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Parents protest as shocking videos of daycare abuse surface

Footage shows woman who runs private center tying up children, smothering them; charges expected early next week

  • A still from a video showing alleged abuse at a daycare center in Rosh Ha'ayin, released by police on July 4, 2019. (screen capture: Israel Police)
    A still from a video showing alleged abuse at a daycare center in Rosh Ha'ayin, released by police on July 4, 2019. (screen capture: Israel Police)
  • Worka  and Wbjig Tekah hold a picture of their son Solomon Tekah, 19, who was killed by an off duty police officer on July 1, 2019, at their home in the Israeli city of Haifa on July 3, 2019. (Menahem Kahana/AFP)
    Worka and Wbjig Tekah hold a picture of their son Solomon Tekah, 19, who was killed by an off duty police officer on July 1, 2019, at their home in the Israeli city of Haifa on July 3, 2019. (Menahem Kahana/AFP)
  • A woman walks her dog past a satirical drawing of Statue of Liberty on the wall of the former US Embassy in Tehran, Iran, May. 8, 2018. (Vahid Salemi/AP)
    A woman walks her dog past a satirical drawing of Statue of Liberty on the wall of the former US Embassy in Tehran, Iran, May. 8, 2018. (Vahid Salemi/AP)
  • Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan consoles the family of Solomon Tekah, 19, who was shot dead by an off-duty police officer, sparking riots, July 4, 2019 (courtesy)
    Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan consoles the family of Solomon Tekah, 19, who was shot dead by an off-duty police officer, sparking riots, July 4, 2019 (courtesy)
  • Rabbi Shlomo Aviner at the Western Wall in Jerusalem on, January 3, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
    Rabbi Shlomo Aviner at the Western Wall in Jerusalem on, January 3, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
  • An Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) is parked on a sidewalk in Washington, DC, on July 4, 2019.  (Brendan Smialowski / AFP)
    An Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) is parked on a sidewalk in Washington, DC, on July 4, 2019. (Brendan Smialowski / AFP)
  • A US Army driver moves a Bradley Fighting Vehicle into place by the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, ahead of planned Fourth of July festivities with President Donald Trump, on July 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
    A US Army driver moves a Bradley Fighting Vehicle into place by the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, ahead of planned Fourth of July festivities with President Donald Trump, on July 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The Times of Israel liveblogged Thursday’s event as they happened.

Police minister Erdan visits family of teen slain by cop

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan is paying a visit to the family of Solomon Tekah, who was shot by an off duty police officer on Sunday, sparking days of protests in the Ethiopian community.

Erdan, whose ministry is in charge of the police, tells the family, “Millions of citizens are sharing your grief. What happened with Solomon is sad and tragic, and I hope this is the last [such] case.”

He also thanks them for calling on protesters to avoid violence and wait until after the mourning period.

Labor’s Peretz calls for state probe into death of Solomon Tekah

New Labor party leader Amir Peretz is also visiting the family of Solomon Tekah, and calls for a state investigatory body appointed by the Supreme Court to probe the death of the teen.

“This death has shocked us all,” Peretz says.

A video of Peretz’s visit shows a former youth counselor of Tekah chiding the former defense minister for trying to politick on the killing.

“What you are doing here is spin. You are also responsible. You sat in the government when police were shooting and killing Ethiopian youths. I would expect you to beg forgiveness,” he says.

Tusk tries to sell skeptical MEPs on new EU head pick

European Council President Donald Tusk is appealing to hostile lawmakers to endorse a nominee for one of the European Union’s most coveted senior posts amid accusations that he and the bloc’s leaders picked the candidate in a shady backroom deal.

Germany’s Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen attends the opening dinner of the 17th International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-la Dialogue, in Singapore, June 1, 2018, (Yong Teck Lim/AP)

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen was nominated as president of the EU’s powerful executive arm, the European Commission.

But her candidacy has proved controversial and it remains unclear whether the assembly will endorse her.

Tusk says that “we managed to make these decisions on time, and actually much more quickly than five years ago. I believe they are good choices.”

European Council President Donald Tusk speaks during a debate on conclusions of the previous European Council Summit during a plenary session at the European Parliament on July 4, 2019 in Strasbourg, eastern France. (FREDERICK FLORIN / AFP)

“We must respect each other and cooperate with each other, because only then can we build trust and change Europe for the better,” Tusk tells the European Parliament, sitting this week in Strasbourg, France.

