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

Palestinian arrested in Hebron after knife found in his belongings

A Palestinian is arrested during a security search at Beit Hadassah in the West Bank city of Hebron after soldiers find a knife is his belongings.

He is taken in for questioning.

Security forces are investigating whether the man was planning a stabbing attack.

Man shot to death in Paris after attempting to enter police station with knife

Security forces shoot a man outside a police station in northern Paris, apparently after he tried to enter the building with a knife.

The man is killed.

Police forces believe the man planned an attack against local officers.

40 Arab Israeli tourists caught up in Cairo attack

Forty Arab Israeli tourists from the northern Israeli city of Umm al-Fahm are reported to have been near the area where a bus was attacked in front of a Cairo hotel by rubber bullets and fireworks.

No casualties were reported.

One man is arrested at the scene, a security source in Egypt says, and police are investigating the incident.

The Israeli tourists are expected to return to Israel later today.

Man attempting attack on Paris police station reportedly cried ‘Allahu Akbar’

A man who was shot dead near a Paris police station was carrying a knife and also, apparently, wearing an explosive vest, French government officials say, according to AFP.

He also reportedly cried out “Allahu Akbar” before charging at the station, the sources add.

Shin Bet uncovers Hamas terror cell

The Shin Bet security service, along with the IDF and Israel Police, say they discovered a Hamas terror cell in December 2015, whose members were from Jerusalem and Hebron, which was planning to kidnap and murder Israelis in order to negotiate for their release or the release of their bodies, similar to the kidnapping and murders of the three Jewish teenage boys in June 2014.

From the Shin Bet’s investigation of the Hamas operatives, the cell was in the advanced planning stages and had even begun preparing the place where they would store the bodies of the kidnapped person or people.

During the investigation, the Shin Bet discovered that the cell was made of up six people — three of them Israeli residents, living in Jerusalem, and the other three from Hebron.

— Judah Ari Gross

State Prosecution files indictment against MK Zoabi

The State Prosecution files an indictment against MK Hanin Zoabi of the Joint (Arab) List party for insulting a public servant.

Joint (Arab) List MK Hanin Zoabi attends a committee meeting at the Knesset, November 02, 2015. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Joint (Arab) List MK Hanin Zoabi attends a committee meeting at the Knesset, November 2, 2015. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

According to a plea bargain signed between Zoabi and the prosecution, the MK will admit to insulting an Arab Israeli police officer during a protest in 2014 following the murder of the East Jerusalem teenager Muhammad Abu Khdeir by Jewish terrorists.

6 settlers from Yitzhar sentenced to prison

The Lod District Court sentences two men and four minors from the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar to eight months in prison as well as eight months of suspended sentence for causing intentional damage to property and hurling stones at police officers.

Illustrative photo of the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, May 2013 (Mandy Hechtman/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, May 2013 (Mandy Hechtman/Flash90)

According to the indictment, Reuven Cohen, Yehoyada Sochi and the four others blocked the path of security forces during a 2013 protest by igniting tires and throwing stones at police officers.

Stones hurled at police during ultra-Orthodox protest in capital

Stones are hurled by ultra-Orthodox protesters at police officers during a demonstration in Jerusalem against the state’s decision to order authorities to conduct an autopsy on a four-month-old infant from Beit Shemesh who died overnight.

Two protesters are arrested.

Before his death, the infant, the grandson of Beit Shemesh mayor Moshe Abutbul, was hospitalized for a week after suffering from a major blow to the head.

Israeli security forces confront ultra-Orthodox protesters in Jerusalem on January 7, 2016, after authorities ordered an autopsy on a four-month-old infant from the community (screen capture: Channel 2)
Israeli security forces confront ultra-Orthodox protesters in Jerusalem on January 7, 2016, after authorities ordered an autopsy on a four-month-old infant from the community (screen capture: Channel 2)

Police suspected the baby may have been abused, and requested to perform an autopsy following his death.

For religious reasons, many members of the ultra-Orthodox community believe the bodies of the deceased should not be tampered with, and generally oppose the performance of autopsies except in extreme cases.

