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US Iran envoy: We’re not wasting our time on Iran nuclear deal – The Times of Israel

The Times of Israel liveblogged Monday’s events as they unfolded.
The man accused of attacking Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, told police he wanted to hold the speaker hostage and “break her kneecaps,” authorities say.
David DePape, 42, confronted a sleeping Paul Pelosi in the couple’s San Francisco bedroom early Friday morning, according to a federal affidavit filed in court.
Federal prosecutors have filed two charges against DePape, days after police say he broke into the Pelosi’s home and struck the Democratic leader’s 82-year-old husband in the head with a hammer. He was left seriously injured in the attack, underwent surgery for a skull fracture, and suffered other injuries to his arms and hands.
DePape is charged federally with influencing, impeding, or retaliating against a federal official by threatening or injuring a family member. He also faces one count of attempted kidnapping of a United States official on account of the performance of official duties.
A man was shot a seriously injured in the northern Israeli city of Kiryat Ata, medics said.
Hebrew media reports say the man was riding on his motorbike when he was shot, in an apparent underworld shooting.
A senior member of the Nablus-based terror group known as Lion’s Den turned himself in to the Palestinian Authority security services, Channel 12 reports.
The report notes that the man is the 15th senior member of the loosely organized group to surrender since an Israeli raid last week killed the apparent leader of the group and four other gunmen, and destroyed a bomb factory.
Lion’s Den has claimed near-nightly attacks on troops and Israeli civilians in the Nablus area in recent months.
According to reports, in recent days, negotiations were held between Lion’s Den members and the PA security forces, under which the operatives would turn themselves in and be protected from Israel.
The Ukrainian soccer federation urges FIFA to remove Iran from the World Cup next month, alleging human rights violations and supplying the Russian military with weapons.
The call was made three weeks before Iran is due to face England in the first Group B game in Qatar. The group also includes the United States and Wales.
The Ukrainian federation’s executive committee did not ask for Iran to be replaced at the tournament by the Ukraine team which lost to Wales in a European playoff final in June.
Ukraine taking Iran’s place was the suggestion last week by the country’s top club, Shakhtar Donetsk, in a similar appeal to FIFA.
FIFA has not commented on the Ukrainian requests and does not typically suspend member federations because of military decisions by a national government.
The San Francisco District Attorney is rejecting conspiracy theories about the attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, confirming the assailant was targeting the Democratic leader when he broke into the couple’s San Francisco home and confronted Paul Pelosi.
District Attorney Brooke Jenkins is expected to formally announce charges today against David DePape, 42, who shouted out “Where is Nancy?” before police said he struck the speaker’s 82-year-old husband with a hammer. DePape was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, elder abuse and other charges.
“At the time that the suspect had entered the Pelosi home, he was in fact, looking for Ms. Pelosi,” Jenkins told reporters in San Francisco.
“The other thing is we want to make it clear that there were only two people in the home at the time that the police arrived, Mr. Pelosi and the suspect. There was no third person present,” she said.
“We have nothing to suggest that these two men knew each other prior to this incident.”
The district attorney’s remarks come as the gruesome attack on the husband of the House speaker is being mocked and dismissed in conservative, far-right social media, even among some Republican leaders and those at the highest levels of social power. San Francisco’s police chief has also said the attack was targeted.
Elon Musk over the weekend tweeted, then deleted, a fringe website’s far-flung conspiracy theories to his millions of followers.
Former US president Donald Trump is going to the Supreme Court, again, this time to try to stop his tax returns from being handed to a congressional committee.
In an emergency appeal filed today, Trump wants the court to order at least a temporary hold on the Treasury Department turning over his returns to the Democratic-controlled House Ways and Means Committee.
Lower courts ruled that the committee has broad authority to obtain tax returns and rejected Trump’s claims that it was overstepping.
Trump had most recently sought the justices’ intervention in a legal dispute stemming from the search of his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida in August. The court rejected that appeal.
President Isaac Herzog congratulates Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, after his close election victory over incumbent Jair Bolsonaro.
“On behalf of the State of Israel, I congratulate @LulaOficial on his victory,” Herzog tweets.
“We fondly recall his visit here in his previous term. We look forward to deepening our excellent ties with Brasília and especially to cooperating on an issue close to both our hearts: the environment,” Herzog says.
On behalf of the State of Israel, I congratulate @LulaOficial on his victory. We fondly recall his visit here in his previous term. We look forward to deepening our excellent ties with Brasília and especially to cooperating on an issue close to both our hearts: the environment.