— Agencies

Female politicians pan rabbi for saying women have no place in politics

Former Jewish Home MK Shuli Moalem-Refael says she is “flabbergasted” by Rabbi Shlomo Aviner’s rejection of Ayelet Shaked as a leader of a united right-wing slate because she is a female.

“The presence of women, including religious women, in the public sphere is clear,” she says, according to the Srugim website.

Blue and White MK Orna Barbivai, who was the first female head of an IDF directorate, says Aviner’s comments “will give a motivational push for women on why they should be in politics,” according to Channel 12 news.

In an interview Thursday, Aviner said “the complex world of politics is no place for the female role.”

“Thank you to Rabbi Aviner for reminding me why I got into politics,” Blue and White MK Miki Haimovich tells the Kan broadcaster.

 

Iran-backed militia denounces Iraqi crackdown

One of the largest Iran-backed militias in Iraq is criticizing an order by the prime minister to incorporate the militias into the military and place them under the army’s command.

A statement issued by the Hezbollah Brigades, or Kataib Hezbollah, does not say if the group will abide by Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi’s orders issued this week.

In this June 23, 2017 file photo, supporters of Iraqi Hezbollah brigades, backed by Iran, march on a representation of an Israeli flag with a portrait of late Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini and Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in Baghdad, Iraq. (AP/Hadi Mizban)

It suggests, however, that “criminalizing the mujahedeen” and harming them directly or indirectly may hurt “those elements supporting the security effort.”

The group, which has close ties to Iran, says the government’s foremost responsibility is to remove what it describes as US occupation forces and their business affiliates, which constitute a “major threat” to Iraqi security.

— AP

Justin Amash quits GOP, slams two-party hegemony

Michigan lawmaker Justin Amash, the first person of Palestinian descent to serve in US Congress, says he is quitting the Republican Party, saying he’s grown disenchanted with America’s two-party system.

In an op-ed in the Washington Post, Amash cites the “hyperpartisan environment” in Washington as his reason for leaving the party.

“Modern politics is trapped in a partisan death spiral, but there is an escape,” he writes. “Most Americans are not rigidly partisan and do not feel well represented by either of the two major parties. In fact, the parties have become more partisan in part because they are catering to fewer people, as Americans are rejecting party affiliation in record numbers.”

US Rep. Justin Amash arrives at the Capitol before the House passed the Republicans’ bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, May 4, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/JTA)

“No matter your circumstance, I’m asking you to join me in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us. I’m asking you to believe that we can do better than this two-party system — and to work toward it. If we continue to take America for granted, we will lose it,” he adds.

Amash notes his father, a Palestinian refugee from Bethlehem, “would remind my brothers and me of the challenges he faced before coming here and how fortunate we were to be Americans.”

Amash does not mention US President Donald Trump, but in recent months he has been a vocal critic of the president and the party, particularly over allegations in the Mueller report.

According to CNN, Amash may seek the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination.

Budget deficit climbs to NIS 14 billion

New numbers published by the Finance Ministry show the government budget deficit grew to some NIS 14 billion ($3.9 billion) in June.

The number, representing 3.9% of the GDP, is just a slight rise over the 3.8% deficit reported in April and May, but well beyond the 2.9% target set by the treasury.

Former finance minister Yair Lapid, No. 2 in the Blue and White party, says the true deficit is even higher, and calls for a change at the top.

“You can’t solve the deficit while also transferring billions to extortionists and extremists,” he says, in apparent reference to budget demands by the ultra-Orthodox, who are allied with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his treasury chief Moshe Kahlon.

 

 

Pro-Palestinian activist filmed in racist drunk rant found dead

A disgraced anti-Israel activist from Britain who was jailed for staging a rowdy and racist scene aboard an airplane has been found dead in what police are treating as a suicide.

The lifeless body of Simone Burns, 50, also known as Simone O’Broin, was found last month on a beach, the Daily Telegraph reports. Sussex Police confirmed her death “is not being treated as suspicious” and next of kin have been informed, the report says.

Last year, she was filmed threatening to boycott Air India unless she was served more wine on the business class flight from Mumbai to London.

She was filmed spitting in the face of one steward and shouting that she was “an international criminal lawyer for the f***ing Palestinian people” in an inebriated rant.

During her four-minute rant, which was filmed and uploaded to social networks where it went viral, she called a female crew member “Indian f***ing money grabbing bastard,” shouting that she will “turn you inside f***ing out, you f***ing stupid c***s.”

