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At UN General Assembly, Lapid to call for two-state solution with Palestinians

Prime minister sparks anger among some of his coalition partners, with Shaked claiming he doesn’t represent Israel or the government

Prime Minister Yair Lapid attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, on September 18, 2022. (Ronaldo Schemidt/Pool Photo via AP)
Prime Minister Yair Lapid attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, on September 18, 2022. (Ronaldo Schemidt/Pool Photo via AP)

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

US Iran envoy: If Iran doesn’t cooperate on IAEA probe, there won’t be a deal

In this file photo from May 25, 2022, Robert Malley, the Biden's administration special envoy for Iran, waits to testify about the Iran nuclear deal during a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP)
In this file photo from May 25, 2022, Robert Malley, the Biden's administration special envoy for Iran, waits to testify about the Iran nuclear deal during a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP)

The Biden administration’s Iran envoy Robert Malley says that if Iran continues to insist on the UN watchdog ending its probe, there will be no nuclear deal.

“Iran has raised, or resurrected, an issue completely separate from the JCPOA, from the nuclear deal, having to do with the investigation of the discovery of traces uranium particles that Iran owes an explanation for,” Malley tells Israel’s Channel 12 in an interview, saying it’s a technical issue.

“Either Iran resolves it by cooperating with the IAEA or it won’t be resolved,” he says. “If that’s the position that Iran sticks to there can’t be a deal,” Malley says.

Nikki Haley: Any new Iran nuke deal should include Israel, Arab nations

Former US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley speaks during a press conference at the Essex House Hotel in Manhattan on September 21, 2022. (Jacob Magid/Times of Israel)
Former US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley speaks during a press conference at the Essex House Hotel in Manhattan on September 21, 2022. (Jacob Magid/Times of Israel)

NEW YORK — Former US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley says the US should only consider another nuclear agreement with Iran if it is negotiated with Israel and neighboring Arab states as well.

Speaking at a press conference blocks away from the UN headquarters in Manhattan, former president Donald Trump’s UN envoy says “it doesn’t make sense that you’re doing this just with America and the Europeans.”

The nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was negotiated by China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK, the US, the EU and Iran.

Trump pulled out of the 2015 agreement, which traded sanctions relief for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program.

US President Joe Biden has sought to revive the deal, a strategy Haley vehemently opposes.

“We’ve got to make sure that Israel has a voice and the Arab countries who have dealt with the terrorism that Iran has spewed for too long. They need to have a voice only then will we hold Iran accountable,” she says.

Haley also lambasts Biden for signing off on a visa to allow Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to address the UN General Assembly earlier today.

Asked by The Times of Israel why Trump signed off on visas for former Iranian president Hassan Rouhani to speak before the UNGA during his tenure, Haley says Raisi is more dangerous than his predecessor.

She cited recent assassination attempts of civilians on US soil allegedly directed by Iranian authorities.

“This is, is not even similar,” she says, adding that the US must act before someone is killed.

Haley then asserts that “Iranian terrorists know the easiest way to get into America is through the [US] southern border.

“They’re not doing anything about the southern border… and they’re allowing Raisi to come speak in New York City. It’s not if, it’s when there’s going to be a terrorist attack,” she warns.

“Then are we going to go in and acknowledge that we shouldn’t even have been talking to them about an Iran deal? What’s it going to take? How many people have to die before we suddenly say, ‘okay, maybe Iran is bad?'”

In July, Haley indicated that she plans to run for president in 2024, telling a Christians United For Israel gala that if Biden reenters the JCPOA, “I’ll make you a promise… the next President will shred it – on her first day in office.”

Lapid’s coalition partners attack him for plan to endorse 2-state solution at UN

Yamina MK Ayelet Shaked (L) speaks with New Hope head Gideon Sa'ar at the Knesset in Jerusalem, June 2, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Yamina MK Ayelet Shaked (L) speaks with New Hope head Gideon Sa'ar at the Knesset in Jerusalem, June 2, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Several of Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s current coalition partners are attacking him for his plans to call for a two-state solution with the Palestinians at the UN General Assembly.

Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar of the National Union party says it will lead to a terror state in the West Bank.

“The establishment of a terror state in Judea and Samaria will endanger the security of Israel. Most of the Israeli people and their representatives will not allow this to happen.”

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked of Yamina says Lapid does not represent Israel.

“Interim Prime Minister Lapid does not have the public legitimacy to complicate Israel with statements that will cause harm to the state,” she tweets. “Lapid represents only himself with these statements and not the government.”

