At least three people were killed and seven people were wounded in a shooting attack at a food and shopping center in Tel Aviv, after two gunmen, said to be disguised as ultra-Orthodox Jews, opened fire on passersby.
Netanyahu, who arrived on Wednesday from Moscow, is convening a security briefing in Tel Aviv.
Seven of the wounded have been evacuated to Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital and another was taken to Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer. One of the wounded was said to be in critical condition, four in serious condition currently and two are in light condition. The casualty at Sheba is in moderate condition.
The attack took place at Sarona Market, an upscale food and retail center located opposite to the military headquarters in central Tel Aviv and near government buildings. Police said they received a call at 9:30 P.M. regarding shootings heard at Sharon. As emergency forces were making their way to the scene, there was another of a shooting incident at near the food and shopping center.
Tel Aviv district police chief Moshe Edri said there was no prior terror alert before the shooting occured and there was no information about an additional terrorist at large.
According to initial reports, two armed man opened fire at passersby near the Benedict restaurant. The shooter then reportedly opened fire at the nearby Ha’arbaa Street. Read the rest of this entry »
Israeli Leader Responds to Harsh US Criticism
Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks to parliament followed a report in The Atlantic this week in which unidentified U.S. officials lambasted the Israeli premier for his settlement policies and for undermining American peace efforts
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s prime minister said Wednesday that recent verbal attacks against him from the United States were merely because he was “defending Israel” and vowed to carry on with his policies despite the vitriolic rhetoric.
“Our supreme interests, with security and the unity of Jerusalem first and foremost, are not among the top concerns of those anonymous elements that are attacking us and me personally.”
Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks to parliament followed a report in The Atlantic this week in which unidentified U.S. officials lambasted the Israeli premier for his settlement policies and for undermining American peace efforts.
“The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickenshit.”
— this official said, referring to the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, by his nickname.
The officials derided Netanyahu as cowardly and recalcitrant, among other insults. The report reverberated throughout Israel, with some coming to the prime minister’s defense while others pointing to them as an indication of just how bad relations between the two close allies have gotten under Netanyahu’s watch.
Netanyahu responded that those who attack him do so only because he defends Israel, and stressed that he was “not prepared to make concessions that will endanger our state.”
“We think such comments are inappropriate and counter-productive. Despite the extremely close relationship between the U.S. and Israel, we do not agree on every issue.”
— National Security Council Spokesman Alistair Baskey
National Security Council Spokesman Alistair Baskey said the comments in The Atlantic do not reflect the views of the administration.
“We think such comments are inappropriate and counter-productive,” he said, before adding. “Despite the extremely close relationship between the U.S. and Israel, we do not agree on every issue.”
There have been growing concerns of a new crisis in Israeli-U.S. relations after U.S. officials said the Obama administration last week refused Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon‘s requests to meet several top national security aides. The rejection followed negative comments Yaalon made about Secretary of State John Kerry. Read the rest of this entry »
TEL AVIV—Israel shot down a Syrian fighter jet that entered its airspace over the Golan Heights, the first such strike in nearly 29 years amid heightened fighting between the regime and rebels for control along the sensitive border.
“The Syrian plane, identified by the Israeli military as a Sukhoi Su-24 Russian-made aircraft, penetrated about a half-mile into Israeli airspace and had turned to return to Syrian-controlled territory when it was shot down.”
The intercept is the latest sign of instability along the Golan Heights frontier due to the Syrian war, though former Israeli air force officers said they believed that the Syrian jet crossed into Israeli controlled airspace by accident. The aircraft downing came just hours after the U.S. and Arab allies launched an expansive air offensive against Islamic State fighters and strongholds in Syria, though Israeli experts said there appeared to be no connection. Read the rest of this entry »