The Times of Israel liveblogged Friday’s events as they happened.
Funerals begin for 7 of 10 students killed in flash flood
Seven of the 10 students killed in flash floods during a hike in the Dead Sea area will be buried today.
The 10 students were part of a group of 25 students on a hike organized by the Bnei Zion pre-military academy, and were set to attend its program in the coming year.
Rivlin: ‘How much sorrow is sweeping the nation this morning’
President Reuven Rivlin sends his condolences to the families of the 10 students killed yesterday in flash floods during a hike with a pre-military academy they were set to attend.
“How much sorrow is sweeping the nation this morning,” says Rivlin on Friday. “We lost wonderful children, the best of our youth. Full of promises, full of expectations and [leaving us with] a broken heart.”
Rivlin thanks the rescue crews, the Israel Defense Forces, the police and volunteers for helping to find the missing students, who were killed when their group was hit by flash floods in Tzafit, a riverbed in the southern Dead Sea area.
“From here I turn to the citizens of Israel and request: Please, go out to hike only after you’ve checked you’re in a safe area. Don’t take unnecessary risks,” he says.
Mother of dead student: They promised everything would be okay
Family and friends attend the funeral of Ella Or, one of 10 students killed in flash floods yesterday while hiking near the Dead Sea.
Or’s mother, Sarit, speaks of the concern she expressed for her daughter’s well-being during the hike and the assurances she received from the guides of the pre-military academy.
“They promised that everything would be okay and secure. But nothing is okay,” she says during the funeral at the Mishor Adumim cemetery.
“You sent me a picture in the morning in the tent and wrote to me not to worry. I asked you not to put too much weight on your back. You haven’t answered me since,” the mother says.
מאות רבות הגיעו להלוויתה של אלה אור בבית העלמין במישור אדומים. שרית אור, אמה של אלה: "בתחילה לא הסכמתי לחתום על טופס האישור לטיול, התקשרתי למדריכה האחראית ולעוד מדריכה ושאלתי כיצד במזג אוויר כזה סוער יוצאים לטיול. אבל לא קבלתי תשובות ברורות. שום דבר לא היה בסדר" @VeredPelman pic.twitter.com/Kb6fWq6llV
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) April 27, 2018
Father of dead student: ‘We have no anger, only love’
Family and friends mourn Tzur Alfi as he is buried in his hometown of Mazkeret Batya. Alfi was one of 10 students killed in flash floods during a hike yesterday near the Dead Sea.
“We have no anger, only love. We embrace all the group from this precious program. Condolences to all the program, we aren’t angry at anyone. Continue hiking and being good,” says Alfi’s father, according to the Ynet news site.
Tzur’s sister Yael recalls how she helped her brother pack for the trip on which he was killed.
“My little brother, only two days ago I helped you pack your backpack for the hike from which you didn’t return. I’m still waiting for someone to tell me it wasn’t you,” she says.
‘You loved to hike in the Land of Israel,’ dad says of daughter killed on trek
The father of one of the 10 students killed yesterday by flash floods during a hike near the Dead Sea remembers his daughter’s optimistic nature and her love for hiking in Israel.
“I was so proud that you were my daughter. You spoke so optimistically about life,” says Ella Or’s father, Itzik, according to Israel Radio.
“You loved to hike in the Land of Israel and the earth of the Land of Israel called for you too quickly, and now we’re burying you too soon,” he adds.
‘What kind of life is this that it is cut off at its bud?’
The father of one of 10 students killed by flash floods during a hike near the Dead Sea yesterday eulogizes his daughter as she is buried in Jerusalem.
“Every morning I would say part of a prayer that I would always dedicate a line [from] to all the family members. I bless every morning and pray that [God] will protect my family. But apparently the holy one, blessed is he, has other plans,” Hadashot TV news reports Yael Sadan as saying.
“What kind of life is this that it is cut off at its bud? Just like that? For no reason? Will I not see my child again, my beloved daughter? I love you, my girl.”
Remand of pre-military academy principal, instructor extended
The Beersheba Magistrate’s Court extends the remand of the principal and an instructor from the Bnei Zion pre-military academy by five days.
The two are suspected of negligent homicide after 10 students were killed yesterday by flash floods near the Dead Sea during a hike organized by the Tel Aviv-based academy.
Border Police guarding section of security wall that collapsed from flooding
Border policemen are guarding a section of the security wall surrounding Jerusalem’s Shuafat refugee camp that collapsed as a result of flash floods yesterday.
“The area is being secured to prevent any security-related incidents and Border Police continue to patrol the area until the security barrier will be secured again,” a police spokesperson says.
עוד אחד מנזקי הסופה: חלק מגדר ההפרדה קרס באזור שועפאט בעקבות השיטפונות pic.twitter.com/Y9Y4dltemQ
— nurit yohanan (@nurityohanan) April 26, 2018
25 Palestinians said injured in weekly Gaza border clashes
Palestinians clash with IDF troops along Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip, with the Hamas-run health ministry reporting 25 people wounded during the demonstrations.
Friday is the fifth consecutive week of mass violent protests on the Gaza border as part of the “March of Return” rallies.
The demonstrations have been encouraged by the Hamas terror group, which controls Gaza and is committed to Israel’s destruction.
UN rights czar slams Israeli response to Gaza clashes, makes no mention of Hamas
The UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights accuses Israel of using excessive force during weekly mass riots along its border with the Gaza Strip.
