The Times of Israel liveblogged Friday’s events as they happened.
Israeli, Palestinian officials speak on Joseph’s Tomb torching
Palestinian officials reportedly tell their Israeli counterparts — in a phone conversation this morning — about the fire started at Joseph’s Tomb last night by Palestinian rioters.
In the call, both sides condemn the attack on the holy site, according to Channel 10.
Palestinian officials say they are committed to repairing the damage caused by the fire.
Palestinian Authority security forces dispersed the hundred-strong crowd last night and managed to douse the fire at the tomb, believed to contain the remains of the biblical patriarch Joseph. IDF troops arrived at the scene once the confrontation was over and the fire was out, Channel 2 reported.
Photos of the blaze circulated on social media.
BREAKING PHOTOS: Serious clashes between Arabs and Israeli forces near Joseph's Tomb in Nablus. pic.twitter.com/8StmAYUsgJ
— אזעקת חירום צבע אדום (@alarms8) October 15, 2015
2 terror suspects charged over Sydney police shooting
Two men accused of supplying the revolver used to kill a police accountant outside a Sydney police building two weeks ago are formally charged today with terrorism-related offenses.
High school student Farhad Jabar, 15, was shot dead by police soon after he opened fire on Curtis Cheng as the 58-year-old civilian employee walked from the state police headquarters in Parramatta in western Sydney on Oct. 2.
Talal Alameddine, 22, does not appear in the Parramatta Local Court on Friday as he is charged with providing the .38 Smith & Wesson used to slay Cheng.
Police allege Alameddine passed the gun less than three hours before the shooting to accomplice Raban Alou, 18, who then gave it to Jabar during a meeting at the Parramatta mosque, in the women’s section where there is no CCTV camera.
Alou also does not appear in Sydney’s downtown Downing Center Local Court as he is charged with aiding, abetting, counselling and procuring the commission of a terrorist act. The charge carries a potential life prison sentence.
UAE to US lawmaker: We have a right to enrich uranium, too
Amid fears of an atomic arms race in the Middle East, a senior United Arab Emirates official tells a top US lawmaker that it too might seek the right to enrich uranium that Iran has asserted under the recently signed nuclear deal.
The Iran accord to curb its nuclear weapons in exchange for economic sanctions relief allows Tehran to enrich uranium. In barely noticed testimony last month, Rep. Ed Royce (R-California), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, says the UAE’s ambassador in Washington, Yousef al-Otaiba, informed him in a telephone call that the country no longer feels bound by its previous nuclear agreement with the United States.
“He told me, ‘Your worst enemy has achieved this right to enrich. It’s a right to enrich now that your friends are going to want, too, and we won’t be the only country,'” Royce says in a phone interview with The Associated Press this week, elaborating on his testimony.
In a 2009 pact with the UAE, the United States agreed to share materials, technology and equipment for producing nuclear energy. In the accord — known as a 123 Agreement — the UAE made a bold pledge not to enrich uranium or reprocess spent fuel to extract plutonium, two pathways to an atomic weapon.
Asked to respond, the UAE Embassy in Washington sent a one-sentence email that said the “government has not formally changed its views or perspective on the 123 Agreement or commitments.” The UAE has said in the past that it welcomes the nuclear deal reached with Iran.
IDF vows to repair Joseph’s Tomb, catch arsonists who burned it
Palestinian officials reportedly tell their Israeli counterparts — in a phone conversation this morning — that they will repair the damage caused to the Joseph’s Tomb shrine outside Nablus after Palestinian rioters set the site ablaze last night.
The IDF now also says it will make the necessary repairs in order to allow worshipers to continue visiting the holy site.
Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, IDF spokesman: “The burning and desecration of Joseph’s Tomb last night is a blatant violation and contradiction of the basic value of freedom of worship. The IDF will take all measures to bring the perpetrators of this despicable act to justice, restore the site to its previous condition and ensure that freedom of worship returns to Joseph’s Tomb.”
— Judah Ari Gross
Egypt tycoon’s party eyes economy with election bid
Ahmed Mortada Mansour, the 34-year-old son of the head of Cairo’s Zamalek football club, is going all out to win votes ahead of parliamentary elections that start in Egypt on Sunday.
