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PM seeks to make Islamic Movement’s Northern Branch illegal

Rocket fired from northern Gaza lands inside Strip; four wounded in Gan Shmuel terror attack; Palestinians say 13-year-old killed by IDF fire at Ramallah protest

  • Leader of the Joint (Arab) List MK Ayman Odeh (center) seen with MK Masud Gnaim (left), and MK Ahmad Tibi (right) in the Knesset, Jerusalem, June 29, 2015. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
    Leader of the Joint (Arab) List MK Ayman Odeh (center) seen with MK Masud Gnaim (left), and MK Ahmad Tibi (right) in the Knesset, Jerusalem, June 29, 2015. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
  • File: Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi giving a sermon. (screen capture: YouTube)
    File: Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi giving a sermon. (screen capture: YouTube)
  • A Palestinian stone thrower looks on during clashes with Israeli security forces in Beit El, near the West Bank city of Ramallah on October 10, 2015. (AFP/ABBAS MOMANI)
    A Palestinian stone thrower looks on during clashes with Israeli security forces in Beit El, near the West Bank city of Ramallah on October 10, 2015. (AFP/ABBAS MOMANI)
  • IDF soldiers at the scene of a shooting attack against an Israeli vehicle near the border with the Gaza Strip on Sunday, October 11, 2015 (courtesy)
    IDF soldiers at the scene of a shooting attack against an Israeli vehicle near the border with the Gaza Strip on Sunday, October 11, 2015 (courtesy)
  • Police and a forensic team at the scene of an attempted bombing near Ma'ale Adumim, just east of Jerusalem, on Sunday, October 11, 2015 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
    Police and a forensic team at the scene of an attempted bombing near Ma'ale Adumim, just east of Jerusalem, on Sunday, October 11, 2015 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
  • Police at the scene of an attempted suicide bombing near Ma'ale Adumim, just east of Jerusalem, on Sunday morning, October 11, 2015 (Israel Police)
    Police at the scene of an attempted suicide bombing near Ma'ale Adumim, just east of Jerusalem, on Sunday morning, October 11, 2015 (Israel Police)
  • Medics at the scene of an attempted suicide bombing near Jerusalem on Sunday morning, October 11, 2015 (Magen David Adom)
    Medics at the scene of an attempted suicide bombing near Jerusalem on Sunday morning, October 11, 2015 (Magen David Adom)
  • A file picture taken in Tehran on September 6, 2011, shows Iran's Revolutionary Guards Brig. Gen. Hossein Hamedani attending a ceremony. (AFP Photo/Behrouz Mehri)
    A file picture taken in Tehran on September 6, 2011, shows Iran's Revolutionary Guards Brig. Gen. Hossein Hamedani attending a ceremony. (AFP Photo/Behrouz Mehri)

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

Cop lightly wounded in apparent bombing attempt

A Palestinian woman detonates explosives in a car next to police officers near Ma’ale Adumim, east of Jerusalem.

The woman is killed, and one policeman is wounded.

Bomber severely wounded, MDA says

Police say officers noticed a “suspicious vehicle” driven by a woman toward a checkpoint near Ma’ale Adumim, en route to Jerusalem, and signaled to her to stop.

The woman then yelled “Allahu Akbar” and detonated a bomb in her car, a police statement says.

She was severely wounded, Magen David Adom says. Earlier reports said she had been killed.

Bomber given initial treatment for extensive burns

The Palestinian woman who attempted to bomb an Israeli checkpoint in her car is suffering from extensive burns all over her body, the Magen David Adom emergency response service says.

Paramedics are administering first aid to her, as well as to the Israeli cop lightly wounded in the explosion, MDA says.

Pictures and video from the scene

Bomber evacuated to Jerusalem hospital

The bomber is evacuated to the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem neighborhood for treatment.

Army Radio reports that the car in which she was driving was bearing Israeli, rather than Palestinian, license plates.

Bomber targeted traffic cop who pulled her over

Army Radio reports that the wounded officer is a traffic police who pulled over the bomber in her car after she aroused his suspicion.

She detonated her bomb when he approached the car, the report says.

Medics at the scene of an attempted suicide bombing near Jerusalem on Sunday morning, October 11, 2015 (Magen David Adom)

Medics at the scene of an attempted suicide bombing near Jerusalem on Sunday morning, October 11, 2015 (Magen David Adom)

Bomber was conscious after attack, paramedic says

An MDA paramedic describes the scene of the attempted bombing.

