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Israel rejects Jordan’s criticism over Temple Mount clashes, blames Waqf: report

Islamic trust accused of deliberately pushing Muslim worshipers to stay in holy compound, prevent Jews from entering, sparking the tensions

Palestinian Muslims shout at Israeli security forces (unseen) in the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem on August 11, 2019. (Photo by Ahmad GHARABLI / AFP)
Palestinian Muslims shout at Israeli security forces (unseen) in the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem on August 11, 2019. (Photo by Ahmad GHARABLI / AFP)

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

Jews allowed back into Temple Mount following clashes

Police decide to let Jews enter the Temple Mount for the second time today, at the time when afternoon visits normally begin, following clashes this morning with Palestinian rioters.

Thus far the visits are quieter than in the morning since there are significantly fewer Muslim worshipers inside the flashpoint site. Some are calling “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) in the direction of the Jewish visitors.

Norway mosque shooting ‘attempted act of terror’ — police

The shooting at a mosque near Oslo is being treated as an “attempted act of terror,” Norwegian police say, with the suspect appearing to harbor far-right, anti-immigrant views.

“We are looking at an attempted act of terror,” acting chief of the police operation Rune Skjold tells a press conference after yesterday’s incident left one man injured.

— AFP

Gantz says he may agree to rotation deal with Netanyahu if he’s PM first

After repeatedly insisting over the last six months that he would not agree to sit in a government alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu due to pending corruption charges against the premier, Blue and White chief Benny Gantz admits that he may agree if the premier offers him a rotation deal in which Gantz leads the country for two years, then Netanyahu.

“I don’t think Netanyahu would have taken that risk, but had he offered a rotation with me being first, we could start talking about that,” Gantz tells the Ynet website.

Jordan slams ‘barefaced Israeli violations’ in Temple Mount

The Jordanian Foreign Ministry slams Israel for using force against Palestinians at the flashpoint Jerusalem holy site known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

“The Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ministry condemns the continuation of barefaced Israeli violations against the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the last of which was Israeli forces’ aggression against worshipers and members of the Jerusalem Awqaf’s administrative staff in the noble sanctuary,” Sufyan Qudah, the ministry’s spokesman, says in a statement.

Palestinian Muslims shout at Israeli security forces (unseen) in the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem on August 11, 2019. (Photo by Ahmad GHARABLI / AFP)

Clashes broke out between Palestinians and Israeli police forces on the Temple Mount this morning.

According to the Israel Police, thousands of Muslim worshipers gathered near the Mughrabi Gate during the morning and began throwing rocks and other objects at police forces.

Police said it decided to clear those rioting on the Temple Mount with “dispersal means.”

Qudah also says that Jordan sent a letter of protest to Israel through official diplomatic channels and called on it to “respect the sanctity of the mosque and the feelings of the worshipers.”

Sunday marks both the start of Eid al-Adha, an Islamic holiday commemorating the end of the annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, and the Jewish fast day of Tisha B’Av, when Jews mourn the destruction of the temples that once stood on the Temple Mount and other disasters in Jewish history.

— Adam Rasgon

Incendiary balloon from Gaza sparks fire in southern Israel

A balloon-borne incendiary device launched from the Gaza Strip has sparked a fire in southern Israel amid rising tensions along the border, the local fire department says.

The blaze in the Sha’ar Hanegev region was quickly extinguished and did not spread, a spokesperson for the fire department says.

“An investigator from the Ashkelon Station of the Fire and Rescue Services determined that the fire was caused by an incendiary balloon,” the spokesman says.

— Judah Ari Gross

Poland honors controversial wartime group that collaborated with Nazis

Polish officials have joined war veterans to pay tribute to a World War II-era underground force that collaborated with Nazi German forces for a time toward the end of the war in their battle against Communists imposing control on the nation.

A Mass in Warsaw opens ceremonies honoring the Holy Cross Mountains Brigade of the National Armed Forces on the 75th anniversary of its formation.

