The Times of Israel is liveblogging Friday’s developments as they unfold.
Far-right French Jews assault BuzzFeed journalist
Members of the French branch of the far-right Jewish Defense League attacked a prominent French journalist outside the Paris offices of the Agence France Presse news agency.
Armed with batons, dozens of violent Jewish activists who had gathered to protest the news agency’s Israel coverage, assaulted David Perrotin, a reporter for BuzzFeed, on Thursday evening, the Guardian reported.
Protesters threw eggs and other objects at the AFP building, yelled out insults and tried to storm the offices, according to the Guardian. They threatened journalists, saying “We’re coming to get you” and “Islamic terrorists.” Riot police sprayed them with tear gas.
The International Business Times reported that Perrotin, who was covering the protests on Twitter, was “set upon by a gang of about a dozen masked demonstrators,” receiving blows to the back and head.
One demonstrator said: “We are here to show our support for Israel in our war against the Arabs.” He added: “Journalists working for organizations like AFP support the Islamic terrorists and that’s why we have to fight back.”
Perrotin “has frequently exposed the work” of the French Jewish Defense League, according to the Guardian.
— David Perrotin (@davidperrotin) October 22, 2015
Shelling kills 5 at Libya rally against UN peace deal — medics
At least five people were killed and 30 wounded this evening in Benghazi when rockets hit protesters who gathered in Libya’s second city to demonstrate against a UN-proposed peace deal, medics say.
Hundreds of people gathered in the center of the eastern city to protest against a power-sharing agreement proposed by UN envoy Bernardino Leon.
A volley of shells hit the rally “killing at least five people and wounding 30 others”, a medic says.
“The exact toll could be much higher as medics are still trying to collect human remains from the site”.
The Benghazi Medical Center says on its official Facebook page that it received two bodies and treated 20 wounded.
Another hospital in the city, Al-Jalaa, also said on Facebook that it received three bodies and treated 10 wounded.
There was no immediate word on who was behind the shelling.
Ban Ki-Moon says Quartet will visit Israel soon
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is urging international and Mideast leaders to take action to prevent the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from becoming a religious dispute that could be exploited by extremists on both sides “with potentially dangerous regional implications.”
The UN chief, who just returned from talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, told reporters in New York on Friday that “despite the anger and the polarization, there is still time to step back from the brink.”
Ban said he hopes Friday’s meeting in Vienna of the Quartet of Mideast mediators — the UN, US, EU, Russia — and Arab leaders, and other meetings will result in an end to violence.
He said Quartet envoys plan to visit the region soon “to explore significant steps” to restore confidence and move toward a two-state solution.
4 hurt in Dead Sea road accident are soldiers
Four people wounded in a car accident near the Dead Sea earlier today are IDF soldiers, Ynet reports.
Two of the soldiers are in serious condition and two in moderate condition.
The families have been notified.
Abdullah calls on Abbas to calm tensions
King Abdullah of Jordan has sent Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas an urgent message to calm tensions in the West Bank, Channel 10 reports, citing unnamed Jordanian sources.
According to the report, Abdullah warned Abbas that an intifada in the West Bank will spill over to Jordan.
Hamas official asks group to stop daily border protests
A high-ranking Hamas official has asked the group to stop daily violent protests along the border with Israel, Channel 2 news reports.
According to the report, the request was made by the director-general of Hamas’s interior ministry in the Gaza Strip in an internal memo.
Channel 2 further reports that Hamas is working to limit the scope of the protests. Demonstrators told the news channel that they are routinely searched by Hamas security personnel to ensure they are not carrying firearms.
Girl missing for more than week found safe
A 13-year-old girl from Kiryat Hayim in the north was found after she was missing for more than a week.
The girl was found after police published her details and sought the public’s help, Ynet reports.
IDF investigates soldiers who beat Palestinian in West Bank
The IDF says an initial inquiry of security camera footage capturing Israeli troops as they kick and beat a Palestinian man shows they “did not act in accordance with the standards.”
The army says it is investigating the incident, which took place at a time when Palestinians were throwing rocks and firebombs at troops nearby.
B’Tselem says the October 6 incident happened in the West Bank town of el-Bireh, near Ramallah.
The footage released Friday by the Israeli rights group shows a man carrying a box into a storage room and then standing at the door, looking outside. Soldiers rush toward him, beat and kick him for several minutes while he lies on the ground, then drag him outside.
It’s not clear what happened before the footage begins.