“Every week, we witness instances of use of lethal force against unarmed demonstrators,” says Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein in a statement. “Warnings by the United Nations and others have seemingly gone unheeded, as the approach of the security forces from week to week does not seem to have changed.”
“The loss of life is deplorable, and the staggering number of injuries caused by live ammunition only confirms the sense that excessive force has been used against demonstrators – not once, not twice, but repeatedly,” he adds.
The statement makes no mention of Hamas, the terror group that runs Gaza and is committed to Israel’s destruction.
Hamas has encouraged the weekly clashes, which have seen protesters burn tires, throw rocks and firebombs at Israeli troops, fly flaming kites over the border, and attempt to destroy the border fence.
Netanyahu: All of Israel mourns the students killed by flood
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says all of Israel mourns the 10 students who were killed by flash foods yesterday while hiking near the Dead Sea.
“In this difficult hour, our hearts are with the families who suffer from their grief, a sorrow of which there is none heavier,” he says.
Regarding the students who died, Netanyahu says “they were full of love for the nation, the land, the people. They just wanted to give.”
“There are no words of comfort apart from the embrace we give to the families, friends and students of the Bnei Zion pre-military academy,” he says. “We’re with you. We’ll always be with you.”
Monitor: Syrian regime strikes kills 17 civilians in Palestinian refugee camp
BEIRUT — Syrian regime air strikes and shelling kill 17 civilians including seven children on Friday in the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk in southern Damascus, a Britain-based monitor says.
Government forces have intensified their bombardment of Yarmouk and surrounding neighborhoods since April 19 as they battle Islamic State group jihadists there, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor says.
Hamas health ministry: 168 injured in border clashes, 45 from live fire
The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry says 168 people have been wounded during border clashes with Israeli troops, including 45 from live fire.
It says of those injured, 85 have been taken to hospital for treatment.
The ministry does not provide information on the circumstances of the injuries.
Suspect arrested during ‘incident’ outside Israel’s NY consulate
A suspect was arrested during an incident outside Israel’s consulate in New York, Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon says.
Nachshon says the suspect was given over to local authorities following his arrest.
The consulate, as well as Israel’s Mission to the UN and Defense Ministry offices, which are all in the same building in mid-town Manhattan, was put on lockdown as a result of the incident, with employees prohibited from exiting the facility.
NY consul general: Staff is OK, morale is high
Israel’s consul general to New York says the mission’s staff are all OK after a suspect was arrested at the entrance to the building during an apparent security incident.
“To all those worried — thanks. All of the consulate general staff in New York are fine. Morale is high,” tweets Dani Dayan.
State of emergency at NY consulate lifted
A state of emergency declared over a suspected security incident at Israel’s consulate in New York is lifted.
The situation at the Consulate of Israel in New York has returned to normal. Thank you all for your concern.
— Israel in New York (@IsraelinNewYork) April 27, 2018
Palestinians throw rocks at IDF vehicle, burn tires along Gaza fence
The Israeli military thwarts what it describes as an attempted mass breach of the security fence in northeastern Gaza by hundreds of Palestinians during clashes along the border.
“The rioters approached the [security] fence, threw explosives, hand grenades, Molotov cocktails and rocks, and attempted to set the fence on fire,” the Israel Defense Forces says.
Video of the incident released by the army shows Palestinians burning tires near the fence and throwing rocks at an armored IDF vehicle.
The IDF says some 10,000 Palestinians took part in this week’s protest at five different locations along the Gaza border, with demonstrators burning tires, throwing stones, flying kites with burning objects and attempting to damage “security infrastructure.”
“IDF troops responded with riot dispersal means and live fire in accordance with the regulations,” the army says. “The IDF works to protect the citizens of Israel and will not allow damage to the defense infrastructure that protects them.”
Hamas ministry says 2 more Palestinians killed in Gaza clashes
The Hamas-run military in Gaza says two more Palestinians have been killed in clashes along the border with Israel, bringing the ministry’s death toll for the day to three.
According to its figures, 349 people have been injured in today’s riots, including 75 from live fire.
It does not provide information on the circumstances of the injuries.
UN envoy hits back at rights czar over Gaza clashes criticism
Israel’s envoy to the United Nations responds to criticism of the IDF’s handling of violent clashes on the Gaza border by Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights.
“The High Commissioner’s decision to condemn a democracy that is diligently defending its sovereignty, while completely ignoring the terrorists of Hamas as they use children for human shields, provides a tailwind for terror and encourages the continued exploitation of civilians,” says Danon in a statement.
“This statement proves once again that the High Commissioner is not focused on human rights, but only with obsessively criticizing Israel,” he adds.
Hamas health ministry: 611 injured in Gaza clashes
The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza says 611 Palestinians have been wounded during clashes on the coastal enclave’s border with Israel.
Of those hurt, 138 were injured by live fire from Israeli troops, the ministry says.
It does not provide details on the circumstances of the injuries.
In Saudi Arabia, Pompeo says Iran ‘destabilizes entire region’
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is using the Middle East leg of his first trip abroad as America’s top diplomat to call for concerted international action to punish Iran for its missile programs.
“Iran destabilizes this entire region,” Pompeo says in brief remarks to journalists with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, taking no questions.
Al-Jubeir says the kingdom “supports the policy of the Trump administration against Iran and to improve the terms of the nuclear agreement with Iran.”