Israeli authorities have begun a major security operation in Arab areas of occupied East Jerusalem, after a surge in attacks by Palestinians.
Entrances to Jabal Mukaber, a district where three men accused of killing three Israelis on October 13 came from, have been blocked by police on October 14.
The Israeli military also deployed hundreds of soldiers to assist.
Later, police said they had shot dead a man who attempted to stab a guard on the edge of Jerusalem’s Old City.
Since the beginning of October, seven Israelis have been killed and dozens wounded in shooting and stabbing attacks, the Israeli authorities say.
At least 30 Palestinians have also been killed, including assailants, and hundreds have been injured, according to the Palestinian health ministry.
On October 13, Israel’s security cabinet authorized police to close or surround “centers of friction and incitement” in Jerusalem.
It also announced that the homes of Palestinians who attacked Israelis would be demolished within days and never rebuilt, and that their families’ right to live in Jerusalem would be taken away.
On October 14, a police spokeswoman told the AFP news agency that checkpoints were being set up at “the exits of Palestinian villages and neighborhoods in East Jerusalem”.
Israeli newspapers later reported that several entrances to Jabal Mukaber had been blocked by police, with neither people nor vehicles allowed in or out. Several more areas were expected to be closed off by the end of the day.
Human Rights Watch warned that locking down parts of East Jerusalem would “infringe upon the freedom of movement of all Palestinian residents rather than being a narrowly tailored response to a specific concern”.
“The checkpoints are a recipe for harassment and abuse,” said Sari Bashi, the group’s Israel/Palestine country director, in a statement.
Meanwhile, the Israeli military said it was preparing to deploy six companies to assist police. Three hundred soldiers are already providing additional security under police command.
The security cabinet’s decisions were made after the bloodiest day in Jerusalem since the latest wave of unrest began in early October.
Israeli police have banned Palestinians from East Jerusalem from entering the Old City for two days after two Israeli men were killed and three injured in separate attacks in Jerusalem.
The Palestinian attackers were shot dead by police.
The latest violence comes two days after an Israeli couple was shot dead in the West Bank.
Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu is to hold emergency talks with security officials on October 4.
The restrictions will stop Palestinians from entering the Old City unless they live there. But Israelis, local business owners and schoolchildren will be allowed in.
The first stabbing incident took place on Saturday evening, just after the end of the Jewish Sabbath, close to Lion’s Gate in the Old City.
The two Israelis killed by Palestinians were Rabbi Nehemia Lavi, 41, a resident of the Old City, as well as 21-year-old Aharon Bennett who lives in a West Bank settlement.
The Palestinian man – named as Mohammad Halabi, a 19-year-old law student from a village near Ramallah in the West Bank – attacked Aharon Bennett, his wife, their two-year-old son and baby daughter who were on their way to pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City, the Israeli foreign ministry said in a statement.
Rabbi Nehemia Lavi, a reserve officer in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), was killed as he tried to defend the family, the ministry said.
Aharon Bennett’s wife was seriously wounded, while their son suffered minor injuries and their baby was unharmed, it added.
Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the Palestinian attacker had taken a gun from one of the wounded men and opened fire at police and tourists. He was then shot and killed by an Israeli police officer who had rushed to the scene.
Police later identified the attacker as a 19-year-old from al-Bireh, near Ramallah in the West Bank. The militant group Islamic Jihad issued a statement claiming him as one of its members.
In the second incident, a Palestinian teenager stabbed an Israeli teenager on a street in West Jerusalem in the early hours of Sunday, October 4. The attacker was also shot dead by police, similar to the earlier incident on Sunday.
There has been a recent flare-up in tensions between Israel and Palestinians, with violent confrontations between security forces and Palestinian youths in a compound holy to both Jews and Muslims in East Jerusalem.
Former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert has been found guilty in the Morris Talansky case after a corruption retrial.
The Jerusalem District Court on March 30 found Ehud Olmert guilty of fraud and breach of trust.
The judges noted that new evidence provided to the court disproves Ehud Olmert’s version of events, according to which he claimed the money involved in the case was “political money” and not a personal bribe.
All three judges ruled unanimously in finding Ehud Olmert guilty. His sentence will be determined on May 7.
Ehud Olmert had been acquitted in 2012 of taking envelopes stuffed with money from a US-based supporter.
However, a retrial was ordered after the emergence of recordings in which he referred to receiving the money.
Ehud Olmert, who served as Israeli prime minister from 2006 to 2009, is currently appealing a conviction for bribery in 2014 for which he was sentenced to six years.
His lawyers say they are considering appealing the latest conviction.
Israel has denied allegations that it spied on talks between Iran and the US over Iran’s nuclear program.
The claims, reported in the Wall Street Journal, were “utterly false”, said an Israeli official.
According to the report, Israel wanted details of the talks in order to build a case against a nuclear deal with Iran.
Earlier this month, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu told the US Congress that a deal being discussed could “pave Iran’s path to the bomb”.
The US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China are seeking to reach agreement to curtail Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
They fear Iran wants to build a nuclear bomb – something Iran denies, insisting it is merely exercising its right to peaceful nuclear power.
The sides aim to reach a framework deal by the end of March.