Iran accuses Saudi of air strike on Yemen embassy

Saudi warplanes “deliberately” struck Iran’s embassy in Yemen in an air raid that wounded staff, Tehran says, as tensions between the two regional powers mounted.

“This deliberate action by Saudi Arabia is a violation of all international conventions that protect diplomatic missions,” foreign ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari is quoted as saying by state television.

“The Saudi government is responsible for the damage caused and for the situation of members of staff who were injured,” Ansari adds, without specifying when the alleged strike took place.

“The Islamic republic reserves the right to pursue its interests in this matter,” he says.

Often at loggerheads over regional issues, a full-blown split between Sunni-majority Saudi Arabia and Shiite-dominated Iran erupted at the weekend when Riyadh executed prominent Shiite cleric and activist Nimr al-Nimr along with 46 others.

Nimr’s death sparked demonstrations in many countries including Iran, where protesters stormed and set fire to the Saudi embassy in Tehran as well as the kingdom’s consulate in second city Mashhad.

Riyadh cut ties with Tehran in response and was joined by some of its Sunni Arab allies including Bahrain and Sudan. The United Arab Emirates also downgraded relations with Iran while Kuwait and Qatar recalled their ambassadors.ent said.

School teacher sentenced for teaching IS-inspired content

The Beersheba District Court sentences Mohammad Abu Alkiaan, an elementary school teacher from the Beduion town of Hura in south Israel, to four years in prison for teaching Islamic State-inspired content to children at the institution.

Cairo official says shooting attack is criminal, not terror

An Egyptian official says the people who opened fire with fireworks and rubber bullets at Israeli Arab tourists on a hotel close to the Giza pyramids — causing some damage to the hotel’s facade and a nearby tourist bus — did so for criminally motivated reasons.

He says the attack was “not terror,” according to Walla.

Contractor freed after arrest over suspected involvement in TA shooting

An East Jerusalem contractor, who was arrested on suspicion of being involved in Friday’s deadly shooting attack at a Tel Aviv bar, is released from police custody.

The contractor, whose name is not released for publication, says he has nothing at all to do with the attack.

Nashat Milhem, the Arab Israeli man who allegedly carried out the shooting attack in Tel Aviv on January 1, 2016. (Israel Police)
Nashat Milhem, the Arab Israeli man who allegedly carried out the shooting attack in Tel Aviv on January 1, 2016. (Israel Police)

Police say Nashat Milhem opened fire with a submachine gun at the Simta Bar on Tel Aviv’s central Dizengoff Street on Friday afternoon, killing 26-year-old Alon Bakal and 30-year-old Shimon Ruimi and injuring seven others. He then allegedly fired into two other establishments, fled the scene on foot, hailed a cab, and rode to north Tel Aviv, where he killed the driver before abandoning the vehicle.

As of Thursday, police surmised that Milhem, the suspected shooter, has been hiding out in the West Bank, although most details of the search remain under gag order.

Israel issues travel warnings for several African countries

In light of a string of recent terrorist attacks in Africa, the Counter Terrorism Bureau publishes new travel-warning guidelines for several countries in the continent.

Travel warnings are issued for Niger, Cameroon and Chad, and existing travel cautions are updated regarding Kenya and Nigeria.

Netanyahu to be questioned next week

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be questioned in his office next week by State Comptroller Yosef Shapira over an affair known as “Bibi Tours,” Channel 10 reports.

Somalia says it cut ties with Iran

Somalia’s government says it has cut ties with Iran, accusing it of trying to destabilize the security and unity of the Horn of Africa nation.

2 far-right Czech politicians charged with supporting century-old blood libel

Two far-right Czech politicians are charged with incitement to hatred and defamation over a note they wrote supporting a 19th century blood libel.

The police launched criminal proceedings against the men on December 20.

Adam Bartos, chairman of National Democracy, a far-right Czech political party, and Ladislav Zemanek, a party official, left the signed note last Easter at a memorial to Anezka Hruzova, a 19-year-old woman who was murdered in 1899. Bartos does not deny leaving the note.

