Ames Police Commander Jason Tuttle said the department hopes more cameras will help crackdown on crime.
- Business Insider
Billionaire Mark Cuban says he holds 3,250 dogecoin that he bought with his son - and earns added inflows from Dallas Mavericks sales
The "Shark Tank" host said since dogecoin is mined on a fixed schedule, it could grow to become a feasible payment mechanism.
- The Daily Beast
Drew Angerer/GettyIn the weeks since the feds raided Rudy Giuliani’s apartment and office in late April, close allies have tried to ferry a slew of emergency requests to former President Donald Trump and his advisers.But according to three people familiar with the matter, Trump, as well as several of his legal advisers and longtime confidants, have been hesitant about swooping in to help the embattled Giuliani, who for years worked as Trump’s personal lawyer, a political adviser, and attack dog. Giuliani also served as a major player in the Trump-Ukraine scandal and as a key driver in the former president’s efforts to nullify Joe Biden’s clear victory in the 2020 election.Team Trump’s reluctance to intervene comes at a time when federal investigators have ramped up their probe into whether Giuliani’s Ukraine-related work during the Trump era amounted to an unregistered and illegal lobbying operation on behalf of foreign figures. So far, no charges have been brought against the former New York City mayor as a result of this investigation, which began in 2019. Trump’s silence has led to simmering frustrations among members of Giuliani’s inner orbit, who privately allege that the ex-president’s team is working to convince him to hang Giuliani out to dry in his hour of need.“It’s a question now of whether or not [the former president and his team] want to leave Rudy to fend for himself or if they’re going to take a stand against this,” one person close to Giuliani said last week. “Right now, we don’t know.”Among Giuliani allies’ pleas, the three sources said, have been for Trump to issue a strong verbal or written statement saying Giuliani’s work during the Trump-Ukraine saga was done on behalf of then-President Trump—and therefore not part of an illegal foreign lobbying effort. In other words, Trump’s corroboration would be more than good public relations for Giuliani, it would back up a key pillar of Giuliani’s legal argument that he wasn’t lobbying and is innocent of the allegations.Other asks have included having the ex-president sign on to a legal motion to have federal investigators throw out any seized communications that Giuliani and his lawyers argue are covered by attorney-client privilege. Further, there have been repeated requests that Trump and his team financially aid Giuliani’s ballooning legal defense and help cover the mounting, sizable expenses.Two people close to Trump say they have urged the former president to lay low on the matter and to refrain from making too many statements or commitments on Giuliani and the federal probe. These people have told Trump that it’s unclear what the feds have and that any statement could backfire both on him and on Giuliani. Moreover, various people in Trump’s social and political orbits have been trying to convince the former president for years that Giuliani has been too great a liability for him, and they have suggested that he cut the lawyer loose.Even Parts of Trumpworld Are Like: Rudy, WTF Are You Doing?Many of them still blame Giuliani and his Ukraine shenanigans for getting Trump impeached the first time, and the attorney helped lead the Trumpworld and GOP charge in falsely claiming that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from the 45th U.S. president. In the aftermath of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, both Trump and Giuliani have been slammed with lawsuit after lawsuit over their roles in firing up the mob that committed the anti-democratic assault.In recent weeks, Trump himself has argued behind closed doors that he wouldn’t want to say Giuliani was doing all of the Ukraine work—which included a trans-Atlantic dirt-digging expedition on the Biden family that led to Trump’s first impeachment—on Trump’s behalf, according to one of the people close to the former president. Trump’s reasoning, this source relayed, is based in the ex-president’s insistence that he didn’t always know what Giuliani was doing during the Ukraine effort or concocting with his Ukrainian pals, several of whom Trump has privately dinged as “idiots.”It is also unclear when or if Trump will ultimately sign on to the desired legal motion, with allies to Giuliani expressing consternation over how the ex-president and his lawyers have not jumped at the opportunity.On Sunday, Robert Costello, Giuliani’s longtime attorney, said, “We do not know what, if anything, President Trump will do,” when asked by The Daily Beast whether Trump’s legal team would intervene in the effort to scuttle the search warrant. Costello said Giuliani’s attorneys have not formally asked Trump’s legal team to do so. “They can make up their own minds,” he said.He added that neither he nor his client has asked Trump to make a statement since federal agents seized Giuliani’s electronic devices.Alan Dershowitz, a celebrity lawyer who served on Trump’s legal team during the first impeachment trial, is now actively counseling Giuliani and his attorneys. “I’ve said to them that it would