The Times of Israel liveblogged Thursday’s events as they happened.
British Jewish umbrella group condemns Tel Aviv attack
The umbrella body of British Jewry condemns the attack yesterday in Tel Aviv, and slams the Palestinian Authority for incitement.
In a statement, Board of Deputies Senior Vice President Richard Verber says: “Following last night’s horrendous attacks in Tel Aviv, our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of those murdered and also to the many injured. It is a telling contrast that while Israeli medical staff are working to save the life of one of the suspected terrorists, all the Palestinian Authority has to offer is incitement to those who would seek to kill and injure innocent civilians.”
Prof. Michael Feige, killed in Tel Aviv shooting, recalled as kind, ‘grandfatherly’
Elisheva Goldberg, a graduate of Beersheba’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, took two courses with Michael Feige, a professor of Israel studies who was killed Wednesday night in the terror attack at Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market.
Feige, a sociologist and anthropologist specializing in Israeli society, was a “really nice professor,” says Goldberg.
“He wasn’t one of those stuck-up academics, he was very approachable, very human and personable,” she tells The Times of Israel.
“He was so considerate to me during a difficult time in my life, and he was considerate in hearing what people had to say. He always asked people’s opinions, he was never rude, even when someone asked a stupid question, and he always made sure we understood what he was speaking about.”
As a sociologist who studied collective memory and political myths, Feige never minded venturing off onto tangents he considered worthwhile, says Goldberg, “even if it wasn’t tied to what we were discussing in class.”
She calls him a “very grandfatherly kind of person,” who was warm to his students and “sometimes made funny, fatherly kind of jokes,” she recalls.
Goldberg, who still lives in Beersheba and currently works for the university, notes that Feige’s daughter is getting married soon. He also has a book coming out soon, “Settling in the Hearts: Fundamentalism, Time and Space in the Occupied Territories,” from Wayne State University Press.
— Jessica Steinberg
Security cabinet meets near Sarona Market
The security cabinet is meeting at IDF headquarters in the Kirya in central Tel Aviv continues.
The meeting is taking place only a couple of hundred meters from the site of last night’s deadly terror attack.
On the agenda: Israel’s responses to the Sarona Market attack.
Deputy defense minister slams Tel Aviv mayor over terrorism comments
Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan slams Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai as “delusional” after the latter says terror will continue as long as there is an occupation in the West Bank.
“I heard the mayor of Tel Aviv, who explains that we suffer from terror because we haven’t achieved peace with the Palestinians. This crazy claim, it’s time we rightists tell the leftists that they’re delusional,” Ben-Dahan, of the Jewish Home party, says this afternoon.
Earlier in the day, Huldai, long affiliated with the Labor party, tells Army Radio that the only way to end terror conclusively is by achieving peace.
“You can’t keep holding people in a state of occupation and think they’ll be convinced that everything is okay,” he says of the Palestinians.
PA: We ‘repeatedly rejected’ attacks on civilians
The office of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas rejects the deadly terror attack in Tel Aviv on Wednesday.
The statement reads: “The presidency has repeatedly rejected all operations against civilians from any party, no matter what the justification.”
“The realization of a just peace, and creating a positive climate, that is what will lead to the lowering of tension and violence in the region,” the statement continues.
The presidency stressed that “to achieve a just peace, everyone must refrain from acts that will increase tension and resorting to violence.”
— Dov Lieber
At Sarona Market, Rivlin declares ‘we will overcome’
President Reuven Rivlin visits the site of yesterday’s deadly shooting terror attack in central Tel Aviv, as well as victims injured in the attack.
He begins his visit to Tel Aviv at Ichilov Hospital, where most of the victims remain hospitalized. He then proceeds to the Sarona Market shopping center “to express his support for the workers and businesses who managed to return to normal routine,” says a statement from the President’s Residence.
During his visit to the intensive care unit of Ichilov’s neurosurgery department, Rivlin and hospital director Prof. Roni Gamzu meet Assaf Bar, who is recovering from a gunshot wound to the head. Embracing Bar’s family and holding his hand, Rivlin assures him that “you will enjoy many more happy and good times. We cannot let them get the better of us. I am going now to where you were injured yesterday. We will continue with our lives.”
At the Sarona Market, Rivlin delivers a statement to the press.
“This is another difficult day for the people and the State of Israel, and our hearts are with those who lost their loved ones in this attack…. There is no magic solution, we must fight terror. I want to thank the hospitals, and the security services who I have no doubt will find all the right ways to deal with all those connected to this terror attack. We must remember we are a strong people, who live with a clear understanding that we will overcome.”
