ISRAEL NEWS: Saudis tried to block UAE-Israeli-Jordan energy, water deal –

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ISRAEL NEWS: The Times of Israel is liveblogging Wednesday’s developments as they occur.

Palestinian man seriously hurt after settlers pelt his car with stones – PA official

A Palestinian man suffered serious injuries after Jewish settlers attacked his car as he drove through West Bank. The stones caused him to veer off of the road and collide with a vehicle, Palestinian officials claim.

Raid Kharaz lost control when stones hurled from settlers crashed through his windshield near al-Mughayir in the West Bank, according to Ghassan Dagalas, an official of the Palestinian Authority who monitors settler violence.

Kharaz received minor injuries and was taken to a local hospital. His son was also in the vehicle.

The Israeli army refers any questions to the police. They do not respond immediately to a request to comment.

At least 27 dead as migrant boat capsizes in English Channel

At least 27 migrants bound for Britain died when their boat sank in the English Channel in an unusually deadly sinking on the dangerous crossing, according to a French police official.

A joint French-British operation is ongoing to find survivors. About 50 people were believed to be in the boat when it sank, according to the official, who was not authorized to be publicly named. The nationalities of the passengers were not revealed.

Over 1 million Israelis have yet to get COVID booster

Over 1 million eligible Israelis have yet to receive their COVID booster shot, and some 700,000 are not vaccinated at all, contributing to rising morbidity, Channel 12 reports. According to the network, another 250,000 Israelis have recovered from COVID but have yet to get one vaccine shot, as prescribed by the health authorities.

Coronavirus Czar Salman Zarka told the network that there is a misperception in Israel that the danger has passed. “Vaccination is the best tool” to combat it.

” The pandemic is still present,” he warns.

The million people who haven’t received their booster yet “aren’t anti-vaxxers…maybe they falsely believe that the danger has passed,” he says.

Israel to give Gaza Christians permits for Christmas holiday

Israeli authorities say they will permit 500 members of the Gaza Strip’s tiny Christian community to enter Israel and the West Bank to celebrate Christmas.

Israel allowed Gazans to leave the blockaded territory in the past for Christmas. However, the practice was stopped last year by the coronavirus pandemic.

Movement out of Gaza also has been restricted since an 11-day war last May between Israel and the territory’s Hamas rulers. Since then, Israel has started to relax some restrictions and granted several thousand Gazans permission to work in Israel. This was part of Egyptian quiet efforts to broker a long-term ceasefire.

COGAT is the Israeli defense agency responsible for Palestinian civilian affairs. It announces permits that allow people to visit their relatives and holy places in Israel and West Bank. It says it is also increasing access to Jerusalem for Christians in the West Bank and allowing some 200 Gazan Christians to travel through Israel to Jordan for journeys abroad.

Bethlehem is located in the West Bank. It is revered by Christians and is considered the birthplace for Christ. Officials fear that the lingering effects from the pandemic will make it less dependent on tourism.

About 1,000 Christians live in Gaza, a tiny fraction of the territory’s 2 million people. The majority of Gaza’s small community are Greek Orthodox. About 25% are Catholics.

Saudis attempted to block UAE-Israel-Jordan deal on energy, water — report

Saudi Arabia tried to force the United Arab Emirates into torpedoing a major energy and water deal for Jordan and Israel. Axios reports that two Israeli officials were involved in the effort.

The agreement signed earlier this week will see the construction of a major solar power plant in the Hashemite Kingdom to generate electricity for the Jewish state while a desalination plant established in Israel will send water to Jordan.

According Axios the Saudis also proposed a plan it would lead in partnership with Jordan and the UAE, which would leave Israel out. According to the report, although the Emiratis refused the Saudi pressure, the signing of the agreement was delayed for several hours by Saudi efforts to block it.

The UAE-brokered deal was not known to Saudi Arabia until it was made public, according the report. Riyadh was concerned that the UAE-brokered deal would undermine its crown prince’s efforts for climate leadership in the region, unlike Jordan and the UAE.