Fireworks erupt at his rallies, his face is plastered across the streets of his Cairo constituency and children wear T-shirts printed with his image.
Flush with money, Mansour and his pro-market, liberal Free Egyptians Party are mounting an ambitious bid to win support when the country votes for a new 596-member parliament, the first since the previous assembly was dissolved in June 2012.
Newly elected lawmakers are expected to stand firmly behind President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who has crushed all opposition since ousting his Islamist predecessor in 2013. And with Sisi in full control of the country’s politics, experts say, economic policy is likely to be the only arena in which the new lawmakers will be able to play.
The Free Egyptians Party, founded by telecoms tycoon Naguib Sawiris — who has offered to buy an island off Greece or Italy to shelter people fleeing war-ravaged Syria — has 231 candidates across Egypt’s 27 provinces.
Many are former members of the National Democratic Party of longtime ex-leader Hosni Mubarak, which was dissolved after the 2011 uprising that toppled him.
Following a ban on NDP members being lifted, many are returning to politics even as scores of Islamists and other regime opponents face a brutal government crackdown.
Deputy defense minister to speak on Joseph’s Tomb arson
Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben Dahan, of the Jewish Home party, will give a statement to the press at 10:30 a.m. at Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City.
The statement will concern “the security situation and the torching of Joseph’s Tomb,” a statement from the deputy minister’s office says.
He will also distribute baked goods to the security forces stationed at the site, part of a bolstered security presence meant to counter the recent wave of terror attacks.
Arab boy, 15, arrives at Hadera hospital with stab wounds
A 15-year-old boy from the Arab town of Jisr a-Zarka arrives at Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera with stab wounds in his upper torso. He is in moderate condition.
Zichron Yaakov police have launched an investigation, saying it is too early to tell if the youth is the victim of a hate crime amid a recent wave of knife-related terror attacks.
Police limit access to Temple Mount for Friday prayers
Israel Police officers are restricting access to the Temple Mount after Hamas calls for a “Day of Rage” today in Jerusalem and across the West Bank. Muslim men under 40 are not being allowed onto the mount, although women of all ages will be granted access.
Security forces are bracing for violence after noon prayers later today, following weeks of unrest and a wave of terror attacks that have claimed the lives of eight Israelis since October 1.
Israel Radio reports that demonstrations are planned for flashpoint sites including Rachel’s Tomb outside Bethlehem in the West Bank, the Qalandiya checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah, Hebron and Nablus where Palestinians set fire to parts of the Joseph Tomb shrine overnight.
After arson, calls on the right to retake control of Joseph’s Tomb
Right-wing ministers and groups are calling for Israel to retake control of the shrine near Nablus known as Joseph’s Tomb, believed to be the burial place of the biblical patriarch, after Palestinian rioters torched the site last night.
“We saw, in great pain, the difficult pictures from Joseph’s Tomb and are shocked at the harm done to a place holy to the Jewish people,” Avi Roeh, chairman of the Yesha Council settlement advocacy group, says in a statement.
“It turns out yet again that there is no alternative to Israeli sovereignty when it comes to protecting holy sites. We demand the return of Israeli control at the site, and opening it to Jewish worship on a permanent basis.”
Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel echoes the call, and blames “Palestinian incitement” for the incident.
“Torching one of the places holy to the Jewish people is a new low, and a result of Palestinian incitement. While the Palestinians brazenly lie about us harming the status quo on the Temple Mount, they go out and burn and desecrate the sacred places of Israel, and that won’t be forgiven,” he says, adding, “I call on the prime minister to return control of Joseph’s Tomb to Israel.”
PA arrests 19 Hamas members, suspects planning stabbing attacks
Palestinian sources report that Palestinian security forces arrested more than 19 Hamas members in the West Bank over the past few days.
The PA forces also arrested several people suspected of planning to carry out stabbing attacks, according to the sources, after monitoring social media sites for “potential suspects.”
— Avi Issacharoff
Top Biden aide lays out potential 2016 platform
Vice President Joe Biden would run an optimistic and unscripted “campaign from the heart” based on restoring middle-class opportunity, one of his top political advisers says, laying out for the first time the argument Biden would make if he runs for president.