According to Tuesday’s report in the WSJ, Israel began eavesdropping on the talks last year and also acquired information from confidential briefings with US officials and diplomatic contacts in Europe.
The White House uncovered the operation, the report said, when US intelligence agencies spying on Israel intercepted messages among Israeli officials that could only have come from closed-door talks.
US officials were particularly upset that Israel had sought to share the information with US lawmakers and others to build a case against the deal, the report added.
The report comes amid tense relations between the White House and Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.
The Israeli prime minister angered Washington in his recent re-election campaign when he said he would not allow a Palestinian state if he was returned to office.
Benjamin Netanyahu later tempered his statement, saying he did want a two-state solution, but that “circumstances have to change”.
House Speaker John Boehner plans to visit Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel next month.
Republicans have been highly critical of President Barack Obama over the deteriorating relationship with Israel.
John Boehner’s visit will take place in April, weeks after a clear election victory for Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party.
During the campaign, Benjamin Netanyahu vowed not to allow the establishment of a Palestinian state, angering the White House.
Benjamin Netanyahu has since tempered those remarks, but the White House still warned there would be “consequences”.
Barack Obama called Benjamin Netanyahu on March 19 to congratulate him on his election victory, but warned him that the US was reassessing its approach to Israeli-Palestine peace in the wake of Netanyahu’s comments.
John Boehner’s visit will take place at some point during a two-week congressional recess that begins on March 30, according to his spokesman, Kevin Smith.
“He looks forward to visiting the country, discussing our shared priorities for peace and security in the region, and further strengthening the bond between the United States and Israel,” Kevin Smith said.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz said the visit would include several congressional Republicans.
Kevin Smith declined to comment on specifics of the trip.
In January, John Boehner invited Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress without notifying the White House.
Benjamin Netanyahu used the speech on March 3, two weeks before the Israeli elections, to criticize Barack Obama’s efforts to reach an agreement with Iran on its nuclear program.
Obama Administration officials and several Congressional Democrats criticized Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech, calling it a political ploy.
Many Democrats chose not to attend the speech, and Barack Obama refused to meet with Benjamin Netanyahu.
Secretary of State John Kerry has accused of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu of not being correct on Iran’s nuclear program talks.
Benjamin Netanyahu has criticized the US and others for “giving up” on trying to stop Iran obtaining nuclear weapons.
The Israeli PM “may not be correct”, John Kerry said after attending the latest Iran nuclear talks in Geneva.
Benjamin Netanyahu will address Congress next week, after an invitation by Republican leaders criticized by the White House.
John Kerry was reacting to a speech in which Benjamin Netanyahu had said the US and others were “accepting that Iran will gradually, within a few years, develop capabilities to produce material for many nuclear weapons”.
“I respect the White House and the president of the United States but on such a fateful matter, that can determine whether or not we survive, I must do everything to prevent such a great danger for Israel,” he said in a speech in Israel.
Having just concluded the latest round of nuclear talks with Iran in Geneva, John Kerry told senators President Barack Obama had made it clear the policy was not to let Iran get nuclear weapons and Benjamin Netanyahu’s might therefore not be correct.
The invitation for Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before Congress has angered Democrats.
Photo AFP/Getty Images
A spokesman for the White House warned against reducing US-Israeli relations to a party-political issue.
Earlier, US National Security Adviser Susan Rice had gone further and said Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit was “destructive to the fabric of the relationship”.
Benjamin Netanyahu was invited by House Speaker John Boehner in what is seen as a rebuke to President Barack Obama’s Iran policy.
Israel’s prime minister is expected to discuss Iran, as well as Islamist militant groups, in his address.
The current tensions took root over a decade ago when Iran’s nuclear program first came to light.
In 2005, Iran was referred to the UN Security Council, leading to a series of sanctions and UN resolutions requiring Tehran to stop enriching uranium.
The US and other powers – the so-called P5+1 – are negotiating with Iran on its nuclear program. They want to agree a deal by March this year, but Benjamin Netanyahu is opposed to any agreement which might allow Tehran to retain the future capacity to build a nuclear weapon.
Benjamin Netanyahu has turned down an invitation to meet Senate Democrats privately, saying this “could compound the misperception of partisanship” surrounding his trip.
Several Democratic members of Congress including Vice-President Joe Biden have said they will not attend the speech.
Republican leaders did not consult the Obama administration before inviting Benjamin Netanyahu, which the White House has called a breach of protocol.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on February 25: “The president has said the relationship between the US and Israel can’t just be reduced to a relationship between the Republican party and the Likud party.”
Barack Obama does not plan to meet Benjamin Netanyahu next week. The White House cited the “long-standing practice” of not meeting government leaders close to elections, which Israel will hold in mid-March.
Benjamin Netanyahu is fighting a tough election against the Labor Party’s Yitzhak Herzog, who has focused on the prime minister’s cooler relations with Barack Obama.
Israel has frozen the transfer of tax revenues to the Palestinians following their bid to join the International Criminal Court (ICC), Israeli officials say.
They said $127 million collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority last month would be held back.
The Palestinians submitted documents to join the ICC on January 2 in a move opposed by both Israel and the US.
Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat condemned the Israeli measure, calling it a “new war crime”.