President Andrzej Duda’s official patronage and the presence of ruling party officials underline the right-wing government’s rehabilitation of a unit celebrated by the far right.

The ceremonies were criticized by children of Polish resistance fighters and Poland’s chief rabbi, who rejected an invitation and called it “a personal insult.”

Poland had a large underground Home Army that never collaborated with the Germans.

— AP

Erdan says record 1,729 Jews entered Temple Mount in one day

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan’s office says 1,729 Jews entered the Temple Mount today compared with 1,440 last year on Tisha B’Av, the fast day in which Jews mourn the destruction of the temples and other tragedies.

The number is a new record for a single day, though it should be noted that the visits today consisted of entering the holy compound and immediately being ushered by police officers towards another gate to exit it.

Erdan praises police for their work securing the flashpoint site, and adds that his policy has been to let any Jew and any visitor enter it — subject to a security assessment — and to “strengthen Israeli sovereignty on the mount.”

He says the number of Jews entering the Temple Mount has quadrupled in the last four years.

Clashes erupt in Arad after police raid warehouse that was turned into synagogue

Clashes erupt between policemen and ultra-Orthodox men in the southern city of Arad, after officers raided a warehouse belonging to a local youth group that was allegedly broken into and turned into a synagogue.

The Arad municipality says teenagers from the Hebrew Scouts Movement in Israel came and found the place locked from the inside, with air conditioning and noise inside. When they knocked on the door, everything went silent and they alerted authorities.

The municipality says officers and other officials came today to break the locks and return the structure to its owners. That sparked clashes with protesters who lightly injured the municipality director and a councilwoman. One ultra-Orthodox man was arrested.

Iran calls Israel ‘terrorists’ over arrests of Muslims on Temple Mount

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweets a photo of Israeli police officers arresting Muslim women today as they were clearing the Temple Mount of rioters trying to prevent Jews from entering the holy compound on the fast day of Tisha B’Av, which coincides with the Islamic Eid al-Adha festival.

He calls it a “crime” and “tyranny,” and calls the Israeli leadership “terrorists.”

‘World-famous’ woman says Israeli welfare took her baby — report

Army Radio reports that a woman “famous around the world” who “fled” to Israel to give birth has had her daughter taken away from her by welfare authorities.

The unnamed woman tells the news outlet that the baby was taken from a friend who was taking care of her for the night, and only the next day was she notified by a text message that the baby had been taken away.

“I want to tell the family who has her: Don’t get used to it. I am fighting for her and I will get her back,” she says.

The friend, who also hasn’t been named, says she and the mother had been taking care of the baby together, and “everything was perfect” until welfare took her. “She is perfectly capable of taking care of the girl alone,” she in quoted as saying.

Court forbids gender segregation in concert planned by Afula municipality

The Nazareth District Court accepts a petition by the Israel Women’s Network against the municipality of the northern city of Afula over a musical performance planned for next week at a public park with gender segregation in the audience.

The ruling forbids organizers from seating men and women separately during the performance, saying it harms the principle of equality.

The women’s rights group that filed the petition praises the decision, saying that “the public space is open to all.”

Gantz says he’ll aim for unity government without Netanyahu, ‘clarifying’ earlier remarks

Blue and White party leader issues a “clarification” after saying earlier that he would be open to a rotation deal with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if Gantz is premier first.

In his statement, Gantz says he will strive to form a unity government with Likud that doesn’t include Netanyahu, who is facing pending corruption charges.

On visit, IDF chief praises soldiers who foiled Palestinian attack on Gaza border

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi visits troops who foiled an attack on the Gaza border by four Palestinians armed with rifles, grenades and RPGs, who were shot dead attempting to infiltrate Israel.

“Your job is to defend the state’s borders and its citizens and that is what you did here, very successfully, due to a quick assessment, precise use of weapons, a correct solution, fighting spirit and determination,” he says.

Russian media oversight agency complains that YouTube facilitates protests

Russia’s media oversight agency is demanding that Google take actions to stop its YouTube subsidiary from allowing users to send information about unsanctioned demonstrations.

