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Israel advances plan for controversial Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem

Givat Shaked project, slated to include 700 housing units, criticizing for cutting off development options for Beit Safafa neighborhood

A construction site in Jerusalem against the backdrop of a sunset, September 1, 2021. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
A construction site in Jerusalem against the backdrop of a sunset, September 1, 2021. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

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

Families accuse EU of ‘ignoring’ Europeans held by Iran

A woman holds a photo of Benjamin Briere during a rally in Paris, France, on Saturday, January 8, 2022. (AP/Adrienne Surprenant)
A woman holds a photo of Benjamin Briere during a rally in Paris, France, on Saturday, January 8, 2022. (AP/Adrienne Surprenant)

The families of four Europeans imprisoned for several years by Iran accuse the European Union of ignoring the plight of their loved ones who they say are held hostage by the Islamic republic.

The open letter by the families to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell comes as little sign emerges of a breakthrough in talks on the Iranian nuclear program which activists believe could speed their release.

“We, the families of French, Swedish, German, and Austrian citizens, who have been illegally detained by the Iranian regime, are outraged that the European Union seems to be ignoring these crimes,” the families say in the letter.

“All of them wonder whether EU officials have forgotten them and how much longer they will have to endure this ordeal,” they add.

The letter was signed by the sister of French citizen Benjamin Briere, the wife of Austrian Kamran Ghaderi, the wife of Swede Ahmadreza Djalali and the daughter of German citizen Jamshid Sharmahd.

Netanyahu corruption trial to resume hearings tomorrow

Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives for a court hearing in his trial, at the district court in Jerusalem on May 31, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives for a court hearing in his trial, at the district court in Jerusalem on May 31, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The ongoing corruption trial of former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to resume tomorrow following a long break.

The trial is slated to pick up with the continuation of testimony from Hadas Klein, a top aide to Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan.

So far, Klein has testified that she was instructed to provide luxury gifts to the former prime minister and his family in exchange for favors.

Israel advances plan for controversial Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem

Cranes on a construction site in Jerusalem, September 1, 2021. (Nati Shohat/ Flash90/ File)
Cranes on a construction site in Jerusalem, September 1, 2021. (Nati Shohat/ Flash90/ File)

The Jerusalem District Planning Committee advances a plan for the development of a controversial Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem.

The project, known as Givat Shaked, is located on the northwest edge of the Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Safafa, adjacent to the Green Line and will include 700 housing units.

According to a source on the planning committee, the plans will still be resubmitted to the committee before final approval, which is almost certain to be given.

The land for Givat Shaked was expropriated by the Rabin government in 1995, sparking international uproar. The project was then frozen by Rabin and was not advanced until December of last year, when the district committee green-lit the neighborhood through an earlier planning stage.

According to the Peace Now settlement watchdog, Givat Shaked will be located on the last remaining plot of land on which Beit Safafa could develop, given that the crowded Palestinian neighborhood is hemmed in on almost all sides — either by the Jewish neighborhood of Gilo to the south, a park to the west, or an area designated for another controversial Jewish neighborhood, Givat Hamatos, to the east.

A researcher for the Ir Amim organization asserted that the land should be used for the development of Beit Safafa, due to the lack of options for the development of that neighborhood.

“The government refuses to advance construction plans for Palestinians and at the same time destroys more and more houses in the east of the city,” says Ir Amim researcher Aviv Tatarski.

Ukraine says its nuclear plant’s last working reactor is now disconnected

A Russian serviceman guards an area of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in territory under Russian military control, southeastern Ukraine, May 1, 2022. (AP Photo)
A Russian serviceman guards an area of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in territory under Russian military control, southeastern Ukraine, May 1, 2022. (AP Photo)

Ukraine’s embattled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant’s last working reactor has been switched off from the grid, says Ukraine’s power plants operator.

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant — Europe’s largest nuclear facility — was shelled in recent weeks, with Kyiv and Moscow blaming each other for the attacks, raising concerns of a possible incident.

“Power unit (reactor) No. 6 was unloaded and disconnected from the grid” because of a fire that was “triggered because of shelling,” Energoatom state-run company says in its statement.