29-year-old man killed in Haifa underworld hit

A 29-year-old man has been killed by gunfire in a suspected underworld hit in Haifa, police say, following reports of shooting in the northern city.

According to Hebrew media reports, the slain man was a well-known criminal. Gunfire injures a second man.

AG: Netanyahu should give back $300,000 to late cousin’s estate

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit says former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu should give back $300,000 to the estate of his cousin and benefactor, Nathan Milikowsky.

His legal opinions are submitted to the High Court of Justice in a petition regarding the issue.

Netanyahu is accused of accepting $300,000 from Milikowsky — who died in July — while serving as prime minister.

Netanyahu is facing fraud and breach-of-trust charges in a case that involves illicit gifts from wealthy benefactors. Milikowsky was reportedly questioned by police in the investigation, known as Case 1000, in which the prime minister is suspected of receiving some NIS 1 million ($282,000), most of it in cigars and champagne. According to reports, Netanyahu claimed that he bought some cigars with his own money while others were purchased with cash from Milikowsky.

Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu at the Jerusalem District Court, November 22, 2021 (Oren Ben Hakoon/Pool)

Mandelblit closed another case, known as the “stock affair”, in October. This case concerns allegations that Netanyahu illegally made a profit of several million dollars by selling shares in a company to Milikowsky. Mandelblit’s office had been looking into the allegations for nearly a year and a half, after TV reports claimed Netanyahu made a suspicious return of over 700 percent on stocks he held in Seadrift Coke.

Mandelblit acknowledged that the premier could have received substantial benefits from his cousin, but said it was not clear if he knew. He has also noted that the statute of limitations has long expired for the potential suspicions of fraud and breach of trust in the 2007 case.

Vaccines reduce COVID transmission by 40% — WHO

COVID vaccines reduce transmission of the dominant Delta variant by about 40 percent, the WHO says, warning that people were falling into a false sense of security concerning the shots.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of World Health Organization, says that many people who have been vaccinated are mistakenly believing they don’t need to take other precautions after receiving their shots.

All persons who have been fully immunized must follow the steps to prevent the virus from spreading, Tedros insists. He explains that the less contagious Delta made it difficult for vaccines to be as effective in preventing transmission.

” We are concerned about the false security that vaccines have ended a pandemic, and people who have been vaccinated don’t need to take other precautions,” Tedros told reporters.

” Vaccines can save lives, but they don’t completely prevent transmission.

“Data suggests that before the arrival of the Delta variant, vaccines reduced transmission by about 60 percent. With Delta, that has dropped to about 40 percent.”

2 injured by gunfire in Haifa; police investigating

According to reports, two people were injured in gunfire in Haifa’s northern city. One of them is in critical condition.

Police continue to search for the gunmen. The circumstances surrounding this shooting are still not clear.

Sweden’s first female prime minister quits hours after being tapped

Hours after being selected as Sweden’s prime Minister, Magdalena Andersson quits following a defeat in Parliament and the departure of its coalition partner from the two-party minority government.

” “It is about respect but I don’t want to lead any government where there may possibly be grounds to doubt its legitimacy,” Andersson said at a news conference.

Andersson informed Anderas Norlen, the parliamentary speaker, that she is interested in leading a Social Democratic single-party government.

She states that a coalition government should be resigned if a party leaves the government. It is important to try it again .”

despite the fact that the parliamentary situation remains unchanged.

UAE announces $10 billion fund for investments in Turkey

The United Arab Emirates announces a $10 billion fund for investments in Turkey, state media reports.

“The UAE announced the establishment of a $10 billion fund to support investments in Turkey,” the official Emirati news agency WAM says.

The announcement was made after Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed met with Turkish President Recep Takyip Erdogan in Ankara. It marks a new chapter for relations between regional rivals.

WAM states that the move is to “support the Turkish economy, and boost bilateral cooperation between both countries .”

It states that the main focus of the project will be on strategic investments, especially in energy and health sectors.