“When we arrived, we were led to a man in his 30s who was fully conscious,” Aharon Adler says. “He was walking around, and suffered from burns to his upper body. We treated him and evacuated him to the hospital in light, stable condition.”

Adler says that it was initially difficult to approach the Palestinian bomber in her car.

“When we could approach the car, we treated the driver, who was conscious, with burns all over her body, and evacuated her to the hospital in serious condition.”

Attacker exited her car before bomb went off

Police now say the Palestinian woman exited her car just before the bomb went off, indicating the attack may not have been a suicide bombing attempt.

Bomber pulled over for driving in carpool lane

Israeli traffic police pulled over the Palestinian bomber because she was driving on the highway in a lane reserved for buses and cars bearing multiple passengers, Army Radio reports.

The report says the vehicle may have contained gas canisters, indicating that the bomber intended to carry out a large attack.

IDF arrests West Bank Hamas activist

IDF soldiers arrested a Hamas activist overnight in Aram, south of Ramallah in the West Bank, the army says.

He was undergoing an interrogation on Sunday morning.

IDF pushes off appointment of new southern chief

The army announces that it is putting off a changing of the guard at the head of its Southern Command.

Maj. Gen. Sami Turgeman was set to leave his position in favor of Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir, who previously served as military secretary to the prime minister.

The Gaza border region, which is under the jurisdiction of the Southern Command, has seen a recent flareup of violence, including riots and a rocket attack overnight.

— Judah Ari Gross

Clashes resume along Gaza border

Palestinian youths resume protests near the border fence with Israel in the northern Gaza Strip.

Soldiers are firing warning shots in order to prevent them from attempting to cross into Israel, the Ynet news site reports.

Some nine Palestinians were killed in border clashes in Gaza over the weekend.

Palestinian bomber identified as Jericho resident

A woman who detonated a bomb in her car on the road to Jerusalem from Ma’ale Adumim on Sunday morning is identified by reports as a 31-year-old resident of the nearby Palestinian city of Jericho.

She is undergoing treatment for severe burns in a Jerusalem hospital.

IDF vehicle comes under fire near Gaza

Palestinians in Gaza fire at an IDF vehicle traveling near the border with the Strip, early reports say.

There are no reports of wounded.

France ‘worried’ over violence in Israel, West Bank

France says the escalation in violence in Israel and Palestinian areas is “extremely worrying and dangerous.”

The office of President Francois Hollande says “everything must be done to calm the situation and end this cycle (of violence) which has already caused too many victims.”

“This new worsening of the situation also confirms the urgency of restarting political efforts,” France says, adding that Paris “will not spare any effort in working towards this.”


Gaza shots fired at civilians, not soldiers

It appears that the shots from Gaza were fired at a vehicle belonging to a group of civilian workers, and not an army vehicle, as early reports indicated.

There were no injuries.

Hamas warns Israel against ‘foolishness’ after strike

Islamist movement Hamas warns Israel against “foolishness” after a pregnant Palestinian woman and her toddler were killed in an overnight Israel Air Force strike in the Gaza Strip that came in response to Gazan rocket fire at Israel yesterday evening.

“This shows the occupation’s desire to escalate,” says Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip. “We warn the occupation against continuing this foolishness.”


Turkey says jets were harassed at Syrian border

Turkey’s military says two Syrian jets and surface-to-air missile systems based in Syria have harassed three F-16 jets patrolling the Turkish-Syrian border.

A military statement on Sunday said the missile systems locked radar on the Turkish jets for two minutes while Syrian SU-22 and SU-24 jets placed the Turkish planes under lock for two minutes and 35 seconds. It said the incidents occurred on Saturday.

Turkey has been complaining about harassment of its jets on border patrols for the past week.

Last week, two Russian warplanes strayed into Turkish airspace during Russia’s air campaign in Syria, drawing strong protests from Turkey and its NATO allies.

— AP

Cabinet approves minimum sentences for rock throwing

The cabinet unanimously approves a bill proposed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu establishing minimum prison sentences for throwing rocks, firebombs or fireworks in a way that endangers lives.

The bill also imposes fines on minors caught in such acts, and on their parents.

The government plans to push the bill through the Knesset in an expedited process.