“Israel is once again responding to our legal steps with further illegal collective punishments,” Saeb Erekat said.
Israel collects taxes on behalf of the Palestinians, and transfers about $100 million per month, accounting for two-thirds of the authority’s budget.
It is not the first time Israel has halted the monthly transfers. It imposed a similar sanction in April 2014 after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas applied to join a series of international treaties and conventions.
Joining the ICC could see Palestinians pursue Israel on war-crime charges.
An unnamed Israeli official who announced the new freeze said Israel would defend itself against any Palestinian claims in the “international arena”.
He told Haaretz newspaper that “when it comes to war crimes, we have quite a bit of ammunition”.
Earlier this week Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said: “It is the Palestinian Authority – which is in a unity government with Hamas, an avowed terrorist organization that, like ISIS [Islamic State], perpetrates war crimes – that needs to be concerned about the [ICC].”
On December 31, Mahmoud Abbas signed the Rome Statute, the ICC’s founding treaty.
Under the terms of the statute, it will take about 60 days for the Palestinians to join the ICC after they file the documents.
Neither Israel nor the US is a member of the ICC.
The Palestinians’ chances of joining were improved in 2012 after the UN General Assembly voted to upgrade their status to that of a “non-member observer state”.
ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has previously said the upgrade means Palestine now qualifies to join the Rome Statute.
Based in The Hague, the ICC can prosecute individuals accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed since July 1, 2002, when the Rome Statute came into force.
Palestinian minister Ziad Abu Ein has died after a confrontation with Israeli troops at a protest in the West Bank.
Ziad Abu Ein had died from complications related to tear gas exposure in the incident near the village of Turmusaya, doctors said.
Several witnesses said the minister had been hit and shoved by soldiers. One said he had been hit in the chest by a tear-gas canister fired by them.
The Israeli military (IDF) said it was looking into the reports.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini called for an “immediate and independent” investigation and said that reports of “excessive use of force” by Israel were “extremely worrying.”
A statement released by the IDF said its forces had “halted the progress of rioters into the civilian community of Adei-Ad using riot-dispersal means”.
“The IDF is reviewing the circumstances of the participation of Ziad Abu Ein, and his later death,” it added.
Following the incident dozens of Palestinians have gathered at the spot near Turmusaya setting fire to tires and throwing rocks at security forces, Voice of Israel radio station reported.
The radio also said that Israel has proposed to set up a joint team with the Palestinians to investigate the death with experts from Israel and Jordan to attend a post-mortem examination.
In recent weeks, 10 Israelis and an Ecuadorean have been killed by Palestinians in a series of attacks. Thirteen Palestinians have also been killed, among them several of the assailants.
Ziad Abu Ein, a minister without portfolio, was among dozens of foreign and Palestinian activists taking part in a protest against land confiscations.
They had planned to plant olive tree saplings on a patch of land near the Jewish settlement of Shiloh, which Palestinians believe has been earmarked for annexation by Israel.
In the course of the protest, they came into confrontation with a group of about 15 Israeli soldiers.
Leading Palestinian activist Mahmoud Aloul, who was also at the protest, told the Associated Press news agency that the soldiers had fired tear gas and had beaten some of the activists with rifle butts.
At one point, Ziad Abu Ein was hit by a tear gas canister, Mahmoud Aloul said.
The Reuters photographer said he had seen Ziad Abu Ein being struck by a hand on the neck during an altercation with two soldiers.
An AFP news agency photographer said the minister had been hit in the chest.
Photos of the incident showed Ziad Abu Ein lying unconscious before he was taken away in an ambulance. He died before reaching hospital in the nearby city of Ramallah.
There are reports that Ziad Abu Ein had a health condition that may have contributed to his death.
Condemning “the brutal assault” on Ziad Abu Ein as a “barbaric act”, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas promised to take unspecified measures and declared three days of mourning.
A senior Palestinian official said the Palestinian Authority would halt security co-ordination with Israel.
Hanan Ashrawi, a senior official in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said that she was “outraged” by the minister’s death.
“It’s extremely sad that a colleague and an old friend has been killed in such a cruel way” she said.
“Ziad was guilty of nothing more than planting olive trees where Israel would uproot trees.”
Ziad Abu Ein once received the death sentence, commuted to life imprisonment, from a court in Israel for a 1979 bombing that killed two Israeli teenagers. He was released in 1985 as part of a prisoner exchange that saw the release of three Israeli soldiers captured in Lebanon.
Four Israelis have been killed and eight injured as two men armed with a pistol, knives and axes attacked a West Jerusalem synagogue, police say.
The attackers – Palestinians from East Jerusalem – were shot dead.
There have been several deadly attacks and clashes in Jerusalem recently amid tension over a disputed holy site.
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to respond “with a heavy hand” to the attack – the deadliest in Jerusalem in six years.
Benjamin Netanyahu blamed “incitement” by Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and said the international community had ignored their actions.
Hamas and Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party – rival Palestinian factions – agreed to form a unity government earlier this year, a move denounced at the time by Israel.
Mahmoud Abbas’s office issued a statement saying: “The presidency condemns the attack on Jewish worshippers in their place of prayer and condemns the killing of civilians no matter who is doing it.”
The Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the military wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, says it carried out the synagogue attack.
Militants from the far-left-wing Palestinian nationalist group have been behind many previous attacks on Israelis.
Hamas and another militant group, Islamic Jihad, praised the attack. Israel has designated both groups as terrorist organizations.
The attack happened at a religious seminary site on Harav Shimon Agassi Street – home to a largely Orthodox Jewish community in the Har Nof neighborhood. Among those killed was Rabbi Moshe Twersky, 60, head of the seminary.
Police say there was a shoot-out with the attackers, said to be cousins, when officers reached the scene.
The Temple Mount/al-Haram al-Sharif has been reopened by Israeli police after its closure amid tensions following the shooting of prominent right-wing Jewish activist Rabbi Yehuda Glick.
Jerusalem holy site was reopened ahead of Muslim Friday prayers, but with restrictions on worshippers as a security measure.
Meanwhile the Palestinian suspected of wounding Rabbi Yehuda Glick has been buried in East Jerusalem.
There has been an escalation of tension in the city in recent weeks.
On October 30, a spokesman for Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas described Israel’s temporary closure of the holy site as a “declaration of war”.
The compound – known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif – is the holiest site in Judaism, and contains the al-Aqsa Mosque – the third holiest site in Islam.
The site was reopened to Muslim worshippers on Friday morning, with entry to men restricted to those over 50 amid fears of unrest after Friday prayers
On Thursday night hundreds of people gathered for the funeral of Moataz Hejazi amid a heavy police presence. The burial passed off without incident, police said.
The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism
Moataz Hejazi, 32, was shot after opening fire when police surrounded his home, officials said.
He was suspected of having attacked Rabbi Glick as he left a conference on Jewish claims to the Jerusalem holy site.
Rabbi Yehuda Glick is a well-known campaigner for the right of Jews to pray at the site, which is currently prohibited.
He was seriously wounded and is on a life-support machine in a Jerusalem hospital.
On Wednesday night there were clashes in the neighborhood of Abu Tor between police and Palestinians protesting against the killing of Moataz Hejazi.
Police used tear gas and rubber bullets against stone-throwing youths.
Moataz Hejazi’s cousin alleges that he was shot by police after being detained within his house. Israeli police say Moataz Hejazi was killed after he began shooting at police who then opened fire in response.
Secretary of State John Kerry said he was “extremely concerned” by the escalation in tensions and had urged Israel to reopen the holy site.
“It is absolutely critical that all sides exercise restraint, refrain from provocative actions and rhetoric, and preserve the historic status quo on the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount in word and in practice,” he said.
Some districts of East Jerusalem have seen nightly clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces since the Gaza conflict last summer.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has described the closure of the disputed Jerusalem holy site Temple Mount as a “declaration of war”, his spokesman has said.
The move came amid tension after the shooting of Jewish activist Rabbi Yehuda Glick.
Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu called for calm, saying Mahmoud Abbas was responsible for escalating tensions.
Rabbi Yehuda Glick, a campaigner for greater Jewish prayer rights at the Temple Mount/al-Haram al-Sharif, was wounded.
Israeli police later killed a Palestinian suspected of shooting him.
The man, named as 32-year-old Moataz Hejazi, was shot after opening fire when police surrounded his home.
Rabbi Yehuda Glick is a well-known US-born campaigner for the right of Jews to pray at the site, which they are currently prohibited from doing. The compound is known to Jews as the Temple Mount, and to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif.
It is the holiest site in Judaism, and also contains the al-Aqsa Mosque – the third holiest site in Islam.
Palestinians hold the Israeli government responsible for a “dangerous act”, Mahmoud Abbas was quoted as saying by Nabil Abu Rudeina, in remarks carried by AFP news agency.
“This dangerous Israeli escalation is a declaration of war on the Palestinian people and its sacred places and on the Arab and Islamic nation,” Nabil Abu Rudeina added.
“The state of Palestine will take all legal measures to hold Israel accountable and to stop these ongoing attacks.”
Rabbi Yehuda Glick is a campaigner for greater Jewish prayer rights at the Temple Mount
However, PM Benjamin Netanyahu called for calm and suggested Mahmoud Abbas was responsible for the increasing tension.
“We’re facing a wave of incitement by radical Islamic elements as well as by the Palestinian Authority chairman… who said that Jews must absolutely be prevented from going on to the Temple Mount,” he said, quoted by Haaretz newspaper.
Benjamin Netanyahu added that reinforcements for the security forces would be brought into Jerusalem to keep order.
The shooting of Rabbi Yehuda Glick is the latest in a series of incidents which have led to an escalation of tensions in Jerusalem.
Some districts of East Jerusalem have seen nightly clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces since the conflict in Gaza.
Last week a Jewish baby and Ecuadorian woman were killed when a Palestinian attacker drove his car into a group of pedestrians at a tram stop in Jerusalem.
Police said Rabbi Yehuda Glick’s suspected attacker, Moataz Hejazi, had served time in jail in Israel and was released in 2012, adding that he belonged to the Islamic Jihad militant group.
The police anti-terrorist unit along with the Israeli internal security service Shin Bet had received information that Yehuda Glick’s attacker was located in the Abu Tor neighborhood, Israeli officials said.
