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Netanyahu urges unity government in face of terror; Herzog rebuffs bid

In press conference, prime minister says Israel will beat back terror wave, accuses Abbas of inciting violence but says he may be changing, hints at pulling support for settlements

Police block Palestinians from entering the Via Dolorosa street in the Muslim Quarter in Jerusalem's Old City on October 8, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Police block Palestinians from entering the Via Dolorosa street in the Muslim Quarter in Jerusalem's Old City on October 8, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

The Times of Israel liveblogged Thursday’s events as they unfolded

Arab MK pans PM after being blocked from Temple Mount

Knesset Member Jamal Zahalka has been stopped from going up to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City, hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu extended a ban on lawmakers from visiting the site to Muslims as well as non-Muslims.

Zahalka, a frequent and vocal critic of Israeli policies, says in a statement that he “thumbs his nose” at Netanyahu over the move, which the prime minister said was intended to cool tensions after days of unrest surrounding anger over Israeli actions on the Holy Site, revered by Muslims and Jews.

MK Jamal Zahalka (center) on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem on Tuesday, September 29 2015 (courtesy Joint List)

MK Jamal Zahalka (center) on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem on Tuesday, September 29 2015 (courtesy Joint List)

Zahalka says that while Netanyahu announced the measure, it has not yet gone into effect, meaning he is being kept from the site illegally.

“I stand now at the Lions’ Gate and [police] are denying me entry to the Temple Mount, in contravention of the law. There is a gap in time between Netanyahu’s decision and the directive being issued, and the directive has not gone out. I’m not moving from here until they show me the order preventing me from entering,” he says.

Nobel lit prize goes to Ukrainian-Belorussian Alexievich

The 2015 Nobel Prize drought for Israelis and Jews continues as the Nobel prize for Literature is awarded to Ukrainian Belorussian author and journalist Svetlana Alexievich.

Alexievich, 67, is known for chronicling experiences in war, including her first book, “War’s Unwomanly Face,” which collected stories of women during World War II.

Israeli author Amos Oz and Jewish writer Philip Roth have been considered high on the list of favorites to win the prestigious prize for years, but will have to wait for another shot next year.

Abbas calls for calm, solidarity with Temple Mount rioters

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas says the Palestinians will not be “dragged” into more violence with Israel, but says his people stand with those “protecting Al-Aqsa mosque.”

Speaking to business leaders on Thursday in Ramallah Abbas says he is committed to “peaceful popular resistance,” though he backs rioters who recently barricaded themselves inside Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque and clashed with Israeli police on the Temple Mount.

Mahmoud Abbas speaks with journalists at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah on October 6, 2015. AFP/AHMAD GHARABLI)

Mahmoud Abbas speaks with journalists at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah on October 6, 2015. AFP/AHMAD GHARABLI)

Abbas insists the Palestinians are not interested in a further escalation.

Still, he says their “hands are with those who are protecting Al-Aqsa mosque.”

— AP

Jerusalem stabber named as Shuafat resident, 19

The Shin Bet security service has named the attacker involved in a stabbing in Jerusalem hours ago as Zubahi Ibrahim Mahmoud Abu Khalifa, 19, a resident of the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem.

The agency says in a statement that Abu Khalifa has been detained and is being interrogated.

Police searching for suspicious ‘knife carrier’ in central Jerusalem

Police have spread out in large numbers in central Jerusalem to look for a suspicious person after being tipped off about a man with an object that looked like a knife.

A Times of Israel editor on Keren Hayesod street in the capital’s downtown reports that some 12 police cars are parked with officers asking people if they saw anyone suspicious.

Israelis have been urged by officials to be extra vigilant after a string of stabbings over the last several days, including one on Thursday morning.

IDF says protester shot in leg because of ‘life threatening danger’

In response to a query from The Times of Israel over a video appearing to show Israeli troops firing at a Palestinian protester’s leg from point-blank range, the army says the move followed protocol and was done because the shooter felt lives were at stake.