“We are doing this as an emergency measure and will consider the extent of its implementation; if need be, we will make the law more severe,” says Netanyahu.

Inspectors appointed to probe Turkey blasts

Turkey’s government says it has appointed two chief civil inspectors and two chief police inspectors to investigate the blasts in the Turkish capital which killed 95 people.

A statement from the government’s crisis coordination center also says that 160 people hurt in Saturday’s blasts were still hospitalized, with 65 in serious condition.

The statement says a total of 508 people sought medical treatment following the explosions —Turkey’s deadliest attack in years.

The two explosions occurred seconds apart outside Ankara’s main train station as hundreds of activists gathered for rally to call for increased democracy and an end to the renewed violence between Kurdish rebels and Turkish security forces.

— AP

Iran holds funeral for senior commander killed in Syria

Iran’s state TV says the country held a funeral Sunday for Gen. Hossein Hamedani, a senior Republican Guard commander who was killed by the Islamic State group last week near the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Hamedani was a specialist in asymmetrical and irregular warfare, who reportedly led the Guard’s Syria strategy.

A file picture taken in Tehran on September 6, 2011, shows Iran's Revolutionary Guards Brig. Gen. Hossein Hamedani attending a ceremony. (AFP Photo/Behrouz Mehri)

A file picture taken in Tehran on September 6, 2011, shows Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Brig. Gen. Hossein Hamedani attending a ceremony. (AFP Photo/Behrouz Mehri)

He was the second senior Guard commander killed in Syria since the beginning of the year. In January Brig. Gen. Mohammad Ali Allahdadi was killed by a reported Israeli airstrike.

Iran is one of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s main allies and has provided his government with military and political backing for years. Tehran admits that Republican Guard officers are on the ground in Syria in an advisory role, but denies the presence of any combat troops in the country.

— AP

Cabinet okays Roni Alsheich as new police chief

The cabinet unanimously approves the appointment of Shin Bet number two Roni Alsheich as Israel’s next police commissioner.

He is expected to start his three-year term on November 11, when he will replace interim commissioner Bentzi Sau, and will hold office until 2018. As a police outsider, Alsheich will begin an intensive period of study over the next month alongside Sau.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan lauds Alsheich’s credentials and the knowledge he has gained during his time with the country’s internal security service.

Shin Bet deputy chief Roni Alsheich, a candidate for Israel police commissioner, arrives at the Prime Minister's Office, October 1, 2015, to testify before the Turkel Commission on senior public service appointments. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Shin Bet deputy chief Roni Alsheich, a candidate for Israel police commissioner, arrives at the Prime Minister’s Office, October 1, 2015, to testify before the Turkel Commission on senior public service appointments. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

“Roni is a senior commander with much experience in the war on terror and a close familiarity with police work,” Erdan says. “Roni is a professional who advanced many security reforms and I am confident that his professional abilities, along with the values that he brings with him, will enable him to lead the Israel Police forward and to deal with every challenge it faces.”

Officials hope the appointment will bring an end to a tumultuous era for the police, which has been without a permanent chief since July and was rocked in recent years by a string of corruption and sexual harassment scandals.

Rivlin visits family of stabbing victim in fatal attack

President Reuven Rivlin pays a condolence visit to the family of Rabbi Aharon Bennett, who was killed October 3 in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem’s Old City, the President’s Residence says in a statement.

“We are strong, and our country is strong, and no one can deter us. We returned to our land out of a love for our land, and in order to build and be built up in it. We are a strong democracy, and all those who wish us evil – cannot harm this,” the president says.

Bennett was killed as he walked with his wife Adele, toddler son and baby daughter in the Old City. His wife and son were also wounded in the attack.

At the family home, Rivlin meets with Bennett’s parents Aliza and Michel, along with his brothers.

“Aharon decided to take the route he took that night, despite his mother-in-law’s warnings it was dangerous,” the father Michel tells Rivlin. “He insisted, ‘If I don’t walk there, who will?’ He saw it as a mitzvah, as a pilgrimage.”

Russian hits 63 targets in Syria in 24 hours – military

Russia’s air force hit 63 targets in Syria in the past 24 hours, the defense ministry says Sunday, as Moscow intensifies a campaign it says is aimed against the Islamic State jihadist group.

“Su-34, Su-24M and Su-25SM planes carried out 64 sorties from the Hmeimim airbase against 63 targets in the provinces of Hama, Latakia, Idlib and Raqa,” the defense ministry says in a statement, adding the airstrikes destroyed 53 enemy positions.