Police say they were fired at after surrounding the house and shot back, hitting the suspect.
Rabbi Yehuda Glick has had surgery for gunshot wounds to his chest and abdomen.
He had just attended a conference where delegates discussed Jewish claims to the compound, one of the most contentious areas of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Israel argues that it protects freedom of worship at the site but Palestinians claim it is unilaterally taking steps to allow larger numbers of Jewish visitors.
The site is administered by an Islamic body called the Waqf, while Israeli police are in charge of security.
Sweden’s PM Stefan Lofven has announced that his country will become the first long-term EU member country to recognize the state of Palestine.
Stefan Lofven said: “The conflict between Israel and Palestine can only be solved with a two-state solution.”
It should be “negotiated in accordance with international law”, he said.
Sweden last month voted out the centre-right Alliance coalition of Fredrik Reinfeldt after eight years.
That allowed the Social Democrats led by Stefan Lofven to form a government with other parties on the left including the Greens.
“A two-state solution requires mutual recognition and a will to peaceful co-existence. Sweden will therefore recognize the state of Palestine,” Stefan Lofven said on Ocotber 3, without giving a timeline for the recognition.
Sweden will join more than 130 other countries that recognize a Palestinian state.
PM Stefan Lofven has said Sweden will become the first long-term EU member country to recognize the state of Palestine
Most of the EU’s 28 member states have refrained from recognizing Palestinian statehood and those that do – such as Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – did so before joining the bloc.
The Palestinians have long sought to establish an independent, sovereign state in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem as its capital, and the Gaza Strip – occupied by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War.
Correspondents say Sweden’s move is likely to be strongly criticized by Israel and the US, who argue that an independent Palestinian state should only emerge through negotiations.
In 1988, the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat unilaterally declared a Palestinian state within the pre-June 1967 lines.
This won recognition from about 100 countries, mainly Arab, Communist and non-aligned states – several of them in Latin America.
The 1993, Oslo Accord between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel led to mutual recognition. However, two decades of on-off peace talks have since failed to produce a permanent settlement.
In 2012, the UN General Assembly voted to upgrade the status of the Palestinians to that of a “non-member observer state”.
It followed a failed bid to join the international body as a full member state in 2011 because of a lack of support in the UN Security Council.
Mike Harari, one of Israel’s best-known spies, has died at the age of 87.
He oversaw a string of operations involving the assassination of Palestinian militants abroad.
Mike Harari orchestrated missions including the targeting of militants whom Israel held responsible for the massacre of its Olympics team in 1972.
The Mossad agent also played a key role in the rescue, by Israeli commandos, of hostages at Entebbe, Uganda, in 1976.
In 1998 he was indicted in Norway for a killing in a case of mistaken identity.
Mossad legend Mike Harari oversaw a string of operations involving the assassination of Palestinian militants abroad
It followed the shooting by suspected Mossad gunmen of a Moroccan waiter in the town of Lillehammer in 1973. The man was mistaken for one of the architects of the Olympics attack.
The killing was part of Operation Wrath of God, in which militants from the Black September group were targeted across Europe for nearly a year.
The group had killed two Israeli athletes in the Olympic Village in Munich. Nine others whom they had also taken hostage were killed during a gun battle between the militants and West German police at a nearby airfield. The group was trying to take the hostages out of the country.
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon paid tribute to Mike Harari, saying his influence on Mossad was “still felt today and will be for years to come.”
Mike Harari was born in 1927 near Tel Aviv, in the British Mandate of Palestine, and served in Israeli paramilitary organizations before joining the intelligence agency.
An offer to resign in the wake of the Lillehammer killing was turned down by then Prime Minister Golda Meir, and Mike Harari continued in clandestine operations until retiring in 1980.
Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu has declared victory in Gaza after a seven-week conflict.
The Palestinian Islamist Hamas movement was “hit hard and got none of its demands”, Benjamin Netanyahu said.
Hamas has also claimed the truce represents a victory for Gaza and held a large rally to celebrate it.
On Tuesday a ceasefire came into effect after 50 days of fierce fighting in which more than 2,200 people died, most of them Palestinians.
In a televised news conference, Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas had been “hit hard” and threatened an even tougher response should there be so much as a “sprinkle” of rocket fire from Gaza.
He added that Israel “didn’t agree to accept any of Hamas’ demands”.
On Wednesday, the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) said one of its convoys had entered Gaza for the first time since 2007, carrying enough food to feed around 150,000 people for five days.
Fishing boats also ventured out to sea as restrictions were eased.
Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu has declared victory in Gaza after a seven-week conflict
Thousands of Palestinians began to return to their homes as the truce held for the whole of Wednesday.
Engineers meanwhile struggled to repair infrastructure damaged by Israeli air strikes and shellfire.
In Israel, sirens warning of incoming rocket fire were silent and the military said there had been no violations of the ceasefire since it took effect.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the end of hostilities, but warned that a brighter future for civilians who have been affected depends on a sustainable truce.
“After 50 days of profound human suffering and devastating physical destruction, any violations of the ceasefire would be utterly irresponsible,” Ban Ki-moon said.