“A Palestinian state endangers the state of Israel.”

IOC chief sorry for not honoring Israeli 1972 Olympic attack victims

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach addresses a ceremony on the 50th anniversary of the deadly attack on the Israeli Olympic team at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich by a Palestinian militant group, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022.  (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach addresses a ceremony on the 50th anniversary of the deadly attack on the Israeli Olympic team at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich by a Palestinian militant group, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

The head of the International Olympic Committee apologizes for the organization’s longtime failure to commemorate 11 Israeli athletes killed by Palestinian militants at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Thomas Bach speaks at a ceremony in Tel Aviv marking the 50th anniversary of the deadly attack on the Munich Olympics, two weeks after Germany’s president apologized at a memorial ceremony in Germany for his country’s failures before, during, and after the attack.

On Sept. 5, 1972, the Palestinian group Black September attacked the Israeli Olympic delegation at the Munich Olympic Games, killing 11 Israelis and a police officer.

President Isaac Herzog says the athletes were “brutally murdered in cold blood by a Palestinian terrorist organization just for being Jews, just because they were Israelis.”

“This was the moment that the Olympic torch was snuffed out, and the five-ringed flag was stained with blood,” he says.

Bach said the attack in Munich was one of “the darkest days in Olympic history” and an assault on the Olympic Games and its values.

“Everything that the Olympic Games stand for was shattered 50 years ago with the horrific attack on the Israeli Olympic team.” He apologizes for the many years it took the International Olympic Committee to commemorate the Israeli victims “in a dignified way.”

A moment of silence was held at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Games last year — the first time the Olympic Games’ organizers marked the killing of the Israeli athletes in nearly half a century.

“For this pain, and for this anguish, that we caused, I am truly sorry,” Bach says.

Senior Israeli official condemns Russian mobilization, nuclear threats

Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu attend the opening of the Army 2022 International Military and Technical Forum in the Patriot Park outside Moscow, Russia, Aug. 15, 2022. (Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)
Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu attend the opening of the Army 2022 International Military and Technical Forum in the Patriot Park outside Moscow, Russia, Aug. 15, 2022. (Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)

A senior Israeli official condemns the decision by Russian President Vladimir Putin to mobilize hundreds of thousands of reservists for the war in Ukraine.

“We have condemned in very clear language incidents like Bucha,” says the official, referring to the Kyiv suburb where Russian soldiers executed Ukrainian civilians. “This falls under that. This calling up of 300,000 additional soldiers to further deepen a war that didn’t need to happen in the first place. The same of course goes for the threats to use nuclear weapons.”

The official adds that he is “worried in general for the Jews in Russia,” and that Prime Minster Yair Lapid asked El Al’s CEO on Monday to ensure that flights from Russia to Israel continue, enabling Jews to leave if they so desire.

Growing cholera outbreak in Syria infects hundreds, 39 dead

A deadly cholera outbreak in Syria has killed at least 39 people and infected hundreds more this past month, health officials say, raising concerns about whether the war-torn country can put a stop to its spread.

The UN and Syria’s Health Ministry have said the source of the outbreak is believed to be linked to people drinking unsafe water from the Euphrates River and using contaminated water to irrigate crops, resulting in food contamination.

The outbreak hit government-held parts of the country as well as the areas in the northeast. Syria’s health services have suffered heavily from its yearslong war and much of the country is short on cleaning water supplies.

In government-held areas, the Health Ministry reported 23 deaths, 20 of them in the northern province of Aleppo in addition to at least 253 cases.

In areas of northeast Syria controlled by US-backed Kurdish-led fighters, Jwan Mustafa, the top health official in the region reported 16 deaths since Sept. 5, and 2,867 suspected cases of cholera. In the rebel-held northwest, the first case was reported this week.

The cholera outbreak is the first in Syria since the conflict began in March 2011. The civil war has killed hundreds of thousands and displaced half the country’s pre-war population, many of whom now live in crowded tent settlements.

In UN address, Lapid to call for two-state solution with Palestinians

Prime Minister Yair Lapid attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, on September 18, 2022. (Ronaldo Schemidt/Pool Photo via AP)
Prime Minister Yair Lapid attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, on September 18, 2022. (Ronaldo Schemidt/Pool Photo via AP)

In his address to the United Nations General Assembly tomorrow, Yair Lapid will offer “hope and vision through strength,” says an official close to the prime minister, which will include an explicit call for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians.