“The world is once again on the brink of a nuclear disaster. The de-occupation of the ZNPP and the creation of a demilitarized zone around it is the only way to ensure nuclear safety,” Ukraine’s energy minister German Galushchenko says following the news.

This was the last working reactor out of six, after shelling disconnected reactor no.5 on Saturday, according to a statement from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

EU high representative and vice president Josep Borrell says the news is “worrisome.”

Swiss prosecutors seek 5-year sentence for French-Israeli mining magnate Steinmetz

Israeli diamond magnate Beny Steinmetz (left) and his lawyer Daniel Kinzer arrive at a courthouse in Geneva, Switzerland, August 29, 2022. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)
Israeli diamond magnate Beny Steinmetz (left) and his lawyer Daniel Kinzer arrive at a courthouse in Geneva, Switzerland, August 29, 2022. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)

Swiss prosecutors demand that a French-Israeli businessman serve his prison sentence in a vast corruption case involving Guinea mining rights, while his defense insists he is innocent.

In an impassioned closing statement, chief prosecutor Yves Bertossa tells the Geneva appeals court he maintains his request for Beny Steinmetz to serve five years behind bars, decrying his role in a “pact of corruption.”

The 66-year-old mining tycoon, who made his fortune in diamonds, was already sentenced by a lower court in January 2021 to a five-year prison term and ordered to pay 50 million Swiss francs ($52 million) in compensation. He was found guilty of setting up a complex financial web to pay bribes to ensure his company could obtain permits in Guinea’s southeastern Simandou region, which is estimated to contain the world’s biggest untapped iron ore deposits.

Earlier today, Steinmetz’s lawyer Daniel Kinzer slammed the prosecution’s case as “very weak,” insisting that the lower court had reached “an erroneous and unjust conclusion.”

“He is innocent… There is no criminal offense,” he said in his closing statement, urging the judges to look at the facts “with fresh eyes.”

Judge grants Trump request to appoint special master in document search

An photo contained in a court filing by the Department of Justice on August 30, 2022, shows documents seized during the August 8 search by the FBI of former president Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. (Department of Justice via AP)
An photo contained in a court filing by the Department of Justice on August 30, 2022, shows documents seized during the August 8 search by the FBI of former president Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. (Department of Justice via AP)

A federal judge grants a request by former president Donald Trump’s legal team to appoint a special master to review documents seized by the FBI from his Florida home last month and also temporarily halts the Justice Department’s use of the records for investigative purposes.

The decision by US District Judge Aileen Cannon comes despite the objections of the Justice Department, which said an outside legal expert was not necessary, in part because officials had already completed their review of potentially privileged documents. The judge had previously signaled her inclination to approve a special master, asking a department lawyer during arguments this month, “What is the harm?”

The appointment is likely to slow the pace of the department’s investigation into the presence of top-secret information at Mar-a-Lago, given the judge’s directive that the Justice Department may not for the moment use any of the seized materials for investigative purposes. But it is not clear that it will have any significant effect on any investigative decisions or the ultimate outcome of the probe.

Israel asks Netherlands to extradite modeling agent accused of sex abuse

Israeli modeling agent Shai Avital (C) poses for a picture with Israeli models during an event on a rooftop in Tel Aviv, on September 17, 2017. (Avshalom Sassoni/ Flash90)
Israeli modeling agent Shai Avital (C) poses for a picture with Israeli models during an event on a rooftop in Tel Aviv, on September 17, 2017. (Avshalom Sassoni/ Flash90)

Israel issues a request to the Netherlands to extradite Shai Avital, a modeling agent wanted on multiple charges of sex abuse.

After evading justice for months, Avital was arrested last month in the Netherlands on 26 charges of sexual harassment and abuse.

A Dutch Court ruled two weeks ago to keep Avital in custody, with the judge explaining that his ruling was necessary to prevent Avital from fleeing the country.

UN condemns Hamas execution of five Palestinians

Illustrative: A gallows is prepared for an execution in Gaza in 2013. (AP/ Gaza Interior Ministry/ File)
Illustrative: A gallows is prepared for an execution in Gaza in 2013. (AP/ Gaza Interior Ministry/ File)

The United Nations condemns the execution of five Palestinians by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, saying it was in “stark violation” of Palestinian law.