Leopold Hilsner was sentenced to death for the crime, which attorneys suggested was part of a Jewish ritual. The case received a great deal of attention and became one of Europe’s most notorious blood libel trials. Hilsner was pardoned after 18 years in prison but never acquitted.

The note, signed by Bartos and Zemanek on behalf of the National Democracy party, said the murder “united the Czech nation and showed the urgent need to solve the Jewish question. The Jewish question has not been satisfactorily dealt with to this day.”

Police from the southeastern Czech town of Jihlava said the men left the note at a memorial to the murdered young woman in Polna, a nearby town. Both men later posted a photograph of the note on social media.

Dana Cirtkova, a spokeswoman for the Jihlava police, details the charges to JTA but says the men could not be identified until official notices are delivered to them. Bartos confirmed that he and his party colleague had been charged with the crimes.

“I think the accusations are unsubstantiated, and I stand by the remarks,” Bartos tells JTA in an email. The men could be sentenced to up to three years in prison if convicted.

— JTA

Video showing starving Syrian children goes viral

A new video. which purports to show starving children in the Syrian town of Madaya, is going viral on YouTube and on social media sites.

The short clip begins with disturbing footage of a kid who claims not to have eaten in seven days, and goes on to shortly explain the situation in Madaya, which is under siege by government forces.

According to the video, Madaya, home to some 40,000 Syrians, has not received aid or food since October 2015.

Remand extended for father of TA shooter suspect

The court extends by three days the remand of the father of Nashat Milhem, the fugitive man suspected in last Friday’s deadly shooting attacks in Tel Aviv.

Muhammed Milhem — the suspected gunman’s father, who is himself a suspect in the case — says he believes his son is in the West Bank.

Muhammad Milhem at the Haifa Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, January 5, 2016 (Channel 2 screenshot)
Muhammed Milhem at the Haifa Magistrate’s Court, January 5, 2016 (Channel 2 screenshot)

Police say Nashat Milhem opened fire with a submachine gun on the Simta Bar on Tel Aviv’s central Dizengoff Street on Friday afternoon, killing 26-year-old Alon Bakal and 30-year-old Shimon Ruimi and injuring seven others. He then allegedly fired into two other establishments, fled the scene on foot, hailed a cab, and rode to north Tel Aviv, where he killed the driver before abandoning the vehicle.

Egypt says no one hurt in attack near Giza Pyramids

An attacker fired birdshot at an Egyptian security post outside a hotel near the Giza Pyramids on Thursday morning, the Interior Ministry says.

The ministry says no one was hurt in the incident at the Three Pyramids Hotel, but the attack damaged the hotel’s facade and also a bus parked in front of the building.

According to a ministry statement, the shooter was part of a group of about 15 people who threw flares at the hotel’s security post. A suspect was arrested and police were still searching for the rest of the group, the statement said. It did not identify the arrested suspect.

A bus used by Arab Israelis tourists shows signs of an attack in Cairo on January 7, 2016 (screen capture: Channel 2)
A bus used by Arab Israeli tourists shows signs of an attack, Cairo, January 7, 2016. (screen capture: Channel 2)

The motive for the attack was unclear and no one immediately claimed responsibility for it. However, a witness at the scene indicated the attack was more organized than the ministry described and that deadly weapons were used.

“The first thing they fired was flares, and then they started firing at the bus. Later they started firing birdshot at the hotel and tried to throw Molotov cocktails at the bus,” says Jaber Jabarin, an Arab Israeli citizen who was staying at the hotel and witnessed the attack.

After throwing Molotov cocktails, Jabarin says the attackers “started firing at the hotel with live bullets.” He describes heavy, continuous gunfire.

In Jerusalem, Alon Lavi, a spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry, says the bus that was hit was in use by a group of visiting Arab Israelis but that no one was inside the bus at the time of the incident and that no Israelis were hurt. He says Israel was briefed on the incident by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry

— AP

Two men arrested for allegedly hurling stun grenade in Hadera

Two men aged 20 and 25 are arrested on suspicion of hurling a stun grenade at a home in Hadera.