A friend of Burns told the Telegraph that her “world fell apart” following the conviction.

O’Broin co-authored a research paper with former UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk on the human rights situation in the Palestinian territories.

— JTA

Daycare center worker grilled on suspicion of abusing kids

A daycare worker in the Jezreel Valley city of Afula has been questioned by police over suspicions that she abused children in her care, according to Hebrew-language media reports.

The woman was not arrested, but given conditional release and a restraining order to keep her away from the daycare center as the investigation continues.

 

 

Trump hawks his Fourth parade

US President Donald Trump says he’ll “speak on behalf of our great Country” at his “Salute to America” Independence Day event in the nation’s capital.

Trump is set to give remarks in the evening at the Lincoln Memorial. He has ordered the Pentagon to stage military demonstrations, including a flyover of jets, helicopters and other aircraft.

Trump says there will be “large scale flyovers of the most modern … and advanced aircraft anywhere in the World.”

Critics calls Trump’s event a divisive intrusion on a traditionally unifying national holiday and say it’s a waste of money. Trump tweeted Wednesday the cost “will be very little compared to what it is worth.”

— AP

Iran says Trump’s biting warnings toothless

Iran has responded to US President Donald Trump’s tweeted warnings about biting back by baring its own fangs.

“Diplomacy and biting are paradoxical phrases that bear a meaning only in the school of Trumpism,” says Keyvan Khosravi, the spokesman for Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, according to Iran’s Tasnim news agency.

“The US has already bitten the logic of dialogue and diplomacy and has harmed world security by adopting the strategy of unilateralism and withdrawing from the international treaties,” he adds.

He also says that the “US has been biting the Iranian nation for 40 years,” but the best response to Washington is “active resistance.”

Trump on Wednesday responded to Iran threatening to up nuclear enrichment by tweeting “Be careful with the threats, Iran. They can come back to bite you like nobody has been bitten before!”

 

Jewish Home says women do have a place in politics

The Jewish Home party has responded to comments from Rabbi Shlomo Aviner rejecting women having leadership roles in politics by touting its commitment to equality but stops short of condemning his remarks.

In a statement, the national religious party, many of whose members are followers of Aviner, notes that it has a women’s caucus and almost half of its activists are women.

“The party has spots reserved for women in order to advance their proper representation in the Knesset. Religious Zionism is made up of many different stripes and worldviews, but we know how to act as one party when needed. We believe women have an important place in Israeli enterprise,” the statement reads.

 

Trump cheers Amash’s departure from GOP

US President Donald Trump is taking time out of his July 4 schedule to celebrate Michigan Rep. Justin Amash leaving the Republican Party.

Trump in a tweet calls Amash “one of the dumbest & most disloyal men in Congress.”

Amash has been critical of Trump in recent months, but did not mention the president in his op-ed announcing his departure from the party, which he attributed to hyperpartisan politics.

“A total loser!” Trump says.

Abbas bashes ‘big lie’ Bahrain conference as Kushner nothingburger

PA leader Mahmoud Abbas has slammed the Bahrain conference as without substance, in sharply worded comments to Palestinian journalists.

Bahrain “began with a speech by [Jared] Kushner and ended with a speech by Kushner. If any of you understood anything more, tell me please because I didn’t understand anything that went on there…,” he said Wednesday night.

The Bahrain conference “came and went. Some of the Arabs were present and some weren’t. Some of the Europeans were present and some weren’t. But ultimately, it was a big lie that Kushner and others invented,” he added.

Amid NBA comeback rumors, Amare hints he is leaving Hapoel

Former NBA star Amare Stoudemire is hinting his time with the Hapoel Jerusalem basketball team may be drawing to a close.

In an Instagram post, the part owner and player says he is “looking forward to the new challenges in my basketball career,” and includes the hashtag #TheReturn, leading to speculation he may be eyeing an NBA comeback.

Stoudemire, 36, played 14 years in the NBA, mostly with the Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks, and was a six-time all star.

He moved to Israel in 2016 to play for Hapoel after exploring his roots here and led the team to a championship in 2017.

Since 2018, he has also been playing in the BIG3 league in the US, which features three-on-three hoops.

On Tuesday, ESPN reported that he would work out for five teams in the NBA in the hopes of joining a squad.

Lawyer for cop who killed teen says he acted in self defense, slams ‘lies’

The lawyer for a police officer who shot and killed 19-year-old Solomon Tekah, setting off days of widespread protests, insists his client acted in self defense.