— יצחק הרצוג Isaac Herzog (@Isaac_Herzog) October 31, 2022
Know as Lula, he was the first Brazilian leader to visit Israel in 2010.
However, Israel’s ties with Brazil became much closer under the far-right Bolsonaro.
Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu denies that he was “enthusiastic” upon hearing Itamar Ben Gvir’s demand to be police minister should they form the next government.
Ben Gvir told Army Radio that he raised the issue with Netanyahu when they met last Thursday and that the Likud leader was supportive of the idea, should he form the next government.
“I’m not quoting word-for-word, but there was considerable enthusiasm” for the idea, said Ben Gvir. “He and his people said it would bring in votes from outside the [Netanyahu-led] bloc.”
Netanyahu later tells Army Radio it was Ben Gvir who was enthusiastic.
“Really no,” Netanyahu says. “I heard his request. He was the one who was very enthusiastic. I’m just stating the facts,” says Netanyahu, adding that it was too soon to hand out portfolios.
White House Iran envoy Rob Malley says that the US is not “wasting” its time now trying to pursue a new Iran nuclear deal.
Speaking to former US Middle East peace negotiator Aaron David Miller, Malley says there has been no movement on the deal since Iran imposed new, unconnected conditions in August, and since then the US has been focused on other Iran issues.
“It’s really not our focus now. We are not going to focus on something that is inert when other things are happening,” he says, naming the protests in Iran and Tehran’s decision “to get involved in a war in Europe” by transferring drones to Russia.
“So that’s what we’re focused on because nothing is happening on the nuclear deal, so we are not going to spend our time, waste our time on it if nothing is happening. We are going to spend our time where we can be useful,” he says.
WATCH: Rob Malley to @aarondmiller2 on JCPOA status: "There has been no movement since [late Aug./early Sept.]… It’s really not our focus right now, it’s not on our agenda because nothing has changed… We're not going to… waste our time on it if nothing's going to happen." pic.twitter.com/gvWsWVR3S1
— Marc Rod (@marcrod97) October 31, 2022
Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu vows not to partner with National Unity leader Benny Gantz after the elections, accusing him of deliberately endangering soldiers during the 2014 Gaza War when he was IDF chief of staff.
Speaking to Army Radio, Netanyahu says, “Gantz is not a partner. full stop. Gantz is a leftist.”
Netanyahu implies that Gantz endangered soldiers’ lives in an incident in Operation Protective Edge when Gantz was army commander and Netanyahu was prime minister.
A furious Gantz responds to the interview, saying Netanyahu knew very well what the operational necessities were at the time.
“That liar Bibi is unable to utter a single true thing,” Gantz says. “Bibi endangers the State of Israel. The Israeli public is dealing with a liar.”
Instagram says it is working on an issue that left a seemingly large number of users locked out of their accounts.
Some users reported seeing a message that they were locked out but were still able to scroll through their feeds. Others posting on Twitter said they were completely shut out. Some reported that their number of followers dropped, presumably because those accounts were locked.
It was unclear whether the problem was an internal issue or whether the social media site had been hacked. An email to the company, which is owned by Facebook parent Meta, was not immediately returned.
Soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces will vote in tomorrow’s elections at 710 stations in military bases and posts across the country.
The northernmost voting station will be at the Astra observation post atop Mount Hermon, and the southernmost at the Taba post, near the border crossing with Egypt.
Around 22 percent of the stations, in more remote locations, were opened early, allowing for some soldiers to begin to vote yesterday.
The IDF says it expects the largest number of votes at Ir Habahadim — the army’s “city” of training bases — in the Negev desert, and at the Kiryah, the army’s Tel Aviv headquarters.
Around 3,000 soldiers are to participate as staff at the voting stations, according to the IDF.
The IDF says that some 29% of soldiers are voting for the first time. Israeli soldiers are drafted from age 18, which is also the minimum age to be eligible to vote.
The UK Jewish Labour Movement sends a letter of support to Israel’s Labor party ahead of the election, expressing fear over the far-right entering Israel’s next government.
The letter to Merav Michaeli says, “It’s truly chilling that far-right Kahanists could become government ministers.”
It adds that the “prospect of an even more extreme bloc, headed by the disgraced former Prime Minister [Netanyahu,]  is cause for huge concern, not only for left-wing Jews in the UK.”