be very good to get people [including Trump] whose materials might have been seized to... become part of the [motion],” Dershowitz said in a brief interview.The two sources close to the former president each said Trump has repeatedly expressed sympathy for Giuliani’s ongoing woes but has not committed to overtly assisting his personal lawyer yet. Another person familiar with the situation told The Daily Beast that Giuliani has said he remains convinced that Trump won’t abandon him and will step up when the time is right.Over the decades and during his presidency, however, Trump has cemented a reputation for regularly turning his back on close allies and one-time loyalists, including when legal or political pressures became too hot for him. Chief among these former allies is one of Giuliani’s bitter rivals, Michael Cohen, another former personal lawyer and fixer of Trump’s. Cohen turned on his former boss after he felt abandoned by Trump following a 2018 federal raid and has since become an enthusiastic witness for federal investigators who’ve been looking into Trump and his business empire.‘Dead to Each Other’: Team Trump Prepares to ‘Bury’ Michael Cohen, ‘Weakling’ and ‘Traitor’When federal agents executed a search warrant on Cohen’s office in 2018, Trump intervened in the case and hired attorneys who argued that they should be allowed to review seized materials for privileged attorney-client materials before prosecutors could. Whether Trump will intervene similarly in a case involving the warrant against Giuliani remains to be seen.Trump did jump in to help some advisers after the authorities came knocking, including Steve Bannon, Roger Stone, and Paul Manafort, all of whom received presidential pardons within the final month of Trump’s term in the White House. In December, The New York Times reported that the then-president had discussed with people close to him the prospect of issuing a pre-emptive pardon to Giuliani and “talked with Mr. Giuliani about pardoning him as recently as [late November].” Ultimately, Giuliani did not receive a pre-emptive pardon, and he has denied that he had a conversation with Trump about the possibility.Giuliani has repeatedly argued that his efforts to oust Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch as U.S. envoy to Ukraine were carried out solely on behalf of his client, President Trump. A statement from Trump would help buttress Giuliani’s public case, but it wouldn’t necessarily help him in court.“Nothing Donald Trump may say publicly to help Giuliani is likely to get into evidence,” David H. Laufman, a partner at Wiggin and Dana and a former chief of the Justice Department’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, which oversees FARA prosecutions, told The Daily Beast. “Giuliani’s attorney will be able to cross-examine the government’s witnesses if he’s charged, and Giuliani always has the option of testifying in his own defense. But any press statements by Donald Trump to the effect of ‘Hey, he was just working for me’ almost certainly aren’t coming into evidence.”“In the highly improbable scenario that Trump testified for Giuliani, the notion of Giuliani trying to use the attorney-client privilege as a shield would go out the window. The privilege is held by Trump, not by Giuliani,” Laufman continued.Long before the search of Giuliani’s apartment, Trump appeared hesitant to say outright that his attorney’s work in Ukraine was conducted solely on the president’s behalf. During the peak of the impeachment inquiry in the fall of 2019, former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly asked Trump what Giuliani was up to in Ukraine.“I knew he was going to go to Ukraine and I think he canceled the trip. But you know, Rudy has other clients other than me. I’m one person that he represents,” Trump said.Asked if he’d told Giuliani to travel to Ukraine, Trump said: “No.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- Associated Press
Shannon Keeler was enjoying a weekend getaway with her boyfriend last year when she checked her Facebook messages for the first time in ages. The messages rocketed Keeler back to the life-shattering night in December 2013 when an upperclassman at Gettysburg College stalked her at a party, snuck into her dorm and barged into her room while she pleaded with him and texted friends for help. Eight years later, she still hopes to persuade authorities in Pennsylvania to make an arrest, armed now with perhaps her strongest piece of evidence: his alleged confession, sent via social media.
A former US Navy pilot said he saw UFOs off the Atlantic Coast every day, moving in a way that was impossible for scientists to explain
In interviews on 60 Minutes, US military pilots described a series of encounters with objects which the Pentagon has said it has been unable to explain.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told Pope Francis in a phone call that the international community should impose sanctions on Israel for its actions against the Palestinians, and he urged the pontiff to keep speaking out on the conflict, Erdogan's office said on Monday. About 200 people have been killed in Gaza by Israeli bombardments and 10 people killed in Israel by militant rockets in the past week of fighting. Turkey has condemned the violence and accused Israel of carrying out "ethnic, religious and cultural cleansing".