He says the officer was with his family when an altercation occurred with Tekah and others that placed him and his family in danger.

“If he had not acted how he did, it’s possible my client would be dead and his family would be harmed,” attorney Yair Nedashi says.

He says the officer did not aim his gun at Tekah or anyone else and did not act out of racist motivation against the Ethiopian-Israeli teen.

Worka and Wbjig Tekah hold a picture of their son Solomon Tekah, 19, who was killed by an off duty police officer on July 1, 2019, at their home in the Israeli city of Haifa on July 3, 2019. (MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP)

“Enough with the lies and the threats. Let the authorities finish their investigation,” he says. He also described claims against the officer as a “witch hunt.”

The lawyer says the officer, who has not been named and was placed under house arrest over the killing, is in hiding with his family.

Eyewitnesses to the Sunday night altercation say Tekah never posed a danger to the officer.

Media reports earlier in the week indicated that the cop said he had aimed his gun toward the ground but the bullet ricocheted and hit Tekah, killing him.

Lawyer: Cop is not to blame, he was attacked

Speaking to Channel 12 news, the lawyer for the officer accused of killing Ethiopian-Israeli teen Solomon Tekah says the cop fired at the ground as a warning shot after he and his family were set upon by people throwing rocks at them from close range.

Attorney Yair Nedashi insists the officer had no choice but to fire at the ground, because shooting in the air would have been more dangerous.

He claims the officer called police for backup before using his weapon.

He says his client regrets the deadly results, but does not take blame and had no intention of hurting anyone.

“He is not to blame, he did what he had to,” Nedashi says.

EU to meet with nuke deal signatories over Iran enrichment

The European Union says it’s in contact with signatories of the Iran nuclear agreement and will discuss with them what steps to take should the country ramp up uranium enrichment this weekend.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says Tehran will increase its enrichment of uranium to “any amount that we want” beginning on Sunday, ramping up pressure on European nations to save the faltering nuclear deal from the damage inflicted by US sanctions.

A spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini — a guarantor of the 2015 pact — says “we’ve called on Iran to reverse these steps and to refrain from further measures that would undermine the nuclear agreement.”

— AP

Iran summons British ambassador over stopped tanker

Iran has summoned the British ambassador after authorities in Gibraltar intercepted a super tanker believed to be breaching European Union sanctions by carrying a shipment of Iranian crude oil.

In a Thursday tweet, spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry Abbas Mousavi says Rob Macaire was summoned over the “illegal interception” of the ship.

Spain’s caretaker foreign minister says the tanker was stopped by British authorities following a request from the United States.

Gibraltar’s port and law enforcement agencies, assisted by Britain’s Royal Marines, boarded the Grace 1 early Thursday, authorities on the British overseas territory at the tip of Spain say in a statement.

The tanker was carrying Iranian crude oil to war-ravaged Syria.

— AP

Eisenkot praised for modest leadership at IDC graduation

Former IDF chief Gadi Eisenkot is praised as a force of quiet strength at a graduation ceremony at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, where he receives an honorary doctorate.

“An undeployed power can also be a deterrent,” IDC founder Urial Reichman says, praising Eisenkot for “statesmanship and values in a time of darkness.”

“Strong leadership can be both modest and impressive,” he adds.

Sheldon Adelson, right, at a graduation ceremony at IDC in Herzliya on July 4, 2019. (Shalom Yerushalmi/ Times of Israel)

Also receiving an honorary doctorate is American casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who donated money for IDC’s School of Entrepreneurship.

— with Shalom Yerushalmi

Holocaust survivor Eva Kor dies at 85

Holocaust survivor Eva Kor, who championed forgiveness even for those who carried out the Holocaust atrocities, has died.

The CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center she founded in Indiana released a statement saying Kor died Thursday morning in Krakow, Poland, during an annual museum trip. She was 85.

Auschwitz survivor Eva Kor sits in a court room in Lueneburg, northern Germany, Tuesday, April 21, 2015. (Julian Stratenschulte/Pool Photo via AP)

Kor, a Jewish native of Romania, was sent in 1944 to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where most of her family was killed. She and her twin sister survived, but were subjected to inhumane medical experiments.

Former inmate and Mengele twin, Eva Mozes Kor walks the grounds at Auschwitz in 2007, on one of her many trips there as a lecturer. (courtesy)

Kor was a longtime resident of Terre Haute, Indiana. In 1985, she founded CANDLES, or Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiments Survivors.

