Iran: Lebanese man held for spying for US
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Jerusalem city hall sues bilingual school arsonists for damages

Municipality seeks NIS 518,000 to cover harm to building, psychological treatments for children in aftermath of attack

  • Screen capture of a bomb being released from a Russian Su-34 strike fighter in Syria, taken from footage made available on the Russian Defense Ministry official website, October 9, 2015. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service/AP, File)
    Screen capture of a bomb being released from a Russian Su-34 strike fighter in Syria, taken from footage made available on the Russian Defense Ministry official website, October 9, 2015. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service/AP, File)
  • Ben Gurion Airport staff hold Israeli candies as they greet a Jordanian plane from Dubai that made an emergency landing in Tel Aviv on November 3, 2015 (photo credit: Israel Airports Authority)
    Ben Gurion Airport staff hold Israeli candies as they greet a Jordanian plane from Dubai that made an emergency landing in Tel Aviv on November 3, 2015 (photo credit: Israel Airports Authority)
  • Illustrative photo of a plane on the tarmac at Ben Gurion International Airport (photo credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90)
    Illustrative photo of a plane on the tarmac at Ben Gurion International Airport (photo credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90)
  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at his Jerusalem office on August 2, 2015. (Gali Tibbon/AFP/Pool)
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at his Jerusalem office on August 2, 2015. (Gali Tibbon/AFP/Pool)
  • Zionist Union party leader Isaac Herzog addresses the Knesset on September 2, 2015, during the state budget vote for 2015-2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
    Zionist Union party leader Isaac Herzog addresses the Knesset on September 2, 2015, during the state budget vote for 2015-2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

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

Herzog to UK envoy: Labeling settlement products ‘rewards terror’

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog tells British Ambassador to Israel David Quarrey that a European Union plan to mark products made in factories over the Green Line is “a prize for terror.”

The EU will soon decide exactly how to label the products, after the European Parliament passed a resolution last month to approve the measure.

Herzog says he “strongly opposes this harmful and unnecessary measure,” saying that “this is a measure that serves only one purpose – continuing the hate and regional conflict. Marking these products is an act of violence by extremists who want to further inflame the situation and the EU is falling into their trap.”

The Zionist Union chairman also calls labeling the products “a prize that Europe is bestowing for terror,” and warns that the move “will mean a blow to tens of thousands of Palestinians employed in factories in Judea and Samaria under proper conditions who bring in an income for their families.”

He called the decision counterproductive to the peace process. “My stance on separating from the Palestinians is well-known,” he says, “but you will not achieve this with this kind of step.”

Vehicles drive into path of plane during Ben Gurion takeoff

A Hungarian airliner is forced to abort its takeoff at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv, after two vehicles drive onto the runway as it prepares to leave the ground.

Air traffic controllers are forced to order the plane to halt when they spot the vehicles in its path, Army Radio reports. The plane takes off soon after for Budapest, and no one is injured.

An investigation is opened into the incident.

PM: Internet used as tool of incitement

Benjamin Netanyahu tells Israel Radio that the internet is being used as a tool by those who seek to incite against the Jewish state.

“We are fighting the current wave [of violence], which is not a wave of rockets, it is a wave of knives,” the PM tells northern radio station Kol Rega. “It is a meeting of the radical Islam and the internet. The internet facilitates the individuals who are doing the inciting.”

He says that despite the high level of frustration over the near daily attacks, the security situation in Israel is better than that in its neighbors.

“We are surrounded by extremist Islam, which will also infiltrate us,” he warns. “But relative to the entire region, the situation in Israel is very good. Ours is a strong country, with a strong people, a strong army and a will of iron.”

Israeli, Jordanian jets ‘flew together in US drill’

Israeli and Jordanian warplanes both participated in a drill in the United States in July, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon says, as an American official indicates that the two air forces even carried out joint maneuvers.

According to Reuters, a US official says not only did Jordan take part in the Red Flag drill, it also sent warplanes out with IAF jets and refueled from an Israeli tanker over the Atlantic Ocean.

Referring to the exercise, Ya’alon says that “there were Arab pilots there too, and pilots from the various branches of the United States military and other countries.”

 

 

 

MKs reject state budget over defense funding

Members of a joint Knesset committee reject the budget proposal for 2016 on the grounds that the defense provisions are insufficient.

The proposal is rejected by 16 votes to 15, Channel 10 reports. Those opposed include members of the coalition who argue that having defense funding at the levels cited means “the IDF will be unable to defend the state.”

The lawmakers are now seeking a legal way to pass the budget, or alternatively come up with a supplement to the budget from the treasury.

Ben Gurion bracing for emergency landing by Jordanian plane

Large numbers of ambulances and rescue personnel are on standby at Ben Gurion airport awaiting a plane from Jordan that is planning to make an emergency landing.

Walla says that the request comes due to the fact that the plane is running out of fuel.

2 Arab teens indicted for planning terror attack

Two Arab teenagers are indicted in a Jerusalem court for allegedly planning to carry out a terror attack last month.

The two, a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of A-Tur, are charged with attempted murder and being in possession of a knife, the Hebrew-language media reports.