The cease fire deal calls for the relaxing of Israeli and Egyptian border controls to allow humanitarian supplies and construction materials into Gaza, and the widening of the territory’s fishing zone.
Both sides have agreed to address more contentious issues – including Palestinian demands for a seaport in Gaza and the release of Hamas prisoners in the West Bank, and Israel’s demand for Gaza’s militants to be disarmed – at indirect talks that should begin in Cairo within a month.
Israeli media reported that Benjamin Netanyahu had chosen not to put Egypt’s ceasefire proposal to a vote in his security cabinet because of opposition from ministers who wanted to continue the offensive on Gaza.
Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on July 8 with the stated aim of ending rocket fire.
At least 2,140 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in Gaza, according to the Palestinian health ministry. Another 11,000 people have been injured.
The Israeli authorities say 64 Israeli soldiers have been killed, along with six Israeli civilians and a Thai national.
The UN says more than 17,000 buildings in Gaza have been destroyed or severely damaged, and that there are at least 475,000 internally displaced people (IDPs), more than a quarter of the territory’s population.
Israel and Hamas have agreed a long-term ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.
The truce, ending seven weeks of fighting that has left more than 2,200 people – mostly Palestinians – dead, was brokered by Egypt and began at 19:00 local time.
Hamas said the deal represented a “victory for the resistance”.
Israel is to ease its blockade of Gaza to allow in aid and building materials, Israeli officials said.
Indirect talks on more contentious issues, including Israel’s call for militant groups in Gaza to disarm, will begin in Cairo within a month.
The US gave the full backing to the deal, with State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki saying: “We strongly support the ceasefire announcement.”
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also welcomed the truce. But in a statement via his spokesman, Ban Ki-moon warned that “any peace effort that does not tackle the root causes of the crisis will do little more than set the stage for the next cycle of violence”.
The breakthrough came as both Israel and the Palestinians continued to trade fire.
Israel and Hamas have agreed a long-term ceasefire in the Gaza Strip
A last-minute volley of mortar shells from Gaza killed an Israeli civilian and wounded six others in Eshkol Regional Council.
Earlier on Tuesday, at least six Palestinians were killed in a series of Israeli air strikes in Gaza, Palestinian officials said.
Palestinian officials said Egypt’s cease fire proposal called for an indefinite end to hostilities, the immediate opening of Gaza’s crossings with Israel and Egypt, and an extension of the territory’s Mediterranean fishing zone.
A month later Israel and the Palestinian factions would discuss the construction of a seaport and airport in Gaza and the freeing of about 100 prisoners.
Israel and Egypt were also said to be demanding guarantees that weapons would not be smuggled into Gaza.
The announcement was greeted by celebratory gunfire on the streets of Gaza City.
However, sirens warning of rockets reportedly continued to sound in southern Israel.
A spokesman for Hamas, which controls Gaza, said: “We are here today to declare the victory of the resistance, the victory of Gaza, with the help of God, and the steadfastness of our people and the noble resistance.”
Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on July 8 with the stated aim of ending rocket fire. It was later expanded to include the destruction of tunnels used by militants for cross-border attacks.
At least 2,140 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in Gaza, according to the Palestinian health ministry.
The Israeli authorities say 64 Israeli soldiers have been killed, along with three Israeli civilians and a Thai national.
Early on Tuesday, Israeli jets bombed two high-rise buildings in Gaza City, containing flats and offices.
No-one was reported killed as residents managed to flee both buildings after the Israeli military warned them to leave.
Hamas, citing Palestinian casualties, has accused Israel of an “unprecedented act of revenge” against civilians.
However, Israeli military spokesman Lt Col Peter Lerner told the Associated Press the strikes were “a direct result of Hamas’ decision to situate their terrorist infrastructure within the civilian sphere, including schools, hospitals and high-rise buildings”.
Three senior Hamas military commanders have been killed by an Israeli airstrike on a house in Gaza, militants say.
Mohammed Abu Shamala, Mohammed Barhoum and Raed al-Attar died in the attack near the southern town of Rafah.
They were among at least six killed, a day after Hamas’s military chief Mohammed Deif reportedly survived a strike that killed his wife and child.
An Israeli was severely injured as rockets were fired into Israel on Thursday, the army said.
Hostilities resumed after peace talks collapsed on Tuesday.
Israel has vowed to pursue its campaign until “full security” is achieved.
Six weeks of fierce fighting have left at least 2,103 people dead, all but 67 of them Palestinians and most of them said to be civilians.
Hamas commanders Mohammed Abu Shamala, Mohammed Barhoum and Raed al-Attar died in an Israeli attack near the southern town of Rafah
Israel’s strike on Rafah demolished a four-storey building and “dozens” of people were missing, Palestinian health official Ashraf Al-Kidra was quoted as saying by AP news agency.
The three commanders killed were key to operations including smuggling, tunnel construction and capturing the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006.
Israel’s military said it had carried out 20 attacks on targets in Gaza during the night in response to militant rocket attacks. Since talks on extending the ceasefire failed, 213 rockets have been fired at Israel, it added.
According to an unconfirmed report by AFP news agency, at least six other Palestinians, four of them children, were killed in Israeli attacks overnight in the northern town of Beit Lahiya and in Gaza City.