The video, which shows undercover Israelis dressed as rock throwers arresting a man and shooting at several others, was taken during a confrontation between troops and Palestinians near the West Bank settlement of Beit El north of Jerusalem on Wednesday.

“During the arrests the suspect physically resisted while the soldiers were barraged with rocks and surrounded by inflamed and a hostile mob. The soldier responded with a direct shot to the instigator’s leg, allowing the soldier to successfully complete the arrest and remove himself from the life threatening danger,” the IDF says in a statement.

The army adds that “the instigator received immediate medical attention from forces on the scene.”

The man was one of two people injured during the protest.

— with Judah Ari Gross



Soldier reported stabbed in Tel Aviv

Initial reports indicate a female soldier has been stabbed in central Tel Aviv.

She is reportedly in serious condition.

Details to follow.

Attacker escapes after stabbing near Defense Ministry HQ

The soldier was stabbed near Defense Ministry headquarters on Begin Avenue in the center of Tel Aviv.

The attacker escaped from the scene after grabbing her gun, and forces are searching for him or her, Channel 2 reports.

Tel Aviv attacker shot after chase

The stabber in the Tel Aviv attack has been shot and “neutralized,” after a chase, officials report.

According to Channel 2, four people were injured in the attack.

The soldier’s condition after being knifed is unclear.

Rescuers: Soldier suffers light injuries from stab wound in head

A spokesperson for the MDA rescue service says the soldier was stabbed in the head, but only suffered light injuries in the attack.

Confusion reported at scene after attack

A reporter at the scene in Tel Aviv says there is much confusion in the area in the wake of the attack, which was not isolated to one area but spread out across one of the busiest intersections in the country.

Pictures from the scene show dozens of ambulances and police cars, with troops and police officers attempting to gain control of the situation.

Channel 2 reports that the soldier was stabbed in the head with a screwdriver.

Man arrested in Jerusalem raising fears of new attack

Reports on social media are spreading of a possible attack on Shimon Hatzadik Street in northern Jerusalem, after an Arab man is apparently arrested with a knife.

Details are unclear and there is no official word on whether there was an attack or whether there any injuries.

Shimon Hatzadik is near the scene of an earlier attack in which a man stabbed and seriously injured a yeshiva student Thursday morning at a light rail stop.

Tel Aviv attacker said shot to death

Israeli news outlets are reporting that the stabber in Tel Aviv has died after being shot by security forces following the attack.

An eyewitness tells Channel 2 that an air force soldier shot the attacker as he ran toward them, with three or four bullets.

Reports have lowered the injury tally in the attack to two, both lightly hurt.

MDA: 4 injured in stabbing; attacker confirmed dead

A Magen David Adom update reports that four people were lightly injured in the attack and confirms that the stabber has died.

A video broadcast on Israeli TV shows a bloodied man, presumably the attacker, lying on a sidewalk, as police attempt to clear the area

3 women, 1 man lightly injured in attack

MDA lists the four injured as three women, ages 60, 40, and 20 and one man aged 40.

All four suffered minor wounds to their upper bodies and are fully conscious after being rushed to Ichilov hospital, according to the rescue agency.

Possible stabbing reported near Kiryat Arba

Injuries are being reported in a stabbing attack near the entrance to the settlement of Kiryat Arba, outside Hebron in the southern West Bank.

Details to follow as the situation becomes clear.

1 reported badly hurt in Kiryat Arba attack

One person has been stabbed in the back and seriously injured at the entrance to Kiryat Arba, according to Channel 2.

The attacker has apparently escaped.

Kiryat Arba victim, 25, said to be resident of settlement

The Kiryat Arba attack apparently happened at the western entrance to the settlement, which is only a few meters from the city of Hebron.

The victim is reportedly a resident of the settlement, 25, and the attacker has been identified in Israeli media as a Palestinian.

A manhunt is underway for the stabber, according to Channel 2.