Ansar Aasi, 25, the man in the video, says he wasn’t involved in violence. “I raised my hand and told them I didn’t do anything but they beat me everywhere,” Aasi told The Associated Press. He said he was detained for five days and only released after his employer showed police the CCTV footage.
Obama names new envoy for troubled anti-IS campaign
US President Barack Obama taps veteran Iraq expert Brett McGurk to coordinate the troubled US campaign against the Islamic State group, the White House says.
Announcing the departure of General John Allen, who steps down after a year marked by setbacks, policy reversals and increasing regional chaos, Obama describes McGurk as “one of my most trusted advisers on Iraq.”
Allen played a key role in trying to hold together the disparate 65-member coalition who have vowed to roll back Islamic State’s territorial gains.
Iran media says 2 Revolutionary Guards killed in Syria
Two Iranian Revolutionary Guards soldiers were killed in battles in Syria today, Reuters quotes a report in the Iranian Tasnim news agency.
A Revolutionary Guards spokesperson announced the deaths, while he denied foreign reports that said at least 15 Iranians were killed in war-torn country.
Father, son also wounded in Beit El terror attack
The father and son from a family that was traveling in their car near Beit El when Palestinian terrorists hurled a Molotov cocktail at it were lightly wounded.
Previously, reports said only a mother and two daughters were hurt.
All five members of the family have been taken to hospitals in Jerusalem.
Lapid tells French FM Israel won’t accept int’l monitors
Yesh Atid leader and opposition MK Yair Lapid meets French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and tells him that Israel will under no circumstances allow any change to the status quo at the Temple Mount.
Israel, Lapid tells Fabius, protects places holy to all religions. He says France knows full well that the initiative to deploy international monitors to the site is not acceptable to neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians.
France earlier this month proposed a draft resolution at the UN to place an international force at the site.
IDF tweets photos from scene of Molotov cocktail attack
The IDF tweets photos from the scene of a Molotov cocktail terror attack near Beit El where a mother and her two daughters were wounded.
Moments ago, molotov cocktail was hurled at vehicle near Jerusalem, injuring a mother & her 2 children. pic.twitter.com/AVhb6qV3Qq
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) October 23, 2015
Medics tweet photo of burned baby seat from Beit El attack
A tweet by Hatzolah Judea and Samaria medical personnel shows the burned out baby seat of a 4-year-old girl moderately wounded when Palestinian terrorists hurled a Molotov cocktail at the car she was travelling in.
בת 4 נפצעה בינוני, בת 11 ובת 44 נפצעו קל לאחר שפלסטיני השליך בקבוק תבערה על רכבן ליד בית אל. צילום הצלה יו״ש pic.twitter.com/Dx9wcp3rx7
— Inbal Tamir (@inbaltamir) October 23, 2015
4 hurt in accident near Dead Sea
Four people are reported to be moderately to seriously wounded when their car overturned near the Dead Sea.
Magen David Adom says a helicopter was dispatched to evacuate the injured.
The accident is the fourth traffic collision today. Earlier a man was killed when he was hit by a car while walking on a sidewalk in Tel Aviv. Also in Tel Aviv, a woman in her 70s was wounded in a hit-and-run.
A girl, 21, was seriously injured when she crashed her car on Road 57 in the center of the country. Magen David Adom paramedics evacuated her to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikvah. Another person was lightly injured in the accident.
Beit El wounded taken to Jerusalem hospital
The mother and two daughters, aged 4 and 11, attacked near Beit El in their car on Route 60 in the West Bank are being treated by Magen David Adom paramedics and are being taken to Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem.
Mother, 2 daughters wounded in Beit El attack
The three wounded near Beit El are a mother and her two daughters. The mother, 44, and one of the daughters, 11, are reported to be lightly injured while the other daughter, 4, is in moderate condition.
According to initial reports they are suffering from burns after their car was hit with a Molotov cocktail hurled by Palestinian terrorists.
3 Israelis wounded by Molotov cocktail neat Beit El
Three Israelis, including a small girl, are lightly wounded when Palestinians hurl a firebomb at their car near a checkpoint leading to the Jewish city of Beit El in the West Bank, Ynet reports.
Magen David Adom paramedics are tending to the wounded.
Left-wing rabbi attacked by settler in West Bank
Rabbi Eric Ascherman is threatened by a settler with stones and a knife near the Palestinian village of Awarta during a joint Jewish-Palestinian olive harvest initiated by his organization Rabbis for Human Rights.
