The Times of Israel liveblogged Sunday’s events as they unfolded.
Over 6,000 held over coup bid; Putin calls Erdogan
Turkey has detained over 6,000 people over the coup plot aimed at ousting the government and the number will rise, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag says.
“Now the clean-up operations are continuing. We have around 6,000 people detained. The number will increase above 6,000,” he is quoted as saying by the state-run Anadolu news agency.
Russian President Vladimir Putin called his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday, describing the attempted coup as unacceptable and voicing hope for a speedy return to stability.
Putin stressed the “categorical unacceptability in the life of a state of anti-constitutional acts and violence” and passed on “wishes for a speedy restoration of strong constitutional order and stability in Turkey,” the Kremlin says in a statement.
85 still injured, 11 critically, from Nice attack
France’s health minister says about 85 people remain hospitalized after a deadly truck rampage in the Mediterranean city of Nice, and 18 of them are in life-threatening condition — including one child.
Health Minister Marisol Touraine urges any survivors to seek counseling offered by the government after the Bastille Day attack Thursday night that killed 84 people.
Speaking to reporters in Nice on Sunday, Touraine says while scores of people who were hospitalized have been released, some may need further medical treatment as their injuries heal.
The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack by a local Nice truck driver who was killed by police.
French PM: Terror will be with us a long time
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls says “terrorism will be part of our daily lives for a long time,” after the Nice truck attack.
He also says the Islamic State group could have been responsible for last week’s Bastille Day attack on Nice.
Valls, in an interview with the Journal du dimanche newspaper published Sunday, says the Islamic State group “is encouraging individuals unknown to our services to stage attacks.
While the investigation is working on details, he says “that is without a doubt the case in the Nice attack.”
IS claimed responsibility for Thursday’s truck attack that killed 84 people, but neither the extremist group nor the French government has provided concrete signs of an IS link with the driver.
Valls says only that authorities “now know that the killer radicalized very quickly.”
France warns Erdogan against post-coup crackdown
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault is warning Turkey’s Erdogan on Sunday against using his country’s failed coup as a “blank check” to silence his opponents.
“We want the rule of law to work properly in Turkey,” Ayrault tells France 3 television, warning Turkish authorities against “purges.”
Some 6,000 people have been arrested in the wake of the failed putsch, including hundreds of top military officers, as Erdogan has moved to crack down on dissenters and consolidate power.
Brigadier air force general Bekir Ercan Van was detained along with over a dozen lower-ranking officers on Saturday at the Incirlik air force base in Turkey‘s southern Adana province, newspapers including the Hurriyet daily said.
The base has become a key hub for US forces after Turkey last year agreed to allow the United States to use Incirlik to carry out lethal raids against jihadists in Syria.
The Anadolu agency says prosecutors have issued arrest warrants for a total of 2,745 judges and prosecutors across Turkey.
— with AFP
Cabinet okays two-year budget, draws criticism
Israeli ministers have unanimously approved a plan for the country to switch to a two-year budget system, a pet proposal pushed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who says it will promote fiscal stability.
The move will go into effect for the budgets of 2017 and 2018, but will not include a mechanism that would have automatically updated the budget in line with Finance Ministry forecasts. Instead after the first year, the budget will be reviewed and amended as needed, according to Army Radio.
The passage draws jeers from the opposition, including Zionist Union MK Eitan Cabel, who calls it an “economic terror attack” and accuses Netanyahu of having nefarious motives.
“The prime minister did not push through the bi-annual budget out of concern for Israel’s economy, but from concern for his political survival. He is doing everything to hide difficult figures — a dozens of percent drop in exports, the crash of high tech, no new factories, and 60,000 business that have closed,” he says, according to the Walla news site.
Guard who stopped bomber: Something was off about him
The security guard who stopped an attempted pipe bombing on the Jerusalem light rail earlier in the day tells Channel 10 news that there was something off about the bomber, which aroused his suspicion.