The indictment states that the two arrived in the Old City of Jerusalem on the morning of October 27, 2015, where, as planned, they went into a building supplies store in the area of the Nablus Gate and bought an ax and a knife. They then went waited for a suitable Jewish victim near the Jaffa Gate, a primary access point to the Old City, at which stage they were arrested.

The court orders the two detained until the end of criminal proceedings against them.

High pollution levels register across Israel

The Environmental Protection Ministry says a high level of air pollution is being recorded across Israel, which will linger until tomorrow.

People who have a sensitivity to air pollution are being advised to refrain from physical activity, Ynet reports.

Jordan plane landed in Israel because of bad weather

The emergency landing by a Jordan-bound plane at Ben Gurion today is attributed to inclement conditions in Amman.

The Airbus 320 could not land in the Jordanian capital due to poor visibility and and weather.

The official website of Queen Alia International Airport in Amman shows that many of the flights scheduled to land there in the past few hours have not done so.

Ben Gurion Airport says: “The plane that took off from Dubai could not land in Amman and requested a Tel Aviv landing. Due to reports that it was running out of fuel, we declared a state of emergency. The plane landed safely, refueled, and will return to Amman as soon as possible.”

Ynet tweeted an image apparently showing Ben Gurion airport staff awaiting the plane from Dubai, holding boxes of the Israeli candy Krembo.

Iran: Lebanese man held for spying for US

Iranian state television is claiming that a Lebanese citizen missing since September in Tehran is an American spy who is held by authorities.

Tuesday’s report by state TV is the first official word about Washington-based Lebanese citizen Nizar Zakka, who disappeared Sept. 18 while visiting Tehran for a state-sponsored conference. Zakka works in Washington with IJMA3-USA, which advocates for Internet freedom across the Middle East.

The state TV report claims Zakka had “deep links” with US intelligence services. It also aired a still photo of men in US Army uniforms, claiming Zakka was one of the men.

Lebanese lawyer Antoine Abou Dib says Zakka has permanent-resident status in the United States, but declines to immediately comment on the Iranian TV report.

— AP

Russia says it doesn’t care if Assad stays or steps down

In an apparent effort to set the stage for transition talks, a Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman says that Moscow does not consider it a matter of principle that Syrian President Bashar Assad stays in power.

Asked whether it was crucial for Moscow that Assad stays, Maria Zakharova says on the Ekho Moskvy radio station: “Absolutely not, we’ve never said that.”

“What we did say is a regime change in Syria could become a local or even regional catastrophe,” she says, adding that “only the Syrian people can decide the president’s fate.”

— AP

Tibi gets 2-week ban on running Knesset sessions

Joint (Arab) List MK Ahmad Tibi, a deputy parliament speaker, gets a two-week ban on running Knesset plenum sessions for throwing Zeev Elkin out of a session last month after he accused Arab parliamentarians — and Tibi in particular — of bearing responsibility for the ongoing wave of Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians and security forces.

Tibi, who was chairing a debate on a cabinet decision to enforce closures and curfews on some East Jerusalem neighborhoods, ordered Elkin off the podium and told ushers to escort Elkin out of the hall, bringing to an end a heated exchange of words between the two.

The Knesset Ethics Committee says that Tibi did not abuse his authority in removing Elkin from the podium, but did do so when he ejected the minister form the hall. Both Elkin and Tibi had complained to the committee.

Tibi’s associates say the decision to suspend him is indicative of the current atmosphere.

Russia says its air force held joint drill with US in Syria

The Russian and American air forces have held joint drills “by crews and ground services in Syria in case of dangerous approach by aircraft,” the Interfax news agency quotes the Russian army as saying.

Both countries are conducting airstrikes in the war-torn country, ostensibly against Islamic State, although Russia has been accused of targeting Western-backed opposition forces also fighting the Assad regime.

According to the Russian army, crews from Russia and the US-led coalition against IS come “within a range of 3 nautical miles, exchange phrases in Russian [and] English in [a] specially designated area in Syria.”

The Russian army also said that Moscow and Jerusalem were “exchanging info round-the-clock to ensure safe flights over Syria.”

Israel Air Force warplanes reportedly struck Hezbollah targets in Syria on Saturday.

Russia says Syria targets hit based on ‘opposition’ coordinates

Russian jets bomb 24 targets in Syria after “opposition representatives” passed on coordinates, the defense ministry says, as Moscow claims for the first time it is working with groups fighting Bashar Assad during its air campaign.

“The coordinates of all of these targets were given to us by opposition representatives,” says senior military official Andrei Kartapolov, without specifying which groups Moscow is cooperating with.

— AFP

Sudanese man attacks Israeli on Africa flight

A Sudanese national attacks an Israeli man during a flight from Chad to Ethiopia, beating him and trying to choke him.

The 54-year-old Israeli tells Ynet that his attacker had approached from behind during the plane’s descent, choking him and hitting him across the head with a metal tray. The man also was reportedly shouting: “Allahu akhbar” and “Massacre the Jew.”

