The Times of Israel liveblogged Tuesday’s events as they unfolded.
PM says IDF ‘already implementing’ new measures
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vows to widen efforts to stop terrorism and to curb anti-Israel incitement.
During a visit to the West Bank, the prime minister tells reporters the country’s top security echelon has decided to “significantly increase active protection” on Israel’s streets. “There are very important steps that IDF and security forces are already implementing,” he says.
Netanyahu also speaks of “new technological means” to secure Israeli citizens, acknowledging that this takes time. “I hope to reduce this time,” he promises. “The intention is to use all means available to the State of Israel — it’s a very powerful nation in terms of its army, its security forces and its technology — to significantly increase its security on the streets.”
While he declares safety on Israel’s roads the “main problem,” he also vows to “drastically reduce” terror attacks carried out on pedestrians.
The prime minister also condemns praise for the perpetrators of terror attacks by Palestinians or Israeli Arabs.
During a session of the security cabinet, Netanyahu asks the government’s legal adviser to find ways to punish people who incite against Israel on social media.
“I am not willing to accept that Israeli citizens join in this incitement,” he says. “I can’t accept that in Israeli soccer stadiums in the State of Israel, the flags of the PLO and even Hamas are being waved, and that people spit on policemen. I don’t accept this from Jews, nor from Israeli Arabs – from nobody.”
— Raphael Ahren
Jewish Home MK swears at Arab woman in Old City
Jewish Home MK Moti Yogev was filmed today shouting and swearing at an Arab woman who was walking on a street in the Old City of Jerusalem, and also confronting police officers who tried to secure a pathway for the woman.
“Go to the grave,” Yogev shouts at the woman.
The incident takes place in the Old City’s Hagai Street, where two Israelis were killed in a terror attack on Saturday. A group of Israeli Jews arrived at the scene today for a Torah lesson. MK Yogev was among the participants. When the woman passed next to the group, Yogev shouted at her: “You will not pass here! Only Jews!”
“An Arab who swears at Jews and scorns the family of the murdered will not pass here freely,” Yogev is later quoted as saying by Channel 2. “Any Arab who documented [the murder on their phones] and didn’t help the wounded is an accomplice to murder. Those who want to live in peace, we will live with them in peace. Those who murder or who help murderers – we’ll see to it that their store never opens again. It cannot be that a Jew cannot walk safely in Jerusalem,” he says.
Joint List head ‘won’t set red lines for the Palestinians’
Joint List leader MK Ayman Odeh says he opposes the use of arms but will not “set red lines” for resisting the occupation. Speaking on Army Radio, Odeh says: “I will not set red lines for the Arab nation; they will decide how to fight the occupation. I support the struggle of the Palestinian people to establish a Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel. I will always hold the Israeli occupation to blame; I cannot tell the Palestinians how to fight their fight.”
Jewish Home to hold faction meeting in Old City
Jewish Home leader and Education Minister Naftali Bennett will hold a faction meeting of his party near where a terror attack took place on Saturday.
The party members are expected to repeat demands issued over the last few days: that the government establish a new West Bank settlement as a response to the terror attacks and re-arrest Palestinian terrorists released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal.
The two demands were rejected by the government’s security cabinet in a session held last night.
Gazans test launch 2 rockets into sea
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip fired two rockets into the Mediterranean Sea this morning. Shooting toward the sea indicates that the incident was a test launch for the rockets.
According to Israel Radio there have been several such tests over the past few days.
Palestinians: 3 teens hurt in riot after boy’s funeral
The Palestinian Ma’an news agency reports that three Palestinians were wounded by live bullets during a demonstration that took place after the funeral of a 13-year-old Palestinian who was killed in clashes with the IDF yesterday.
The IDF did not confirm the report.
BREAKING: 3 Palestinians injured with live fire in Bethlehem clashes after 13-year-old's funeral, say medics
— Ma'an News Agency (@MaanNewsAgency) October 6, 2015
Vines belonging to West Bank settler vandalized
A Jewish vineyard owner from the West Bank filed a complaint with Judea and Samaria Police, saying that his vines were vandalized.
A police contingent arrived at the scene and found the plants heavily damaged, with some uprooted completely.
The identity of the perpetrators remains unknown.
PA reportedly paying millions to terror prisoners
The Palestinian Authority has paid hundreds of thousands of shekels to each of the security prisoners held in Israel, according to a report by Israel Radio published today.