Clashes reported between troops, rioters near Ramallah

An Israel Radio reporter says protests have broken out near Ramallah, with some two dozen rioters hurling rocks at troops and setting fire to tires.

Troops at the scene are responding with tear gas and rubber bullets, he says.

The unrest is apparently taking place at the same junction near the settlement of Beit El that saw clashes a day earlier.

‘Time heals all wounds,’ reads TA attacker’s shirt

A picture purporting to be of the dead Tel Aviv attacker lying on the ground being shared on WhatsApp and social media in Israel shows him wearing a shirt reading “Time heals all wounds” in English.

Reports indicate a fifth victim of the attack took himself to the hospital for treatment.

IDF says troops searching for Kiryat Arba stabber

An IDF statement says troops are searching the area for the attacker following the Kiryat Arba stabbing attack.

The statement identifies the attacker as a Palestinian. No other details are given.

“Initial reports indicate a Palestinian assailant stabbed a civilian near Kiryat Arba. The attacker fled the scene. Forces are searching the area. The civilian was severely wounded and is now being evacuated for emergency medical care,” reads the statement.

Metal detectors placed around Muslim Quarter of Old City

Police are installing metal detectors at some entrances to Jerusalem’s Old City as a preventative measure, following the spate of stabbing attacks, many of which have taken place there.

Police say the move was ordered by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan.

Metal detectors being placed at Jaffa Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem on October 8, 2015. (Courtesy police spokesperson)

Metal detectors being placed at Jaffa Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem on October 8, 2015. (Courtesy police spokesperson)

The metal detectors will be installed at the Jaffa Gate, Damascus Gate, Hagai Street, the Via Dolorosa and Hashalshelet street, all of which border the Muslim quarter.

Hagai Street was the site of two separate stabbing attacks in the last several days, including one which left two people dead.

“The detectors are being placed in line with security assessments, field analysis and threats, in order to bolster security for city residents and its many visitors,” a police statement reads.

The statement makes no mention of other entrances to the Old City, such as Zion Gate and Dung Gate.

Possible car-ramming attack feared in Jerusalem

A possible car-ramming attack is being reported in Jerusalem on Shimon Hatzadik Street, near the site of an earlier stabbing attack.

Nobody has been reported injured in the incident and the driver was “neutralized,” according to Army Radio.

It was not immediately clear if the incident was a terror attack or a car accident.

Shimon Hatzadik, in northern Jerusalem, was the site of a series of vehicular terror attacks a year ago that left several Israelis dead during a similar terror spate.

Hamas journalist injured filming Ramallah clashes

Clashes between troops and Palestinians are intensifying outside Ramallah. A cameraman for a Hamas TV station was injured after being hit in the arm from IDF fire during a live broadcast of the riots.

He was treated at the scene, according to Israel’s Army Radio. It was not clear if he was hit with live fire or rubber bullets.

Mother of stabbed soldier describes attack

The mother of a female soldier injured in the Tel Aviv stabbing tells reporters she thinks attackers should be killed, and thanks the soldier who shot and killed the man who injured her daughter.

Describing the attack, she says her daughter heard someone shouting and ran toward the middle of the road, at which point the attacker jumped on her and stabbed her in the head.

The mother, who was there as well, says she never heard the attacker say anything.

“As soon as he attacked I ran at them, I didn’t care if he stabbed me too or not. It was my daughter,” she says. “I thank God that my daughter came out of this.”

Tel Aviv mayor says to keep calm and carry on

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, visiting the hospital where the victims of a stabbing attack are being treated, says he will up security for schools only in line with recommendations of government officials.

Downplaying the terror threat to his city, he calls for residents to maintain their normal daily lives, and unlike other mayors, does not call for residents who have guns to carry them around.

“Those who have weapons understand when to carry them,” he tells reporters. “There is no magic solution. We need cool heads.”

Some Tel Aviv victims sent home, other suspected attacks ruled non-terror

Two of the victims of the Tel Aviv stabbing attack have been released from the hospital, Channel 2 reports.