Arab businesses, schools announce ‘al-Aqsa’ strike

The Arab Higher Monitoring Committee, an Israeli Arab umbrella group, announces a general strike in the Arab community beginning Tuesday in protest at what it claims are Israeli plans to divide the Temple Mount – a charge Israel vehemently denies.

Businesses and schools are expected to close “to identify with the al-Aqsa Mosque.”

Arab leaders call for a mass demonstration in the Arab town of Sakhnin on Tuesday.

Iran parliament approves nuclear deal bill

Iran’s official IRNA news agency is reporting the country’s parliament has approved an outline of a bill that allows the government to implement a nuclear deal reached between Iran and world powers.

The Sunday report says under the bill, the Iranian government will be authorized to withdraw from implementation of the deal if the other side fails to lift sanctions against Iran.

Final approval of the bill is expected later this week after discussion of its details.

The deal is intended to curb Iran’s nuclear program in return for the lifting of international economic sanctions.

— AP

IDF, Palestinians face off at Gaza border, northern West Bank

Palestinians and Israeli security forces are clashing at the Hawara checkpoint in the northern West Bank. Soldiers are holding back a demonstration that set out from a-Najah University in Nablus and walked toward the checkpoint.

Some 600 Palestinians are also demonstrating in Tulkarm. IDF forces fire crowd-dispersal weapons to hold back the protest. Twelve demonstrators are said hurt from such fire.

Meanwhile, dozens of Palestinians are demonstrating near the Karni crossing on the Gaza border. Protesters are burning tires and attempting to approach the border fence.

IDF forces are reportedly on alert, but no direct fighting has been reported.

Arab MKs say they will visit Temple Mount Wednesday

Lawmakers from the Arab Joint List say they will visit Jerusalem’s Temple Mount on Wednesday.

The announcement contravenes a ban on politicians visiting the site announced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week.

Police are under orders to prevent MKs, Jewish or Arab, from entering the holy site.

Iraqi army says it hit Islamic State chief in airstrike

The Iraqi army says it has struck a convoy carrying Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

There is no immediate confirmation from other sources.


Knesset to discuss security for Jerusalem schools

The Knesset Education Committee will take up the issue of Jerusalem’s unprotected schools in a meeting on Tuesday.

Jerusalem’s mayor and parents organization announced last week an open-ended partial strike protesting the lack of funds for keeping security guards posted at some 400 schools in the capital after 1:30 p.m. amid a growing wave of terror attacks.

The special meeting was called by the committee’s chairman, Shas MK Yaakov Margi.

Nazareth’s Arab mayor chides Arab MKs for encouraging violence

Nazareth Mayor Ali Salam criticizes Arab Knesset members and their role in violent demonstrations in the Arab community in two interviews with Israeli press Sunday.

Speaking to Army Radio, Salam says, “I blame the leaders; they are destroying our future, they are destroying coexistence.”

Salam heads Israel’s largest Arab-Israeli city. While he disapproves of Israeli actions on the Temple Mount, he says Arab Israeli leaders must know how to make their voices heard without harming coexistence.

“We need to find a way to live together. We cannot fight like this. We are damaging ourselves,” he tells the Walla news site.

Nazareth mayor ali Salam, January 2014. (Flash90)

Nazareth Mayor Ali Salam, January 2014. (Flash90)

A demonstration in Nazareth turned violent Thursday night as protesters clashed with security forces. Over 200 people took part in the protest, according to police estimates, and it descended into rioting when protesters set fire to tires and garbage cans and hurled stones at police.

Salam tells Army Radio that he saw Arab Joint List chair Ayman Odeh at the protest.

“I said to him, ‘Get out of here. I don’t need to see you in Nazareth.’”

— Raoul Wootliff

Palestinian protests continue in East Jerusalem, Hebron area

Hundreds of Palestinians are demonstrating at al-Quds University in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu Dis.

Dozens of Palestinian protesters are throwing rocks at an IDF bus on a road near Hebron. There are no injuries reported, but the bus’s windshield is damaged.

Jewish Jerusalem man charged in racist beating of Arab men

Prosecutors file an indictment at the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court today against Jerusalem resident Aharon Azulai, 35, for allegedly attacking two Arab cleaning staff in the Old City.