In another development, Hamas warned foreign airline companies to stop flying to and from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport from Thursday.
Ofer Lefler, spokesman for the Israel Airports Authority (IAA), told AFP that flights had been disrupted for 10 minutes but there had been “no change to take-offs or landings”.
Hamas also confirmed it was abandoning efforts to negotiate a durable ceasefire with Israel.
It had gone to the talks in Cairo demanding an end to the Israeli and Egyptian blockades of Gaza, and the establishment of a seaport and airport.
Israel, for its part, had sought guarantees that Hamas and other factions in Gaza would be disarmed,
The UN Security Council voiced “grave concern” at the resumption of hostilities and “called upon the parties to resume negotiations to urgently reach a sustainable and lasting ceasefire”.
Egypt expressed “profound regret” at the end of a 10-day period of “calm” during the talks, and said it would continue to try to secure a lasting truce.
Hamas military commander Mohammed Deif’s wife and son have been killed in an Israeli airstrike on the Gaza Strip.
At least 19 Palestinians have died since hostilities resumed on August 19, with both sides blaming each other for the collapse of the Cairo peace talks.
The Israeli military said it had carried out 92 air strikes in response to 137 rockets fired at its territory.
Six weeks of fierce fighting have left at least 2,103 people dead.
Egypt has expressed “profound regret” at the end of the 10-day period of calm and said it will continue trying to secure a lasting truce.
It is believed the air strike on a house in Gaza City late on August 19 that killed Mohammed Deif’s wife and their young son was intended to kill the militant himself.
The commander of Hamas’ armed wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, has survived a number of previous Israeli assassination attempts believed to have left him with severe disabilities.
Israeli Interior Minister Gideon Saar said the attack was justified because Mohammed Deif was “personally responsible” for dozens of deaths.
Hamas military commander Mohammed Deif’s wife and son have been killed in an Israeli airstrike on the Gaza Strip
Yaakov Perry, Israel’s science minister and former security service chief, said he was “convinced that if there was intelligence that Mohammed Deif was not inside the home, then we would not have bombed it”.
Rescue workers later pulled out of the remains of the house the bodies of three members of the family that lived there, medics said.
Another air strike early on Wednesday killed eight people, including a heavily-pregnant woman and three children, in the central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told the AFP news agency.
Later, a man and child were killed in Zeitoun in southern Gaza City, and two militants died when a missile hit their motorcycle in the northern town of Beit Lahiya, Mr Qudra added. The IDF said it had targeted two militants responsible for launching rockets in the area.
The apparent attempt to kill Mohammed Deif may explain the intensity of the rocket fire that came after the collapse of the Cairo peace talks.
Air-raid sirens sounded in many towns and cities in southern and central Israel, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, as 50 rockets were launched on August 19 and 30 on August 20.
One hit a home in the Hof Ashkelon region, but no injuries were reported.
Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system has shot down a number of incoming rockets, but the Israeli authorities have ordered the re-opening of bomb shelters within 50 miles of Gaza.
The Israeli government accused Hamas of breaking the ceasefire by launching a salvo of rockets about eight hours before it was to have expired, and told its delegation in Cairo to return home shortly afterwards
Palestinian negotiators blamed Israel for the failure of the indirect talks.
“Israel thwarted the contacts that could have brought peace,” said Azzam al-Ahmed, a senior member of the Fatah movement of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
However, Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev rejected the accusation.
“The Cairo process was built on a total and complete cessation of all hostilities and so when rockets were fired from Gaza, not only was it a clear violation of the ceasefire but it also destroyed the premise upon which the talks were based,” he told the Reuters news agency.
Israel has been seeking guarantees that Hamas and other factions in Gaza would be disarmed, while the Palestinians were demanding an end to the Israeli and Egyptian blockades of Gaza, and the establishment of a seaport and airport.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he was “gravely disappointed by the return to hostilities”.
Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on July 8 with the aim of ending rocket fire. It also sought to destroy tunnels dug under the frontier with Israel used by militants to launch attack.
Since then, at least 2,036 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in Gaza, according to the Palestinian health ministry. The Israeli authorities say 64 Israeli soldiers have been killed, along with two Israeli civilians and a Thai national.
The Gaza ceasefire has been extended by another day to allow talks in Cairo, according to an Egyptian government statement late on Monday.
The truce was extended until midnight on August 19 to allow talks on a more long-term arrangement.
A Palestinian official told Reuters there had been “no progress” so far but without a deal, violence would go on.
Officials say that 2,016 Palestinians and 66 Israelis have died since Israel began its offensive on Gaza on July 8.
In a statement that came minutes before the expiry of a previous truce at midnight on Monday, the Egyptian government released a statement confirming both sides had accepted its request for an extension.
The previous ceasefire came into effect last Wednesday.
Earlier, Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu said Israeli forces would hit back hard if Hamas resumed rocket fire.
The Gaza ceasefire was extended until midnight on August 19 to allow talks on a more long-term arrangement
He said the military was “ready for all scenarios” and were prepared “for very resolute action if fire resumes”.
Negotiating teams returned to Egypt’s capital Cairo for indirect talks on Sunday.
Palestinian negotiator Qais Abdul Karim said on Sunday that Israel was seeking guarantees that Hamas and other factions in Gaza would be disarmed.