Police officers detain a woman during an unsanctioned rally in the center of Moscow, Russia on July 27, 2019. (AP/Pavel Golovkin)

The move by the agency Roskomnadzor comes after weeks of demonstrations in Moscow over the exclusion of some opposition and independent politicians from the Russian capital’s city council ballot.

More than 200 people were reported arrested yesterday after some participants in an authorized rally moved into the heart of the city.

Roskomnadzor says it complained to Google about unspecified “structures” allegedly using YouTube channels to send push-notifications about unsanctioned gatherings, “including those aimed at disrupting elections.”

The agency says that if Google does not address the issue, the company’s response would be considered interference in Russia’s affairs and Russia will have the right to retaliate.

— AP

Jordanian FM claims Israel’s ‘absurd actions’ an attempt to change status quo

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi claims Israel is trying to alter the sensitive status quo in the contested holy sites in Jerusalem over clashes between police and Muslim rioters who attempted to block Jews from entering the Temple Mount on the fast day of Tisha B’Av, which coincided with the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha.

“We completely condemn Israel’s violations of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque,” Safadi says in an Arabic-language tweet. “The occupation authorities’ absurd actions and attempts to change the status quo in occupied Jerusalem will only lead to the conflict being exacerbated and the situation blowing up…We call on the international community to assume its responsibilities and pressure Israel to stop its violations.”

Safadi also posts a statement in English, which is slightly differently worded.

Islamic Jihad calls for ‘escalation’ against Israel after Temple Mount clashes

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group calls for an escalation of attacks on Israeli targets in response to its “terrorism” on the Temple Mount, saying today’s events require the formulation of a “national position” on the matter.

“The occupation’s crimes in Jerusalem, Gaza and the rest of Palestine require a national position to escalate the confrontation,” the group says in a statement, according to Islamic Jihad-linked Palestine Today. “We salute our people in Jerusalem and the occupied lands of ’48 who are defending the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

“We call for an escalation of rising up and resisting the occupation as the sole option to defeating its arrogance and responding to its terrorism and aggression,” it continues. “The Zionist enemy is attempting to impose a plan to take complete control of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and divide it. We hold the Zionist enemy fully responsible for the ramifications of its aggression and crimes and we affirm that what it is doing will be met with a Palestinian response. The resistance will continue to operate despite all the forms of oppression and terrorism the enemy practices.”

— Adam Rasgon

Arab MK Tibi says he doesn’t accept ‘any Jewish presence’ at Temple Mount

Ahmad Tibi, a lawmaker with the Joint List alliance of Arab and Arab-majority parties, tells Channel 13: “I don’t accept any attempt to pray or Jewish presence in the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

MK Ahmad Tibi at the Knesset on October 23, 2017. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

He is referring to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the holiest site for Jews and the third-holiest for Muslims, where police clashed this morning with Palestinian rioters who had tried to block Jews from entering the site on the fast day of Tisha B’Av, which coincides this year with the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha.

Tibi entered the Temple Mount this morning, despite a ban on all MKs from entering the contested compound, and was hit with tear gas during police’s efforts to enable the Jews’ entry.

‘Zero leadership, zero governance’: Smotrich rails against ‘weak’ Netanyahu

United Right MK Bezalel Smotrich launches a broadside attack against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling him a “weak prime minister” who is not preventing “insanity” he says is raging within the justice system, following a controversial court decision to ban the city of Afula from hosting a concert with gender segregation for the local ultra-Orthodox community.

“Zero leadership. Zero governance. Dina Zilber is the real prime minister,” Smotrich — the transportation minister and a member of Netanyahu’s security cabinet — writes on Twitter, referring to the deputy attorney general who has been accused by right-wing politicians of pushing a progressive and activist agenda on the justice system.

Epstein wasn’t closely monitored, left without cellmate before suicide — report

Financier and accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who committed suicide over the weekend, was not closely monitored by prison guards who were supposed to be checking on him every thirty minutes, the New York Times reports, citing a US law enforcement official with knowledge of the detention.