Former Delaware Sen. Ted Kaufman, one of Biden’s closest political advisers, says Biden would soon make a decision about whether to enter the race. In an email obtained by The Associated Press, Kaufman asks former staffers to stay in close contact and says Biden would need their help immediately if he enters the race.
“If he runs, he will run because of his burning conviction that we need to fundamentally change the balance in our economy and the political structure to restore the ability of the middle class to get ahead,” Kaufman says.
Calls within the Democratic Party for Biden to run have been growing for months, fueled largely by concerns that front-runner Hillary Clinton’s campaign is faltering under the weight of an email scandal and declining popularity. But Clinton’s commanding performance Tuesday in the first Democratic debate, coupled with Biden’s seemingly endless delays in making a decision, are putting a damper on the speculation in recent days, with top Democratic leaders questioning whether it’s too late for Biden.
Kaufman’s letter to former Biden aides marks an attempt by the vice president to signal he’s still very much considering running and shouldn’t be written off. It also serves to reinforce the notion that Clinton isn’t the only Democrat who could run in part on a promise to lock in policies that Obama has advanced during his two terms.
Obama, Erdogan discuss fight against Islamic State
The White House says President Barack Obama spoke Thursday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about deepening cooperation in the fight against the Islamic State group.
The two also spoke after bombing attacks Saturday killed 97 people and wounded hundreds at a peace rally in Ankara, Turkey. Obama reiterated his condemnation of the attacks.
The White House says the two leaders reaffirmed the goals of stepping up military pressure on the Islamic State group and strengthening moderate opposition groups inside Syria.
The call comes after Turkey complained that weapons provided by the US could fall into the hands of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and be used against Turkey.
The White House says the leaders agreed on the urgent need to stop PKK attacks in Turkey.
Knife-wielding Arab woman shot at Afula station may have had mental-health issues
Police are looking into the motives of a young Arab woman who was shot by police last week while she brandished a knife at the Afula central bus station.
The woman, 30, who is hospitalized at the Poriya Hospital near Tiberias in moderate condition, is reported by local media Yediot Haemek and Mynet to be the daughter of a well-known Muslim religious leader in the Galilee who is famous for his work on interfaith reconciliation.
The woman has a Master’s degree, and is a medical researcher at a well-known Israeli hospital.
Police say she bought the knife shortly before boarding a bus, in her hometown of Nazareth, headed to Afula. Police investigators have attempted to understand why she boarded a bus with the knife, amid a wave of Arab stabbing attacks against Jews nationwide, but traveled the entire ride to Afula without carrying out the attack — or why she then brandished it at the Afula terminal around large numbers of police and soldiers.
A security guard at the terminal initially told police he believed the woman was attacking him when she pulled the knife out of her purse while standing near him.
Investigators are said to be leaning toward a mental-health explanation for her behavior.
A video of her shooting went viral both on Palestinian and Israeli social media, and was posted to mainstream media on both sides. She is shown brandishing the knife, but not attacking, as several armed police officers and soldiers shout at her to put the knife down. After several tense minutes, a police officer arrives at a sprint, sees the woman holding the knife, and fires at her lower torso.
Hospital officials say they took six bullets out of her body, apparently all fired from the same gun.
13 terror suspects arrested overnight in West Bank
IDF and Border Police forces arrest 13 Palestinian terror suspects overnight in the West Bank, police say.
Eleven are suspected of involvement in stabbing attacks or violent rioting in recent weeks. One is a Hamas operative, authorities say.
EU tries for new Turkey strategy to stem refugee flow
European Union leaders are offering Turkey aid, easier access to EU visas and sped-up membership talks in hopes of stemming an unprecedented flow of refugees. Now comes the hard part: persuading Turkey to sign on, and raising billions to make it work.
EU leaders meeting for a summit in Brussels late Thursday agree to give “political support” for an action plan for Turkey to help it manage its own refugee emergency. But details prove elusive and discussions in Ankara will continue in coming days.
Diplomats say the package could involve as much as 3 billion euros in aid. But money for the migrant crisis has been slow in coming.
EU President Donald Tusk says “an agreement with Turkey makes sense only if it effectively contains the flow of refugees.”
