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UN rights chief slams ‘unconscionable’ killing of Palestinian children

The Times of Israel liveblogging Thursday’s events as they unfold.

UN rights chief slams ‘unconscionable’ killing of Palestinian children

The UN rights chief voices alarm at the number of Palestinian children killed and wounded and demands those responsible be brought to account.

Last week saw three days of intense conflict between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the densely populated Palestinian enclave of Gaza.

“Inflicting hurt on any child during the course of conflict is deeply disturbing,” Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, says in a statement.

“The killing and maiming of so many children this year is unconscionable.”

The Israeli air and artillery strikes targeted positions of the Iran-backed Islamic Jihad group.

Bachelet’s office says that, also in violation of international humanitarian law, Palestinian terror groups also launched hundreds of rockets and mortars in indiscriminate attacks, causing civilian casualties and damage to civilian objects in both Israel and Gaza.

Her office says that 19 Palestinian children had been killed in the Palestinian territories in the recent unrest, taking the total number this year to 37.

Seventeen children were killed during the Gaza hostilities from August 5 to 7, while two more were killed on Tuesday in IDF operations in the West Bank.

The UN Human Rights Office OHCHR says that among the 48 Palestinians killed in last week’s Gaza conflict, there were at least 22 civilians. They included the 17 children and four women.

Of the 360 Palestinians reported injured, nearly two-thirds were civilians, including 151 children, 58 women and 19 older people, OHCHR says.

“In a number of incidents, children were the majority of casualties,” Bachelet’s office says.

“Launching an attack which may be expected to incidentally kill or injure civilians, or damage civilian objects, in disproportionate manner to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated, is prohibited,” she says.

Israel insists that some of the civilian deaths including children were killed by Islamic Jihad rockets that fell short or misfired.

Just 2 women among Likud’s top 20 as final primary votes counted

Likud has finished tallying up all the votes from yesterday’s primary and the results are in.

Female candidates managed to grab just two of the first 20 spots on the party’s slate ahead of the November election.

Former minister Miri Regev will be No. 9 on the list and firebrand MK Galit Distel Atbaryan will be No. 20. It’s possible that another woman will be added to the upper part of the list when Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu announces the names of candidates who will be given reserved spots. One of those may be former Yamina MK Idit Silman.

One of the main ways the party brings in new energy is through 10 spots earmarked for new lawmakers, chosen on a regional basis. Six of these spots appear in the first 35, including Eliyahu Revivo (Judean Foothills), Nissim Vaturi (Galil and Valleys), Shalom Danino (Negev), Hanoch Milwidsky (Dan Region), Eli Dallal (Coastal Plain), and Ariel Kallner (Haifa).

Families of Israeli athletes killed in attack at Munich games threaten to boycott memorial over compensation dispute

The families of the Israeli athletes murdered by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich Olympics say they will boycott a memorial ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the attack due to a dispute with the German government over compensation, The New York Times reports.

The ceremony is scheduled to take place in Munich on September, with Israeli President Isaac Herzog scheduled to attend.

The 11 families believe that the German government owes them more money, while the NYT reveals that Berlin has already forked over $4.8 million.

Germany has offered an additional $5.58 million to 23 remaining family members, according to an internal memo obtained by The Times, but lawyers for the bereaved families are seeking 20 times that amount.

“We expect President Herzog to also announce, immediately, that he is not coming,” Ankie Spitzer tells NYT. Her late husband Andrei Spitzer was the coach of the Israeli fencing team and was among the 11 athletes killed at the Munich games. “If the families don’t travel, he shouldn’t travel either because if he is there, even to lay a wreath, it will legitimize this cruel German behavior.”

‘You’ll get whatever you want’: Deri reveals extent of Netanyahu’s courting of Abbas to hold on to power

In a last-ditch effort to prevent the establishment of Israel’s 36th government last year, dubbed the “change government,” then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered Mansour Abbas, head of the Arab Ra’am party, unparalleled power in issues relating to the Arab sector.

The offer, mediated by Aryeh Deri, the leader of the Haredi party Shas, is first revealed by Israeli journalist Mohammad Magadli.