- The Week
Melinda French Gates started talking with divorce lawyers in late 2019, not long after The New York Times reported that Bill Gates had more interactions with pedophile and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein that she had known about, the Times and The Wall Street Journal report. But it was also in late 2019 that Microsoft's board became aware of a letter from a Microsoft engineer who said she had been in a sexual relationship with Bill Gates years earlier, the Journal reported Sunday evening. The couple announced their divorce May 3, after 27 years of marriage. Microsoft board members hired a law firm to investigate the woman's allegations and deemed the relationship inappropriate, and by early 2020 "some board members decided it was no longer suitable for Mr. Gates to sit as a director at the software company he started and led for decades," the Journal reports. "Mr. Gates resigned before the board's investigation was completed and before the full board could make a formal decision on the matter." He had just been re-elected to the board in December 2019, three months before his March 13, 2020, resignation. "There was an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably," Bridgitt Arnold, a spokeswoman for Bill Gates, said in a statement. "Gates' decision to transition off the board was in no way related to this matter. In fact, he had expressed an interest in spending more time on his philanthropy starting several years earlier." Melinda Gates had been upset with her future ex-husband on and off for years, including over a sexual harassment settlement Bill Gates had facilitated for the couple's longtime financial adviser, the Times reports. "In some circles, Bill Gates had also developed a reputation for questionable conduct in work-related settings," and on at least a few occasions he had "pursued women who worked for him at Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation." "It is not clear how much Ms. French Gates knew about her husband's behavior or to what degree it contributed to their split," the Times reports. Arnold, the spokeswoman, told the Times "it is extremely disappointing that there have been so many untruths published about the cause, the circumstances and the timeline of Bill Gates' divorce." She added, "The rumors and speculation surrounding Gates' divorce are becoming increasingly absurd, and it's unfortunate that people who have little to no knowledge of the situation are being characterized as 'sources.'" More stories from theweek.com7 scathingly funny cartoons about Liz Cheney's ousterUFOs are very real, 60 Minutes reports, they're still unidentified, and they aren't AmericanPoll: Most GOP voters think 2020 election was illegitimate, but lawmakers should prioritize other issues
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“If we cannot win this, no one’s going to be able to win.” A Texas commission is set to rule on whether a Mansfield concrete plant can move forward after a lengthy legal battle.
- The Daily Beast
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photo GettyBachelor sex-offender Jeffrey Epstein gave Bill Gates advice on ending his marriage with Melinda after the Microsoft co-founder complained about her during a series of meetings at the money manager’s mansion, according to two people familiar with the situation.Gates used the gatherings at Epstein’s $77 million New York townhouse as an escape from what he told Epstein was a “toxic” marriage, a topic both men found humorous, a person who attended the meetings told The Daily Beast.The billionaire met Epstein dozens of times starting in 2011 and continuing through to 2014 mostly at the financier’s Manhattan home—a substantially higher number than has been previously reported. Their conversations took place years before Bill and Melinda Gates announced this month that they were splitting up.Gates, in turn, encouraged Epstein to rehabilitate his image in the media following his 2008 guilty plea for soliciting a minor for prostitution, and discussed Epstein becoming involved with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.The people familiar with the matter said Gates found freedom in Epstein’s lair, where he met a rotating cast of bold-faced names and discussed worldly issues in between rounds of jokes and gossip—a “men’s club” atmosphere that irritated Melinda.“[It’s] not an overstatement. Going to Jeffrey’s was a respite from his marriage. It was a way of getting away from Melinda,” one of the people who was at several of the meetings said, adding that Epstein and Gates “were very close.”A representative for Bill Gates told The Daily Beast: “Your characterization of his meetings with Epstein and others about philanthropy is inaccurate, including who participated. Similarly, any claim that Gates spoke of his marriage or Melinda in a disparaging manner is false.” The spokesperson disputed the number of times Epstein and Gates met and said the two men never discussed Epstein getting involved with the foundation.