Palestinians are calling for an end to the Israeli and Egyptian blockades of Gaza without preconditions, he added.
Hamas says it will not give up its weapons, while Israel insists it must maintain some control over Gaza’s crossings to prevent the smuggling of weapons.
Israel is also concerned by the import of building materials into Gaza, saying they could be used by Hamas to rebuild its tunnel network.
Middle East envoy Robert Serry said on Monday that the UN was ready to oversee imports of construction material sent to Gaza.
Robert Serry said the imports were crucial after “the unprecedented amount of destruction” had caused an “unprecedented level of humanitarian needs”.
Approximately 16,800 housing units in Gaza had been destroyed, Robert Serry added, affecting some 100,000 Palestinians.
In addition, he said more than 100 installations belonging to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees had been damaged.
A 72-hour ceasefire has come into effect between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza, after a day of intense diplomacy.
It is hoped the latest truce, which came into effect at 21:00 GMT, will help negotiators agree a longer peace.
Egypt brokered a similar truce last week, but fighting resumed after the three-day window ended.
About 2,000 people have died in the conflict, which began on July 8 when Israel launched an operation to deter militant attacks from Gaza.
Israeli media were reporting warning sirens for rocket attacks right up to the new ceasefire deadline at midnight local time. Israeli air strikes also continued through Sunday evening.
A 72-hour ceasefire has come into effect between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza, after a day of intense diplomacy
However, an hour into the ceasefire there were no reports of attacks from either side.
After tense talks that both sides had threatened to abandon, the surprise announcement of the truce came late on Sunday.
Izzat al-Reshiq, a Hamas negotiator in Cairo, told Reuters news agency: “In light of Israel’s acceptance of the truce and their return without pre-conditions, we will inform the Egyptian brothers of our positive response.”
In a statement, Egypt’s foreign ministry urged both sides to resume indirect negotiations and “work towards a comprehensive and lasting ceasefire agreement”.
Correspondents say Israel is likely to continue to push for Gaza to be demilitarized, and Hamas will continue to demand the blockade of Gaza to be lifted.
However, an unidentified Hamas negotiator said their demands were likely to be “more modest” this time.
Since the last 72-hour truce ended on Friday, there has been regular exchange of fire.
Israeli air strikes have killed at least 20 Palestinians. Two Israelis were injured by mortars.
On the Israeli side, where dozens of communities have been evacuated, residents will also be able to return home.
Palestinian negotiators at Cairo ceasefire talks said they would leave on Sunday if Israel did not attend without preconditions.
Talks in Cairo aimed at securing a fresh ceasefire in Gaza are under renewed strain, with both sides in the conflict issuing warnings.
Israel insists it will not return until militant rocket fire from Gaza ends.
The UK, France and Germany issued a statement calling on Israel and Hamas to agree a new truce, after last week’s 72-hour ceasefire was not renewed.
That ceasefire ended on Friday morning. At least eight Palestinians were killed on Saturday as Israel launched 50 air strikes, Gaza health officials said.
Israeli authorities said 25 rockets were fired from Gaza towards southern Israel on Saturday. A further two were fired on Sunday morning. The Israeli air force has hit 20 targets in Gaza overnight, Israeli news reports say.
At least 1,960 people have died since violence erupted in Gaza in early July.
According to the UN, more than 1,900 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed.
Talks in Cairo aimed at securing a fresh ceasefire in Gaza are under renewed strain, with both sides in the conflict issuing warnings
Sixty-seven people have died on the Israeli side, including three civilians.
Israeli negotiators have already left Egypt and said they would not return to the indirect negotiations until rocket fire from Gaza stopped.
The Jerusalem Post quoted senior Israeli officials as saying that if rocket fire continued, “all options” were on the table, not just air strikes.
Communications Minister Gilad Erdan told Israel’s Channel 2 that “a wide ground incursion and the toppling of Hamas is being discussed”.
Hamas deputy chief Mussa Abu Marzuq accused Israel of stalling and said the next 24 hours would decide the fate of the Cairo talks.
Earlier, the foreign ministers of France, Laurent Fabius, of the UK, Philip Hammond, and of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said that the only way to resolve the conflict was through talks.
“We call upon all parties immediately to return to a ceasefire. We fully support the ongoing efforts by Egypt to this end,” they said in a joint statement.
“To be sustainable, a ceasefire must envisage steps to address both Israeli security concerns and Palestinian requirements regarding the lifting of restrictions on Gaza,” they added.
Earlier, the US and the United Nations issued a similar call for a ceasefire.
Hamas said Israel had failed to meet its key demands, including the lifting of the Gaza blockade and the release of prisoners. It also rejected Israel’s call for the demilitarisation of Gaza.
On Saturday, tens of thousands of protesters marched through London, Paris and Cape Town in what organisers called a “Day of Rage” against Israeli military action in Gaza.
About 150 protesters also held a demonstration in Tel Aviv despite Israeli authorities banning the gathering.
Palestinian health officials said at least seven people died in several separate air strikes on Saturday.
Israel said it killed four Hamas militants, including one senior leader, and more than 70 rockets had been fired from Gaza since the end of the ceasefire.
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