“As I was getting on I looked around the stations and saw a guy with a hat, glasses and a bag on his back. I thought that something about him was not okay and i went to him. I asked him to take off his bag and he refused, and so I turned him around, put him against the wall and checked him,” he says. “In the backpack I found a bag and inside an explosive device, and I pushed him on the ground.”
The channel reports that a bomb sapper who happened to be passing by heard cries of “terrorist” and ran over to help out and “take care of the bomb,” in the sapper’s words.
Many Nice killed still unidentified
French authorities say they still haven’t identified 16 of those killed and one person wounded in the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice.
The government says 84 people were killed and 202 injured in the attack Thursday night, including many tourists from multiple countries.
An official with a special victims’ center in Nice tells reporters that 16 bodies remain unidentified, and forensic experts are working with DNA samples to determine their identities. The official does not give his name.
Unconfirmed reports indicate up to 15 of the victims may have been members of Nice’s Jewish community.
Health Minister Marisol Touraine says one hospitalized person remains unidentified.
Many family members have been frustrated by a lack of information about their missing loved ones.
— with AP
2 get plea deal over 2015 beating death of wounded Syrian
Two people facing charges in the beating death of a wounded Syrian being transported for treatment inside Israel last year will plead guilty to manslaughter as part of a plea deal, according to reports.
One man will get a seven-year jail sentence and the other a two-year sentence.
The two were part of a large mob of people near the Druze town of Majdal Shams who attacked an ambulance carrying wounded Syrians on June 22, 2015. One Syrian was killed, another critically injured and two IDF soldiers lightly wounded.
Nine people were arrested after the attack, which came as Druze suspected Israel was helping rebels who had recently attacked Druze towns in Syria.
Israel routinely treats wounded Syrians regardless of what side they are fighting on.
Erdogan vows to purge cleric Gulen ‘virus’
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is vowing to purge all state institutions of supporters of an Islamist cleric his government blames for Friday’s failed coup attempt.
Speaking at a funeral in Istanbul on Sunday, Erdogan vows to “clean all state institutions of the virus” of Fethullah Gulen supporters.
He says Turkey, through the justice ministry and foreign ministry, would request the extradition of the cleric, who is based in the United States, and his backers.
— ANONYMOUS SMPH (@STERLINGMHOLMES) July 17, 2016
Crowds chant “Fethullah will come and pay,” ”Allah is Great” and “We want the death penalty.”
Erdogan says that in democracies, “you cannot push the wish of the people to one side” but also said “we are not after revenge.”
The cleric, whose movement is labeled a terrorist group by Turkey, has denied any involvement in the coup effort.
Estranged wife of Nice truck attacker freed
A French official in the Paris prosecutor’s office says the estranged wife of delivery man Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel — who killed 84 people on a Thursday night rampage in Nice — has been released from custody.
The woman is the mother of Bouhlel’s three children, and was in the process of divorcing him.
She was arrested Friday, a day after the 31-year-old Tunisian plowed through revelers out to see the Bastille Day fireworks on Nice’s famed seaside boulevard.
Investigators hunting for possible accomplices to Bouhlel arrested two people Sunday. In total, 6 people remain in custody relating to the attack that IS has claimed.
2 soldiers killed when grenade explodes
Two soldiers have been killed when a grenade exploded during an army exercise in the north of Israel, the IDF says.
The driver of a vehicle pulled up to an army position at the entrance to the town of Majdal Shams and exited the vehicle while holding a grenade, which then exploded, the army says.
The driver was killed along with a soldier who was standing outside the vehicle.
A commander and two other were injured in the incident, which occured at about 7 a.m..
It’s not clear why the soldier was holding the grenade and the incident is being investigated, the IDF says.
Soldiers killed named as Shlomo Rindenow, Husam Tapash
The IDF names the two soldiers killed in the grenade incident as Sgt. Shlomo Rindenow, 20, from Sde Yoav and Staff Sgt. Husam Tapash, 24, from Beit Jann.