Museum officials say the center will be closed until Tuesday in honor of Kor’s memory.

A public memorial service is planned.

— AP

Forecasters predict rain on Trump’s parade

The US National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for parts of the nation’s capital and the Maryland and Virginia suburbs hours before the Independence Day celebration on the National Mall is set to begin.

The watch is active until 8 p.m., which would stretch into the evening when President Donald Trump plans to speak from the Lincoln Memorial. Military flyovers also are on the schedule.

People march in the Independence Day parade in Washington, DC, on July 4, 2019. (SAUL LOEB / AFP)

The Weather Service says storms are expected to develop early afternoon and there may be torrential rains. It says there’s a chance of flash flooding.

Trump has promised his “Salute to America” will be the “show of a lifetime” for revelers who flock to the National Mall. Critics call Trump’s event a waste of money.

— AP

Survivor Kor remembered as kind, incredible

Tributes are pouring in for Holocaust survivor Eva Kor, who died Thursday at age 85.

“It is more than just ‘a breaking news’. It is a devastating one as one more survivor stopped sharing the story,” the Auschwitz Memorial and Museum says.

Kor died while in Poland as part of an annual trip to the former Nazi death camp with the CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center she founded.

One of the people on the trip with CANDLES writes that she “will never, ever forget these moments I’m experiencing right now.”

Kor “was truly one of the most unique and incredible people I’ve ever met. She always had a smile on her face,” tweets Florida first lady Janet Holcomb.

The Faces of Auschwitz project, which collects testimonies of those who survived the death camp, says Kor was “one of the kindest and bravest women we have ever met.”

 

 

Report: Mossad chief bought expensive cigars for PM

Channel 12 news reports that Hadas Klein, a former assistant to Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan, testified that current Mossad chief Yossi Cohen also said he bought Netanyahu expensive cigars and was not reimbursed.

According to the report , Klein told investigators that Cohen, who was formerly national security adviser under Netanyahu, said he spent NIS 1,800 ($500) on the cigars, and was unhappy that the prime minister did not intend to pay him back.  He said it was the first and last time he would buy them.

One of the three corruption cases against Netanyahu involves Milchan and others buying expensive gifts for Netanyahu and his family, including cigars and champagne.

A spokesperson for Netanyahu says Klein’s testimony is a lie. Cohen also denies the report to Channel 12.

Parents protest after videos emerge of daycare worker abusing kids

Dozens of parents, children and others are protesting outside a home daycare center in the central city of Rosh Ha’ayin, where videos published Thursday showed caretaker Carmel Mouda abusing children, as others stood by and watched.

The videos show Mouda, who managed the private Baby Love daycare center, tying up children, force-feeding them, smothering kids under blankets who refuse to fall asleep, and grabbing them roughly.

Mouda has been questioned by police, who plan to file charges against her and her parents — accused of being accomplices — according to Channel 13 news.

A parent who sent her child to the center tells the television channel that she hopes the daycare manager is sentenced to death. “I can dream,” she says, holding back tears.

Ynet reports that some parents tried to watch the videos but had to stop part of the way through.

“I’m in shock,” a parent tells the news site. “My son is in almost every video tied to a chair or [tied up] on the floor, and this isn’t even everything. The police showed me even worse videos.”

Powerful quake shakes southern California

A 6.6 magnitude earthquake has rattled southern California, the most powerful temblor to strike the area in years.

There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The quake is centered in the remote Searles Valley, outside of Bakersfield.

Rights group warns second Egyptian politician may die in jail

A rights group is warning that a former Egyptian presidential candidate may die in prison due to medical neglect, meeting the same fate as former president Mohamed Morsi, who collapsed in court last month after having spent almost six years behind bars.

The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies alleges that Egyptian authorities are deliberately denying Abdel-Moneim Aboul Fotouh, who was a viable contender in Egypt’s first genuine presidential race of 2012, “direly-needed healthcare” for his chronic illnesses. The statement adds that the 68-year-old politician is facing “imminent death.”

Aboul Fotouh was arrested in February 2018, after voicing harsh criticism of the ruling regime of president Abdel-Fattah El-Sissi.

The statement says he has diabetes, hypertension and chronic heart and prostate conditions that require surgeries.

— AP

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Live updates (closed)

Powerful quake shakes southern California

A 6.6 magnitude earthquake has rattled southern California, the most powerful temblor to strike the area in years.

There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The quake is centered in the remote Searles Valley, outside of Bakersfield.