“We can go to better places, we must present a diplomatic vision, we must also make sure we recognize the dangers in front of us.”

Lapid’s speech will have four sections.

On Iran, he will emphasize that Israel will not allow the Islamic Republic to become a nuclear state, says the official. “If needed, and this is agreed upon between us and the Americans, we will act by ourselves. We don’t need to ask anyone for permission.”

“But we also must offer the world an alternative to what happened in recent months,” explains the official,  “the rush that was stopped to a large extent because of our involvement in the JCPOA. We must tell the world, we have to go toward a better, longer, stronger agreement, and base it on the fact that the world will present a credible military option on the table.”

The second pillar of Lapid’s speech will be delegitimization, according to the Lapid aide. “We are going to tell the world that we are not guests at the UN. We are proud members of the United Nations, and we will not accept this stage being used to spread lies about Israel. We will defend our good name.”

Lapid will also turn to countries across the Middle East that have not joined the Abraham Accords and Negev Forum. “Our goal is to expand the circle of peace, and an international call on this has value.”

Finally, says the official, Lapid will stress that “Israel must move toward a two-state solution.”

“For many years, no Israeli prime minister has said this on the UN stage,” the official says. Lapid will also emphasize the risks Israel is not willing to take.

“We will not do anything that will endanger the security of Israel and Israelis by even a centimeter,” the official explains, “but separation from the Palestinians must be part of our diplomatic vision, part of the hope through strength worldview.”

Lapid is expected to give his address in the early afternoon, before heading straight to the airport to return to Israel.

Instagram disrupted across Iran amid protests

In this Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, photo taken by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by the AP outside Iran, tear gases are thrown by the police during a protest over the death of a young woman who had been detained for violating the country's conservative dress code, in downtown Tehran, Iran. Iran faced international criticism on Tuesday over the death of a woman held by its morality police, which ignited three days of protests, including clashes with security forces in the capital and other unrest that claimed at least three lives. (AP Photo)
In this Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, photo taken by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by the AP outside Iran, tear gases are thrown by the police during a protest over the death of a young woman who had been detained for violating the country's conservative dress code, in downtown Tehran, Iran. Iran faced international criticism on Tuesday over the death of a woman held by its morality police, which ignited three days of protests, including clashes with security forces in the capital and other unrest that claimed at least three lives. (AP Photo)

Iranians saw their access to Instagram, one of the few Western social media platforms still available in the country, disrupted today following days of mass protests over the death of a woman who was detained by the morality police.

NetBlocks, a London-based group that monitors internet access, reports widespread disruptions. Witnesses inside Iran, who spoke on condition of anonymity out of security concerns, say they are unable to log on using mobile phones or home connections.

There is no immediate comment from Iranian authorities on the disruption to Instagram, which would limit the ability of protesters to organize and share information.

Iran already blocks Facebook, Telegram, Twitter and YouTube, even though top Iranian officials use public accounts on such platforms. Many Iranians get around the bans using virtual private networks, known as VPNs and proxies.

Gantz accuses Iran of trying to buy Lebanon

Defense Minister Benny Gantz speaks during a ministry event in the northern city of Katzrin, September 21, 2022. (Defense Ministry)
Defense Minister Benny Gantz speaks during a ministry event in the northern city of Katzrin, September 21, 2022. (Defense Ministry)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz says Iran is attempting to “buy” Lebanon by having it rely on Hezbollah for fuel and repairing the country’s failing power network.

“Iran, through Hezbollah, is trying to buy Lebanon by supplying fuel, repairing the electricity system and building power plants,” Gantz says at an event in the northern town of Katzrin.

“Lebanon’s energy dependence on Iran may eventually lead to the establishment of Iranian bases on Lebanese soil and the destabilization of the region,” he says, warning that Lebanese citizens “are the ones who will pay the price.”

Speaking on plans to begin extracting gas from the offshore Karish field — which has come under threat by Hezbollah in recent months — Gantz says Israel won’t bow to “impositions” by Iran or its terror proxies.

“This is [also] true regarding our freedom of action amid any threat to the citizens of Israel, that develops at the border and beyond it,” he says, referring to airstrikes in Syria and actions in Iran attributed to Israel.

IDF chief warns Israel will use ‘preemptive actions’ to stop Iranian attacks

IDF chief Aviv Kohavi is greeted by a French Armed Forces honor guard in Paris, France, September 21, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)
IDF chief Aviv Kohavi is greeted by a French Armed Forces honor guard in Paris, France, September 21, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

Military chief Aviv Kohavi issues a warning to Iran, saying that Israel will respond to attempts to attack it with a “harsh response or preemptive actions.”