Sheikh Mohammed’s visit was the first high-level UAE trip to Turkey since 2012 and comes a day after the Turkish lira crashed.

Hezbollah condemns Australia’s decision to list whole organization as terror group

Lebanon’s Shiite terror group Hezbollah denounces Australia’s decision Wednesday to include the entire group in its “terrorist organizations” list. It accuses Canberra of following US and Israeli orders.

Hezbollah was long under US sanctions. It has been blacklisted by Israel and the US as a terrorist organization. However, the Iran-backed group is a powerful political player with seats in Lebanon’s parliament.

Countries have resisted sanctioning the political wing of the group, fearing that it could undermine relations with Lebanese authorities and destabilize the country.

Hezbollah said in a statement that it “strongly denounced” the Australian authorities’ decision, saying it was “humiliating submission to American and Zionist dictates” and served Israeli interest.

Australia’s action extended an already-existing ban against the Shiite group’s armed wings.

The statement states that Hezbollah’s “decision” and all those before it will not alter its position or right to resist.

EU condemns Iran’s execution of young murder convict

The EU roundly condemns Iran’s execution of a 25-year-old man convicted of a murder committed when he was a minor, saying it violated international treaties.

” The European Union condemns the execution in “the strongest terms”, a spokesperson for EU chief Josep Borrell said in a statement.

He adds that the EU “recalls yet again that death sentences for crimes committed by persons below the age of 18 are contrary to international obligations under the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.”

Iran are both parties, the statement states.

Controversial plan to build new East Jerusalem neighborhood advanced

Jerusalem City Council’s Planning and Building Committee approves a plan to build a new Jewish neighborhood with thousands of housing units in East Jerusalem.

The new neighborhood would be located at the site of the Atarot Airport, which has been inoperative since the eruption of the Second Intifada in 2000.

Although the initial planning approval for Atarot has been granted, it will still need several authorizations before ground can even be broken. International pressure has caused the delay in progressing the plan for many years.

The next stage of the hearing is scheduled before District Committee for Planning and Building, December 6.

Israeli court rejects Gaza man’s appeal for apology over deadly strike

Israel’s Supreme Court rejects an appeal from a Palestinian man who was seeking an apology from Israel over a 2009 tank strike that killed three of his daughters and a niece in the Gaza Strip.

The ruling dashes the hopes of Izzeldin Abuelaish, who has been on a 13-year campaign to seek justice for what he says was a terrible mistake by the Israeli military.

In its decision, the court upheld the ruling of a lower court in favor the military. The Israeli government argued that the military was not responsible for wartime actions.

” Our hearts go out to appellant,” the Supreme Court justices wrote in their ruling. They claim that there was no solution or remedy in the case .”

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Ethiopia PM reaches front line to fight rebels

The Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmad has reached the front line, where rebels from northernmost Tigray have been defeated, state-affiliated media reports.

International alarm has been raised over the ongoing conflict that has raged for over a year. Foreign governments have asked their citizens to flee amid concerns that Tigrayan rebels might march on Addis Ababa.

Abiy, winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, “is now leading the counter-offensive” and “has been giving leadership from the battlefield as of yesterday,” Fana Broadcasting Corporate reports.

Deputy Prime Minster Demeke Mekonnen handles “regular activity,” according to the report.

It was unclear where Abiy, an ex-radio operator in the military who rose up to lieutenant colonel, had been deployed. State media doesn’t broadcast images of him on the ground.

Officials have not responded requests for information about his mission or whereabouts.

According to UN estimates, fighting in north Africa’s second-most populous country has resulted in the deaths of thousands and forced hundreds of thousands into famine like conditions.

Foreign Envoys have been tirelessly pushing for a ceasefire but there are few signs that a breakthrough may be on the horizon.

As vaccines rolled out for kids, just 4% of parents make appointments

Israel has rolled out COVID vaccinations for children aged 5-11, but the campaign is off to a slow start, with just 4 percent of parents setting up appointments for their kids, Channel 12 reports.