Rindenow’s family lives in New Jersey, according to an IDF statement. He was apparently a lone soldier.
Both families have been informed, the army says.
1 of the injured in moderate-serious condition; probe ongoing
A doctor in the trauma unit at Rambam Hospital says one of the injured soldiers is in moderate to serious condition, with shrapnel wounds to the upper part of his body, and the two others sustained light injuries, the Ynet news site reports.
The two lightly injured were sitting in the back of the jeep and are being questioned by a special investigations unit to find out how the grenade went off, according to the report.
“We don’t know if there was an argument between the driver and the commander,” a senior IDF source tells the site.
The incident occurred at Post 81, which is situated right next to the Syrian border on the Golan Heights.
Turkish PM asks crowds to stay in streets to protect democracy
Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says the coup plotters have been defeated, the coup has failed and life has returned to normal.
The prime minister asks that people remain in the streets in the evenings to continue to protect and celebrate democracy.
“Another calamity has been thwarted,” Yildirim says. “However, our duty is not over. We shall rapidly conduct the cleansing operation so that they cannot again show the audacity of coming against the will of the people.”
He makes the victory declaration after visiting state TRT television station headquarters in Ankara.
The broadcaster was temporarily seized and used by soldiers to announce a coup on Friday.
Turkey air base used for anti-IS bombing runs reopened
The Pentagon says the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group has resumed sorties from the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey.
“After close coordination with our Turkish allies, they have reopened their airspace to military aircraft,” Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a statement.
“As a result, counter-ISIL coalition air operations at all air bases in Turkey have resumed,” he added, using an acronym for the IS group.
Incirlik, which is the main based used by the coalition for flights against the Islamic State, was shut on Friday night as an attempted coup got underway and Turkey shut down its airspace.
Cook said Saturday the US had shifted its operations to other bases and was “working with the Turks to resume air operations there as soon as possible.”
Among those arrested at the base after the coup failed was Brigadier air force general Bekir Ercan Van along with 11 lower-ranking officers.
One police officer from the base was also arrested. All are suspected of “complicity” in the coup plot, an official said.
Officials have said the authorities suspect that Incirlik was used by rogue troops to refuel military aircraft “hijacked” by the coup plotters on Friday night.
— with AFP
Dead US-Israeli soldier ‘only wanted to help,’ brother says
Shlomo Rindenow, one of the two IDF soldiers killed in a grenade blast on the border with Syria Sunday morning, was one of five brothers who moved to Israel from New Jersey to volunteer in the Israeli military, his brother tells The Times of Israel.
“All he wanted to do was help out,” his older brother, Jeffrey Tower, tells The Times of Israel.
Rindenow moved to Israel from Passaic, New Jersey, when he was 18 and spent a year volunteering with a search and rescue organization in Israel, Tower said.
His brother affectionately remembers him as a “bookworm” and someone passionate about giving.
Rindenow’s older brother Gami, 22, currently serves in the paratroopers.
Rindenow’s parents were to board a flight from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport to Israel. Details of the funeral arrangements hadn’t yet been made, Tower says.
Rocket sirens heard in northern Golan
There are initial reports of a rocket siren in the northern Golan Heights, near the border with Syria.
Pictures shared on social media show streams of smoke going skyward in a possible attempt to intercept the incoming fire.
— חדשות 10 (@news10) July 17, 2016
Patriot missile reportedly shot on northern border
Channel 10 reports Israel shot a Patriot missile to intercept whatever incoming fire there was on the northern border.
The channel broadcasts a picture taken from the northern town of Kiryat Shmona showing a trail of smoke.
Walla reports that an explosion was heard after the rocket siren, and the IDF is checking into the possibility a missile was shot at Israel.
Missile reportedly shot down by Patriot
Channel 10 reports that at least 1 rocket shot from Syria toward Israel was shot down by a Patriot missile.