The attack was motivated by racism, the prosecutors claim. He is being charged with assault with a racist motive, aggravated battery with a racist motive, and other offenses.

According to the indictment, Azulai approached one of the Arab men, pushed him and cut him in the elbow with a knife. He then beat the other man with a stick while yelling, “Death to Arabs.”

Iran issues Washington Post reporter verdict

Iran’s official IRNA news agency is reporting that the verdict against a jailed Washington Post reporter has been issued.

The Sunday report quotes judiciary spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehi as saying that Iran’s judiciary has issued its verdict against Jason Rezaian.

Ejehi did not elaborate on the details of the verdict but said it can be appealed within 20 days.

Jason Rezaian, a Washington Post reporter currently in Iranian custody. (screen capture: YouTube/Washington Post)

Jason Rezaian, a Washington Post reporter currently in Iranian custody. (screen capture: YouTube/Washington Post)

Rezaian, the Post’s Tehran bureau chief, was accused of charges including espionage in a closed-door trial that has been widely criticized by the US government and press freedom organizations. He reportedly faces up to 10 to 20 years in prison if convicted.

— AP

Islamic State chief’s condition unknown after Iraqi airstrike

It is not known if Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was hurt in an airstrike that struck his convoy near the Iraqi-Syrian border, the Iraqi army says.

Iraq’s security forces say in a joint statement that they “carried out a heroic operation targeting the convoy of the criminal terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.”

But the statement adds: “His health status is unknown.”

Iraqi security sources have previously claimed that Baghdadi had been injured or killed in strikes in the past but the claims were either never verified or later denied.

The statement says Iraqi aircraft struck Baghdadi’s convoy as it was “moving towards Karabla [some five kilometers from the Syrian border] to attend a meeting of the Daesh [IS] terrorist leaders.”


Shin Bet releases details on would-be car bomber

Security officials offer more details on the would-be car bomber wounded in this morning’s attempted bombing outside Jerusalem.

The woman, 31, is from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber but now lives in Jericho.

She has no record of security incidents, the Shin Bet says.

According to a preliminary investigation, the woman was stopped by a traffic cop just after 7 a.m. near the A-Zaim checkpoint east of Jerusalem. The policeman noticed she was driving in the public transportation lane and was intentionally driving very close to a police vehicle.

Suspicious, the officer ordered her to stop her vehicle. When he approached her car, she attempted to detonate a gas canister using an explosive detonator while shouting “Allah akbar” – “God is great” – and attempting to flee the car.

The ensuing explosion was relatively small, apparently because the canister did not detonate. The woman was badly burned, the officer lightly wounded.

The woman was found carrying handwritten notes in praise of Islamic martyrdom.

According to authorities, the attacker intended to detonate her improvised car bomb in a major Israeli population center.

Iran tight-lipped on Post reporter’s verdict

Iran’s judiciary won’t say what Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian’s verdict is.

“The verdict has been issued,” judiciary spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehi says in response to a question at a weekly news briefing, according to the official IRNA news agency. It was the first time an Iranian judicial official has confirmed that a verdict has been reached.

He says he doesn’t know if the verdict had been given to Rezaian or his lawyer, Leila Ahsan.

Calls to Ahsan and to Rezaian’s wife, Yeganeh Salehi, are not immediately returned.

Ejehi says the verdict can be appealed within 20 days.

Rezaian was detained with his wife and two photojournalists on July 22, 2014. All were later released except Rezaian.

— AP

Israeli hurt in West Bank rock-throwing attack

An Israeli man, 30, is evacuated to Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center after being lightly wounded by rocks thrown at his vehicle as he drove on Route 60, the main north-south highway in the West Bank, according to Magen David Adom.

Palestinians lobbed stones at the car near the Carmei Tzur settlement in the southern West Bank.

The man is reportedly hurt in his arms and legs.

No slowdown in tourism, says ministry

The escalating wave of violence has not dented Israel’s tourism industry, the Tourism Ministry says.

“It appears that there have been no significant cancellations to date in tourist bookings,” the ministry says following a meeting earlier today at the ministry with industry leaders.

The meeting included Tourism Ministry Director General Amir Halevi, Hotels Association CEO Noaz Bar-Nir, Incoming Tour Operators Association CEO Yossi Fattal, Jerusalem Hotels Association chairman Yishai Barnea and Tour Guides Association chairman Benny Kfir.