US will not ‘sit idly’ if Iran drags out nuclear talks, says envoy

The United States won’t “sit idly by” Iran if it stalls on returning to a nuclear agreement in talks that resume next week, says the US special envoy.

” If they get too close, or too comfortable, then we won’t be ready to sit idly,” Rob Malley, US negotiator, tells National Public Radio.

Iran will resume talks in Vienna on Monday with world powers after a five month gap due to the election of Ebrahim Raisi, an ultra-conservative president.

The negotiations were initiated after the head the International Atomic Energy Agency returned from a trip to Iran and stated that there was no progress in talks over disputes about Iran’s nuclear program.

US President Joe Biden’s administration opened the talks earlier this year in hopes of returning the United States to a 2015 nuclear accord trashed by predecessor Donald Trump, but has failed to reach an understanding with Iran.

” We’re ready to get back in the deal and to lift any sanctions that are not consistent with the agreement. Malley states that Iran has the ability to get back in to the agreement if it so chooses.”

“If the US doesn’t want back in the deal and if it continues doing what it seems to be doing, which is to drag itself at the nuclear diplomatic tables and accelerate its pace when referring to its nuclear program, then we’ll have .”

to respond.

Moshe Hogeg remanded in custody for another week

Buyer Moshe Hogeg of FC Beitar Jerusalem is being held in custody until Wednesday,

Hogeg has been arrested. According to court documents, he is suspected of 21 offenses, including money laundering, theft, and fraud, as well as crimes entailing sexual and moral turpitude currently under gag order.

Erdogan criticizes Israel’s ‘oppressive’ treatment of Palestinians

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses Israel of “oppressive” policies vis-a-vis the Palestinians, including the alleged forced displacement of residents in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to local media reports.

” We must do everything we can to protect the dignity and status of Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine. He says that the main issue is to establish lasting peace and stability on a basis of a bilateral solution and established international parameters.”

Erdogan says that continued dialogue with Israel is in Turkey’s best interest and calls for the resumption peace talks between Israel-Palestinian.

The comments were made after high-level discussions between Erdogan and Israeli leaders. They follow the release of a couple from Israel, Natali Oknin and Mordy Oknin who were detained in Turkey for eight days while photographing Erdogan’s palace.

The government thanked Erdogan specifically for setting them free. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett both called Erdogan.

Health minister: It’s possible we’ll need a fourth COVID vaccine dose

Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz suggests that Israelis might need to receive a fourth dose of COVID vaccine.

“It’s not unreasonable [to think] we’ll need a fourth vaccine,” says Horowitz in an interview with Channel 12, after Health Ministry data indicated that 9 percent of the new cases diagnosed yesterday had received the third, booster, dose.

He also told the station that he doesn’t believe Israel is in a fifth wave infection despite an increase in COVID cases.

Israel slams Belgium for labeling settlement products, cancels diplomatic meetings

Israel condemns Belgium for allowing West Bank settlements to be labeled as products.

The Foreign Ministry called the decision “anti-Israeli” in a statement. It said that it “harms both Israelis and Palestinians .”

Deputy Foreign Ministry Idan Roll cancels meetings with Belgian parliamentarians and the Belgian Foreign Ministry in retaliation.

” The decision of the Belgian government reinforces the radicals and does not advance peace within the region. It also makes Belgium a source that is not contributing to the stability in the Middle East,” Roll states.

Rocket alert sirens to sound in Ashdod tonight as part of drill

Rocket alert sirens will be tested in the southern city of Ashdod tonight, between 7: 05 p.m. and 7: 45 p.m., as part of a drill.

Under new deal, Israel and Morocco could share intel, hold joint drills — official

A top Israeli defense official has stated that Jerusalem and Rabat will soon begin to cooperate on security matters after the signing of a memorandum between the two countries.

” The agreement we signed will allow us cooperation — with exercises and with information. This agreement will allow us and them to help with any information or exercises they require, while still protecting our interests. “We have a strategic alliance in knowledge,” Zohar Palti, head of the Defense Ministry’s Political-Military Bureau, said to reporters during Benny Gantz’s visit as Defense Minister to Rabat.