Jews and Arabs to form ‘human chain’ for coexistence
Hundreds of Jews and Arabs will hold hands in a human chain calling for reconciliation this afternoon at 3 p.m. at the Megiddo Junction in Wadi Ara.
The event is titled, “Choosing to Engage,” and is hosted by Givat Haviva, an educational institute that deals with Arab-Jewish coexistence.
The human chain will extend on both sides of Road 65, the main highway running through the region, which is home to a large Arab Israeli population.
It is “a symbol of coexistence and shared life, specifically at this tense period,” the organizers said in a statement.
The event will be followed by a ceremony at Megiddo Junction, including activities for children and “listening circles.”
Canadian envoy who hid Americans in Iran crisis dies
Ken Taylor, Canada’s ambassador to Iran who sheltered Americans at his residence during the 1979 hostage crisis, dies. He was 81.
Taylor’s wife, Pat, says Ken died Thursday after a two-month battle with colon cancer.
Taylor kept the Americans hidden at his residence and at the home of his deputy, John Sheardown, in Tehran for three months. Taylor facilitated their escape by arranging plane tickets and persuading the Ottawa government to issue fake passports.
He was heralded as a hero in both the US and Canada for helping save the Americans in the clandestine operation.
Some of Taylor’s exploits in Iran in 1979 later became the subject of the 2012 Hollywood film, “Argo.” But Taylor and others, including former-US President Jimmy Carter, felt the film downplayed his role and that of Canada in the operation.
Taylor’s wife of more than 50 years says he was diagnosed with cancer in August and that friends from Canada, the US and elsewhere visited him at New York Presbyterian hospital where he was being treated.
Police arrest three teens suspected of stabbing another
Police arrest three teenagers, aged 15, 16 and 18, who are suspected of stabbing a 15-year-old boy from the Arab town of Jisr a-Zarka early Friday.
The boy arrived at Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera with stab wounds in his upper torso this morning. He is in moderate condition.
Zichron Yaakov police initially said it was too early to tell if the youth was the victim of a hate crime amid a recent wave of knife-related terror attacks.
Police now say they believe the stabbing attack was related to an old feud between the assailants and the victim.
The suspects will face a remand hearing later today at the Haifa Magistrate’s Court.
President to host children of Jerusalem cops
President Reuven Rivlin and his wife, Nechama, will host the children of Jerusalem police and Border Police officers on Sunday, the President’s Residence says.
The event is intended “to offer support during the current period of heightened tension.”
Some 130 children between the ages of three and seven are invited to the event, “which will include well-known children’s entertainers, and bouncy castles set up in the Presidential Garden,” a Residence statement read.
Only Israel can protect Jerusalem holy places, Foreign Ministry says
Foreign Minister Director General Dore Gold says last night’s torching of Joseph’s Tomb near Nablus by Palestinian rioters proves that “only Israel can protect the holy places of all religions in Jerusalem.”
“The Palestinian attack on Joseph’s Tomb recalls the actions of extremist Muslim groups from Afghanistan to Libya,” he says in a statement.
“Israel condemns in no uncertain terms the harm to Joseph’s Tomb committed for the sole reason that it is a place where Jews pray. The torching of Joseph’s Tomb clearly demonstrates what would happen to the holy places in Jerusalem if they were placed in the hands of the Palestinian leadership.”
Gaza man shot in border clash with IDF dies
A Gaza man injured last week in clashes with IDF forces on the Israeli-Gazan border dies, bringing the reported Palestinian death toll from the border demonstrations to nine, Palestinian media report.
The man, 37-year-old Shawqi Jabr Obeid, from Jabaliya, was shot by IDF soldiers, the Palestinian news agency Ma’an reports, citing the Hamas-led Gaza Ministry of Health.
Obeid was apparently shot by soldiers who were attempting to contain a breach of the border fence through which some 20 Gazans had entered Israel.
Gaza officials cited by Ma’an say that among the nine dead at the protests were two boys aged 13 and 15, while over 145 Palestinians were injured.
Lithuania’s president to visit Yad Vashem
Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaite will visit Israel’s Holocaust commemoration museum Yad Vashem on Monday, the museum announces.
She will tour the Holocaust history museum, “participate in a memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance, visit the Children’s Memorial and sign the Yad Vashem Guest Book,” the museum says in a statement.