The video shows Rabbi Ascherman being threatened.
Liberman has no plans of joining Netanyahu gov’t
Contrary to rumors, sources in Yisrael Beytenu say the party has no intention of joining the government.
Party leader Avigdor Liberman says that he will only join the coalition if he receives the defense portfolio. But, Prime Minister Netanyahu, according to Channel 2, says he has no plans to replace current Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.
Palestinian sources say 18 wounded in Gaza border riots
Palestinian sources raise the number of people wounded in clashes with the IDF near the Gaza Strip border to 18.
They were wounded, according to Palestinian media, during clashes near the Erez and Nahal Oz crossings, Shujaiya, El Bureij refugee camp and Khan Younis.
5 Palestinians wounded in Gaza Strip riot
Palestinian medical sources say four people were wounded by live bullets during a riot near the Erez Crossing in the Gaza Strip. Another man was wounded by a rubber bullet, the sources say.
2 Palestinians wounded during riot near Hebron
Two Palestinians are wounded during riots in Halhul, near Hebron.
Reports say a 24-year-old was shot in the head and a 16-year-old in his leg. Both were both evacuated to a Palestinian hospital in Hebron.
According to the Walla news website, they were hit by small caliber bullets fired by IDF soldiers.
Police arrest Palestinian teens planning attack in Old City
Police say they arrested a group of Palestinians teenagers planning a stabbing attack at Damascus Gate, in Jerusalem’s Old City.
In a statement, police say that on Thursday morning they spotted a suspicious-looking Palestinian teenager carrying a backpack near a turnstile leading into the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem. On the other side, leading into central Jerusalem, stood a similarly dressed teen and two other minors acting as lookouts.
Police officers apprehended the minors after noticing a bag changing hands. They found two large knives in the bag.
During an interrogation, a boy said he planned on teaming up with friends to carry out a terror attack at Damascus Gate in the Old City.
A police commander overseeing the investigation says that “the alertness of police officers at the checkpoint enabled the identification of the cell and the interception of the knives intended for use in a stabbing attack.”
Gazans protest near Erez crossing
Several dozen Palestinians from the Gaza Strip are protesting near the Erez crossing between Israel and the Palestinian enclave, Channel 10 reports.
IDF troops are responding with riot dispersal means, according to the report.
IDF soldier hurt in rock throwing attack in West Bank
An Israeli soldier is lightly hurt in a rock throwing attack in Giv’at Assaf, an Israeli outpost near the West Bank settlement of Beit El, north of Jerusalem.
Medics are taking the injured teen to hospital for further treatment.
Female soldier severely hurt in Wednesday attack regains consciousness
The female soldier who was seriously wounded in a stabbing attack in the West Bank on Wednesday has regained consciousness, hospital officials say.
She remains in serious condition and is being treated at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem.
The soldier, named as Dikla Magdish, 20, was stabbed by a Palestinian man near the Adam junction, near the Hizme checkpoint north of Jerusalem, on Wednesday.
The attacker, identified as 22-year-old Muataz Atallah Qassem of East Jerusalem’s Eizariya neighborhood, was shot and killed by a Home Front Command soldier at the scene.
A suspected accomplice was arrested.
Temple Mount prayers end without incident, say police
Some 30,000 Muslim worshipers prayed on the Temple Mount today and the prayers ended a short time ago without incident, police say.
Israel had lifted age restrictions for the main weekly prayers, in an apparent bid to ease tensions over the site that sparked a surge in violence.
Right-wing activist reportedly attempts to stab head of left-wing NGO
An extreme-right activist attempted to stab the head of Rabbis for Human Rights, according to a press release by the Israeli human rights organization
Rabbi Arik Ascherman was not hurt in the incident near the West Bank settlement of Itamar, according to a spokesman for the group.
Security forces are on the scene.
According to the statement, the right-wing activist ran toward Ascherman waving a knife and making threatening gestures.
Police say Ascherman was part of a group of left-wing activists that accompanied Palestinian villagers to their fields to harvest olives.
According to police, the harvest ended peacefully but the activists then started to “provoke” right-wingers who were nearby and a “confrontation ensued.”
Clashes between IDF troops, Palestinians near Hebron
Some 200 Palestinian rioters are throwing stones and firebombs at IDF forces near the West Bank village of Halhul, north of Hebron.
There are no immediate reports of injuries.
The soldiers are responding with riot dispersal means, according to the IDF.
