Authorities have arrested a 23-year-old Palestinian man for allegedly stabbing nine people on a bus in Tel Aviv. Five of the victims sustained serious injuries. Police say it was an act of terrorism. The alleged perpetrator was shot by police and wounded while attempting to flee. In a statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Palestinian Authority is responsible for inciting the knife attack on civilians. He told Haaretz, “We will continue to act with force against terrorism that has tried to hit us since the establishment of the state, and we will make sure that it does not achieve its goals” ... Discuss
Researchers in the West Bank have unearthed a massive, multi-level corridor that served as an entry to the Herodian Hilltop Palace 2,000 years ago. From The National Post:
Three Hebrew University archaeologists concluded that Herod — best remembered for ordering the murder of the baby boys of Bethlehem in the Bible’s Nativity account — had the corridor filled in as part of his plan to turn Herodium into a volcano-shaped hill that was to commemorate him after his death.
Along with the hidden palace entrance, according to NBC News the team found a series of “hidden tunnels that were used by Jewish guerrillas during a second-century revolt against the Romans.” As with many activities in the region, the dig has proved somewhat controversial, as Palestinian leaders have contested the rights of Israeli teams to excavate areas in the West Bank ... Discuss
Authorities say two Palestinians killed four men during a knife attack in a Jerusalem synagogue. Police responding to the attack on the worshippers shot and killed the men, who were armed with knives, an ax and a handgun. Six others were wounded, including two police officers. The Israeli police department released the identities of the four victims: They were all rabbis; one of them held dual Israeli-British citizenship, and the three others were Israeli-American citizens. Because the attack involved the death of U.S. citizens, the FBI has said it will also join the investigation.
After the attack, police moved into the neighborhood where the attackers had lived, arresting nine people after a clash with residents. The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a statement on Twitter saying, “We will respond with a heavy hand to the brutal murder of Jews who came to pray and were met by reprehensible murderers.” Though they did not claim responsibility for the synagogue attack, Hamas has said it was retaliation for the recent death of a Palestinian bus driver who, as CNN explains, died “under disputed circumstances.” In a statement, Secretary of State John Kerry said, “Our hearts go out to all Israelis,” adding, “People who had come to worship God in the sanctuary of a synagogue were hatched and hacked and murdered in that holy place in an act of pure terror and senseless brutality and murder” ... Discuss
The latest round of violence in Gaza has come to an end after weeks of on-going fighting, airstrikes and rocket attacks. At least 2,100 Palestinians, a majority civilians, were killed in the fighting. In the Israeli military, 64 soldiers were killed, and six Israeli civilians died from rocket attacks.
The open-ended ceasefire, which was brokered by officials in Egypt, went into effect last night, and so far, it has stopped the violence that has raged in the region for the last seven weeks. Despite Hamas leaders claiming victory, the conditions of the ceasefire do not appear to contain any significant changes to pre-war status. From The Guardian: “But the terms of the deal … appeared to be almost identical to those agreed at the end of the previous war 21 months ago. Israel will open crossings on its border to allow humanitarian aid and construction materials to enter Gaza, and will extend the permitted fishing zone to six miles off the coast of Gaza” ... Discuss
Yesterday Israeli TV aired a video of a senior Hamas official saying that the group’s military was responsible for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens in June that set-off new rounds of violence in Gaza. The comments were captured during the World Association of Muslim Scholars. In the video, which aired on Israel’s Channel 10, Salach Al-Aruri reportedly says, the kidnapping was done in “show of support for the [Palestine prisoners’] hunger strike," adding, “It has been said that it is an Israeli conspiracy, and I say it isn't."
Earlier this week, ceasefire talks broke down as Israel resumed airstrikes in Gaza following rocket attacks from the region. Officials say that three Hamas officials were killed in yesterday’s airstrikes. Since the most recent violence began following the kidnapping, more than 2,000 Palestinians—many of them civilians—have been killed. Sixty-four Israeli soldiers and three civilians have also died in the fighting ... Discuss
Israel has pulled delegation officials from peace talks in Egypt as a potential ceasefire between Hamas and Israel breaks down. The Israeli Defense Forces resumed their airstrikes after rockets were fired from Gaza during a temporary truce between Hamas and Israel. According to some sources, Israel may be preparing for a ground invasion in response to the new round of rocket launches ... Discuss