Lithuania’s Jewish community experienced the most comprehensive annihilation of any other community, with an estimated 195,000 Jews being killed out of a pre-World War II community of some 210,000.
Border Police dog thwarts possible terror attack in E. Jerusalem
A Border Police dog has thwarted a possible terror attack in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Isawiyah, according to police.
As part of the massive deployment of security forces in Jerusalem in the wake of the near-daily terror attacks, a police dog named “Taj” discovered an explosive device at a checkpoint leading from the East Jerusalem neighborhood to the main road into Ma’ale Adumim, just outside the capital.
Sappers who arrived at the scene disabled the device.
The explosives could have caused significant harm to security forces or innocent civilians if it had made it across the checkpoint, police say.
“We are prepared for precisely these types of incidents,” says the head of the Border Police’s canine unit in Jerusalem, Sergeant Haim Sabbag.
“It is very possible that the device the canine uncovered could have been used to harm forces nearby. [His discovery] saved lives,” he adds.
Palestinians throw rocks at vehicles in West Bank
Palestinians throw stones at several cars near the settlement of Yitzhar in the West Bank.
There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
Abbas condemns ‘irresponsible’ torching of Joseph’s Tomb
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemns the torching of the compound housing Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus overnight Thursday-Friday by Palestinian rioters.
In a statement published on the Wafa news agency, Abbas called the act “irresponsible” and said a committee was being formed to investigate. The overnight fire was started with Molotov cocktails.
The PA president “decided to immediately form an investigative commission to probe this irresponsible act committed this morning, and [to] repair the damage to the site caused by these deplorable actions,” according to AFP.
— AFP contributed
Gaza gunfire strikes IDF vehicle along border; no injuries
For the second time this week, gunfire from Gaza strikes an IDF vehicle along the border with the Palestinian enclave.
There were no injuries in the incident but the D-9 bulldozer’s windshield sustained some damaged.
Shin Bet arrests 6 Arab Israeli suspects in firebomb attack
The Shin Bet security service arrested six Arab Israeli suspects for their involvement in a firebombing attack on the Route 6 Highway earlier this month, a spokesman says.
The attack occurred near the Arab town of Tira in central Israel on October 7.
The rest of the details of the investigation are under gag order, the agency says.
— Judah Ari Gross
Israeli man stabbed in Hebron
According to initial reports, an Israeli man was stabbed in Hebron moments ago by a Palestinian.
His condition is unknown. Medics are on the scene.
The attacker was reportedly shot.
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) October 16, 2015
Palestinian attacker in Hebron reportedly posed as photojournalist
The Palestinian attacker who stabbed an Israeli man in south Hebron moments ago was posing as a photojournalist, the Walla news site reports.
The victim is said to be in light-to-moderate condition.
Hamas chief urges a continued ‘intifada’ in Jerusalem
Ismail Haniyeh, the head of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, urges a “continuation of the ‘intifada’ in Jerusalem and the deepening of the resistance.”
In a pre-recorded speech broadcast on an Istanbul radio station on Friday, Haniyeh said that any attempts to “quell” the intifada must be prevented, Ynet reports.
Israeli victim in Hebron stabbing is IDF soldier; attacker killed
The Israeli man moderately wounded in a stabbing attack in south Hebron is an IDF soldier.
The attacker, a Palestinian man posing as a photojournalist, was shot by security forces and died of his wounds. In this photo (WARNING: GRAPHIC), he can clearly be seen wearing a press jacket.
The 20-year-old victim was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem for treatment, according to Magen David Adom medics.
“Moments ago a soldier was stabbed in Kiryat Arba,” the IDF said in a statement. “The Palestinian assailant disguised himself as a news photographer and attacked the soldier, wounding him moderately. The soldier was evacuated for emergency medical care. Forces on site responded to the threat, shot the attacker, resulting in his death.”
Preliminary footage from Hebron stabbing attack
Initial video footage emerges from the site of the stabbing attack in south Hebron where an IDF soldier was stabbed by a Palestinian man posing as a journalist.
The footage is said to be filmed by a Hamas-affiliated TV crew.
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) October 16, 2015
Security forces nab Palestinian kid with knife in Old City
Israeli security forces caught a Palestinian teenager carrying a knife at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City, police say.