Hamas announced yesterday that it had carried out the executions: two for “collaboration” with Israel and three for murder.

“We condemn the execution of five prisoners in Gaza and urge the de facto authorities in Gaza to establish a moratorium on all executions,” says UN Human Rights Office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani. “We call on the State of Palestine to take robust measures to abolish the death penalty in all its territory.”

The executions were “in stark violation of the State of Palestine’s own domestic law and its obligations under international law,” the spokeswoman says.

She says there are serious concerns that criminal proceedings resulting in death sentences in Gaza do not meet international fair trial standards.

“The approval of the president of Palestine was not secured, as required by national law, nor were there opportunities for the executed prisoners to seek clemency or a pardon,” says Shamdasani.

IDF chief says 1,500 Palestinians have been arrested in monthslong West Bank operation

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi attends a Aharai! pre-army program ceremony, at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem on June 17, 2022. (Flash90)
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi attends a Aharai! pre-army program ceremony, at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem on June 17, 2022. (Flash90)

IDF chief Aviv Kohavi says troops have arrested over 1,500 Palestinians in near-nightly raids in the West Bank, since an operation was launched earlier this year following a wave of deadly terror attacks.

“As part of the operation so far, about 1,500 wanted persons have been arrested and hundreds of terror attacks have been thwarted,” Kohavi says at a military conference, in remarks provided by the Israel Defense Forces.

Between mid-March and early May, 19 people were killed in a series of terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank, prompting the IDF to launch an operation dubbed Breakwater.

“Part of the increase in terrorism stems from the helplessness of the Palestinian Authority security forces, leading to a lack of governance in certain areas of Judea and Samaria, and these are fertile ground for the growth of terrorism,” Kohavi says.

“As always, even in face of this development, our test is protecting the citizens of Israel, and our mission is to thwart terrorism. We will reach every city, neighborhood, alley, house or basement for that purpose,” he says.

“Our activity will continue and we are prepared to increase it as needed,” Kohavi adds.

EU foreign policy chief Borrell ‘less confident’ Iran deal can be quickly saved

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell speaks with the media as he arrives for a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the Prague Congress Center in Prague, Czech Republic, August 31, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell speaks with the media as he arrives for a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the Prague Congress Center in Prague, Czech Republic, August 31, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

The European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, who is shepherding attempts to save the suspended Iran nuclear deal, says that recent exchanges left him “less confident.”

Borrell says of Iran’s latest response to an EU-drafted text last week, which hardened Tehran’s demands on Washington, “if the purpose is to close the deal quickly, it is not going to help it.”

Borell’s comments come less than a week after he said he was hopeful that a deal could be reached within days.

Widow of Israeli killed at Munich Olympics says ‘the hole in my heart will never heal’

Ankie Spitzer (center), the widow of killed fencing coach Andre Spitzer, and other relatives of victims attend a ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, at the Fuerstenfeldbruck Air Base, southern Germany, on September 5, 2022. (Thomas KIENZLE / AFP)
Ankie Spitzer (center), the widow of killed fencing coach Andre Spitzer, and other relatives of victims attend a ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, at the Fuerstenfeldbruck Air Base, southern Germany, on September 5, 2022. (Thomas KIENZLE / AFP)

Ankie Spitzer, the widow of Andre Spitzer, one of the 11 Israelis murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics, says she will never be able to find closure over his death.

Speaking at a ceremony at the Fuerstenfeldbruck Air Base in southern Germany marking 50 years since the 1972 massacre, during which 11 Israelis and a German police officer were killed by Palestinian terrorists, Spitzer vows that she “will never stop talking about it so that it will never ever happen again.”

Spitzer says that her fight for justice “was long and lonely, but thinking of you on that fateful day 50 years ago, with your hands and feet tied at the mercy of your murderers, gave me all the motivation to continue.”

“When they murdered you they also killed a part of me,” says Spitzer. “I couldn’t find peace because justice hadn’t been done.”