“We are working extremely hard against Iran’s entrenchment in the Middle East. The attempts to harm Israel, in any theater, will be met with a harsh response or preemptive actions,” Kohavi says following a meeting with his French counterpart, during an official visit to the European nation.

“The French army and the strengthening relationship with the IDF are important for regional stability,” Kohavi says in remarks provided by the Israel Defense Forces.

“We presented our French colleagues with intelligence that proves that the terrorist army Hezbollah has recently been increasing its negative activities, in a way that creates an ever-increasing risk of escalation, and tries to endanger Israel, but in practice also Lebanon and its citizens,” he says.

“Hezbollah has taken the citizens of Lebanon ‘hostage,’ and makes cynical use of civilian infrastructure, houses and residential buildings which will be attacked by the IDF when necessary,” Kohavi warns.

Tensions have recently escalated between Israel and the Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah, as the latter has threatened Israeli gas installations amid US-mediated talks over a maritime border dispute.

Biden reaffirms US commitment to Israel-Palestinian two-state solution

US President Joe Biden waves at the audience after addressing the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022 at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
US President Joe Biden waves at the audience after addressing the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022 at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

US President Joe Biden reaffirms his administration’s commitment to the two-state solution during his address before the UN General Assembly.

“We will continue to advocate for lasting negotiated peace between the Jewish and democratic state of Israel and the Palestinian people,” Biden says toward the end of a roughly 30-minute speech that focuses largely on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine along with climate change.

“The United States is committed to Israel’s security. Full stop. A negotiated two-state solution remains in our view the best way to ensure Israel’s security and prosperity… and give the Palestinians a state to which they are entitled — both sides fully respecting the equal rights of their citizens, both people enjoying equal measures of freedom and dignity,” he continues, reiterating the same talking point the Biden administration has used regarding its policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the get-go.

Biden also briefly highlights his recent trip to the Middle East where he participated in a meeting with the leaders of nine Arab countries “to work toward a more peaceful, integrated Middle East.”

Biden reiterates that the US is committed to return to compliance with the Iran nuclear deal so long as Tehran does the same.

“The United States is clear. We will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. We continue to believe that diplomacy is the best way to achieve this outcome,” Biden says. “The Non-Proliferation regime, one of the greatest successes of this institution, cannot let the world now slide backwards.”

The US president also highlights “the brave women of Iran, who right now are demonstrating to secure their basic rights” during a section of his speech on human rights violations.

Biden tells UN he supports expanding Security Council

US President Joe Biden addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, at the U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
US President Joe Biden addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, at the U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

US President Joe Biden says that Washington supports the expansion of the UN Security Council to better represent areas including Africa and Latin America.

“The United States supports increasing the number of both permanent and non-permanent representatives of the council,” Biden told the UN General Assembly.

“This includes permanent seats for those nations we’ve long supported — permanent seats for countries in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean. The United States is committed to this vital work,” he adds.

Lapid slams ‘irresponsible’ Netanyahu for criticism of emerging Lebanon border deal

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

Speaking to Israeli reporters in his New York City hotel this morning, Prime Minister Yair Lapid calls yesterday’s video by Benjamin Netanyahu accusing him of giving in to Hezbollah over contested gas fields “terribly irresponsible.”

“I saw what Netanyahu put out on this,” says the prime minister. “It is terribly irresponsible on a national level. The Prime Minister is in New York at the UN General Assembly. A complex negotiation is being held in America. He doesn’t know the details because he didn’t receive a security update. This damages Israel’s negotiations, and damages our security, diplomatic and economic interests.”

“This isn’t something the head of the opposition should make videos about for a campaign. I was the head of the opposition, and in similar situations, I behaved differently entirely.”

In a minute-long video tweeted by Netanyahu yesterday, the Likud leader tells the camera that “Lapid totally folded in the face of Nasrallah’s threats.” He accuses Lapid of delaying the extraction of gas from the Karish field, and of intending to transfer a field worth billions of dollars to Lebanon. Netanyahu finishes with an appeal to vote in a right-wing government in the November elections.

Lapid also gives an update on the US-brokered talks with Lebanon. “This morning, we sat with the US teams, they went to the Lebanese, it is being handled like every negotiation is handled.”