The cabin crew and a Lebanese passenger manage to rescue the Israeli and his attacker is arrested.

The Foreign Ministry it is “familiar with the incident.”

Spanish police break up Islamic State ‘terrorist cell’

Spanish authorities say they have broken up a “terrorist cell” linked to the Islamic State jihadist group with the arrest of three Moroccan men who aimed to carry out attacks in Madrid.

Police arrest the trio, legal residents of Spain between the ages of 26 and 29, in pre-dawn raids in two neighborhoods of Madrid, the Interior Ministry says in a statement.

“National police broke up in Madrid an active jihadist terrorist cell,” it says.

The ministry says that authorities acted quickly to detain the men because “their reactions were very unpredictable” and they had “manifested their clear willingness to carry out an attack in Madrid.”

Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz tells Spanish radio that, “Their goal was to act in Spain.”

— AFP

Poll: 77% of Jews around the world feel secure

More than three quarters of the world’s Jews feel safe in their own countries, a new poll of Jewish communities across the globe finds.

According to the survey by the Jewish Community Centers (JCC), 77 percent of local Jewish leaders around the world say their communities do not feel threatened, Ynet reports. In Europe, however, just 56% of Jewish leaders say their communities feel safe.

Asked if the tense situation in Israel has an impact, 46% say the community’s sense of security is unaffected by the conflict, while only 35% say they feel less secure. Furthermore, 10% say they currently feel a stronger sense of personal safety.

Respondents also say unity of their own communities ranks highest among the challenges faced by Diaspora Jewry, along with combating assimilation and battling anti-Semitism.

Israeli farmers irate over Jordanian ‘killer tomatoes’

Tomatoes from Jordan infected with a virus are on sale in Israel, causing outrage among Israeli agriculturalists.

The killer tomatoes not only destroy crops, but can also damage the health of those who eat them, the NRG website reports.

The Farmers’ Federation of Israel is calling for an immediate halt in the import of the tomatoes, and is considering a lawsuit against the Agriculture Ministry over the issue.

PA cracks down on attackers after crossing closed

The Palestinian Authority security forces are cracking down on would-be attackers reaching the Jalama crossing in the Jenin area of the West Bank, which is closed following a spate of stabbings and attempted stabbings at the site.

In addition, the governor of Jenin is calling on Palestinian residents to prevent young people, who have carried out the majority of the attacks in recent weeks, from going to the crossing in order to carry out further assaults, Ynet says.

Notorious US Holocaust denier dies at 89

Willis Carto, an American publisher notorious for his anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, dies at 89.

Carto’s death on Monday at his Virginia home is announced by The American Free Press, a newspaper he co-founded, and confirmed by his wife, Elizabeth, to be a result of heart failure, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The Anti-Defamation League refers to Carto as “one of the most influential American anti-Semitic propagandists” and the “mastermind of the hate network.”

— JTA

‘Fatah says Israel should never have been created’

Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement marks the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, which affirmed British commitment to a Jewish state in 1917, with a Facebook post reportedly showing Lord Arthur Balfour, the document’s author, covered in flames.

“We will not forget the ominous promise, the Balfour Promise given by those with no ownership to those with no right,” the group writes on its official account on the social media network, according to Palestinian Media Watch.

Jon Stewart announces new HBO project

A little over two months after he ended his 16-year run on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart is making his return to television with a new project for HBO (Home Box Office).

The cable giant’s deal with the veteran comedian is for four years and includes Stewart creating exclusive “timely short-form digital content” for the company.

HBO also says that additional projects will be announced once they have been decided.

Stewart appears to be happy with his new, less-demanding schedule.

“Appearing on television 22 minutes a night clearly broke me,” he says. “I’m pretty sure I can produce a few minutes of content every now and again.”

Jerusalem city hall sues bilingual school arsonists for damages

Jerusalem municipality sues from three people who set fire to the Max Rayne Hand in Hand School last November, seeking a total of NIS 518,000 in damages. The school fosters Jewish-Arab coexistence and teaches in both Arabic and Hebrew.

The sum includes reparation for physical destruction to the institution and its contents, but also payment for the psychological support required in the aftermath of the attack by the children of the school.

Yitzhak Gabai and brothers Nahman and Shlomo Twitto were all convicted of starting the fire and spray-painting on the school’s walls racist messages such as “There is no coexistence with cancer” and “Death to the Arabs.”

 

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Iran: Lebanese man held for spying for US

Iranian state television is claiming that a Lebanese citizen missing since September in Tehran is an American spy who is held by authorities.

Tuesday’s report by state TV is the first official word about Washington-based Lebanese citizen Nizar Zakka, who disappeared Sept. 18 while visiting Tehran for a state-sponsored conference. Zakka works in Washington with IJMA3-USA, which advocates for Internet freedom across the Middle East.

The state TV report claims Zakka had “deep links” with US intelligence services. It also aired a still photo of men in US Army uniforms, claiming Zakka was one of the men.

Lebanese lawyer Antoine Abou Dib says Zakka has permanent-resident status in the United States, but declines to immediately comment on the Iranian TV report.

— AP