At least three explosions have been heard by residents in the north as rocket sirens rang out.
There is no official word from the IDF on the incident.
— חדשות 2 (@Channel2News) July 17, 2016
The army has used Patriot missiles in the past to shoot down UAVs.
Incidental fire has occasionally bled into Israel from Syria, normally mortar fire.
IDF: Patriot missiles shot toward drone
The Israeli army confirms that two Patriot missiles were shot “toward a drone which infiltrated Israeli airspace.”
The IDF says in a statement the drone came from Syria.
Patriot missiles are often used to shoot down UAVs and the army considers the US-made system to be “very efficient when dealing with UAV penetration,” according to a press release from 2015.
Planes reportedly deployed to Golan after drone scare
Air force jets have been scrambled to the Golan Heights after a UAV tried to infiltrate Israeli air space.
The army says it is still trying to determine if two Patriot missiles fired at the drone managed to bring it down.
Drone comes amid major IDF drill in north
The drone incident comes as the IDF is conducting a major exercise in the northern Golan Heights and may have been deployed to gather intelligence.
The IDF drill, which was planned in advance and is not meant to respond to any specific event, began late Saturday night and is expected to end Tuesday, according to the IDF.
The northern Golan also saw an incident earlier in the day in which two soldiers were killed when a grenade went off, apparently accidentally.
IDF: Patriot missiles failed to hit drone
The army confirms that it did not hit the drone with two Patriot missiles, but merely shooed it away.
The IDF says the missiles were shot after the UAV managed to infiltrate into the central Golan.
“The drone returned to Syria,” the IDF says in a statement.
There are also unconfirmed reports a person injured by shrapnel from a missile on the kibbutz of Ayelet Hashahar, near the Syrian border.
The army says sirens were sounded “according to military protocol.”
3 police feared killed in Baton Rouge shooting
Three police officers have been shot and are feared killed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, according to local news station KTLA.
“There is still an active scene. They are investigating. Right now we are trying to get our arms around everything. It’s just been one thing after another,” a local official tells the station.
Baton Rouge was the scene of the deadly police shooting earlier this month of Alton Sterling, one of two fatal incidents which have led to massive protests across the country.
Five police officers were killed by a sniper in Dallas during one such rally.
Baton Rouge cops ‘in extremely bad shape’
WAFB television reports the three police officers shot in Baton Rouge “are in extremely bad shape.”
The station airs video footage of police responding to the scene in Baton Rouge. Multiple shots could be heard as civilian cars quickly backed away.
There are reports that up to eight police officers may have been shot in the daytime incident.
— with AFP
2 police reported killed in Baton Rouge
WAFB in Baton Rouge reports that two police officers have been killed, as do other local media.
The station says the shooting occurred at a B Quick store east of the city at about 9 a.m.
“The scene seems to be contained right now,” Sgt. Don Coppola of the Baton Rouge Police Department tells the station.
Officials identify 7-year-old boy hurt in Nice attack
Officials have at last identified a 7-year-old boy in a coma whose picture had been circulated on social media after no relatives stepped forward immediately after he was injured in the Nice truck attack.
The spokeswoman of Lenval children’s hospital in Nice, Stephanie Simpson, tells The Associated Press on Sunday that the boy is Romanian and had been visiting Nice with his parents, who remain missing.
The boy’s grandmother traveled from Germany on Saturday to make the identification, after a relative in Nice reported the family missing.
The boy is among six children still hospitalized after the attack, Simpson says. She says the boy was on artificial respiration and had not undergone any surgery.
“There is still hope he is going to wake up,” she says.
US Secretary of State John Kerry says the challenge of finding and stopping people like the truck driver who plowed into the crowd is “worse than the needle in the haystack.”
Kerry says the US had no knowledge of the killer as a radicalized individual and that if someone is an extremist of “one or two days vintage” it’s easy to cause mayhem.