“We are in very complex, advanced negotiations,” Lapid continues. “I gave our negotiation teams very clear parameters where our security, diplomatic and economic needs are, in coordination with the defense minister. If we get this while protecting these parameters – good. If not, Israel is strong and knows how to defend itself. I continue to use the phrase ‘cautious optimism.’”

Biden: Russia ‘shamelessly violated’ UN Charter with ‘brutal, needless’ Ukraine war

US President Joe Biden addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, at the UN headquarters. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
US President Joe Biden addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, at the UN headquarters. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

US President Joe Biden says that Russia has “shamelessly violated the core tenets” of the United Nations charter with its “brutal, needless war” in Ukraine.

Delivering a forceful condemnation of Russia’s invasion to the international body, Biden says reports of Russian abuses against civilians in Ukraine “should make your blood run cold.”

He also says Russian President Vladimir Putin’s new nuclear threats against Europe showed “reckless disregard” for his nation’s responsibilities as a signatory of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

“We will stand in solidarity against Russia’s aggression. Period,” Biden says.

Saudis host meet at UN on Israeli-Palestinian peace process, but snub Israel

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, center, leads his delegation at the Arab League foreign ministers annual meeting in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, center, leads his delegation at the Arab League foreign ministers annual meeting in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Saudi Arabia hosted a closed ministerial meeting at the United Nations on Tuesday night marking the 20th anniversary of the proposal of the Arab Peace Initiative, but did not invite Israel, two Arab diplomats confirmed to The Times of Israel.

Representatives from almost every member in the Arab League, including the Palestinians attended, while Israel did not receive an invitation.

The Saudi Al Arabiya news outlet, which broke the story, says that the US sent Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf and that the UK and several EU countries were also represented at the evening session.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borell, Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan and Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit addressed the meeeting, Al Arabiya reports.

Ministers discussed proposals to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process based on the Arab Peace Initiative and similar plans, one Arab diplomat tells The Times of Israel.

The holding of such a session and its attendance by such senior diplomats from the Middle East, the EU and the US appears to represent a blow to Israeli efforts to dismiss the Arab Peace Initiative as an outdated formula for peace.

The 2002 proposal offers Israel full normalized relations with all 22 members of the Arab League if Israel agrees to a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders and with a just resolution for Palestinian refugees.

The initiative was quickly rejected by Israel, whose governments have become increasingly antagonistic to the demand that it pull back its troops and settlements to the pre-1967 borders, arguing that they are indefensible and that its citizens should not have be removed from territory in the West Bank to which the Jewish people have ancient ties.

More recently, it has pointed to the 2020 signing of the Abraham Accords as proof of the Arab Peace Initiative’s irrelevance. Those deals brokered by the US saw the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco agree to normalize relations with Israel before a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Those three countries who signed the Abraham Accords are slated to send their foreign ministers to the Tuesday session.

‘Victory will be ours’: Iranian dissidents gather at UN to protest Raisi speech

Iranian dissidents gather at the UN to protest Iranian President Ebrahim's Raisi speech on September 1, 22022 (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)
Iranian dissidents gather at the UN to protest Iranian President Ebrahim's Raisi speech on September 1, 22022 (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)

Around 3,000 Iranian anti-regime activists gather at the UN to protest Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s speech.

Signs line a plaza across from the UN calling for “Regime change by Iranians,” and hundreds of photos of executed political prisoners are displayed.

Other banners say “Victory will be ours,” and “Prosecute Raisi,” with photos of a noose to represent hanged prisoners.

The activists chant “Prosecute Raisi now” as a marching band beats on drums.

A banner with the image of Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei is laid on the ground for participants to stomp on.

The recent mass protests in Iran have energized the crowd.

Womens rights activists chant “We will fight, we will die, we will take back our Iran.”

The protesters are mostly from the Iranian-American community and supporters of the dissident group MEK. They wear yellow vests emblazoned with the words “A free Iran.”

Speakers from the Iranian community and Christian allies of the movement deliver speeches in English and Farsi.

One of the speakers says, “In the Jewish faith there is a saying ‘Next year we will gather in Jerusalem,’ I say next year we will gather together in a free Iran.”

WATCH: World leaders address United Nations General Assembly

World leaders are adressing the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Among today’s speakers are Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and US President Joe Biden.

At UN, Iran president calls Israel a ‘savage’ regime that kills women and children

President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)
President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi tells the United Nations General Assembly that Israel is a “savage power” and insists Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful in a speech to the United Nations.