Now that Germany has finally admitted to bearing some responsibility for the attack and agreed to a compensation deal, “everybody is asking now if I finally feel closure,” says Spitzer.

“They don’t understand that there will never be closure,” she says. “The hole in my heart will never ever heal.”

Knesset speaker heading to Paris for state visit

Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy attends the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in Jerusalem, February 22, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy attends the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in Jerusalem, February 22, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy departs today for a state visit to France.

According to his office, Levy is slated to meet with National Assembly President Yaël Braun-Pivet, Senate President Gérard Larcher, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

He is also slated to visit the site of the Hypercacher kosher supermarket in a suburb of the capital where four Jews were murdered in a 2015 terrorist attack, lay a wreath and meet with the victims’ families.

Family of Abu Akleh says IDF probe ‘obscures truth’ about her death

Senior Palestinian officials, including Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, stand with the family of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh at a memorial in Ramallah on June 19, 2022. (WAFA/Mahmoud Abu Zeid)
Senior Palestinian officials, including Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, stand with the family of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh at a memorial in Ramallah on June 19, 2022. (WAFA/Mahmoud Abu Zeid)

Family members of Shireen Abu Akleh reject the findings of an IDF probe into the killing of the the Palestinian-American journalist.

The Israeli probe found that it was likely but not definitive that an Israeli soldier accidentally shot Abu Akleh in May during an IDF raid in Jenin.

In a statement, her family calls the IDF investigation an “attempt to obscure the truth and avoid responsibility” for her death.

The family calls for independent investigations by the United States and the International Criminal Court.

“Israel’s killing of our dear Shireen cannot be swept aside,” the family says, adding that they “will not stop until we have justice.”

Herzog thanks Germany for ‘taking responsibility’ for failures in 1972 Munich massacre

President Isaac Herzog speaks at a ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, at the Fuerstenfeldbruck Air Base, southern Germany, on September 5, 2022. (Thomas KIENZLE / AFP)
President Isaac Herzog speaks at a ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, at the Fuerstenfeldbruck Air Base, southern Germany, on September 5, 2022. (Thomas KIENZLE / AFP)

President Isaac Herzog thanks the German government for its decision to take responsibility for its failures in the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre.

Herzog addresses a ceremony at the Fuerstenfeldbruck Air Base in southern Germany marking 50 years since the 1972 massacre, which killed 11 Israelis and a German police officer.

The president says that “as a nation and as a people, this massacre was a national tragedy,” recalling hearing about the events unfolding as a young child.

“The world cannot forget what happened at the 1972 Munich Olympics,” says Herzog. “The world cannot forget the fight against terror anywhere and anytime, it must be a joint effort.”

Herzog thanks German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier for his personal involvement in the recent German government decision “to take responsibility” for its failures in the 1972 incident and to compensate the remaining family members of the 11 victims.

Visiting Jerusalem, US senator says Biden will submit Iran deal to congressional approval

US Senators including Lindsey Graham and Bob Menendez (center) at a press conference in Jerusalem on September 5, 2022. (Jeremy Sharon)
US Senators including Lindsey Graham and Bob Menendez (center) at a press conference in Jerusalem on September 5, 2022. (Jeremy Sharon)

Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Robert Menendez says that the Biden administration has committed to submitting any agreement on Iran’s nuclear program to Congress for review.

Speaking at a press conference in Jerusalem, Menendez says a review would be conducted by his committee and that there would be a vote on such a deal, although said he was unsure if the outcome of that vote “would meet the threshold under the law to nullify the agreement.”

US Senator Lindsey Graham adds that US support for Israel will remain unchanged regardless of the outcome of upcoming midterm elections in the US for Congress.

“No matter what happens in November, the assistance that Israel enjoys from the American government will continue,” says Graham during a press conference at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. “The relationship between the US and Israel will remain strong and unshakable.”