According to Central Bureau of Statistics figures cited by the ministry, 225,000 tourist entries were recorded in September 2015, “25% more than the same period in 2014 and an increase of 6% on September 2013.”

Israeli man, 25, hurt in rock attack east of Jerusalem

An Israeli man, 25, is lightly wounded in the face after his car is pelted by Palestinian rock throwers at the a-Zaim checkpoint east of Jerusalem.

Magen David Adom medics evacuate the man to the capital’s Hadassah Hospital at Mount Scopus.

3 Jewish girls held for attacking Arab with pepper spray

Three young Jewish women are held by Jerusalem police on suspicion of attacking a Palestinian man with pepper spray.

The Arab man works in a store on Jerusalem’s Jaffa Road. Police were called to the store, where they found the man being cared for by passersby.

The victim gave a description of the attackers, leading to the detainment of three young women nearby.

“Police will show zero tolerance toward any incident of violence or attempt to harm the public peace,” the Jerusalem Police says in a statement.

In 15 stabbing attacks, 7 attackers shot, 8 arrested

A Channel 2 tally of the latest terror wave offers the following figures:

There have been 38 police and Border Police officers wounded in the past week. Ten are still hospitalized.

There were 15 stabbing attacks. Seven of the attackers were shot by security forces. Eight were captured.

Palestinians report dozens injured in clashes with IDF

Palestinians report dozens are injured in multiple clashes with IDF forces and protests being held throughout the West Bank, Israel Radio reports.

Protests are held in Tulkarm, Nablus, the Hebron area and the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu Dis.

IDF sources say soldiers are facing rocks and firebombs, together with tires set alight by demonstrators.

No details of Palestinian injuries are immediately available.

Knesset oversight committee to discuss violence

The Knesset State Control Committee will hold a hearing Tuesday on the security situation in Jerusalem and around the country.

Committee chair MK Karin Elharar (Yesh Atid) says the committee will explore ways to “ensure a sense of security for parents and children, young and old, in Jerusalem and nationwide.”

It was important for the committee, charged with the oversight of state agencies, to “not hold this hearing after the fact, but while it is at its height,” Elharar says.

2 Turkish soldiers said killed in Kurdish attack

Two Turkish soldiers are killed in eastern Turkey in an attack blamed on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) a day after the rebel group declared it suspended all offensive operations, Turkish media say.

The soldiers are killed during clashes with PKK fighters in the Senkaya district of Erzurum province, the Dogan news agency says, citing the local governor’s office.

A wide-scale operation is underway to capture the attackers, it adds.

The PKK announced it would suspend all attacks — except in self-defense — after months of attacks in Turkey, a move seen as an attempt to help the pro-Kurdish People’s Democracy Party (HDP) boost its standing in the upcoming election on November 1.


Local Iraqis say IS leader not killed in airstrike

Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is not dead following an Iraqi army airstrike that targeted his convoy, according to local hospital officials and eyewitnesses, Reuters reports.

Iraq’s security services issued a joint statement earlier today claiming to have struck the jihadi leader’s convoy near the border with Syria, but would not say definitively whether the IS founder and leader was hurt.

There is as yet no confirmation of Baghdadi’s health, good or bad, from either IS or Iraqi authorities.

Ankara bombings death toll rises to 128

Turkish officials say the death toll in yesterday’s double car bombing in Ankara has risen to 128 from a previous estimate of 95.

Investigators suspect the attacks were carried out by Islamic State.

Jewish man, 23, indicted for throwing rocks at Jerusalem Arabs

Prosecutors file an indictment today against a 23-year-old Jewish man from Rishon Lezion, charging him with throwing rocks at Arab drivers in Jerusalem in recent days.

According to the indictment, Avraham Strunger was one of a group of young men who took to lobbing stones at Arab vehicles in the capital following the gunning down earlier this month of a Jewish couple, Eitam and Naama Henkin, in a Hamas terror attack in the northern West Bank.

Prosecutors alleged that a taxi driven by an Arab driver was damaged in one rock-throwing incident.

Guard hurt from rocks thrown at checkpoint near Jerusalem

A security guard at the a-Zaim checkpoint east of Jerusalem is lightly wounded after being hit in the head by a rock thrown by Palestinians at the checkpoint.

The guard is evacuated to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus.