“Bill never received or solicited personal advice of any kind from Epstein— on marriage or anything else. Bill never complained about Melinda or his marriage to Epstein.” A representative for Melinda did not respond to a request for comment for this report.As The Daily Beast exclusively reported, Melinda Gates was furious over Bill’s relationship with Epstein, and was put off by the creepy financier upon meeting him in September 2013, after the couple accepted an award at a New York City hotel. Melinda’s anger, people familiar with the matter said, eventually led to the demise of Bill and Epstein’s friendship.The Wall Street Journal recently reported Melinda Gates consulted divorce lawyers in October 2019, around the time it was publicly revealed that Bill met with Epstein—who had died by suicide in jail months earlier—multiple times in the past.Melinda Gates Warned Bill About Jeffrey EpsteinOn May 3, the high-powered couple announced they were ending their 27-year marriage in a statement that read, in part: “We no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this next life.” In her petition for divorce Melinda said her marriage is “irretrievably broken” and indicated the couple had settled on a plan to divide their vast assets outside the courtroom.Last week, the New York Post reported that Gates told his golfing buddies he was in a “loveless” marriage which “had been over for some time,” while People described Epstein as a “sore spot” in the couple’s relationship.But Epstein wasn’t the couple’s only point of contention. On Sunday, the New York Times reported that Gates allegedly made advances on women who worked at Microsoft and his foundation while he was married to Melinda. The Journal followed up with its own report, revealing that Gates resigned from Microsoft’s board in 2020 amid an internal investigation into an alleged sexual relationship with a company engineer, who came forward in late 2019. (“There was an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably,” a Gates spokeswoman told the Journal, adding that his departure from the board wasn’t related to the relationship.)People close to Bill Gates told The Daily Beast that the deterioration of their relationship could be seen in Bill and Melinda’s body language. The couple used to interact with “more laughter and ease,” said one friend of Bill, who added that eventually, “being around them was like arriving at a summit.”“It wasn’t like arriving at a dinner with a couple or something; it was more like two heads of state,” the friend added. “So that’s why Epstein could have been a factor [in their split], but was it the factor? That I fundamentally don’t believe.”The friend said the couple’s strictly regimented existence as billionaire philanthropists supplanted the more normal life and levity they enjoyed in younger years. “Bill is far less comfortable being out in the world,” the person said. “For Bill, it was just so rare he was allowed to do normal things, which I think he really craved.”To Bill, such “normal” things included meeting new people over dinner at Epstein’s home—a break from the tech mogul’s tightly choreographed schedule of events where he’d be seated at the head table with the most prominent guests.“Bill was embarrassed by the attention an entourage would have brought,” the person said. “His entourage was security, and he never looked comfortable with it. With Melinda, it was very imperious, ‘The Queen has arrived’ kind of thing.”Here’s What the Feds Found in Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan MansionGates may have visited Epstein, the person said, because Gates “enjoys talking and ideas and basically arguing with people, and he can be a really brutal person to argue with.”“He likes nothing better than to get together and debate or lecture people, or tell everyone what he’s doing with the polio vaccine. He has an ability, unlike any other person I’ve ever met, to lecture to a table of people without stopping for an hour.“Anyone that gave him a stage for a performance and said, ‘Bill, come talk to us about what you’re passionate about,’ that would be something he would enjoy.”Still, the person was surprised about the couple’s divorce announcement earlier this month: “I thought they would have made each other miserable for the rest of their lives.”Meanwhile, a former Gates Foundation employee told The Daily Beast that Gates wanted to get in the good graces of some of Epstein’s professional connections. “My understanding was he wasn’t hanging out with Epstein to get women,” the employee said.“Bill’s not amenable to anyone telling him what he should or shouldn’t do,” the person added. “If anyone were to say, ‘I don’t think you should hang out with [Epstein],’ it would have been Melinda.”The ex-employee said Bill and Melinda appeared to be distant and leading separate lives even more than a decade ago. “This has been going on a long time,” the source said, adding that Melinda was “bitter” and “wasn’t that into him.”“Their body language when they would be together, it was like a Melania and Donald thing: ‘Don’t hold my hand, get on the other side of the table,’” the person said, referring to reports of the former First Lady apparently yanking her hand from then-President Trump during public appearances over the years.Melinda Gates Called Divorce Lawyers in 2019 After Epstein Report: WSJAccording to the ex-employee, Melinda seemed to have a chip on her shoulder because “no one really did see her as an equal to Bill” and her work didn’t get as much media attention. “It really irritated her that people were more into Bill,” they said.Another former employee told The Daily Beast that Epstein was a topic of conversation among staff even in 2017—three years after the men’s friendship reportedly fizzled—because of concerns that Gates' previous ties to Epstein could harm his reputation.“When you work at the foundation, your whole job in life is to protect and preserve and build up the reputation of Bill and Melinda Gates,” the person said. “I think that’s why it still came up.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- Business Insider
Israel said it didn't mean to kill 42 civilians in Gaza on Sunday, saying it attacked a series of militant tunnels that caused people's homes to collapse
The Israel Defense Forces struck a series of tunnels in Gaza on Sunday, saying Hamas used it as a secret transport link.