“The region has not seen previously such an occupying savage power such as the Zionist regime in its midst in the past. The killing of children and women are present in the dark report card of the Zionist regime,” Raisi says.

“The killing of Palestinian women and children and new generations shows everyone that seven decades of Israeli occupation and savagery is still with us,” he says.

He proposes a vote by all Palestinians, “Muslims, Christians and Jews” to establish a single state.

Raisi repeatedly refers to Iran as the protector of all oppressed people innthe region, “from the enslavement of the Babylonians to the Palestinians.”

Hundreds of Iranian dissidents protest against Raisi outside the United Nations during his speech, as they have throughout the week, including by gathering outside of his New York hotel.

Raisi accuses West of hypocrisy, cites Israeli nukes, treatment of Palestinian women

Speaking at the UN General Assembly, Iran’s president accuses the West of hypocrisy, contrasting their treatment of Iran with that of Israel.

Raisi blasts what he said was lopsided scrutiny of Iran’s nuclear activities while other nations’ nuclear programs remain secret, a reference to Israel, which does not confirm or deny such a program.

He also cites Israel when defending Iran’s treatment of women.

Raisi accuses the West of “double standards” on women’s rights as his country is gripped by protests over the death of a woman arrested by religious police.

“We have this double standard where attention is solely focused on one side and not all,” the hardline cleric tells the United Nations General Assembly, pointing to deaths of indigenous women in Canada and Israeli actions in the West Bank and Gaza.

Raisi’s speech comes a politically sensitive time in Iran. Protesters have clashed with police in recent days in cities across the country, including the capital, over the death of the 22-year-old woman, who was being held by the morality police for allegedly violating the Islamic Republic’s strictly enforced dress code.

At UN General Assembly, Iran’s president says US ‘trampled upon’ nuclear accord

President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 21, 2022 at UN headquarters. (Mary Altaffer/AP)
President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 21, 2022 at UN headquarters. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

Iran’s president say that the US “trampled upon” Tehran’s nuclear accord with world powers in a speech to world leaders at the United Nations.

Ebrahim Raisi addresses the UN General Assembly as talks to revive the nuclear deal approached a take-it-or-leave-it moment. Former US president Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the deal in 2018 has led Tehran to abandon over time every limitation the accord imposed on its nuclear enrichment.

European Union officials have warned the window for securing a deal is about to close. The 2015 agreement that was brokered under the Obama administration placed curbs on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief, which Tehran insists it has never received.

“America trampled upon the nuclear accord,” says Raisi, who was sworn in as president only a year ago. His speech marks the first time he has taken the podium at the UN in his role as president. Last year, he delivered remarks to the assembly virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions.

In 2019, Raisi was sanctioned by the United States in part over his involvement in the mass execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988, a little over a decade after the 1979 Islamic Revolution overthrew the country’s shah and ushered in its current theocratic-led system.

Wearing a traditional black turban identified with Shiite clerics, Raisi also tells the gathered leaders that Iran wants to have “extensive relations with all our neighbors” — an apparent reference to foe Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries in the region.

Saudi Arabia and Iran have held a number of direct talks since US President Joe Biden took office, though tensions remain high between the two. Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates recent reopened its embassy in Tehran and sent an ambassador there.

Erdan walks out of Raisi speech at UN: ‘A mass-murdering Holocaust-denier’

President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022 at UN headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022 at UN headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan walks ahead of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s speech and leaves a picture of his Holocaust-survivor grandparents at the Israeli seat.

The move is to protest Raisi’s recent comments that cast doubt on the Holocaust.

“It is a new moral low for the UN. A mass-murdering Holocaust-denier gets the podium at the UN to speak his hatred. Every ambassador that stays to hear him should be embarrassed,” Erdan says.

European spyware investigators criticize Israel and Poland amid NSO scandal

The NSO Group logo is seen on a smartphone placed on a laptop keyboard. (Mundissima/Alamy)
The NSO Group logo is seen on a smartphone placed on a laptop keyboard. (Mundissima/Alamy)

European Parliament members investigating the use of surveillance spyware by European Union governments sharply criticized Israel for a lack of transparency in allowing the sale of powerful Israeli spyware to European governments that have used it against critics.

The European lawmakers also condemn the Polish government for refusing to meet with them during a fact-finding visit to Warsaw.

“It is regrettable and we condemn the fact that the Polish authorities did not want to cooperate with our investigation committee,” Jeroen Lenaers, the head of the delegation, says at a news conference in Warsaw.