According to police, the men threw the grenade into the yard of the house, then fled the area on a scooter.

The two are taken in for questioning.

French IS commander, in Syria, gets 15-year term at home

A suspected Islamic State group commander is sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison for running a network recruiting European extremist fighters.

The court sentences six others to terms of six to nine years in prison for participating in a group preparing acts of terrorism. Salim Benghalem is believed to be in Syria. The others returned to France after stays in Syria ranging from a few days to 18 months.

Benghalem, who is also wanted by the US, went on trial despite his absence from the courtroom. His wife, who left Syria with their children, had told investigators he would return to France only to carry out attacks — not stand trial.

— AP

Government to approve Deri for Interior Ministry appointment

The reappointment of Shas party leader Aryeh Deri as interior minister is set to be approved by the government Sunday.

Deri was set to return to the post this week, some 16 years after a corruption conviction ended his tenure and put him behind bars for almost two years.

Shas party leader Aryeh Deri in the Knesset on December 30, 2015. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Shas party leader Aryeh Deri in the Knesset on December 30, 2015 (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Deri, 56, will replace the former Likud interior minister and vice prime minister Silvan Shalom, who resigned from the Knesset last month as pressure mounted over an increasing number of allegations of sexual harassment by women who had worked with him. (The allegations against Shalom were not substantiated and a police investigation was subsequently closed.)

Roads in Jerusalem blocked due to ultra-Orthodox protests

The roads leading to Jerusalem’s Kikar HaShabbat are blocked to traffic due to demonstrations by members of the ultra-Orthodox community against a state decision to perform an autopsy on a 4-month-old baby who died overnight after allegedly being shaken violently by a caretaker.

Some demonstrators set fire to garbage cans and hurl stones at police during the protest.

Ten demonstrators are arrested.

Adelson ‘offered $1 billion to finance Iron Dome for Israel’

Jewish-American billionaire and Republican donor Sheldon Adelson offered US President Barack Obama to personally finance $1 billion for Iron Dome batteries set to be deployed in Israel, according to a new report in Politico.

The report stated that the money would be paid through the federal government.

Sheldon Adelson, pictured in 2014. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images, via JTA)
Sheldon Adelson, 2014 (Ethan Miller/Getty Images, via JTA)

Obama declined the offer, made in 2013, saying that private financing of munitions would not set a good precedent, Politico says.

IDF soldiers kicked out of course for writing ‘Death to Arabs’

An IDF soldier is kicked out of the army’s Squad Commanders Course three weeks before its end, after he writes “Death to Arabs” in a Facebook comment.

An IDF spokesman says the army shows “zero tolerance in such cases.”

Paris prosecutor’s office opening terror investigation

The Paris prosecutor’s office says it is opening a terrorism investigation after a man carrying a butcher’s knife and wearing fake explosives showed up at a police station in northern Paris and was killed by police.

The statement from the Paris prosecutor says the man’s body was found with a cell phone and a piece of paper with an emblem of the Islamic State group and a claim of responsibility written in Arabic. The statement did not provide more details about the claim.

The statement says the man cried out “Allahu akbar” when he threatened police at 11:30 a.m., a year almost to the minute after two Islamic extremists burst in the offices of the Charlie Hebdo newspaper, gunning down 12 people, including two police officers.

— AP

Terrorist’s chilling words to hostages at Paris kosher supermarket revealed

Amedy Coulibaly, the terrorist who killed four Jewish men and held more than a dozen people hostage at a kosher supermarket in Paris a year ago, told customers at the store that he had “come to die a martyr,” according to the BBC’s new documentary Three Days of Terror.

“You really don’t get it, I’ve come to die a martyr,” Coulibaly told a young woman, one of the 15 people held hostage at the site.