German president says Berlin ‘bears responsibility’ for murder of 11 Israelis at Munich Olympics

First Lady Michal Herzog, President Isaac Herzog, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Germany's First Lady Elke Buedenbender arrive for a ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of an attack on the 1972 Munich Olympics, at the Fuerstenfeldbruck Air Base, southern Germany, on September 5, 2022. (Thomas KIENZLE / AFP)
First Lady Michal Herzog, President Isaac Herzog, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Germany's First Lady Elke Buedenbender arrive for a ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of an attack on the 1972 Munich Olympics, at the Fuerstenfeldbruck Air Base, southern Germany, on September 5, 2022. (Thomas KIENZLE / AFP)

Speaking at a ceremony marking 50 years since the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier says Germany must bear some responsibility for the attack which killed 11 Israeli victims.

“Today is a day of sorrow, remembrance and contemplation,” says Steinmeier at the ceremony at the Fuerstenfeldbruck Air Base in southern Germany, near Munich.

The president notes that German police officers “catastrophically failed” to protect the Israeli athletes and to rescue them after they were taken hostage by Palestinian terrorists. “That acknowledgement is overdue.”

Steinmeir says while the Palestinian terrorists are responsible for the murders of the 11 Israeli victims, “that does not absolve us; we bear responsibility for not preventing what we should have prevented.”

Steinmeier says he is “profoundly grateful that you, the families of the victims, are here today.” He adds that he “cannot fathom what suffering, what pain you have been through.”

Watch: 50th anniversary memorial ceremony for 1972 Olympic massacre begins in Munich

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (L) and President Isaac Herzog lay a wreath during a ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, at the Fuerstenfeldbruck Air Base, southern Germany, on September 5, 2022. (Thomas KIENZLE / AFP)
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (L) and President Isaac Herzog lay a wreath during a ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, at the Fuerstenfeldbruck Air Base, southern Germany, on September 5, 2022. (Thomas KIENZLE / AFP)

The memorial ceremony marking 50 years since the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre during which 11 Israelis were killed is beginning near Munich.

President Isaac Herzog is attending alongside some family members of the Israeli victims. Herzog is slated to speak, as is German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Israeli probe finds ‘high probability’ IDF soldier accidentally shot Shireen Abu Akleh

A mural of slain of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, in Gaza City, May 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
A mural of slain of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, in Gaza City, May 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

The Israel Defense Forces releases the final findings of its long-awaited investigation into the death of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

According to the probe, the IDF says there is a “high probability” Abu Akleh was killed by Israeli gunfire during a clash between IDF troops and Palestinian gunmen in Jenin in May.

However, the probe states that while the gunfire was aimed at the area she was standing, she was not intentionally targeted. The IDF says the shooting was aimed at what troops identified as Palestinian gunmen.

A criminal investigation will not be opened, as the Military Advocate General says there is no suspicion of criminal activity in the case.

US envoy Nides: We will never tie Israel’s hands against Iranian threat

US Ambassador to Israel Thomas (Tom) Nides visits the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and museum in Jerusalem on December 2, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
US Ambassador to Israel Thomas (Tom) Nides visits the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and museum in Jerusalem on December 2, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides says that the White House has assured Israel that it will never seek to prevent it from protecting itself against Iran.

At a press conference in Jerusalem, Nides says US President Joe Biden reassured Prime Minister Yair Lapid in their conversation last week that the US “will never allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.”

Nides adds that Biden promised Lapid that the US “will never tie Israel’s hands. We know Iran is a threat.”

Lapid congratulates ‘friend of Israel’ Liz Truss on becoming UK PM

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (L) walks with UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss at the Foreign Office, in London, November 29, 2021. (Stuart Mitchell/ GPO)
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (L) walks with UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss at the Foreign Office, in London, November 29, 2021. (Stuart Mitchell/ GPO)

Prime Minister Yair Lapid congratulates “my good friend and a great friend of Israel” Liz Truss on being selected as the next British prime minister.

“Our nations are allies united by our commitment to freedom and a shared vision for the future,” says Lapid. “I look forward to continuing our work together to take that alliance to new heights.”

Man arrested after letting his dog ‘drive’ vehicle

A man was arrested by Israel Police after sharing footage of him letting his dog drive. (Israel Police/screenshot)
A man was arrested by Israel Police after sharing footage of him letting his dog drive. (Israel Police/screenshot)

A man from Ein Naqquba is arrested by police for allowing his dog to drive his car and endangering himself and other drivers, police say.