Kerry, appearing on CNN, says the attack shows the Islamic State group is under great pressure, and that people are acting out in various places. He says the group sees “the noose closing around them.”
Erdogan brought to tears at friend’s funeral
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan breaks down in tears while speaking at the funeral of an old friend in Istanbul killed during the coup, images from Turkish television show.
Erol Olcak and his 16-year-old son were shot dead on the Bosphorous bridge in the city during Friday’s attempted coup.
They had been on the bridge to protest against the putsch launched by a group within the military, according to local media.
Erdogan tells the crowd of hundreds chanting “Allahu akbar”: “Erol was an old friend of mine.”
Unable to control his tears, Erdogan adds: “I cannot speak any further. Condolences to our nation.”
“May God have mercy on your soul,” he concludes.
Top Erdogan military aide sought over failed coup
Turkey’s state-run news agency says authorities have issued a warrant for the arrest of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s top military aide.
The Anadolu Agency says Sunday the warrant was issued against Col. Ali Yazici following Friday’s failed coup attempt. It wasn’t immediately clear what role, if any, Yazici played in the attempted coup that started late Friday.
The top US military officer says US officials were surprised by the attempted overthrow of the Turkish government.
Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says Sunday in an interview with The Associated Press that he was pleased by the response of top Turkish military leaders to the coup attempt led by a minority of officers.
Dunford was in Afghanistan when the coup attempt was made.
Dunford says he hasn’t yet spoken to his Turkish counterpart, Gen. Hulusi Akar, who had been detained by the coup leaders and then rescued. He said he hopes to speak to him in coming days.
Top Erdogan military aide arrested — report
A top military aide of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was taken into custody on Sunday after Friday’s attempted coup, state-run news agency Anadolu reported.
Ali Yazici is accused of involvement in the coup plot and was in Ankara during the putsch, CNN-Turk says. He had only begun working for the president in August last year, according to Anadolu.
14-year-old girl reportedly hurt by Patriot shrapnel
The Ynet news website and other Israeli media report a 14-year-old girl was lightly injured by falling shrapnel, likely from a botched attempt to intercept a drone with a Patriot missile.
The girl is being treated at Sieff Hospital in Safed.
Hezbollah says it sent drone to Israel, back safely
Hezbollah-linked Lebanese fighter Anes al-Naqqash says in a tweet the drone shot at by Israel was sent by the Shiite terror group.
Naqqash says the drone had just begun photographing army maneuvers in the Golan when it was shot at and turned back, in a tweet flagged by Yossi Mansharof, an expert from the Ezri Center at the University of Haifa, who tracks Hezbollah movement.
Naqqash says the drone returned safely.
The maneuvers likely refer to a large IDF exercise taking place in the northern Golan Heights at the time.
Foreign students still missing after Nice attack
Three students on a European study program — an American, Ukrainian and Estonian — are still missing following last week’s truck attack on the French city of Nice.
A communications officer at the Nice branch of the European Innovation Academy, Annie Seneard, tells The Associated Press on Sunday that among the missing is 20-year-old Nicolas Leslie, who was doing a stint at the EIA from the University of California at Berkeley.
He was among dozens of Berkeley students on the program, and fellow students have posted fliers in Nice trying to find him.
The other program participants still unaccounted for are 22-year-old Canada-based Ukrainian national Misha Bazelevsky and 21-year-old Estonian Rickard Kruusberg, Seneard says.
A fourth missing student from the academy, 22-year-old Estonian Hans Joosep Lahe has been located.
Meanwhile an online forum of French Jews has removed its claim that 15 members of the Nice Jewish community are among the 84 killed.
The forum does not give a reason for the change.
— with AP
Erdogan hints death penalty may be in the offing
Erdogan is giving signals that Turkey might reinstate capital punishment in the wake of Friday’s failed coup attempt.
Erdogan’s speech to supporters in front of his Istanbul residence is punctuated by frequent calls of “we want the death penalty” from the large crowd, to which Erdogan responds: “We hear your request. In a democracy, whatever the people want they will get.”