Documents attained by the station’s Palestinian affairs reporter show that many of the prisoners are members of Hamas who were responsible for attacks in which Israelis were wounded or killed, and they continue to receive salaries to this day.
Official PA documents published by Israel Radio show that Abdullah Barghouti, who was sentenced to 67 life sentences, received more than a quarter million shekels from the PA.
Ibrahim Hamed, who was the head of the Hamas military wing in the West Bank and was sentenced to 54 life sentences, received NIS 200,000 (c. $50,000) in wages from the PA.
Both were involved in some of the most devastating suicide attacks during the Second Intifada, including the attack in Jerusalem’s Moment Café, at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, at the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem and at the Sheffield Club in Rishon Lezion.
Another man, Muhammad Araman, a Hamas member who serves as head of the prisoners’ organization in jail, received a quarter million shekels until 2012. He is serving 36 life sentences.
Members of the Silwan cell, responsible for several lethal attacks during the previous decade, each received NIS 250,000-NIS 300,000 from the PA.
The documents acquired by Israel Radio also specify salaries for members of the Palestinian Authority’s security sources who perpetrated terror attacks during the Second Intifada and are still being held in Israel.
Ashraf al-Ajrami, former minister for prisoner affairs at the PA, says the money is meant to help the prisoners’ families. He says the Palestinians see the prisoners as heroes and freedom fighters.
Head of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Tzachi Hanegbi tells the station that PA President Mahmoud Abbas is inflaming violence and terrorism by compensating terrorists with money.
Gun used to murder Henkin couple found
Shin Bet says they recovered the M16 used in Thursday night’s attack on the Henkins.
The assault rifle had been hidden in a store owned by one of the suspects arrested in Nablus earlier this week, the security service says.
It was recovered last night in a joint IDF-Shin Bet operation. The investigation is still ongoing.
— Judah Ari Gross
Abbas has no interest in ‘escalation,’ willing to talk
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas says he has no interest in an “escalation” and is ready to talk with Israel.
The remarks came at a meeting of top Palestinian officials on Tuesday over the latest surge in violence.
Abbas says he has told the Israelis that the Palestinians don’t want “military and security escalations.” He says the message has been delivered to Palestinian security forces and activists.
But Abbas also added that “at the same time, we will protect ourselves.”
He urged Israel to stop building settlements, carry out a previously pledged prisoner release and return to peace talks.
Palestinians stone police in Beit Hanina
Palestinians throw stones at police and Border Police forces in the Beit Hanina neighborhood of northern Jerusalem.
The assailants were dispersed without incident by the police.
IDF soldier wounded by rock during riot outside Jerusalem
An IDF soldier was lightly hurt when he was hit in the head by a rock during riots at the Qalandiya checkpoint, near Jerusalem.
Palestinians are throwing rocks at police and soldiers near the checkpoint.
The soldier is being treated by a paramedic and will be evacuated soon to a hospital. He is fully conscious.
Acting police chief says 240 arrested in past 3 weeks
The surge in police presence in Jerusalem will continue until the end of October and probably beyond that, according to an assessment by acting police chief Bentzi Sau.
Sau tells reporters that 2,000 cops were added to secure Jerusalem following the hostilities of the past months. In the past three weeks alone, some 240 rioters were arrested, says the top cop, including some held for throwing rocks.
The commander, who is expected to step down soon when Roni Alshaich, formerly deputy head of the Shin Bet security services, takes his place, says that the police are working with limited resources. “We have trouble recruiting people because if a person needs to choose between being a security guard in a government ministry or a cop, he will prefer the ministry where salaries are higher,” he says.
Sau does not term the violence of the last few weeks a third intifada. “I stick by the facts. There is a decline in the number of casualties this year, but I do not ignore the strong feeling in the public, that security is not as it should be,” he says.
Rock thrower arrested in northeastern Jerusalem
Security forces arrested a Palestinian man in Jerusalem who was throwing rocks at police officers near the Shuafat neighborhood and refugee camps in northeastern Jerusalem.
No officers were wounded in the arrest operation.
Jewish Home MKs threaten to vote against coalition
Jewish Home MKs Uri Ariel and Bezalel Smotrich are threatening to take sanctions against the coalition and may vote against the government unless it takes “far-reaching” steps to fight Palestinian terrorism and to promote settlement in the West Bank, Hebrew-language website NRG reports.