A suspected car-ramming attack in Jerusalem an hour ago has been ruled to be a car accident, and a feared stabbing attack in the same area was an incident in which an Arab man threw a glass bottle at a Jewish man, according to reports.

Nobody was injured in either incident.


Soldier lightly injured by rock throwers

A soldier has been lightly injured by rock-throwing rioters at a Palestinian village near the settlement of Halamish in the central West Bank, Israeli media sources report.

The female soldier was being evacuated for treatment.

The nearby Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh is the site of nearly weekly clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli troops.

Deputy defense minister urges razing terrorists’ homes immediately

Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben Dahan (Jewish Home) is calling on the government to implement new rules to speed up home demolitions against terrorists and their families.

Deputy Minister Eli Ben Dahan (photo credit: Flash90)

Deputy Minister Eli Ben Dahan (Flash90)

Ben Dahan calls on the attorney general to okay “the destruction of terrorist’s houses immediately, even immediately after an attack, and not wait a year for special permission,” Israel National News reports.

Ben Dahan isn’t the only one talking tough.

Opposition head Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union), from the other side of the political spectrum, is calling on Netanyahu to place a full closure on West Bank Palestinians to calm tensions, saying the prime minister has allowed the terror wave to get out of control.




PM to give statement on security at 8:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon announce that they will hold a press conference at 8:30 p.m. to speak about the security situation.

Other officials at the press conference will include IDF chief Gadi Eisenkot, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and acting police chief Bentzy Sau.

13- and 14-year-olds held for stoning bus in Jerusalem

Three minors have been arrested in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina for throwing rocks at a passing bus.

The three, aged between 13 and 14, have been detained for questioning, the Maariv website reports.

Meanwhile in Haifa, cars were pelted with stones on Marcus and Raziel Streets in the center of the city, according to the Walla news site. No injuries were reported.

Tel Aviv attacker identified as Jerusalem resident

The terrorist in the Tel Aviv stabbing has been named by Palestinian media as Thaer Abu Ghazaleh, a resident of Jerusalem’s Old City who worked at a building site in Tel Aviv.

His age is not given but pictures broadcast by Israeli TV would seem to place him in his 20s or late teens.


Police trying to head off Nazareth protests

With solidarity protests set to kick off in the Arab-Israeli town of Nazareth, police are reportedly working to prevent buses from reaching the northern town in hopes of heading off any potential violence.

Arab Israeli protests in Lod and Jaffa the past two nights have turned violent, with rocks being thrown at police.

Raid Salah, head of the Islamic Movement’s Northern Branch and a major driving force behind the demonstrations, is urging all Muslims to come to Al-Aqsa for prayers on Friday. “Al-Aqsa’s sovereignty supersedes that of Netanyahu, and of Israel, and of Israeli intelligence and of the Israeli military,” he says.

Netanyahu “has no right” to issue any orders banning Muslims from Al-Aqsa compound, he adds.

Palestinians injured in West Bank rock attack

Three Palestinians have been injured, one seriously, after their car was hit by stones hurled near an outpost in the northern West Bank.

The incident occurred near the Havat Gilad outpost, in an area where settlers have been known to carry out revenge attacks against Palestinians.

Pictures of the incident showed a shattered windshield and an older man bloodied and on a stretcher surrounded by Israeli soldiers.

The injured man was transported to an Israeli hospital.

Several Palestinians injured by live fire in clashes

The Palestinian Ma’an news agency reports that 12 Palestinians have been injured by live fire in clashes in Jerusalem and the West Bank, including seven in the Shuafat refugee camp.

Israel Radio reporter Gal Berger reports that one person in Shuafat has died of his injuries, according to Palestinian reports.

Ma’an reports that another 59 people have been injured by rubber bullets in widespread clashes across the West Bank and Jerusalem.

There is no immediate response from the IDF.

Molotov cocktails reported thrown at car near Katzir

Four Molotov cocktails were thrown at a car near the Israeli town of Katzir, Channel 2 reports.