Rivlin adds in English, “We put our safety in the hands of the Israeli security forces. The Palestinian leadership must understand that once you let people use terror – terror is terror is terror. Let the Palestinians understand – they cannot break us, anyone who lets terror occur will find at the end of the road the terror on his doorstep.”
Brush fire briefly closes Route 1
A brush fire briefly shut Route 1 into Jerusalem Thursday afternoon. Firefighters quickly gain control over the blaze.
The road is reopened by 2 p.m.
Funerals for two Tel Aviv shooting victims announced
Ido Ben Ari, 42, from Ramat Gan is to be buried at 6 p.m. today in the cemetery in Yavneh.
Mila Mishayev, 32, from Rishon Lezion, is to be buried in Ashkelon’s southern cemetery tomorrow at 2 p.m.
The funeral of Ilana Naveh, 39, from Tel Aviv, was scheduled for today but has been delayed, likely till tomorrow.
The funeral of Prof. Michael Feige, 58, from Ramat Gan, has not yet been scheduled.
US deploys second carrier group against IS
The US military says a second carrier group is nearing the Mediterranean Sea to bolster operations, the first time two American carriers will be in those waters at the same time since the 2003 Iraq invasion.
US European Command spokesman Lt. Col. David Westover says Thursday the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and its strike group of guided missile cruisers and destroyers is now in EUCOM’s area of responsibility in the Atlantic en route to the Mediterranean.
It joins the USS Harry S. Truman carrier strike group already in the Mediterranean.
US 6th Fleet spokesman Lt. Shawn Eklund says US warships are there to carry out anti-Islamic State actions and to reassure European allies.
He says: “When we put carriers in place, it sends a signal.”
4 still hospitalized, including a shooter
Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv provides updates on the wounded from yesterday’s shooting attack in Tel Aviv.
Four victims remain hospitalized in moderate condition at the hospital.
One is in intensive care in the neurosurgical wing after he was shot in the head in the attack. He is conscious and breathing without aid.
The second is on a respirator at the surgical intensive care unit.
The third, a woman, is in moderate condition. She is the wife of 42-year-old Ido Ben Ari, who was killed in the attack. She left the hospital this morning to attend Ben Ari’s funeral, slated for 6 p.m. tonight in Yavneh, and will return to the hospital to resume her recovery in the evening.
The fourth is the suspected terrorist. He is listed in moderate condition, stable and breathing without aid.
Amid war, UN warns Syrians smoking is a grave health risk
The World Health Organization identifies another grave risk to the health of Syrians in their war-torn country: tobacco.
In a statement last week, the UN health agency warns that “notwithstanding the current crisis in the country,” Syrian officials should collaborate with the UN health agency to control the use of tobacco and water pipes among its people, especially young adults, women and teenagers.
WHO’s Syria representative, Dr. Elizabeth Hoff, warns that using tobacco and water pipes endangers the health and lives of smokers and people around them. Hoff says using water pipes to smoke shisha, a common pastime in the Middle East, is 20 times more dangerous than cigarette smoking. She urges Syrian officials to implement a “plain packaging” approach for cigarettes to reduce their “attractiveness and glamour.”
Syria’s war is estimated to have killed several hundred thousand people amid the rise of the Islamic State group. But Dr. Ahmad Khlefawy, Syria’s deputy minister of health, says the war cannot be an excuse for Syrians to endanger their lives by consuming tobacco. He notes that Syria was one of the first countries to sign WHO’s global framework on tobacco control and to prohibit public smoking.
Smoking is also banned by Islamic State, which considers the habit to be against the tenets of Islam. The militants punish smokers by whipping them.
Pope Francis to visit Auschwitz in July
Reuters reports that Pope Francis is slated to visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp during his visit to Poland in late July.
Citing a Vatican statement, Reuters notes that Fracis’s two immediate predecessors also visited the site.
Security cabinet mulls no longer returning terrorists’ bodies
The security cabinet concludes its meeting in Tel Aviv in the wake of the Tel Aviv shooting attack.
In the meeting, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan calls on Israel to stop returning the bodies of terrorists to their families.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman says he is not opposed to the idea, according to Army Radio.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu then asks the National Security Council to form a committee to examine the issue.
Liberman asks Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to expedite the legal process for destroying terrorists’ homes. While Israel has formally adopted the controversial policy of destroying the homes of terrorists, even if their families are living there, as a deterrent measure, fewer than a dozen demolitions have been carried out in the six-month wave of terror attacks that began in October.
The ministers also seek to encourage more young army veterans to enter the security profession by making security work a “preferred occupation” that enjoys certain tax exemptions.