A policeman stands guard, on January 21, 2015, in front the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket where jihadist gunman Amedy Coulibaly killed four Jewish men on January 9, 2015 in Paris. (AFP/Eric Feferberg)
A policeman stands guard on January 21, 2015, in front the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris where jihadist gunman Amedy Coulibaly killed four Jewish men on January 9, 2015. (AFP/Eric Feferberg)

“To avenge the name of Allah and his Prophet Muhammad.”

Coulibaly’s attack came two days after brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi killed 12 people in an attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices.

16-year-old Palestinian arrested after knife found under his clothes

A 16-year-old Palestinian from the Shuafat refugee camp near Jerusalem is arrested at the entrance to the capital after a knife is found under his clothes.

The teenager aroused the suspicions of Border Policemen at a checkpoint, who search him and located the weapon.

Haaretz reporter Gideon Levy wins Olof Palme human rights prize

Israeli journalist Gideon Levy and Palestinian pastor Mitri Raheb win the 2015 Olof Palme human rights prize for their “fight against occupation and violence”, the jury says.

Levy, a journalist at the left-leaning Israeli daily Haaretz, and Raheb, a preacher and pastor in the Lutheran church in Bethlehem, are honored for their “courageous and indefatigable fight against occupation and violence, and for a future Middle East characterized by peaceful coexistence and equality for all,” the Olof Palme Memorial Fund says in a statement.

“They both give a ray of hope to a conflict that has plagued and continues to plague millions of people and to endanger world peace,” it said.

Gideon Levy (Soppakanuuna/Wikipedia Commons)
Gideon Levy (Soppakanuuna/Wikipedia Commons)

A controversial figure for the Palestinian cause, Levy has published articles opposing the Israeli army’s operations in Gaza in December 2008-January 2009 and in July-August 2014.

For more than 25 years he has written a column, entitled “Twilight Zone”, on the hardships of life in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Levy, who won the Euro-Med journalism prize in 2008, is a “true patriot (who) has made reconciliation with the Palestinian people the mission of his life,” the jury says.

Raheb is a renowned theologian and author, a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan who has worked to further inter-religious respect and understanding, particularly among youths.

The Olof Palme Prize is an annual prize worth $75,000 (69,000 euros) awarded by the Swedish labour movement.

Stones hurled at Israeli bus at West Bank

Stones are hurled at an Israeli bus driving near Wadi Haramiya in the central West Bank.

No injuries reported.

Suspected stabbing by 3 attackers thwarted in Gush Etzion Junction

Security forces manage to thwart an attempted stabbing attack at the Gush Etzion Junction in the West Bank, an IDF spokesperson says.

According to unverified reports from the scene, three attackers are involved in the thwarted stabbing.

Scene of an attempted stabbing near the Gush Etzion Junction in the West Bank on January 7, 2016. (Etzion Blov Regional Council)
Scene of an attempted stabbing near the Gush Etzion Junction in the West Bank on January 7, 2016. (Etzion Blov Regional Council)

No soldiers hurt, two knifemen in Etzion attack killed, 3rd wounded

The IDF updates that three attackers armed with knives attempted to stab soldiers guarding the Gush Etzion Junction.

The IDF force thwarted the attack, responding to imminent danger and shooting the perpetrators, resulting in the death of two, the army says.

The third attacker is receiving medical treatment at the scene.

No Israelis were injured in the attempted attack.

Third attacker in Gush Etzion thwarted attack dies

All three attackers who attempted to stab soldiers guarding the Gush Etzion Junction are pronounced dead.

The IDF force thwarted the attack, responding to imminent danger and shooting the perpetrators, resulting in the death of two, the army says.

No Israelis were injured in the attempted attack.

Kerry says implementation of Iran nuclear deal ‘days away’

US Secretary of State says the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal is only “days away.”

— AFP

Soldiers shoot attacker in attempted West Bank stabbing

IDF troops shoot a Palestinian as he tries to stab soldiers in Beit Anun, near the West Bank city of Hebron.

There is no immediate word on his condition, or whether any Israelis are injured.

— Judah Ari Gross

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