Jewish Labour Movement @JewishLabour
ארגון יהודי בריטי המסונף למפלגות שמאל-מרכז ומקיים קשרים הדוקים עם העבודה, מרצ ועוד במכתב תמיכה/אחווה למפלגת העבודה הישראלית, ול @MeravMichaeli כותבים: ״זה מצמרר לחשוב שכהניסטים קיצוניים ימניים יכולים להתמנות לשרים״.
>> pic.twitter.com/eEJE5J8aDm
— ‏Tal Schneider טל שניידר تال شنايدر (@talschneider) October 31, 2022
Meretz leader Zahava Galon says her party is now running the mother of all “gevalt” campaigns, with internal polls showing her party is on the brink of failing to get into the Knesset.
“It’s not gevalt, it’s the mother of gevalt,” the left-wing party leader tells Ynet, referring to the Israeli tradition of running campaigns warning of impending doom. Gevalt is a Yiddish term indicating dismay.
Galon says internal party polling from this weekend indicates that Meretz was “a hairsbreadth” from failing to cross the electoral threshold to enter Knesset.
President Isaac Herzog asks American Jewish leaders to respect the results of tomorrow’s elections even if they “may or may not be to your liking,” in an unstated but clear reference to the potential for a government to be formed that includes the far-right Religious Zionism Party, a prospect that has many US Jewish groups spooked.
“Dear friends, tomorrow Israelis will go out to vote. I know the frequency of elections in Israel is somewhat unnerving, and I am aware of the questions posed in many Jewish communities around the world about the outcome of the elections,” Herzog says in a video address to the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly, being held now in Chicago.
“The results may or may not be to your liking, but the vote of the Israeli people should be respected. Beyond this, I say to each and every one of you that the firm, vital connection between the State of Israel and North American Jewry will not, and should not, be compromised, whatever the results,” he says.
In recent weeks, American Jewish groups have raised concerns with Israeli officials and with each other about the inclusion of the Religious Zionism Party in a Likud-led coalition. Over the years, the party’s two main leaders — Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir — have repeatedly expressed views about Arabs, LGBT rights, and non-Orthodox Jews that are deeply at odds with those of predominantly liberal American Jews.
“I never shy away from the fact that there are gaps between Israel and the Jewish communities abroad, and there is real work to be done,” Herzog says. “I have every confidence in the bonds we share, which run deeper than politics or shifting circumstance. We are all bigger than this.”
In his address, the president, who visited Washington, DC, last week, also notes the “appalling rise of antisemitism” in the US but says that US President Joe Biden was “adamant about combating this violent hatred, as a true, true friend.”
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says that the European Union is considering further sanctions against Iran over its “excessive” crackdown on demonstrators.
“I am shocked that people who are peacefully demonstrating at protests in Iran are dying,” Scholz tweets.
“We condemn the excessive violence of the security forces and stand by the people in Iran. Our EU sanctions are important. We are reviewing further steps.”
Israeli security forces foil an attempt to smuggle 25 handguns from Jordan into the West Bank this morning, officials say.
According to the Israel Defense Forces and Israel Police, troops and officers spotted a suspicious man near the border in northern Jordan Valley.
Following a chase by police near the Palestinian village of Bardala, a car the suspect was driving in was stopped, and he was arrested along with another man suspected of aiding the smuggling.
The pair, both Palestinian residents of the West Bank, were detained along with the weapons in their possession. Police say the two suspects are to be brought before a court tomorrow to extend their arrest.
Hadash-Ta’al MK Ofer Cassif says that he does not consider the Palestinian man who killed Ronen Hanania in a shooting attack near the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Araba to be a terrorist.
In an interview with the Ynet news site, Cassif is asked if he considers settlers killed in West Bank attacks to be victims of terror, with Hanania given as an example.
Cassif, the Hadash faction’s only Jewish MK, says he is not.
“Don’t portray him as a simple man,” he says of Hanania. “Especially those that live as a bone in the throat [of the Palestinians], they can’t be considered as innocent civilians,” Cassif says.
“Myself and my friends in Hadash have for years said that we support a nonviolent struggle, but that’s what happens in every place where there is occupation and repression — those who expect the occupied and repressed to just sit and do nothing are lying to themselves,” Cassif says.
Hanania was shot when he went with his son to a convenience store located between Kiryat Arba and the adjacent city of Hebron.
The attacker was identified as Muhammed Kamel al-Jabari, an apparent member of the Hamas terror group. After shooting Hanania and his son, Jabari opened fire on medics and settlement security guards who arrived at the scene to help the pair.
Maj. Gen. Amir Baram formally enters the role of deputy chief of staff following a short military ceremony this morning at the Israel Defense Forces’ headquarters in Tel Aviv.