Officials pledge to seal gap in West Bank security fence
Defense officials tell cabinet ministers that the gaps in the West Bank security fence in the Tarkumiya-Meitar area, through which the two terrorists from yesterday’s deadly shooting in Tel Aviv are believed to have entered Israel, will be closed up in the near future.
The budget to seal the gaps has been approved, officials tell the security cabinet in a meeting this afternoon in Tel Aviv’s Hakirya complex. Work on the fence will begin on June 28, with forces on the seam line to be bolstered by additional troops in the meantime.
A Prime Minister’s Office statement notes that the cabinet approved several steps already taken by the IDF, including a “full cordon placed on the village of Yatta,” the suspected terrorists’ home village.
Any work permits in Israel held by members of the shooters’ clan are revoked, the statement notes.
The cabinet also cancels the visiting permits for thousands of Palestinians to enter Israel during the month of Ramadan that were announced the day before the attack.
The statement concludes: “Prime Minister Netanyahu instructed the National Security Council to coordinate a series of working studies related to additional matters that will be presented to the cabinet in the near future.”
Steinitz blasts Abbas condemnation as ‘almost a blessing for terror’
Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz blasts PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s rejection of last night’s terror attack.
“This condemnation is almost a blessing for terror,” Steinitz tells Channel 2. “Anyone who can’t call terror ‘terror’ and murder ‘murder,’ better that he not denounce. Instead of ridiculous denunciations like this, which are an insult to our intelligence, [Abbas] should stop,teaching, including in his own schools, that it’s good to kill Jews.”
Earlier today, Abbas’s office tells The Times of Israel that “the presidency has repeatedly rejected all operations against civilians from any party, no matter what the justification. The realization of a just peace, and creating a positive climate, that is what will lead to the lowering of tension and violence in the region,” the statement continues.
The statement from Abbas’s office said that “to achieve a just peace, everyone must refrain from acts that will increase tension and resorting to violence.”
Israel said to cancel Gazans’ travel permits for Friday Al-Aqsa prayers
The advocacy group Gisha says Israel is informing Palestinians in Gaza that it is canceling travel permits for Gazans to visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem during Ramadan.
“The official reason for the cancellation of the planned exit of worshipers is the shooting attack that took place last night in Tel Aviv. Indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians are despicable acts that must be strongly condemned. Canceling the permits for worshipers has no security justification,” the group insists.
In a statement, it says the Palestinian Civilian Affairs Committee is told of the cancellation, and is informing permit holders they will not be able to travel to Jerusalem tomorrow for Friday prayers.
Islamic Jihad calls Tel Aviv shooting ‘proof of Israeli weakness’
The Islamic Jihad terror group praises the deadly shooting attack yesterday in Tel Aviv, saying it is “proof of the weakness of Israeli security forces.”
Daoud Shihab, a senior official in the organization, is quoted by the Walla news site boasting that “anyone who bet that the intifada has faded away lost that bet.”
CNN removes tweet that seemed to question if TA shooters were terrorists
CNN removes and corrects a tweet that put the word “terrorists” in quotes when referring to the shooters in yesterday’s Sarona Market attack.
The cable news network says in a follow-up tweet: “A previous – now removed – tweet appeared to call into question the Tel Aviv attack as an act of terrorism. It undoubtedly was.”
A previous – now removed – tweet appeared to call into question the Tel Aviv attack as an act of terrorism. It undoubtedly was.
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) June 9, 2016
Cop invited Tel Aviv shooter into his home before realizing who he was
In perhaps the strangest story to emerge from last night’s deadly terror attack in Tel Aviv, new details come out about the way one of the shooters was caught.
After the shooting, one of the attackers fled the scene. He met an Israeli man on a nearby street and asked him for a glass of water. The man invited the shooter into his home, gave him water, and then rushed out to the scene of the attack.
The Israeli man was a cop.
Only after the cop saw the other shooter lying wounded in the street, having been shot by security guards, did he suspect that the man still in his home — together with his wife — might be a second terrorist. The two were wearing matching suits.
The officer rushed home, where the shooter was sitting in a chair next to his wife, and arrested him.
Hezbollah praises ‘heroic’ Tel Aviv shooting
Hezbollah praises the deadly attack yesterday in Tel Aviv as a “heroic” act.
The Shiite group says in a statement Thursday that the Palestinian people have reconfirmed through the operation their commitment to “resistance” as a way to liberate all Palestinian land.
Thousands of cops to deploy in Jerusalem for Friday prayers
Israel Police say thousands of officers will fan out across Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday to keep the peace during Muslim prayers.