He was also left alone in his cell, with his cellmate moved out, just two weeks after he attempted to take his own life for the first time, the report says.

The move was also said to violate the Metropolitan Correctional Center’s standard protocol.

Dismissing critics, PM says he always intended to let Jews enter Temple Mount

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says in a statement that he had intended from the start to allow Jewish entry into the Temple Mount this morning, dismissing right-wing criticism of his conduct.

“On Thursday, after consultations with all security bodies, I made a decision,” he says. “This year, like all years, Jews will enter the Temple Mount on Tisha B’Av, even when it is a Muslim festival. The question was never whether they would enter, but how to manage it optimally for the public’s safety, and that’s exactly what we did.

“I am not impressed by all the recommendations of the Twitter cabinet,” Netanyahu adds. “Leadership is responsibility and determination. That is how we have acted, and that is how we will continue to act.”

Police publish footage of arrest of suspected murderers of Dvir Sorek

Police release helmet cam footage of Israeli troops from the elite Yamam unit arresting the suspected Palestinian terrorists who stabbed 18-year-old yeshiva student Dvir Sorek to death near the West Bank settlement of Migdal Oz on Friday.

Israel rejects Jordan’s criticism over Temple Mount clashes, blames Waqf: report

Israel has reportedly reacted with outrage following scathing Jordanian criticism of Jerusalem’s handling of events this morning at the Temple Mount, when police officers clashed with Palestinian rioters who tried to prevent Jews from accessing the holy site on the fast day of Tisha B’Av, which coincided this year with the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha.

Jordan has decried “barefaced violations” of the status quo and called for international intervention against Israel.

The Kan public broadcaster says Israel has reacted by placing the blame on the Jordan-run Islamic Waqf, which oversees the site, saying it took deliberate action to have Muslim worshipers entrench themselves inside the compound and stay there long enough to prevent Jews from entering.

The report did not cite a source or specify who in Israel made the rebuke or if and how it was conveyed to Amman.

Muslim authorities have openly admitted that they delayed the start of morning prayers and closed all other mosques in Jerusalem in order to maximize attendance at the Al-Aqsa Mosque at the Temple Mount — with the stated goal of preventing Jews from entering.

Shaked said to reprimand Smotrich over ‘exaggerated’ attacks on Netanyahu

United Right chairwoman Ayelet Shaked has reprimanded her party member Bezalel Smotrich for his attacks on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling them exaggerated, the Kan public broadcaster reports.

“That kind of style doesn’t serve the campaign in any way,” Shaked reportedly says after Smotrich called Netanyahu “weak” and said he was displaying “zero leadership,” following a court decision to forbid a concert for the ultra-Orthodox community in Afula with separation between men and women.

The report does not cite a source.

Ayelet Shaked and Bezalel Smotrich (L) attend a Constitution, Law, and Justice, Committee meeting in the Israeli parliament on July 9, 2017 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Iran’s navy chief warns any Israeli presence in Gulf could ‘spark war’

The commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s navy, Alireza Tangsiri, warns that “any illegitimate presence by the Zionists in the waters of the Persian Gulf could spark a war,” according to the Al-Mayadeen Lebanese website.

The remark follows reports and statements about Israel potentially taking part in a US-led international mission to secure Western vessels crossing the Strait of Hormuz, after Iran seized several oil tankers amid escalating tensions over US sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Tangsiri warns that “whenever our commanders wish so, they are able to detain any ship, even if it is accompanied by American and British forces.”

Islamic Revolution Guards Corps commander Alireza Tangsiri. (Screen capture/YouTube)
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Police publish footage of arrest of suspected murderers of Dvir Sorek

Police release helmet cam footage of Israeli troops from the elite Yamam unit arresting the suspected Palestinian terrorists who stabbed 18-year-old yeshiva student Dvir Sorek to death near the West Bank settlement of Migdal Oz on Friday.