No injuries were reported in the attack.

The town is in a region known as the Triangle which is home to a number of Arab cities that abut the West Bank to the south.

Palestinian killed in Shuafat

Palestinian medics and the Red Crescent say Israeli forces have shot and killed a Palestinian during clashes in the Shuafat refugee camp, AFP reports.

The clashes took place as police made their way to the home of Zubahi Ibrahim Mahmoud Abu Khalifa, who stabbed and seriously wounded a yeshiva student in Jerusalem earlier in the day.

The identity of the killed person was not immediately known.

The Israeli police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Train station cleared out over suspicious object

A train station in the Tel Aviv suburb of Hod Hasharon has been evacuated after somebody spots a suspicious object.

Police have been called in over a number of suspicious objects in Jerusalem and elsewhere as well, as Israelis have been asked to be extra vigilant during the ongoing terror spate.


9-year-old, Palestinian minister injured in rock-throwing attack

More details have emerged about the stoning of a Palestinian car in the West Bank, which is suspected of being carried out by Jewish settlers.

Among the injured is a 9-year-old boy, who was seriously hurt, and a minister in the Palestinian government, who suffered moderate wounds.


Stabbing attack reported in Afula

A stabbing is being reported in the northern Israeli city of Afula.

Two people are said to be injured, according to initial reports.

The background to the incident is not yet clear.

Nine police hurt in Shuafat raid

Fighting in the Shuafat refugee camp has left nine Israeli police injured as they attempted to raid the home of a terrorist who stabbed a student in Jerusalem earlier in the day, Israeli media reports.

Palestinian Wissam Faraj, 20, was killed during the clashes, and several other Palestinians were injured, according to Palestinian reports.

Faraj was shot in the heart with a hollow point bullet, the Ma’an news agency reports.

Fighting is reportedly ongoing in the refugee camp, which is part of Jerusalem but beyond the security barrier.

20-year-old in moderate condition after Afula stabbing

One of the people in the Afula attack suffered moderate wounds after being knifed in the upper body, the MDA rescue service reports.

A statement describes the victim as a 20-year-old and says he was attacked while on Arlozorov street in the Lower Galilee city.

The attacker has been disarmed, according to reports.


Second Afula victim lightly injured

The second victim in the Afula attack is described as suffering light wounds in the attack, according to Channel 2 news.

The stabbing is the fourth of the day.

Arab League condemns ‘racist, aggressive’ Israel

Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi has condemned what he is branding Israel’s “racist and aggressive” practices toward the Palestinians and is urging the United Nations and international community to intervene.

“The international community and the United Nations must take up their responsibilities in countering the aggressive and racist Israeli practices towards the Palestinian people,” Arabi says.

“The continuing escalation of attacks on the Palestinian people by the Israeli occupation authorities and settlers threaten to exacerbate the situation in the entire region as the international community remains silent to these crimes.”


Victim in Afula attack soldier, video shows attacker being caught

A witness in Afula describes the injured man as a soldier.

She says the attacker has been captured but has not been taken away from the scene.

A video of the aftermath of the attack shows a group of young men surrounding the attacker and pinning him to the ground, with some them kicking him.

Police clear crowd around Afula stabber amid fears of lynching

Police report that a large crowd has gathered at the scene of the attack in Afula.

Channel 2 news reports that police had to use tear gas to clear a group of people from around the attacker, out of fear they would lynch him.

Police say they now have the attacker in their custody.

Stabbing in Herzliya not terror related

A stabbing in the central Israeli city of Herzliya has been ruled to have been a criminal matter and not a terror attack.

In the incident, a 16-year-old was moderately injured.

Russian missiles targeting Syria land in Iran

CNN and Iranian media are reporting that a number of cruise missiles shot from Russian ships at Syria crashed in Iran.

The missiles were apparently shot from a ship in the Caspian sea, which would put the missile flight path through Iran and Iraq.

It is not yet clear if there are casualties from the incident.