The Jewish Home party is part of the coalition.
Moti Yogev, an MK from the party, decided to move his office to Hagai Street, not far from where Rabbi Nehemia Lavi and Aharon Banita were murdered in a stabbing terror attack on Saturday.
“Jews have walked, walk and will continue to walk without fear in all streets of the unified Jerusalem,” Yogev says.
IDF officer — we failed to nab terror cell before deadly attack
A senior officer in the IDF’s OC Central Command says the wave of terror attacks is not likely to end soon.
“I see a wave of escalation, and there are comments calling to calm the situation coming from the Palestinian side, but I cannot say we are close to the end of this,” the officer says during a situation assessment held in the Samaria Brigade.
Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon were both present at the briefing.
The officer says the latest incidents mark a wave of terror attacks but not a full-scale intifada (popular uprising). “We are still not at a period where it all explodes but during what seems more like waves of terror attacks. There are many ways in which we try to influence this to remain no more than a wave of terrorism and it is not a hundred percent over just yet,” the unnamed officer is quoted saying by the Hebrew-language website NRG.
“It is still not clear how much directing from outside there was in the last terror attack and whether this is a Hamas cell with its own hierarchy,” the officer says, referring to the attack last week in which Eitam and Naama Henkin were shot to death while traveling in their car in the West Bank. The five-member cell arrested on suspicion of having carried out the attack was identified by the Shin Bet security services as Hamas members.
The officer admits that the IDF was aware of the cell and explains that the army failed to arrest its members sooner: “We understand they have been preparing for this over the past few weeks, and when we went to arrest them, they didn’t behave like fugitives and didn’t go underground,” he says.
“We didn’t find guns in the homes where they stayed, and apart from one, the commander of the cell, the other are all normative individuals who never spent time in prison. There are cells out there all the time and ever since the first time this one attempted to carry out a terror attack we tried catching them, but were unsuccessful,” he says.
The Hamas cell is alleged to have carried out two shooting attacks that were unsuccessful and in which no civilians were hurt, before the attack last Thursday in which the young couple were murdered in front of their four children.
Hotovely sits with protesters outside PM’s home
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely – who was appointed by Netanyahu to her position – sat at the protest tent outside the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem today and met there with heads of regional council in the West Bank.
During the meeting Hotovely heard the council heads’ demands to increase security as well as to renew construction in the West Bank.
“This tent was born out of deep shock in the face of murderous terrorism, and it is the duty of the government to do everything we can in order to restore security for residents as well as to return to construction of housing in Judea and Samaria,” Hotovely says at the end of the meeting.
Army says Palestinian youth killed in riot was shot by mistake
An initial IDF investigation conducted at OC Central Command reveals that a Palestinian youth killed yesterday in Bethlehem was shot by troops mistakenly.
Abd a-Rahman Obeid Allah died after he was shot with a small caliber gun used by troops to disperse violent riots.
According to the army, soldiers aimed at a grown person standing near Allah but missed and hit the youth. The boy’s death was an “unexpected result” of the shooting, according to Hebrew-language paper Haaretz. The military says that in two incidents over the past two days where soldiers used live fire against protesters, the Palestinians acted unusually violently, throwing Molotov cocktails and explosive devices at the soldiers.
IDF officers, PA security officials to meet tonight
Israeli and Palestinian senior officials will meet this evening to discuss joint efforts to calm mutual tensions.
The meeting is the first of its kind since the beginning of a recent wave of terror attacks last month.
Senior officer from the IDF’s OC Central Command will meet with senior Palestinian officials, some of them heads of the Palestinian security apparatus in the West Bank.
According to Hebrew-language paper Haaretz, the level of security coordination between the IDF and the Palestinians differs from place to place. The Palestinian security establishment was instructed to rein in and contain the violence, but in some cases the Palestinian forces hesitate to stop violent Palestinian marches, usually directed against IDF checkpoints and posts.
India’s president to visit Israel next week
Indian President Pranab Mukherjee will visit Israel next week. He is expected to arrive Tuesday and to stay in the country for two days.
Mukherjee accepted an invitation to visit sent by President Reuven Rivlin. He will be received at an official ceremony held in the President’s Residence and will dine with Rivlin.