In a statement, police said the youth aroused the suspicions of forces patrolling the area. They approached him, searched him and found the knife on his body.
The youth, 13 years of age, is a resident of East Jerusalem’s Beit Hanina neighborhood. He has been taken in for questioning.
Settlers block entry to Nablus after arson at Joseph’s Tomb
Settlers living in areas near Nablus are blocking the entrance to the West Bank city, in protest against the firebomb attack at the shrine early this morning, according to Arutz 7.
FPA ‘deplores’ violation of press privilege in Hebron attack
The Foreign Press Association says that reports of a stabbing attack near Hebron carried out by a Palestinian man posing as a photojournalist and wearing a press jacket is a “worrying development” and calls all “Palestinian media organizations to immediately verify all media credentials.”
The attacker stabbed an IDF soldier, 20, who was taken in moderate condition to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.
“We utterly deplore this violation of press privilege and call on local Palestinian media organizations to immediately verify all media credentials to ensure there are no violations,” the FPA says in the statement.
“This attack was carried out by someone posing as a local Palestinian journalist. All the same, it marks a worrying development that demands that all media operate with heightened caution in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. This incident is also clearly of grave concern to the Israeli security forces. As the FPA, we try to work closely with the IDF and the Border Police to ensure coordination is clear and that all dangers are minimized. We urge the continuation of that cooperation and coordination to avoid any attack like this happening again in the future,” it says.
Palestinian protesters cross Gaza fence into Israel
Palestinian sources say protesters from the Gaza Strip are crossing the border fence into Israel near Khan Younis, in the northern Gaza Strip.
According to the report, IDF troops are firing tear gas canisters in an effort to repel the protesters.
The Israeli army did not confirm the report.
Fatah military wing calls on Palestinian to carry out more attacks
Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian Fatah party, publishes an announcement today on its Twitter account in which it calls on the Palestinian public to prepare to carry out more terror attacks against Israel.
One Palestinian reportedly killed near Gaza fence
One Palestinian was killed in clashes along the Gaza border fence, according to the Twitter account of Ma’an, a Palestinian news agency.
Israel Radio reporter Gal Berger tweets that 11 Palestinians were wounded in the clashes.
BREAKING: #Palestinian shot, killed in northern Gaza by Israeli forces.
— Ma'an News Agency (@MaanNewsAgency) October 16, 2015
UN Watch names UNRWA employees inciting hatred
Palestinian employees of the UN agency UNRWA are inciting Palestinians to commit terror attacks against Israelis from social media accounts on which they are explicitly identified as workers of the United Nations, according to a report by UN Watch published today.
Hillel Neuer, head of the NGO which monitors the UN and its agencies, says the report was submitted to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, to UNRWA chief Pierre Krähenbühl and to US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power. The US, according to UN Watch is the largest funder of UNRWA with $400 million annually.
In the report, Neuer names nine UNRWA employees and brings screenshots of jingoistic, inciting posts from their Facebook pages that call for the murder of Jews or at other times push conspiracy theories according to which terrorists killed by Israeli security forces were innocent.
The report can be read here.
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) October 16, 2015
Israel has ‘every right to defend itself,’ says German FM
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier says Israel has “every right to protect its population against attacks,” according to Deutsche Textservice Nachrichtenagentur, or DTS, a German news agency.
“I am deeply concerned about the ongoing violence in Jerusalem, which expanded in the past few days to several cities in the West Bank, Israel and Gaza and has led to numerous deaths and injuries on the Israeli and Palestinian side,” Steinmeier is quoted by DTS as saying today.
“It is terrible that people have to live in constant fear of becoming victims of indiscriminate violence on the streets. All violent criminals must be prosecuted.
“Israel has every right to protect its population against attacks. Both sides now need to avoid anything that further fuels tensions […] We need to re-enter into a political process, which provides a perspective on a sustainable solution to the conflict,” DTS quotes Steinmeier as saying.
Palestinians report one dead, 27 hurt in Gaza
Latest Palestinian reports put the death and injury toll near the Gaza border fence at one man killed and 27 wounded.
Palestinian sources say 11 of the wounded were hit with live bullets. The IDF has so far not issued a statement on violence near the Gaza border fence.