Thousands of Palestinians are expected to show up at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount for the prayers on the first Friday in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
David Duke: ‘Jewish manipulation’ behind Trump U furor
White supremacist David Duke blames the current controversy over Donald Trump’s now defunct unaccredited university on “Jewish manipulation of the American media.”
Duke says Tuesday on his radio show that media coverage of the Trump University case is “very illustrative of the Jewish tribal nature.”
“They’re like a pack of wild dogs when they go after someone who they see as a threat to the Jewish agenda, as the neocons see Trump as a threat as a non-interventionist.”
According to Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, an “overwhelmingly Jewish” firm is behind a fraud lawsuit against Trump University. Trump has been slammed for saying he does not believe the judge in the case, an Indiana native of Mexican descent, can be impartial due to Trump’s stated views about building a wall on the US-Mexico border.
He also says “the powerful Jewish establishment that dominates international banking and finance, that dominates media, and dominates our political system” is “absolutely zeroing in now on Donald Trump.”
“The viciousness of these Jews is unbelievable. I think this whole Trump University case really exploited, can really expose the entire Jewish manipulation of the American media, the American political process,” Duke says.
Duke singles out CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, who is Jewish, for leading the attack on Trump, as well as the network’s host Jake Tapper, also Jewish, and points out the network is run by Jeff Zucker, who he calls “another Jewish extremist.”
Liberman orders no return of West Bank terrorists’ bodies
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman orders a freeze on the return of West Bank terrorists’ bodies following Wednesday’s deadly terror attack in Tel Aviv.
Last month, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who is in charge of the police, ordered a similar freeze for terrorists hailing from East Jerusalem.
Liberman’s decision appears to extend the freeze to the West Bank.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today instructed the National Security Council to examine the possibility that terrorists would be buried in a Muslim cemetery in Israel.
Israeli officials say the funerals of terrorists are often turned into mass rallies in support of terror attacks.
Hundreds attend funeral of Tel Aviv shooting victim Ido Ben Ari
Hundreds of Israelis are paying last respects to Sarona Market shooting victim Ido Ben Ari, 42.
Ben Ari’s funeral is taking place now in the cemetery in the central Israeli town of Yavneh.
His wife, who was moderately wounded in yesterday’s attack, is at the funeral, but will return to Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv when the funeral is ended.
Ben Ari was a father of two who served in the elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit and held a senior position at The Coca-Cola Company’s Israel branch. In a statement, Coca-Cola said yesterday that the company “mourns the tragic loss of our friend Ido Ben Ari, a victim of this horrific act. We send our condolences and warmest wishes to the family.”
Ido Ben Ari’s sister: ‘He was a man of peace’
Reut Fishman, sister of Sarona Market shooting victim Ido Ben Ari, says at his funeral this evening that Ido “was a man of peace. He had friends of every sort and type, including Arabs. He was full of indescribable charm, generosity, love.”
Ben Ari, 42, “was a wonderful brother and a good son to mom and dad,” Fishman tells Army Radio.
Ben Ari’s father: A father burying his son is the hardest thing
Ido Ben Ari’s father eulogizes him at his funeral, underway now in Yavneh.
“My beloved and precious son, in normal places it isn’t customary for fathers to bury their children, but in this case things are turned around, a father is burying his son, and there’s nothing harder than that,” he says.
“Today it’s my son, and my pain is too great to bear. My life will not be the same.”
He adds: “We don’t want revenge. We want a solution.”
3 killed in deadly car crash in southern Arava desert
Three people are confirmed killed in a car accident in the Arava desert near the southern border with Jordan.
The accident, reportedly a collision of two vehicles on Route 90 near Ein Yahav, claims the lives of two men in their 40s and a 35-year-old woman, according to Magen David Adom rescue teams that rushed to the scene.
Police are launching an investigating into the cause of the deadly accident.
Israel Police raid West Bank workshops in search of firearms
Israeli police are raiding workshops in the West Bank they suspect are manufacturing a crude gun that has been used by Palestinians in several deadly attacks in recent months.
Spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld says Thursday that the weapon made in these workshops is known by its street name “Carlo.” It was used by Palestinian gunmen to kill four people in the shooting attack in Tel Aviv on Wednesday.
An Israeli intelligence official says it’s now the weapon of choice among Palestinian attackers.
He says it’s based on the Swedish “Carl Gustav” submachine gun, it’s cheap and easy to make out of spare gun parts and pipes.
The official says hundreds are believed to be in circulation.
Minister says a terror ‘infrastructure’ exists in Yatta village
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, a member of the security cabinet, explains the reason for the army’s cordon around the West Bank village of Yatta.