Adding that they will be in contact with Turkey’s opposition parties to reach a position of capital punishment, he says “We will not delay this decision for long. Because those who attempt a coup in this country must pay.”
Turkey hasn’t executed anyone since 1984 and capital punishment was legally abolished in 2004 as part of its bid to join the European Union.
Anadolu Agency reports that seven people, including a colonel were detained at an air base in the central Anatolian city of Konya.
The same official said the situation in Konya was “under control” after coup backers there also resisted arrest.
“This is why we have been asking the people to stand guard and remain aware,” he says.
Trump blames police shooting on ‘lack of leadership’
The always classy presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, gearing up for his big Cleveland nomination party, blames the Baton Rouge shooting, in which three police officers were killed, on a “lack of leadership.”
“How many law enforcement and people have to die because of a lack of leadership in our country? We demand law and order,” he writes on social media.
Trump has in recent days tried to paint himself as the “law and order” candidate.
Hillary Clinton has yet to release a statement or make any comment on the shooting on social media.
Barricades, cops and rifles abound as Cleveland girds for RNC
Cleveland has deployed overwhelming security, as the city braces for possible violent protests as delegates pour into town for the Republican National Convention that will anoint Donald Trump the party’s US presidential nominee.
Authorities in the city on the shores of Lake Erie have erected eight-foot-tall (2.5-meter) metal fencing around the Quicken Loans Arena, closed off streets and deployed thousands of armed police officers.
Roads in the Ohio city are lined with concrete barriers and helicopters patrol overhead, as light aircraft, paid for by sponsors, trail anti-Hillary Clinton slogans.
Law enforcement is on edge, braced for protests from demonstrators enraged by Trump’s divisive presidential campaign and preparing for the worst after anti-police violence erupted in Louisiana.
Cleveland, a Midwestern city of nearly 400,000, has taken out $50 million in protest insurance, and Ohio’s open-carry law, allowing people with proper permits to carry a loaded weapon on the streets, has inflamed fears of violence.
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) July 17, 2016
— Alexander Trowbridge (@AlexanderTrow) July 17, 2016
“We have policies in place for mass arrests through our prosecutor’s office, our clerk’s office and our court system,” Cleveland police chief Calvin Williams tells a news conference.
Williams says barricades have also been erected downtown to thwart any potential terror attack after a truck bomber killed 84 people in the French city of Nice last Thursday.
“We use blocking vehicles, we use concrete barriers and things like that at positions that we think may be vulnerable to attacks like that which happened in Nice,” he says.
Police describe shootout with Nice truck terrorist
The police officers who confronted truck driver Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel in Nice pumped around 20 bullets into his truck in the shootout that ended his bloody Bastille Day rampage, according to an affidavit seen by AFP.
Three officers responding to the scene came upon the smashed truck that the 31-year-old Tunisian has used to plow through barriers and then pick off people in his path.
“He was at a halt, the front of the vehicle had been completely torn off, the engine was visible,” the officer says in the affidavit.
In nightmarish scenes, bodies lay crumpled behind the vehicle while others lay crushed beneath its wheels.
The police say they stopped an onlooker from climbing into the truck to try to overpower the driver but then saw Lahouaiej-Bouhlel raise his arm inside the truck “with a handgun in his right hand” and start to shoot.
A shootout ensued until the officer saw the driver’s head “slump back onto the window, on the passenger side.”
Safety failure led to grenade blast — report
An initial IDF investigation into an incident in which a grenade exploded, killing two soldiers, has found the soldier holding the grenade failed to follow safety protocol, Haaretz reports.
According to the report, driver Hussam Taffash, who was carrying the grenade when it exploded, killing him and Shlomo Rundanow and injuring three others, did not properly secure the weapon in his vest.
However, investigators are still trying to figure out why Taffash, who was driving a jeep, ended up with the grenade on him.