For Israel, the renewed relations with Morocco are not of immediate practical importance for national security. They do not work with Iran, as do its new relationships with Bahrain and other Arab Emirates. However, the relationship is considered of potentially greater importance, given the two countries’ natural ties, with some 700,000 Jewish Israelis having Moroccan roots.

“Israel owes Morocco for its long-standing support of Jews and their heritage. This is what [for the relationship],” Palti explains.

Israel and Morocco formally developed ties in the early 1990s, but Rabat officially halted them in 2000 with the outbreak of the Second Intifada. Officially, however, they maintained some contact via their respective intelligence services.

” We must give credit the generations of people who worked in security services and other branches to build the infrastructure we have today,” Palti states.

A prison commander says female IDF soldiers were ‘pimped’ for terrorist prisoners

Gilboa Prison commander Freddy Ben Shitrit appears to confirm reports from 2018 that female IDF soldiers who were doing their military service in the prison as guards were “pimped” and forced to have sex with Palestinian terrorists.

Ben Shitrit claims that the prison “pimped soldiers and handed over female soldiers…to terrorists for sexual reasons.” This incident is alleged to have occurred before Ben Shitrit was appointed commander of the prison.

The allegations were first reported in 2018 by Channel 20 and firmly denied by the prison services.

Ben Shitrit testified before a government panel about the failures that led a prison break in the hands of Palestinian security prisoners earlier in this year.

Hamas urges Moroccans to condemn Gantz’s visit

The Hamas terror group asks Moroccans to denounce and condemn Benny Gantz, the Defense Minister of Morocco’s visit to that country.

“Normalization – no matter how close – will not legitimize occupation, which will continue to be our nation’s singular enemy,” Ismail Radwan, senior Hamas official said in a statement.

Germany set for new government that will end Merkel’s reign

The three parties that are negotiating to form Germany’s next government will present their coalition agreement Wednesday. Two of the potential partners have stated this. This agreement will allow Olaf Scholz, the center-left leader, to succeed Angela Merkel as long-time Chancellor in the coming weeks.

The center-left Social Democrats have been negotiating with the environmentalist Green party and the pro-business Free Democrats since narrowly winning a national election on September 26. These two parties indicated that the agreement would be presented Wednesday afternoon.

If party members agree to it, the three way alliance — which has not yet been tried in national governments — will replace the “grand coalition” that consists of traditional big parties. Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats were Merkel’s junior partner. The Social Democrats served as that party’s junior partner.

Merkel, who didn’t run for a fifth term, is expected to be succeeded by Scholz, 63, who has been her finance minister and vice chancellor since 2018.

The three governing parties hope Scholz will be elected chancellor of parliament in the week that begins December 6. Before that can happen, the coalition deal requires approval from a ballot of the Greens’ roughly 125,000-strong membership and from conventions of the other two parties.

2 journalists at Norway state broadcaster arrested in Qatar

Security forces in Qatar detained two journalists from Norwegian state television for over 30 hours and deleted footage they gathered at a migrant labor camp as they tried to report on worker issues ahead of the FIFA 2022 World Cup, authorities say.

Qatar later accused NRK journalists Halvor Ekeland, and Lokman Ghorbani “trespassing upon private property and filming with no permit,” as they returned to Norway early Wednesday morning following their arrest. Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere responded by saying their arrest was “unacceptable.”

” A free press is essential in a functioning democracy,” Gahr Steere said on Twitter. This also shows how important it is to award the Nobel Peace Prize this year (to journalists). It is a great pleasure to see that Halvor Ekeland, and Lokman Ghorbani are now .”

.

Norwegian News Agency NTB reported later that the Qatari ambassador was summoned by Oslo’s foreign minister to discuss the matter.