The office of the president in India includes more practical authority than in Israel, where it is a mostly symbolic function, but it is not an executive office like in the US.
As in Israel, the president is elected indirectly, by members of parliament.
West Bank council heads nix photo op with PM
Prime Minister Netanyahu is expected to meet this evening with head of local and regional council in the West Bank, who have been protesting outside his official residence for the past few days.
According to Israel National News, a right-wing news outlet, the council heads decided to ask for the right not to pose for a photograph with the prime minister and to hold the meeting as a closed session.
Their demand was passed on to the advisers of Netanyahu but the latter clarified that without a joint photo the meeting will not be held.
Following the ultimatum, as Israel National News defines it, some of the council heads decided to be absent from the meeting, so as not to cooperate with the “prime minister’s PR machine,” as they called it.
The council heads are meeting OC Central Command Maj. Gen. Roni Numa before they are expected to meet Netanyahu.
Palestinian baby named after terrorist killer
A Palestinian baby was named after terrorist Muhannad Halabi just hours after he stabbed two Israelis, Nehemiah Lavi and Aaron Banita, to death in Jerusalem three days ago.
WAFA, the official Palestinian Authority news agency, and the official PA daily both reported on the joyous naming. Both sources described the killer who murdered the two Israelis and also stabbed a mother and her baby as a “hero of our people” who was “murdered by the occupation army.”
Muhannad Halabi killed 2 Israelis, Rabbi Nehemiah Lavi and Aharon Banita, and injured Banita’s wife, Adele, and their 2-year-old son in a stabbing attack in the Old City of Jerusalem on Saturday, October 3, 2015.
Following the attack, he was shot and killed by Israeli security forces.
Palestinian Media Watch reports that prior to his attack, in a post to his private Facebook page, the terrorist referred to recent terror attacks as part of a “Third Intifada,” and said that it was a response to Israel’s actions at the al-Aqsa Mosque — i.e., the Temple Mount — and that the Palestinian people would not “succumb to humiliation.” This was a reference to the PA libel that Israel is plotting to take over and destroy the al-Aqsa Mosque and to the PA’s portrayal of Jews praying on the Temple Mount as “an invasion of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
Bennett tells Abbas to forget about more prisoner releases
PA President Mahmoud Abbas can “forget about” the release of Palestinian prisoners, says Jewish Home leader and Education Minister Naftali Bennett.
Speaking at his party’s faction meeting in the Old City of Jerusalem, held where a Palestinian terrorist stabbed and killed two Israeli Jews on Saturday, Bennett is responding to Abbas, who according to Israeli reports called on his security forces to rein in violence while at the same time asking Israel to stop construction in the settlements and release Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.
“I can say to him quite clearly – forget about it. Not gonna happen. No more terrorists will be released from Israeli jails, we’re going to change direction,” Bennett says.
2 Israelis arrested for blocking West Bank road
Two Jewish teens, ages 16 and 18, were arrested this afternoon for blocking a road in the West Bank.
The two youths blocked a road not far from the Shiloh junction, in the central West Bank. They were taken to the Binyamin police station for interrogation.
New OC Southern Command chief named
After 2.5 years in his position, Maj. Gen. Sami Turgeman left his position as head of the IDF’s Southern Command, army officials say.
In a ceremony at the IDF’s headquarters in Tel Aviv, Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon named Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir, who previously served as military secretary to the prime minister, as the new head of the Southern Command, which is charged with protecting approximately two-thirds of Israel’s land area, the IDF says.
During the ceremony, Ya’alon and Eisenkot praised Turgeman’s service, especially during last summer’s Gaza conflict, and expressed confidence in Zamir’s ability to lead the command, even with the recent escalation in violence.
“We’re ready to do everything so that this period of relative quiet will continue, but we are prepared for an outburst,” Ya’alon said.
— Judah Ari Gross
Palestinian shot, wounded near Har Adar
A Palestinian who came close to the gate of the community of Har Adar, which straddles the Green Line dividing Israel proper from the West Bank, was shot this evening after he ignored a call by Border Police officers to stop and continued advancing toward the community.
According to Channel 2 the man was moderately injured. According to Israel Radio he was lightly wounded in his leg.
Just before that, an IDF soldier was wounded by rock throwers in Tekoa, a West Bank settlement. The soldier was the second one wounded today, after rock thrower near the Qalandiya checkpoint threw a rock that hit another soldier in the head.