Firebomb sparks brush fire north of Jerusalem

A brush fire is raging along Road 437 near the Hizme intersection north of Jerusalem.

IDF sources say the fire, spreading near Pisgat Ze’ev, was sparked by a firebomb thrown by a Palestinian.

Firefighters are working to contain the fire.

2 Palestinian women held with knife near Hebron holy site

Two Palestinian women are held in Hebron after they are found with a knife near Jewish worshipers at the city’s Machpela Cave, according to Israeli authorities.

Support for German ruling party falls over refugee influx

Backing for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party falls to its lowest point in two years, a survey published Sunday shows, as dissatisfaction over a record refugee influx spreads.

Support for her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) drops two percentage points to 38 percent — its lowest since the last parliamentary election in September 2013, according to the latest weekly polls by newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

Almost one in two Germans (48%) believe that Merkel’s decision to open the country’s doors to those fleeing war is wrong. Those who back her stance stand at 39%.

The survey also shows political parties that have been pressing for Germany to shut its doors to refugees as gaining ground, with the populist-nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD) and the liberal FDP both gaining one percentage point to 6% each.

Germany is expecting to receive between 800,000 and one million asylum seekers this year.


S. Africa ruling party wants to pull out of ICC

South Africa’s ruling party says it wants the country to withdraw from the International Criminal Court, saying the court has lost direction and no longer fulfills its mandate.

The decision comes after a spat with The Hague-based court over South Africa’s failure to arrest Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir when he arrived in the country in June to attend an African Union summit.

“The National General Council has just resolved that South Africa should withdraw from the international court. However, only after we have followed certain processes,” says Obed Bapela, who heads the ANC party’s international relations commission.

The resolution comes out of an ANC policy meeting where leaders are reviewing the party’s policies ahead of the country’s municipal elections in 2016.

The ANC says it still believes in the founding principles of the ICC, such as prevention of genocide and stopping the violations of human rights, and that such principles led the country to become a signatory to the Rome Statute that governs the court.


Two Israelis hurt in latest stabbing outside Hadera

Two Israelis, a woman and a man, are wounded in a stabbing attack near the village of Gan Shmuel north of Hadera, according to initial police reports.

The suspected attacker, reportedly a young Arab man, has been caught.

— Judah Ari Gross

Gan Shmuel attack toll rises to three wounded

The number of wounded in the Gan Shmuel stabbing attack rises to three, Magen David Adom says.

A 19-year-old woman is evacuated to Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in nearby Hadera in moderate condition with stab wounds in her upper torso.

Two other victims, a 14-year-old girl with moderate wounds and a lightly wounded 20-year-old man, arrived at the hospital on their own.

Man leaps to his death in Netanya onto moving car

A man leaps to his death from a Netanya high-rise and falls onto a car driving north on Highway 2.

The northbound lanes around the Ari Bridge outside the coastal city are closed, slowing traffic to a crawl.

19-year-old Gan Shmuel stabbing victim in critical condition

Magen David Adom updates on the condition of the 19-year-old female stabbing victim at Gan Shmuel: She is in critical condition with damage to multiple organs. She is being evacuated to Rambam Hospital in Haifa.

Police release initial findings in Gan Shmuel attack

According to the initial investigation, the Arab suspect in the Gan Shmuel stabbing attack hit the 20-year-old victim with his car, then exited the vehicle and stabbed the 19-year-old woman and 14-year-old girl, the Israel Police says in a statement.

Fourth victim in Gan Shmuel stabbing attack

A fourth victim is reported in the Gan Shmuel stabbing attack. He is said to be a 45-year-old man, lightly wounded.

Critically wounded 19-year-old taken to Hadera hospital

Due to her serious injury, the 19-year-old woman wounded in the Gan Shmuel stabbing attack is taken to the nearby Hillel Yaffe Hospital in Hadera, and not Rambam Hospital in Haifa as originally reported, Magen David Adom says.

Gan Shmuel attacker may be an Israeli citizen

Police say the Arab attacker in the stabbing attack that wounded four at the entrance to Gan Shmuel, north of Hadera, carries a blue Israeli ID card, making him either an Israeli citizen or a permanent resident of East Jerusalem.

Terrorist identified as Israeli Arab from Umm al-Fahm

The terrorist who wounded four Israelis in an attack an hour ago at the entrance to the village of Gan Shmuel is identified by police as a 20-year-old Israeli Arab man from the northern Arab town of Umm al-Fahm, which lies some 12 miles (19 kilometers) from the scene of the attack.