The arrests were made a year before the World Cup and show the continued sensitivity of Qatar’s autocratic government. Qatar is a small nation, but it is a country that is rich in energy. Similar problems and detentions have been faced by other journalists reporting from Qatar, well before the World Cup.

Ekeland was a sports journalist and Ghorbani was a photographer. They were in Qatar at the time of the World Cup. They were reported to have been reporting on conditions of migrants laborers in a live report.

EU health agency calls for ‘urgent’ COVID measures

The European Union health agency urges member states to urgently introduce anti-Covid policies to decrease the potential “very high” burden of the disease in December and January.

The director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Andrea Ammon, recommends Covid booster shots for all adults over the age of 18, “with a priority for people above 40 years old.”

The agency urges countries to improve their overall vaccination rates, particularly for those who have low uptake.

Lapid to meet with leaders of Britain, France as Iran talks resume

Foreign minister Yair Lapid will fly next week to Europe to meet with Boris Johnson in the UK and Emmanuel Macron in France to discuss the resumption and future of bilateral ties and Iran’s nuclear program.

Indirect talks between the US and Iran over a return to the 2015 JCPOA are set to resume next Monday.

Lapid will depart Sunday morning for London and will meet on Monday with Liz Truss, Johnson and the Conservative Friends of Israel.

Lapid will meet with Jean-Yves Le Drian from France on Tuesday. He will then sit down with Macron.

He will be returning to Israel on Wednesday morning.

No babies in Parliament: UK lawmakers outraged by infant ban

Several British politicians are calling for a change to the rules of parliamentary procedure after a lawmaker was told that she could not bring her 3-month-old child into the House of Commons chamber.

Stella Creasy,

Labour Party legislator, says she was sent a letter by the House of Commons after taking her son Pip to a House of Commons debate.

She claims she has taken Pip and her older child to Parliament before without any problems. However, in September the rules were changed. Members of Parliament now know that they should not be seated in the chamber if accompanied by their child .”

Creasy claims that the rule has undermined efforts to make politics family-friendly.

” There are many barriers that prevent mums from getting involved in politics. This, she says to the BBC.

A Conservative, Dominic Raab, the Deputy Prime Minister, said he feels sympathy for Creasy but that the final decision rests with the House authorities.

“I think we do need to make sure our profession is brought into the modern world, the 21st century, and can allow parents to juggle the jobs they do with the family time that they need,” Raab says.

Green Party lawmaker Caroline Lucas claims that the ban on babies was “absurd.” She said that babies are far less disruptive than braying backbenchers .”

Back from Iran, IAEA chief says he couldn’t reach agreements

The UN nuclear watchdog’s chief says he “couldn’t agree” with Iranian officials in talks to resolve disagreements over Iran’s atomic program. This was just a day after returning home from Tehran.

” We could not agree yesterday, despite my best efforts,” Rafael Grossi (director general, International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA) tells reporters.

Health Ministry warns new restrictions possible if daily cases top 1,000

The Health Ministry warns that fresh restrictions on gatherings could be imposed if the number of daily COVID infections surpasses 1,000.

The number of cases has slowly started to rise, with more than 600 on Tuesday.

Ilana Gens, the Health Ministry’s Public Health Services Coordinator, makes the statement during a Knesset committee hearing.

Accomplice in deadly May terror shooting sentenced to 10 months

A Palestinian man convicted of aiding a terrorist following a deadly drive-by shooting at Tapuah Junction in the West Bank in May is sentenced to 10 months in prison.

Lafi Sharabi agrees to a plea deal with the prosecution. He will also pay the families of the victims.

Shalabi is accused of hiding his cousin — the terrorist Muntasir Shalabi, 47 — from the Israeli army after he carried out the shooting that killed Israeli student Yehuda Guetta of Jerusalem, 19. Other Israelis were also hurt in the attack, some seriously.

According to Ynet, Lafi Shalabi, who was under Israeli custody two weeks ago was elected mayor in his West Bank village, Turmus Aya.

Yehuda Guetta, 19, was killed in a drive-by shooting in the West Bank (courtesy)

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