“These two young men,” he says, referring to the two shooters in Wednesday’s terror attack in Tel Aviv, “planned this attack in the village, obtained their guns” – homemade “Karl Gustav” handguns – “in the village. There is an infrastructure in this village,” he argues in a Channel 2 interview.
Netanyahu: ‘We caught someone who collaborated with the murderers’
Visiting Sarona Market in Tel Aviv right now, Netanyahu says Israel has caught “someone who collaborated with the murderers” who carried out yesterday’s terror attack.
“In this place yesterday four innocent Israelis were murdered,” he says. “We mourn them. Life is already returning to its routine around us, and that’s good.”
He lists some of the cabinet’s actions since the attack: “We cordoned Yatta, caught someone who collaborated with the murderers, revoked Ramadan entry permits to tens of thousands.”
He slams the Palestinian Authority. “I heard unequivocal condemnation from all the most important capitals in the world. I didn’t hear such condemnation from the Palestinian Authority. Meanwhile, I heard the cries of joy in Gaza. That shows who it is that we are facing.
Sanders denounces Trump but doesn’t back Clinton
After wrapping up his meeting at the White House, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders says he looks forward to meeting with Hillary Clinton in the future to see how they can work together to defeat Donald Trump in November’s election.
Sanders speaks to reporters after meeting with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office.
Sanders does not endorse Clinton. He says he plans to remain in the race through next week’s primary in the District of Columbia, and will focus on the need for statehood for the district.
Sanders also says he will do everything in his power to make sure Trump does not become the next president of the United States
Canada’s post office halts delivery of anti-Semitic newspaper
Canada’s post office says it will no longer deliver a Toronto-area newspaper described as openly anti-Semitic.
Judy Foote, the federal minister responsible for Canada Post, issued an order on June 6 against the future delivery of Your Ward News, a free, low-budget newspaper sent to homes in the east end of Toronto.
The publication has been the subject of complaints for years, the Canadian Jewish News reported. It has railed against “cultural Marxism” and lashed out at Zionists, Jewish communal leaders, feminism and welfare recipients, and has mocked the Holocaust. The newspaper has defended itself as satire protected by free speech.
B’nai Brith Canada said it has received “literally hundreds of phone calls and emails from people who have felt victimized by the content in this publication.”
Ilana Naveh, Tel Aviv shooting victim, is buried in private funeral
Ilana Naveh, 39, a mother of four who was murdered yesterday at the Sarona Market shooting attack in Tel Aviv, is buried earlier today by her family.
The family requested that media not cover the funeral.
Hamas leader’s nephew being treated in Israeli hospital
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh’s nephew, Hamza Haniyeh, is currently hospitalized at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital Ein Karem, Channel 2 reports.
The young Haniyeh is hospitalized in Israel even as Hamas leaders, the elder Haniyeh among them, praise yesterday’s deadly shooting attack in Tel Aviv in which four Israelis are killed.
Obama endorses Clinton as Sanders vows to fight Trump
President Barack Obama formally endorses Hillary Clinton’s bid for the White House on Thursday, praising his former secretary of state’s experience and grit, and urging Democrats to unite behind her in the fight against Republicans in the fall.
“Look, I know how hard this job can be. That’s why I know Hillary will be so good at it,” Obama says in a web video circulated by the Clinton campaign. “I have seen her judgment. I have seen her toughness.”
Obama calls for unity among Democrats and vows to be an active force on the campaign trail.
As it circulates the Obama video, the Clinton campaign announces their first joint appearance on the campaign trail will be Wednesday in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The campaign says Obama and Clinton will discuss building on the progress made during his presidency “and their vision for an America that is stronger together.”
Obama’s testimonial comes as the Democratic establishment piles pressure on Clinton’s primary rival, Bernie Sanders, to step aside so Democrats can focus on defeating presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.
Polls: Most Saudis, Egyptians back some form of deal with Israel
Israeli polls find that more than half of Egyptians and Saudis believe that the next US president should promote a peace process with Israel, either through an individual agreement with the Palestinians or a regional deal.
According to the Institute for Policy & Strategy (IPS) at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, 25.5% of Egyptians support an Israeli-Palestinian agreement and 32.1% are in favor of a regional agreement. Almost half (42.3%) believe peace with Israel should not be promoted.
In Saudi Arabia, 18.9% support working toward an Israeli-Palestinian agreement, the poll finds, while 41.6% back a regional agreement. Just as in Egypt, a significant plurality (39.4%) say there should be not peace efforts with Israel.