According to police, they became aware of the incident after footage of the 35-year-old man allowing his dog to drive circulated on social media. Jerusalem District Police identified the driver, located him and detained him for questioning.

Police say they also discovered that the man was driving a vehicle that had not passed the required road test, and he will be charged for that too.

Netanyahu congratulates Liz Truss on succeeding Boris Johnson as UK PM

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (L) greets Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside 10 Downing Street in central London on September 5, 2019. (DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (L) greets Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside 10 Downing Street in central London on September 5, 2019. (DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)

Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu congratulates Liz Truss on being selected as the next British prime minister.

“I am sure that under your leadership the deep friendship between Britain and Israel will be further strengthened in all fields,” tweets Netanyahu.

The former prime minister also adds his thanks to outgoing PM Boris Johnson “for his valued contributions to the excellent relations between our two countries.”

Board of Deputies of British Jews congratulates UK’s new PM Truss

Britain's Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss delivers a speech during the 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, on March 1, 2022. (SALVATORE DI NOLFI /AFP)
Britain's Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss delivers a speech during the 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, on March 1, 2022. (SALVATORE DI NOLFI /AFP)

The Board of Deputies of British Jews umbrella group congratulates Liz Truss on her selection as the new British prime minister.

“We congratulate Liz Truss and wish her well in navigating the challenging circumstances facing our country,” the group wrote in a statement. “The Board of Deputies looks forward to continuing its strong relationship with the British Government, advocating for our community at the highest levels.”

Liz Truss selected to replace Boris Johnson as new UK prime minister

Liz Truss waves on stage after a Conservative leadership election hustings at Wembley Arena in London, August 31, 2022. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Liz Truss waves on stage after a Conservative leadership election hustings at Wembley Arena in London, August 31, 2022. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Britain’s Conservative Party chooses Foreign Secretary Liz Truss as the party’s new leader, putting her in line to be confirmed as prime minister.

Truss’s selection is announced in London after a leadership election in which only the 180,000 dues-paying members of the Conservative Party were allowed to vote. Truss beats rival Rishi Sunak, the government’s former Treasury chief, after promising to increase defense spending and cut taxes, while refusing to say how she would address the cost-of-living crisis.

Queen Elizabeth II is scheduled to formally name Truss as Britain’s prime minister tomorrow. The ceremony will take place at the queen’s Balmoral estate in Scotland, where the monarch is vacationing, rather than at Buckingham Palace.

The two-month leadership contest left Britain with a power vacuum at a time when consumers, workers and businesses were demanding government action to mitigate the impact of soaring food and energy prices. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has had no authority to make major policy decisions since July 7, when he announced his intention to resign.

Liberman says he would prefer future coalition not include Ra’am

Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman speaks at the Israel Bar Association conference in Tel Aviv, September 5, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman speaks at the Israel Bar Association conference in Tel Aviv, September 5, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman says he’d prefer to leave coalition partner Ra’am out of the next coalition, instead preferring “Zionist parties” to the Islamists.

Liberman says there is “no need” to include Arab political party Ra’am in the next coalition.

“This time we need to form a Zionist coalition. With all Zionist parties,” the Yisrael Beytenu leader adds.

Liberman also hopes to form the government without Haredi parties and refuses to partner with Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu, creating a difficult constellation according to current polling.

Shaked says it is time for someone to replace Netanyahu as leader of the right

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked speaks at the Israel Bar Association conference in Tel Aviv, September 5, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked speaks at the Israel Bar Association conference in Tel Aviv, September 5, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Ayelet Shaked says “it is time” for a different politician to succeed former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu as leader of the right.

“The time has come to replace Netanyahu in leading the right,” says the Zionist Spirit party chief at the Israel Bar Association’s Legal Conference. “He shook hands with Arafat, released terrorists and froze the settlements. After failing to form a government so many times, it is only right that he vacate his seat.”

She adds: “But I don’t choose the Likud leader. Likud voters do.”

The former justice minister also says that she will not join a Netanyahu-led government that promotes the current iteration of the so-called French Law, which bars the indictment of a sitting prime minister.