“We think it also is a telling sign of the complete lack of importance this government attaches to checks and balances, to democratic scrutiny and to dialog with elected representatives.”

The committee is investigating the use by governments of Israel’s Pegasus spyware and other invasive surveillance tools, viewing such technology as a threat to democracy in the 27-nation bloc.

Pegasus was developed by Israel’s NSO Group and is designed to breach mobile phones and extract vast amounts of information from them, including text messages, passwords, locations and microphone and camera recordings. The company markets the technology as a tool to target criminals but many cases have been discovered worldwide of governments using it against dissidents, journalists and political opponents.

Likud denies report Netanyahu seeking to mediate between Russia and Ukraine

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on January 30, 2020. (Kremlin)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on January 30, 2020. (Kremlin)

The Likud party denies that party leader Benjamin Netanyahu is asking to mediate between Russia and Ukraine.

A report in the Israel Hayom daily, frequently aligned with the former prime minister, says that Netanyahu will ask Ukraine for permission to intervene.

A Likud spokesman calls the report “complete nonsense.”

Prosecutor says 2 more killed in Iran protests after woman’s death

A protester holds a portrait of Mahsa Amini  during a demonstration in support of Amini, a young Iranian woman who died after being arrested in Tehran by the Islamic Republic's morality police, on Istiklal avenue in Istanbul on September 20, 2022. (Photo by Ozan KOSE / AFP)
A protester holds a portrait of Mahsa Amini during a demonstration in support of Amini, a young Iranian woman who died after being arrested in Tehran by the Islamic Republic's morality police, on Istiklal avenue in Istanbul on September 20, 2022. (Photo by Ozan KOSE / AFP)

Two more Iranian protesters were killed in Kermanshah province, during rallies over the death of Mahsa Amini in the custody of morality police, the region’s prosecutor says.

“Unfortunately, two people were killed during the riots yesterday,” Shahram Karami is quoted as saying by Fars news agency, raising the official death toll in Kermanshah so far to five in several days of unrest.

“We are sure that this was done by counter-revolutionary agents because these people were targeted with non-organizational weapons,” Karami adds.

Public anger has flared since authorities Friday announced the death of 22-year-old Amini, after her arrest by the morality police responsible for enforcing a strict dress code for women.

He also said 25 people including some police forces were wounded during the protests.

Kurdistan governor Ismail Zarei Koosha said on Tuesday that three people had been killed during protests in the province, without specifying when.

Russians rush to buy flights out as Putin orders callup of reservists

Aeroflot's passengers planes are parked at Sheremetyevo airport, outside Moscow, Russia, March 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File)
Aeroflot's passengers planes are parked at Sheremetyevo airport, outside Moscow, Russia, March 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File)

Flights out of Russia are nearly fully booked this week, airline and travel agent data shows, after President Vladimir Putin introduced a partial draft of reservists to fight in Ukraine.

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu says that Russia would initially mobilize some 300,000 reservists, after Putin in a televised address warned Russia would use all available military means in Ukraine.

Direct flights to cities in nearby ex-Soviet countries of Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan were all sold out for Wednesday, the Aviasales website popular in Russia showed.

Turkish Airlines meanwhile said on its website that flights to Istanbul, which has become an important travel hub to and from Russia, were fully booked until Saturday.

The next available AirSerbia flight to Belgrade was posted for September 26.

Google data showed that searches in Russia for “tickets” and “plane” more than doubled after 0600 GMT Wednesday, the start of Putin’s recorded televised address.

Danish queen, 82, tests positive after attending UK monarch’s funeral

Denmark's Queen Margrethe pays her respect to the coffin of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, following her death, during her lying-in-state at Westminster Hall, in London, Sunday Sept. 18, 2022. (John Sibley/Pool via AP)
Denmark's Queen Margrethe pays her respect to the coffin of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, following her death, during her lying-in-state at Westminster Hall, in London, Sunday Sept. 18, 2022. (John Sibley/Pool via AP)

Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II has tested positive for the coronavirus after attending the funeral of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, the royal palace says.

In a statement, the royal household says that Margrethe, 82, who has been on the throne for 50 years, canceled her official duties after the Tuesday night test.

The palace said her oldest son, heir to the throne Crown Prince Frederik, and his wife, Crown Princess Mary, would take the queen’s place hosting a dinner with Danish government officials and members of parliament.

Margrethe previously tested positive for the virus in February. At the time, the palace said she had received three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. The queen was among the dignitaries who attended Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral Monday at Westminster Abbey in London.