Riots are also reported near Bethlehem, Tulkarem and Beit Ummar, northwest of Hebron.
PA, Jordan to insist on Waqf control of Jewish visits to Temple Mount
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordanian King Abdullah II are expected to make a joint demand that Israel return the status on the Temple Mount to the time before the infamous visit of the late prime minister Ariel Sharon in September 2000, when the Waqf was responsible for Jewish visitors’ access to the holy site.
Palestinian sources tell The Times of Israel that Abbas will tell US Secretary of State John Kerry during their meeting in Amman tomorrow that he is interested in renewing peace talks with Israel and abiding by previous agreements, but that Jerusalem must first freeze all settlement activity and release the 26 Palestinian prisoners it had agreed to free last year as part of a US-brokered concession to Abbas.
Israel had agreed to release a total of 104 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails in four rounds and went through with three of the four releases before talks collapsed in April 2014.
Senior Palestinian officials also told The Times of Israel that Israel had tried to create friction between Jordan and the Palestinian Authority by conveying messages to King Abdullah II, warning him that Abbas’s inciting statements endangered Jordanian interests on the Temple Mount.
Abbas is also expected to demand deeper American involvement in any renewed political process with Israel and warned that if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continued with his current policies, he was dooming the region to more violence and bloodshed.
When asked if they understood that meeting their demands would spell the end of the Netanyahu-led government, the sources said the Israeli PM must choose between his government and a willingness to make peace.
— Avi Issacharoff
Israeli suspected of beating man he mistook for potential attacker
An Israeli man is suspected of beating a person he thought to be a potential Arab attacker carrying a firearm in Jerusalem sometime last night.
The victim, an armed Israeli Jewish man, was hit repeatedly with a metal rod and is said to be hospitalized in moderate condition.
The suspect is a 28-year-old ultra-Orthodox man, according to Walla.
He was taken into custody and released to house arrest today.
Both sides must show leadership, restraint, says EU foreign policy chief
The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, says Israelis and Palestinians must show leadership and restraint amid the current wave of violence.
In remarks after a series of meetings in Berlin, including with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mogherini says “showing leadership and acting with a certain degree of restraint is not only a responsibility the two leaderships have to their own people, but also to the regional and the international communities.”
She adds that in her meeting with the Israeli PM, she received a “clear commitment reaffirming that he wants to guarantee the status quo in the holy sites.”
In a statement released to the press, she also says that a deescalation of the situation must also go hand in hand with a political process.
“It is not Phase 1 and Phase 2; the two have to go together even more now than before. Without a political horizon, the situation is not going to calm down,” she says.
At least 42 dead in France traffic accident
At least 42 people, most of them elderly, were killed when a coach collided with a truck in southwestern France early Friday, a fire service official says.
All but one of the victims were passengers on the coach, while the other fatality was the driver of the truck, local authorities in the prefecture of Gironde said.
The two vehicles collided head-on near the village of Puisseguin north of Bordeaux. The crash is the deadliest in France since 1982.
“The French government has fully mobilized after this terrible tragedy,” President Francois Hollande said from Athens, where he is on an official visit.
Five passengers — who managed to escape from the coach, which had caught fire — sustained light injuries. Three others were unharmed, local authorities said.
Several emergency vehicles were dispatched to the scene.
The coach, which was carrying 49 passengers and a driver, had departed early Friday from a village near the site of the accident to take its elderly passengers out on an excursion.
A resident tells TV channel I-tele that the crash occurred at a turn known to locals as dangerous.
Police thwart potential attack in Jerusalem neighborhood
Police say officers thwarted a potential attack in Jerusalem’s Nof Zion neighborhood in East Jerusalem.
According to police, residents spotted a suspicious-looking person who seemed to be surveying homes in the area and called for help.
A Border Police patrol unit that arrived found the man and surrounded him, asking him to show them his hands.
Police say the man refused to show his right hand, which he kept behind his back, and asked the officers to let him return to his home.
When, moments later, he finally agreed to display his right hand, he kept it in a fist.
One of the officers subdued the man and discovered a knife up his sleeve, according to the police, who said the man was a 21-year-old resident of Jabel Mukaber.
Abbas to ask Kerry for international protection for Palestinians
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to ask US Secretary of State John Kerry for international protection for Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank, during their scheduled meeting in Amman, Jordan, tomorrow, according to Palestinian sources cited by Israel Radio.