“I’m against the French Law in its current form. I won’t be part of a government that supports the French Law or stopping the Netanyahu trial,” Shaked says.

Netanyahu is on trial on three separate corruption charges. Likud denies that its pursuit of judicial reform is to help its leader subvert the legal system.

Still, Shaked reaffirms her party’s call for a broad unity government that includes Likud. She also aligns with Likud judicial reform policymaker Yariv Levin by supporting a Knesset law that would enable lawmakers to overcome Supreme Court legislative strikedowns with the support of a simple majority of 61 MKs.

On another looming legal question — the issue of whether or not to split the role of the government’s legal adviser from that of the attorney general, currently filled by the same person — Shaked says she has not yet solidified her opinion.

“It needs discussion,” she says.

At least 21 people killed in earthquake in southwest China

In this photo provided by China's Xinhua News Agency, fallen rocks are seen on a road near Lengqi Town in Luding County of southwest China's Sichuan Province Sept. 5, 2022. (Xinhua via AP)
In this photo provided by China's Xinhua News Agency, fallen rocks are seen on a road near Lengqi Town in Luding County of southwest China's Sichuan Province Sept. 5, 2022. (Xinhua via AP)

At least 21 people have died as a magnitude 6.6 earthquake strikes southwest China, according to state media.

State broadcaster CCTV reports that 14 people lost their lives in Shimian County, Sichuan province, after an earlier report of seven deaths in nearby Luding county.

Suicide bombing at Russian embassy in Kabul kills 2 diplomats

Illustrative: Taliban fighters stand guard inside the Hamid Karzai International Airport after the US withdrawal in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Kathy Gannon)
Illustrative: Taliban fighters stand guard inside the Hamid Karzai International Airport after the US withdrawal in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Kathy Gannon)

A suicide bombing outside the Russian Embassy in the Afghan capital of Kabul kills two members of the embassy staff and at least one Afghan civilian in what Moscow denounces as an “unacceptable terrorist act.”

The blast went off at the entrance to the embassy’s consular section where Afghans were waiting for news about their visas, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry and the state news agency RIA Novosti. A Russian diplomat had emerged from the building to call out the names of candidates for visas when the explosion occurred, the agency says.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, the latest in a series of attacks since the Taliban seized power a year ago, deposing a Western-backed government and capping their 20-year insurgency.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov calls the explosion “a terrorist act, absolutely unacceptable.” He tells reporters during his daily press conference call that “now the main thing that needs to be done is to get information from the ground about what happened to our diplomatic representatives.”

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says the embassy has enhanced its security in the wake of the attack, and that “additional forces of the Taliban authorities,” including the Taliban-run intelligence service, were brought in.

Herzog meets German Chancellor Scholz in Berlin

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (R) welcomes President Isaac Herzog at the Chancellery in Berlin on September 5, 2022. (John MACDOUGALL / AFP)
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (R) welcomes President Isaac Herzog at the Chancellery in Berlin on September 5, 2022. (John MACDOUGALL / AFP)

President Isaac Herzog meets with German Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the Federal Chancellery in Berlin on the second day of his state visit to Germany.

According to the president’s office, Herzog and Scholz discuss “a number of strategic, regional and security issues,” and the Israeli president thanks the German chancellor for his “personal commitment and contributions to Israel’s security.”

This afternoon Herzog is slated to attend a memorial in Munich marking the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre.

Iran says it has yet to receive US response to its latest nuclear deal proposal

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani holds a press conference in Tehran on July 13, 2022. (Atta Kenare/AFP)
Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani holds a press conference in Tehran on July 13, 2022. (Atta Kenare/AFP)

Iran has not received the United States’ official response to its last proposal on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal, says foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani.

“Iran is waiting to receive the response from other parties, notably that of the American government,” he says during his weekly news conference in Tehran.

His remarks come after the United States last Thursday said Tehran’s latest response on reviving the 2015 accord was “not constructive.”

Kanaani says that Tehran had “never received a response… saying that its position was not constructive.” He characterized Iran’s response as “constructive, clear and legal.”

“Iran is trying to cancel sanctions to economically benefit the Iranian nation and this is one of its top priorities,” Kanaani says.

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