Palestinians say 13-year-old killed by IDF fire at Ramallah protest

Palestinian media reports that a Palestinian youth, 13, is killed from IDF fire in clashes outside Ramallah in the West Bank.

One report says the youth was watching the clashes and did not participate, and that he was hit in his head by IDF fire and died in a Ramallah hospital, according to Israel Radio.

Dozens of Palestinians are said to be wounded from IDF fire in clashes near Ramallah, Nablus, Tulkarm and the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu Dis.

Medics: 19-year-old stabbing victim was found in roadside ditch

Magen David Adom paramedic Khaled Moura’i and emergency medic Yehuda Chaim, who were the first rescue crew to arrive at the scene of the Gan Shmuel stabbing attack about an hour ago, relate what they found:

“When we arrived at the scene, we saw a young woman, about 19, unconscious with multiple wounds lying in the ditch on the side of [Road 65]. We gave her life-saving treatments, including CPR, bandaging and an IV, and evacuated her quickly to the hospital. A man, about 45, was lightly wounded in his hand. He got medical care at the scene and was also taken to the hospital.”

Shin Bet appoints new deputy head to replace Alsheich

The Shin Bet security service announces the appointment of a new deputy director for the agency, replacing outgoing No. 2 Roni Alsheich who was okayed in a cabinet vote today as Israel’s next police commissioner.

The new deputy director, identified only as “N.” in keeping with Shin Bet policy, served previously as the agency’s deputy director from 2011 to 2014.

Tel Aviv rally calls for aggressive response to terror

Some 200 Israelis are demonstrating at Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square demanding a more aggressive response to terror attacks.

Protesters, waving Israeli flags, carry signs reading “Jewish blood is not worthless.”

Saudi prince says Riyadh will stay in charge of hajj

Senior Saudi royal, Prince Turki al-Faisal, says the oversight and management of the annual Islamic hajj pilgrimage is “a matter of sovereignty” and “privilege” and will not be shared with other nations.

The pilgrimage, which ended less than three weeks ago, was marred by a disaster just outside Mecca that killed more than 1,400 pilgrims when two crowds converged down a narrow street, according to an Associated Press count based on official statements from nations whose citizens died.

Top Iranian officials have accused Saudi Arabia of mismanagement and are calling on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to manage the hajj.

The prince spoke to The Associated Press in an interview Sunday during a visit to Abu Dhabi.

— AP

PM seeks to make Islamic Movement’s Northern Branch illegal

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu orders the state prosecution and security agencies to gather evidence and prepare the case for declaring the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement an illegal organization.

The prime minister has charged that the group is engaged in incitement to violence and is partly responsible for the latest wave of violence.

The order comes at the conclusion of a Sunday evening meeting of the security cabinet.

Jerusalem schools to strike over security budget

The Parents Association in Jerusalem says it will lead a city-wide strike in Jerusalem starting Monday over concerns at a budget deficit for security guards, which leaves schools without security guards after 1:30 p.m., while many schools are still holding classes.

The strike will include all high schools and elementary schools.

Rocket fired from northern Gaza lands inside Strip

A rocket is fired from northern Gaza toward the Israeli border town of Sderot, but fails to clear the border. It lands inside the coastal strip, according to security officials.

There are no immediate reports of damage or casualties from the rocket’s fall.

Delta plane dropped parts on Ben Gurion tarmac last week

Channel 2 reports on a worrisome malfunction — technical and organizational — at Ben Gurion International Airport last Saturday.

A Delta plane that took off for the United States close to midnight Saturday dropped parts of a wheel assembly and pieces from the plane’s braking system as it lifted off the runway, the network reports.

A radar system at Ben Gurion, designed to warn of debris on the runway, triggered an alarm in the control tower, but for unknown reasons a controller in the tower concluded it was a false alarm.

Ten planes took off from the debris-strewn runway over the next four to five hours, before daybreak revealed the scattered parts and led airport authorities to clear them off the runway.

Israeli officials notified Delta, which arranged for heightened alert at the plane’s destination airport. The plane landed safely.

According to the report, authorities do not know why the wheel assembly and braking system dropped parts. Israeli and American flight safety authorities are investigating both the damage to the plane and Ben Gurion Airport’s mishandling of the runway debris.

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