Report: Israel breached Iranian airspace in 2012
Israel violated Iranian airspace in 2012 in what was perceived by the US as a dry run for a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, even as American officials concealed secret nuclear talks with Tehran, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The newspaper says the US had “closely monitored Israel’s military bases and eavesdropped on secret communications” during 2012, fearing that the Jewish state was planning an attack on the Fordo nuclear site of its long-standing enemy.
The report paints an image of two long-term allies increasingly suspicious of each other, who kept their own secrets and hid their covert activities.
According to the report, “[n]erves frayed at the White House” when the US discovered Israeli air activity over Iran, and Washington dispatched an aircraft carrier to the Mideast and also prepared attack aircraft, in case, as one senior American official told the Journal, “all hell broke loose.”
As the Obama administration held its backdoor talks with Iran in Oman, US intelligence was monitoring Israeli communications to ensure that Jerusalem was unaware of the meetings, the Journal said. But in a September 2013 encounter at the White House, Yaakov Amidror, then national security adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, revealed to American counterpart Susan Rice that Israel had identified unmarked US government airplanes in Muscat where the covert talks were being held.
Rice had called Amidror to the White House to inform him that US President Barack Obama was at that time holding a historic phone call with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani.
We are coming for you, Islamic State warns in new Hebrew video to Israelis
The Islamic State terror group posts a video in Hebrew supposedly addressed to an Israeli audience warning that “not one Jew will be left alive” in the country.
A masked man in green fatigues faces the camera and speaks in fluent, if slightly French-accented, Hebrew.
“This is a message to all the Jews, who are the Muslims’ No. 1 enemy,” he says.
“The real war has not begun and everything you have experienced so far has been child’s play — nothing compared to what will happen to you soon enough, inshallah [God willing].”
“We promise you that soon, not one Jew will be left [alive] in Jerusalem or across Israel and we will continue until we eradicate this disease [Judaism?] from the world,” he goes on.
“Look at what has happened to you in a few vehicular and stabbing attacks from our brothers in Palestine,” he mocks. “You lost your minds and started fearing every driver that sped up. You were even scared of every person carrying something in their hand.
“What will happen to you when tens of thousands [of Muslim fighters] arrive from across the world to slaughter you?” he wonders.
“The borders of Sykes-Picot will not protect you, and like we blurred the borders between Syria and Iraq, we will do so between Syria and Jordan and then Syria and Palestine,” he says in reference to the 1916 secret agreement between France and and the UK to divide the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire.
“This isn’t just talk,” he says — if one wasn’t yet convinced that the Islamic State doesn’t just talk. “We will advance towards you from everywhere, from the north and the south, from Sinai, from everywhere.
“We see your crimes every day and we will settle scores,” he says, before pulling out a knife from his vest and citing a verse from the Koran promising victory to Muslims.
West Bank stabber is Palestinian teen from Hebron area
The Palestinian stabber who lightly injured an IDF soldier at a checkpoint in Gush Etzion this morning is said to be a 16-year-old resident of the West Bank village of Surif, near Hebron.
No age restrictions for Muslim worshipers on Temple Mount, say police
The Israel Police says that Muslim prayers on the Temple Mount will not be subject to age restrictions today.
In the past, police have sometimes limited access to male worshipers over 40 years of age to avoid potential violence. Female worshipers are not typically subject to age restrictions.
IDF soldier hurt in attack reportedly a Bedouin tracker
The 20-year-old IDF soldier lightly hurt in the stabbing attack in Gush Etzion this morning is said to be a Bedouin tracker.
He was in the West Bank as part of military “operational activity,” according to the IDF.
The soldier was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem for treatment, after sustaining stab wounds to his upper body.
IDF confirms Israeli injured in stabbing attack is a soldier
The Israel Defense Forces confirms that the Israeli man lightly injured in the stabbing attack in Gush Etzion this morning is a 20-year-old IDF soldier.
Israeli man stabbed in West Bank attack sustains wounds to upper body
Magen David Adom medical services say the Israeli man injured in the stabbing attack in Gush Etzion moments ago is in light condition after sustaining stab wounds to his upper body.
He is being treated at the scene.
The attack occurred near the checkpoint in the area of Tzomet Gvaot in the West Bank.
Israeli lightly hurt in stabbing attack in West Bank
An Israeli man is stabbed in Gush Etzion in the West Bank.
The attacker is reportedly shot in the leg and subdued.
Paramedics are on the scene.