Baram replaces Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevi, who will go on to become the next Israel Defense Forces chief on January 17.
Baram, 53, recently completed his tenure as chief of the IDF Northern Command. Previously, he commanded the Paratroopers Brigade, the unit he was first drafted into in 1988.
Halevi will be replacing the outgoing IDF chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi.
Norway, a NATO member that shares a border with Russia in the Arctic, will raise its military readiness, its prime minister says, stressing however that no direct threat had been detected.
“The military will as of tomorrow raise its preparedness in Norway,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store tells reporters.
“We currently have no reason to believe that Russia wants to involve Norway or any other country directly into the war, but the war in Ukraine means it is necessary for all NATO countries to be increasingly on their guard,” he added.
The Health Ministry tells Rishon Lezion’s Assuta Medical Center not to undertake any further actions relating to the accidental transplant of the wrong embryo into a woman undergoing fertility treatment.
The woman gave birth last week and has vowed to raise the child as her own and asked the hospital to end genetic testing to find the biological parents.
The ministry now tells the hospital to stop until the legal process is resolved.
Shas leader Aryeh Deri claims that if slain former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin were alive today he would vote for the ultra-Orthodox party and not his own Labor party, now headed by Merav Michaeli.
Deri takes a dig at Michaeli, who in recent days has accused right-wing leaders in Israel of being complicit in the incitement that led up to Rabin’s assassination in 1995.
“I knew Rabin,” Deri tells the Ynet news site. “Believe me, if he were alive he would vote for Shas, not Michaeli.”
Deri also vows that his party will not break from its right-wing religious bloc and partner with Defense Minister  Benny Gantz.
Michaeli responds to Deri by accusing him of “embracing” the far-right.
Far-right Religious Zionism candidate Itamar Ben Gvir says Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu has welcomed his demand to be police minister.
Ben Gvir tells Army Radio that he raised the issue with Netanyahu when they met last Thursday and that the Likud leader was supportive of the idea, should he form the next government.
“I’m not quoting word-for-word, but there was considerable enthusiasm” for the idea, said Ben Gvir. “He and his people said it would bring in votes from outside the [Netanyahu-led] bloc,” Ben Gvir says.
Religious Zionism is forecast to become the third-largest party after the vote, while the bloc is polling just short of a majority.
Meanwhile, the current public security minister, Omer Barlev of Labor, fumes at Ben Gvir’s demand, calling him “a draft-dodging cowardly thug, who waves his gun around while hiding behind a truck protected by security personnel.”
Iranian authorities announce that they will hold public trials for 1,000 people in the capital, Tehran, over the protests that have convulsed the country. The mass indictments mark the government’s first major legal action aimed at quashing dissent since unrest erupted over six weeks ago.
Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency quotes judicial officials as saying that a thousand people who had a central role in the protests would be brought to trial in Tehran alone over their “subversive actions,” including assaulting security guards, setting fire to public property and other accusations.
The nationwide protests first erupted over the Sept. 16 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of the country’s morality police.
She was detained for allegedly violating Iran’s strict dress code for women. Although the protests first focused on Iran’s mandatory headscarf, or hijab, they have since transformed into one of the greatest challenges to the ruling clerics since the chaotic years following the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Inflation hit a new record in the 19 countries that use the euro currency, fueled by out-of-control prices for natural gas and electricity due to Russia’s war in Ukraine. Economic growth also slowed ahead of what economists fear is a looming recession, largely as a result of those higher prices sapping Europeans’ ability to spend.
Annual inflation reached 10.7% in October, the European Union’s statistics agency, Eurostat, reports. That is up from 9.9% in September and the highest since statistics began to be compiled for the eurozone in 1997.
Natural gas prices skyrocketed in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine as Russia throttled back pipeline supplies to a trickle of what they were before the war. Europe has had to resort to expensive shipments of liquefied gas that come by ship from the US and Qatar to keep generating electricity and heating homes.
A woman is killed and four people are injured in a traffic accident in the northern West Bank, medics say.
The accident occurred when two vehicles collided with a truck near the Rehalim junction on Route 60.
The woman, in her 30s, was killed at the scene and medics are treating a man and two children, also occupants of the vehicles.
An 8-year-old girl is in a serious condition and a 1-year-old girl and the man are , moderately hurt, Magen David Adom medics say and are being transported to Beilinson hospital.
The driver of the truck is lightly hurt and treated by the Palestinian Red Crescent.
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