Israel’s sailboard team banned from trip to Oman
The Culture and Sports Ministry tells the Israeli Sailboarding Association that the Israeli national sailboard team will not be able to take part in the international sailboard championship that is scheduled to take place next week in Oman.
According to the message, the Shin Bet security service prohibited the trip for security reasons.
Head of the association Gili Amir criticizes the decision. “It cannot be that Israel’s top athletes, planning for the Olympics in Brazil, will be absent from the world championship,” he is quoted by Israel Radio as saying.
Jerusalem Municipality wants guards in school to work longer days
The Jerusalem Municipality threatens to strike across schools in the capital unless security guards working in educational facilities around the city work longer hours.
According to officials, the municipality wants the government to keep security guards in schools later in the day, due to the recent deterioration in the security situation.
The municipality’s announcement comes after the Jerusalem Parent Teacher Association said it may decide not to send kids to school unless security in the city’s schools is beefed up.
PLO body wants declaration of ‘Palestine’ as state pushed forward
The executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) instructed the diplomatic commission of the organization to hasten the process of declaring the Palestinian Authority a state under occupation, Ma’ariv, a Hebrew-language newspaper, reports.
Following a meeting with PA President Mahmoud Abbas, the committee decided to convene the National Council, a body with representatives of all Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Meanwhile, according to Ma’ariv, a senior Palestinian security official denies that a meeting was scheduled to take place this evening between IDF officers and Palestinian security officials.
The declaration of “Palestine” as a “state under occupation” was one of the scenarios Israeli analysts believed Abbas may announce in his speech at the UN, where he promised to deliver a political “bombshell.”
Abbas did not make the declaration.
The PLO’s executive committee also calls on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to ensure the Palestinians receive protection from what they define “Israeli aggressions.”
‘US gave Israel ultimatum on settlement construction’
The US issued an ultimatum to Israel regarding construction in the West Bank, threatening to avoid vetoing at the UN a French resolution calling to declare the settlements illegal, Channel 2 reports.
The call to increase construction in the settlements as well as to establish new ones came from heads of local and regional councils in the West Bank and also from Jewish Home, a national-religious party which is a chief partner of Netanyahu’s coalition government.
Jewish Home today held a faction meeting in the Old City of Jerusalem, where a terror attack took place on Saturday, and the party’s ministers and MKs were unanimous in their call to expand construction.
Netanyahu vehemently opposed more construction, during the security cabinet meeting he headed yesterday.
According to Channel 2, senior White House officials told Netanyahu they are closely watching the decisions of the Israeli cabinet and warned that if Israel approves more building in the West Bank, it will come at a price.
“We will not risk international backing for some declaration of building or expanding construction in Itamar,” a senior official close to the prime minister is quoted by Channel 2 as saying.
“We need a sober diplomatic solution and not to act like high school children. You don’t do diplomacy by tweeting,” Netanyahu reportedly said at the meeting.
Israel opens Old City to Palestinians after 2-day closure
Israel is lifting two days of restrictions on Muslim worship at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount which were imposed after the killing of two Israelis nearby by Palestinian terrorists, police says.
“So far the decision is to return to normal procedures, with no restrictions on entry of worshippers,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri says in a statement, but warning that the decision could change again if security concerns dictated it.
Arab residents of Jaffa rioting, attacking cops, city’s Jews
Arab residents of Jaffa are protesting and clashing with security forces in the city.
The riot started as an organized protest but the rioters began throwing rocks and bottles at police officers who were there to secure the protest, and tried to attack Jews in the area.
Special police forces were scrambled to the scene to break up the riot, according to Channel 2.
Jaffa is a city with a mixed Arab-Israeli population. It is often cited as a model of coexistence between Arabs and Jews.
2 cops lightly wounded in Jaffa riot
Two police officers were lightly wounded when they were hit by rocks thrown at them in a park in Jaffa where a protest that turned into a violent riot is taking place.
According to Hebrew-language paper Ma’ariv, the protest is not licensed by the police, but an earlier Channel 2 report said the cops attacked by the rioters were there to secure the protest.
The protest by the city’s Arabs comes following recent events at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
The rioters are throwing rocks at police officers and blocked roads with dumpsters and tires.