Soldiers near Ramallah say shots were fired at them
IDF troops near Ramallah in the West Bank say they heard gunfire they believe was aimed at them, according to Hebrew-language website Ynet.
Soldiers at the scene are searching for the shooters.
50 Palestinian hurl rocks at soldiers in West Bank
Some 50 Palestinians hurled stones today at IDF troops near the Jalameh Crossing, not far from the northern West Bank city of Jenin.
Troops used riot dispersal means, including small-caliber bullets.
One Palestinian was hit with a small-caliber bullet in the stomach and was evacuated to the Jenin hospital, according to Palestinian medics.
IDF declares Nahal Oz area near Gaza a closed military zone
The area around Kibbutz Nahal Oz is now a closed military zone after protesters from Gaza breached the border fence in the area, the IDF says.
The IDF is using riot dispersal means — tear gas and rubber bullets — against the bulk of the demonstrators, but is shooting at the “central instigators,” a spokeswoman says.
The army “is aware” of the reports of injured Palestinian, she adds.
— Judah Ari Gross
More details of shooting attack against soldiers
More details emerge of an earlier report of shots fired near Ramallah.
IDF troops travelling in an army jeep came under a hail of bullets fired by three suspects, who then fled the scene.
The incident occurred near Ofra and the suspects ran toward Silwad, a Palestinian village near Ramallah.
No one was hurt in the incident but the jeep sustained damage.
850 Israeli Jews, Arabs hold coexistence rally up north
Some 700 Israeli Jews and Arabs protested at the Iron and Megiddo junctions in northern Israel, under the banner “neighbors for peace.”
Head of the Menashe Regional Council, Ilan Sade, said that “the call to calm tensions and a life of coexistence is a call for normality. Until recently we lived in this area in partnership and we are committed to this now too.” Sade was at the Iron Junction protest.
At the Carmiel Junction, some 150 Arabs and Jews participated in the event which called for “dialogue, good neighborly relations and a life of coexistence.”
Jordan protests call for end to peace treaty with Israel
Thousands of Jordanians take to the streets calling on the government to scrap its peace treaty with Israel.
Demonstrations break out in several cities after weekly Muslim prayers, with an estimated 5,000 rallying in the capital Amman, where they torch an Israeli flag.
“No Zionist embassy on Jordanian soil,” chant the demonstrators, who rally at the call of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood.
The protesters demand the cancellation of the 1994 Jordan-Israel peace treaty, carrying signs that say “scrapping the Wadi Araba treaty is the response” to Israeli “violations” against Palestinians in Jerusalem.
“The land is ours, Jerusalem is ours and Allah is with us,” reads another banner.
Anti-Israeli protests are also held in the northern cities of Zarqa and Irbid, in Mafraq in the east, Jerash in the northwest and in the southern port of Aqaba.
Danon against int’l troops on Temple Mount
Israel’s recently installed Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said Friday that the UN Security Council does not need another general discussion of the situation in Israel but rather an emergency discussion on the “wild incitement” by Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas, which, he said, encourages a wave of terror attacks against Israelis.
Danon was speaking at a Security Council session called urgently to discuss the security situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Danon accused Abbas for evading negotiations that could quickly de-escalate tensions, when “only yesterday” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would be willing to renew talks without preconditions in order to restore the calm. Instead of traveling the “20-minute ride” from Ramallah to Jerusalem, the Palestinians again turn to the UN, he said.
The ambassador presented a Palestinian poster that describes the most efficient way to stab Jews and said the Palestinian leadership was running a greenhouse for terrorism, when it could educate Palestinian children on the values of peace and tolerance. The Palestinian education system, he said, manufactures “an entire generation of child terrorists.”
He opposed the idea to deploy international troops at the Temple Mount, since this would violate the decades-long status quo there. Danon also charged that the Palestinians use the Temple Mount as an excuse to avoid making important decisions on the future of their people.
If the international community is genuinely committed to promoting peace and tolerance, Danon said, the UN Security Council must unequivocally condemn the incitement fueling terrorism. The UN body should support direct negotiations, added the ambassador, and the durable peace agreements Israel shares with Egypt and Jordan are the proof that direct negotiations between the parties are the only path to reaching calm in the region.