Crowd attacks TV crew, police after stabbing

Crowds in Afula at the scene of the stabbing have attacked a Channel 2 TV crew broadcasting from the scene.

Additionally, Channel 10 news reports that police had rocks thrown at them as they tried to extract the stabber from a large group of people who had pinned the him down and begun to attack him.

Anger among bystanders and others has been apparent at many scenes of atatcks, with videos showing bystanders capturing and kicking attackers.

Rallies have also been held at a number scenes of attacks, with demonstrators waving Israeli flags and chanting anti-Arab slogans.

Netanyahu about to begin press conference

Benjamin Netanyahu is about to begin a press conference on the security situation, together with other top officials, including Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.

Meanwhile, Channel 2’s Knesset reporter tweets that member of the Labor party are receiving phone calls polling them on their stances about joining the government.

Netanyahu: Nation under attack from terror

Netanyahu begins by saying the whole nation is under attack of a wave of terror.

“This is not easy,” he says.

‘Terror has always been a problem for us’

He says that terror has been a fact of life in Israel since the Zionist project began and that they will not win.

“We will chase them and we will overcome them,” he says.

PM accuses Islamic Movement of incitement

Netanyahu accuses the Islamic Movement of lying and inciting over the Temple Mount, and says security forces are using every effort to crack down on terror.

He defends his decision to keep lawmakers off the Temple Mount and says the country will take offensive measure against the Islamic Movement.

“There is no magic solution,” he says.

PM: We don’t need to be afraid

Netanyahu says Israelis need not be scared over the wave of terror and calls on them to be vigilant and keep their eyes open.

He ends by thanking security officials for their work.

Ya’alon calls for calm, says no interest in escalation of violence

Speaking next, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon says Israel has thwarted a number of terror attacks and calls for calm on both sides, saying they have no interest in an escalation of violence.

He adds that the army has all the backing it needs to fight terror, which has not ceased since the Second Intifada.


Erdan: No immunity from terror

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan says the police are being given every backing necessary to fight terror, but warns that there’s no immunity from attacks anywhere.

He vows to up punishments against rock throwers and their families.

“A victorious people does not fear terror.”

IDF chief Eisenkot: We have dealt with worse

Making a rare appearance with the press, IDF chief Gadi Eisenkot says the army is working with determination.

He adds that the country and military have dealt successfully with worse challenges in the past.

Netanyahu accuses Abbas of inciting violence

Taking questions from reporters, Netanyahu accuses Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas of “igniting” the violence and warns there will be consequences against the Palestinian Authority for the incitement.

Yet he also adds that there may have been a change in the Palestinian leadership after seeing that the whole area could go up in flames.

Netanyahu hints at unity government with Herzog

Hinting at a desire to bring Zionist Union into his government, Netanyahu says Isaac Herzog’s criticism is easy for him to make since he’s not in government.

“Maybe, if I weren’t in power, I would hear hints,” he says, adding that Israel needs unity.

In response to another question, he says Israel’s can’t try to expand settlements while hoping for International support to beat terror.

He adds that “nobody will teach me what settlement [of Israel] is,” subtly hitting out at right-wing criticism.

He also warns that a Palestinian state will bring the Islamic State to Israel’s doorstep.

PM says he hasn’t spoken to Herzog recently

Netanyahu says he has not spoken to Herzog recently about joining a unity coalition, after saying that the country needs a wide government, but expresses hope he may want to join.

The press conference then closes.


Herzog says Netanyahu lost chance to be prime minister

In response to Netanyahu’s calling for a unity government, Isaac Herzog seems to say “no thanks,” throwing in an “I told you so” for good measure.

“I warned months ago about a Third Intifada, but as usual, Netanyahu did too little too late,” he says in a statement. “He has lost control of security for citizens of Israel and therefore needs to give back the keys.”

Afula stabber identified as Jenin resident

The Shin Bet identifies the attacker from the Afula stabbing as Tarek Abed Alfatah Yehia, 20, from the West Bank city of Jenin.


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