrested and are being interrogated by the Shin Bet security service to determine if they assisted him in the attack or in his escape from the scene, the army says.
“IDF troops went to the terrorist’s home in the village of Shuweika in the Menashe regional brigade’s jurisdiction, measured his home [ahead of eventual demolition] and conducted interrogations and arrests of people suspected of assisting the terrorist,” the army says.
On Sunday morning, Na’alowa entered the offices of the Alon Group in the Barkan Industrial Park, near the settlement-city of Ariel. Inside, he shot and killed Kim Levengrond Yehezkel, 28, and Ziv Hajbi, 35, and moderately injured a second female victim, whom he shot in the stomach.
Na’alowa fled the scene of the attack, prompting a large-scale manhunt, in which IDF troops have set up road closures and checkpoints throughout the area.
“IDF and Shin Bet troops will continue to work to catch the terrorist and to preserve the security of the region’s residents, with an increased operational and intelligence effort,” the army says.
— Judah Ari Gross
Netanyahu’s Likud continues to build gap over rivals in new poll
A new Hadashot TV news poll shows Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continuing to gain support over his political rivals and current coalition partners.
According to the poll, Netanyahu’s Likud party would win 32 seats if elections were held today, an increase of two from its current 30.
In second place after Likud is Yair Lapid’s centrist Yesh Atid party with 18 seats, followed by the center-left Zionist Union faction and Joint (Arab) List, at 12 seats apiece.
The pro-settlement Jewish Home party would win 10 seats, according to the poll, while the center-right Kulanu and United Torah Judaism would each receive 7 seats.
Next in the survey was the left-wing Meretz party with 6 seats, the same tally that an as-yet-to-be-named party headed by independent MK Orly Levy-Abekasis would get.
Wrapping up the poll were the right-wing Yisrael Beytenu party and ultra-Orthodox Shas, which would each pickup 5 seats.
The poll also asked potential voters how they would vote if former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz were to run in elections with his own political party.
With Gantz in the race, Likud would only win 29 seats, Yesh Atid would drop to 13 and Zionist Union to 10, while Gantz’s hypothetical party would garner 12.
— Raoul Wootliff