“Minutes before the change government was established, Deri was sent by Netanyahu to talk to Abbas, and he tells him: ‘Don’t join this government, we will reach 61 seats and can establish this government and you’ll get whatever you want,'” Magadli says while speaking in a podcast hosted by former journalist Nadav Perry.

Abbas, however, wasn’t convinced, according to Magadli, raising concerns of Netanyahu’s proven record of breaking agreements with supposed political partners and citing the agreement Netanyahu had made with then-alternate prime minister Benny Gantz that was never implemented.

“Why should I believe you,” Abbas is said to have asked Deri, to which Netanyahu’s ally responded: “You have my word that you’ll have exclusivity within the Interior Ministry in all issues relating to the Arab sector.”

Judge who signed FBI’s Mar-a-Lago warrant facing violent antisemitic threats

Bruce Reinhart, the federal judge in Florida who signed the warrant allowing the FBI to raid former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property on Tuesday, has been hit with a wave of antisemitic threats online.

The outburst has appeared on right-wing social media platforms and message boards, where users have published the judge’s name, address and personal information. Threats have been directed at his children and supposed family members as well.

Reinhart, who appears to be a member of the board of Temple Beth David in Palm Beach Gardens, has been a magistrate judge for the Southern District of Florida since 2018.

Calls for violence have accompanied antisemitic slurs and conspiracy theories, many referencing how Reinhart represented former employees of Jeffrey Epstein during a case involving the late convicted sex trafficker in 2008. Prior to the Epstein case, Reinhart worked as a federal prosecutor and then in a private practice until 2018.

One user on 4chan, an online message board known for racist activity, wrote: “About that Judge that signed the search Warrant…Bruce Reinhart once quit his job as a U.S. Attorney to work for Jeffrey Epstein.” Another responded writing, “That is a k***. And a pedophile … He should be tried for treason and executed.”

“I see a rope around his neck,” wrote a user on the separate pro-Trump message board formerly called TheDonald, according to Vice News.

The Mar-a-Lago raid concerned confidential documents that Trump allegedly removed from the White House when he left in 2021. Subsequent right-wing outrage from many of his supporters has included calls for civil war and abolishment of the FBI and IRS.

With 10% of polling stations left to tally, Netanyahu loyalists poised to party over Likud primary results

With 10% of polling stations left to tally, preliminary Likud primary results indicate a list rewarding loyalists to party leader Benjamin Netanyahu, and slaps on the wrist to well-established lawmakers who have threatened his authority over the party.

Led by Netanyahu confidant Yariv Levin, the top ten feature five additional MKs considered tightly allied with the former prime minister: Eli Cohen, Amir Ohana, Yoav Kisch, Miri Regev, and Miki Zohar.

Prominent lawmakers with their own brand within Likud who were pushed down the list include Yuli Edelstein, David Bitan, Israel Katz, and Haim Katz.

Health of hunger striking Palestinian prisoner deteriorates to ‘life-threatening’

A Palestinian prisoner on a protracted hunger strike was moved today from an Israeli jail to a hospital because of his worsening condition, the prisoner’s wife says.

Khalil Awawdeh has refused food for just over 160 days in a bid to draw attention to his detention by Israel without trial or charge. His case was thrust into the spotlight after a flare-up of violence last weekend between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group, which demanded that he be released as part of a ceasefire that ended the fighting.

A senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad official warned Israel against “playing with Awawdeh’s life,” the Ynet website reports

“Israel will bear full responsibility if he dies,” said the PIJ official, who was not identified in the report.

The 40-year-old father of four was arrested by Israel in December and accused of being a member of a terror group, a charge Awawdeh’s lawyer said he denies. Recently, he has been using a wheelchair and was showing memory loss and speech difficulties, according to his lawyer, Ahlam Haddad.

Dalal Awawdeh, Khalil’s wife, said his condition had deteriorated, prompting Israeli authorities to move him to a hospital. The Palestinian Prisoners Club, which represents former and current prisoners, confirmed that Awawdeh’s condition had worsened.

“He is in a real life-threatening situation,” said Qadura Fares, the head of the organization. “He could die at any moment.”