Margrethe’s half-century reign makes her Europe’s longest-serving monarch following the Sept. 8 death of Elizabeth, 96, who ruled for 70 years.

Ronni Gamzu quits as Ichilov hospital chief, said to be mulling Tel Aviv mayoral run

Ronni Gamzu, director of Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital, at a conference in Jerusalem on March 15, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Ronni Gamzu, director of Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital, at a conference in Jerusalem on March 15, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Ronni Gamzu announces he is stepping down as head of Tel Aviv’s Ichilov hospital after seven years.

In a statement, Gamzu says his move is meant to allow new leadership to help the hospital face the challenges of the future.

However, the Ynet news site says Gamzu is mulling a run for Tel Aviv mayor.

Gamzu came to nationwide prominence after he was appointed coronavirus czar and became the public face of the government’s efforts to beat back the pandemic during its first year.

China calls for ‘ceasefire through dialogue’ following Russian mobilization

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to China's President Xi Jinping during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) leaders' summit in Samarkand on September 16, 2022. (Sergei Bobylyov/Sputnik/AFP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to China's President Xi Jinping during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) leaders' summit in Samarkand on September 16, 2022. (Sergei Bobylyov/Sputnik/AFP)

China calls for a “ceasefire through dialogue and consultation” following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s address on Ukraine, in which he announced a partial military mobilization.

“We call on the relevant parties to realize a ceasefire through dialogue and consultation, and find a solution that accommodates the legitimate security concerns of all parties as soon as possible,” China’s foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin tells a regular press briefing.

Netanyahu tells Likud gathering: We have at least 61 seats

Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a meeting of his Likud faction in Tel Aviv on September 21, 2021. (Likud Party)
Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a meeting of his Likud faction in Tel Aviv on September 21, 2021. (Likud Party)

Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu tells a gathering of his Likud faction that his bloc is currently polling at 61 seats.

“We are at 61 seats, we will win more and set up a stable right-wing government for four years if all Likud supporters go out and vote,” he says. “That’s our only mission now,” he says.

On November 1, election day, Likud and allied parties need to win at least 61 seats in the 120-seat Knesset to form a government.

 

 

21 children injured after tear gas released in school in northern Israel

Twenty-one children aged 11 and 12 are lightly injured after tear gas was released in a school in the town of Arraba in northern Israel.

The children were taken to the Poriya hospital and treated and then released, the hospital says.

It was not immediately clear how the gas was released.

US urges UN court to toss out Iranian frozen assets case

The aftermath of the bombing of the US Marines barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, October 23, 1983.  (Jim Bourdier/AP)
The aftermath of the bombing of the US Marines barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, October 23, 1983. (Jim Bourdier/AP)

The United States urges the International Court of Justice to throw out a case brought by Iran seeking to claw back around $2 billion worth of frozen Iranian assets that the US Supreme Court awarded to victims of a 1983 bombing in Lebanon and other attacks linked to Tehran.

The leader of the US legal team, Richard Visek, tells the UN court that it should invoke, for the first time, a legal principle known as “unclean hands,” under which a nation can’t bring a case because of its own criminal actions linked to the case.

“Iran’s case should be dismissed in its entirety based on the principle of unclean hands,” Visek tells the judges sitting in the court’s Great Hall of Justice.

“The essence of this threshold defense is that Iran’s own egregious conduct, its sponsorship of terrorist acts directed against the United States and US nationals, lies at the very core of its claims,” Visek said.

The Hague-based court has never used the “unclean hands” defense as a reason to toss out a case, but it has been successfully cited in international arbitration cases, Visek said.

Ukraine, West slam Russia military mobilization as ‘tragedy,’ sign of ‘failure’

A spokesman for Ukraine President Vlodymyr Zelensky calls the mobilization announced by Vladimir Putin a “big tragedy” for the Russian people.

In a statement to The Associated Press, Sergii Nikiforov says conscripts sent to the front line in Ukraine would face a similar fate as ill-prepared Russian forces who were repelled in an attack on Kyiv in the first days of the invasion last February.

“This is a recognition of the incapacity of the Russian professional army, which has failed in all its tasks,” Nikiforov says.

The mobilization is unlikely to bring any consequences on the battlefield for months because of a lack of training facilities and equipment.

The US ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Brink, tweets that the mobilization is a sign “of weakness, of Russian failure.”

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace echoes that assessment, describing Putin’s move as “an admission that his invasion is failing.”

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