Danon’s words to the Security Council come less than a week since he took up the position. Previously the Likud member was an MK and the government’s minister of science.
US envoy says recent Iran missile test violated UN sanctions
US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power says Iran’s recent ballistic missile test was “a clear violation” of UN sanctions.
Power says that after reviewing available information, the United States has confirmed that the medium-range ballistic missile launched on October 10 was “inherently capable of delivering a nuclear weapon.”
She says this violated a UN Security Council resolution banning such launches.
Top Hamas fighter killed at Gaza border
The Palestinian killed during protests in the east of the Gaza Strip today was Yihya Farahat, 24, from the Shathi Refugee camp.
Farahat was active in the Hamas military wing and served in Al Nukhba, an elite unit in the organization.
Farahat may have been killed while taking part in terrorist activity or while collecting intelligence for the terror group.
— Avi Issacharoff
Nablus governor condemns torching of Joseph’s Tomb
Akram Rajoub, the Palestinian governor of Nablus, tells Palestinian media that the burning of Joseph’s Tomb in the city is against Palestinian law.
Rajoub expresses discontent with the arson attack and says Palestinians “must not take the law into their own hands and harm the holy places,” according to a report in the Hebrew-language website Walla.
Terrorist’s young age puts state prosecution in conundrum
The state’s prosecution is preparing to indict Ahmed Manasra, a 13-year-old Palestinian from East Jerusalem who stabbed two Israelis in a terror attack on Monday, for attempted murder.
According to Israeli law, Manasra cannot be tried as an adult until he is 14. While Israeli law defines minors as people under 18 years of age, for the purpose of prosecution on capital crimes the age at which they are tried as adults is 14.
Channel 10 on Friday reports that the state is planning to ask the court to issue a warrant that would allow to hold Manasra under arrest in a locked location until he turns 14, at which time his verdict can be executed and he can be moved to a normal jail.
Since Manasra’s parents would not to sign off on his arrest until he turns 14, this move to may be difficult to implement.
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked plans to propose changes to the criminal code that would allow trying murder suspects at an age under 14, but even if such changes to the law would pass Knesset approval, Manasra, who committed his crime before the change to the law, would be exempt.
As the situation stands now, the terrorist boy would be free to go home after he is discharged from hospital.
Abbas must condemn violence, Kerry tells PM
Secretary of State John Kerry spoke on the telephone this evening with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and told him that Israelis have the right to defend themselves against “any violence” in the Old City of Jerusalem, elsewhere in the city and anywhere in the country.
The Palestinians, Kerry said according to media reports, must cease incitement and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas must condemn violence loudly and clearly.
Kerry told Netanyahu that Israel was battling terrorism with appropriate force, walking back previous statements from State Department speakers who said Israel may have been using excessive force.
Netanyahu and Kerry agreed to meet soon to discuss the situation, and their meeting will likely occur close to Netanyahu’s planned meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, planned for next week.
Hamas is planning ‘large-scale terror attack’
While Palestinian Authority forces are acting to prevent terror attacks, Hamas in Gaza is investing great efforts in order to carry out a large-scale terror attack, Channel 10 reports.
The military wing of Fatah may also soon begin perpetrating attacks, the channel reports. The effort by Hamas may also be intended to draw Israel into a fresh round of violence.
The Israeli government is considering taking even stronger measures than those already approved against captured terrorists.
“If attacks continue, we will start deporting the families of terrorists to Gaza,” Channel 10 quotes an unnamed senior security official as saying.
Obama ‘concerned’ by outbreak of Israel-Palestinian violence
US President Barack Obama expresses concern about the outbreak of violence centered in Jerusalem and called on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to tamp down inflammatory rhetoric.
“We are very concerned about the outbreak of violence,” Obama says at a news conference with visiting South Korean President Park Geun-Hye.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms violence directed against innocent people, and believe that Israel has a right to maintain basic law and order and protect its citizens from knife attacks, and violence on the streets,” he added.
“We also believe that it’s important for both Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu and Israeli elected officials, and [Palestinian Authority] President [Mahmoud] Abbas and other people in positions of power, to try to tamp down rhetoric that may feed violence or anger or misunderstanding,” he says.