- Associated Press
The ambassador of the Czech Republic to Kuwait is apologizing over an image posted online of him draped in the Israeli flag, amid anger in the small, oil-rich nation over the death of Palestinians. Martin Dvorak wrote an open letter posted on the embassy’s Twitter account on Monday after Kuwaitis posted angry messages to his Instagram account. Dvorak wrote that his post inspired “understandable outrage and indignation among many people with regards to the current, deeply dramatic situation in the Gaza Strip.”
After more than a decade of fighting, the Islamist militant group is still causing havoc in the north-east.
Henry Cavill says he's 'happy in love' with Natalie Viscuso and asks fans to stop making 'assumptions' about his personal life
Henry Cavill shared a letter to fans, saying their "passion was misplaced" and asked they stop making assumptions about his personal life.
- Business Insider
US Special Operations Command Europe planned simultaneous exercises to simulate a full-blown conflict with Russia from the Baltic to the Black Sea.
- Kansas City Star
A protester outside the facility fired at the gunman, police say.
- Associated Press
Pro-Palestinian protesters took to the streets of Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta and other U.S. cities on Saturday to demand an end to Israeli airstrikes over the Gaza Strip. Thousands of people shut down traffic on a major thoroughfare in west Los Angeles as they marched two miles from outside the federal building to the Israeli consulate.
I left my career in New York City to work as an entertainment host for a major cruise line. Here are the most surprising things about the experience.
- Business Insider
Chernobyl's nuclear fuel is smoldering again and there's a 'possibility' of another accident, scientists say
Researchers at the site of the catastrophic 1986 nuclear explosion in Ukraine have detected a spike of neutrons in an underground room at the power plant.
- The Independent
‘I am so proud of you. Keep dreaming with ambition and there is nothing you cannot achieve,’ the vice president writes
The world's richest man will reportedly set sail next month on one of the largest superyachts ever built.
- The New York Times
JERUSALEM — Twenty-seven days before the first rocket was fired from Gaza this week, a squad of Israeli police officers entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, brushed the Palestinian attendants aside and strode across its vast limestone courtyard. Then they cut the cables to the loudspeakers that broadcast prayers to the faithful from four medieval minarets. It was the night of April 13, the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. It was also Memorial Day in Israel, which honors those who died fighting for the country. The Israeli president was delivering a speech at the Western Wall, a sacred Jewish site that lies below the mosque, and Israeli officials were concerned that the prayers would drown it out. The incident was confirmed by six mosque officials, three of whom witnessed it; Israeli police declined to comment. In the outside world, it barely registered. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times But in hindsight, the police raid on the mosque, one of the holiest sites in Islam, was one of several actions that led, less than a month later, to the sudden resumption of war between Israel and Hamas, the militant group that rules the Gaza Strip, and the outbreak of civil unrest between Arabs and Jews across Israel itself. “This was the turning point,” said Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, the grand mufti of Jerusalem. “Their actions would cause the situation to deteriorate.” That deterioration has been far more devastating, far-reaching and fast-paced than anyone imagined. It has led to the worst violence between Israelis and Palestinians in years — not only in the conflict with Hamas, which has killed at least 145 people in Gaza and 12 in Israel, but in a wave of mob attacks in mixed Arab-Jewish cities in Israel. It has spawned unrest in cities across the occupied West Bank, where Israeli forces killed 11 Palestinians on Friday. And it has resulted in the firing of rockets toward Israel from a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, prompted Jordanians to march toward Israel in protest, and led Lebanese protesters to briefly cross their southern border with Israel. The crisis came as the Israeli government was struggling for its survival; as Hamas — which Israel views as a terrorist group — was seeking to expand its role within the Palestinian movement; and as a new generation of Palestinians was asserting its own values and goals. And it was the outgrowth of years of blockades and restrictions in Gaza, decades of occupation in the West Bank, and decades more of discrimination against Arabs within the state of Israel, said Avraham Burg, a former speaker of the Israeli parliament and former chair of the World Zionist Organization. “All the enriched uranium was already in place,” he said. “But you needed a trigger. And the trigger was the Aqsa Mosque.” It had been seven years since the last significant conflict with Hamas, and 16 since the last major Palestinian uprising, or intifada. There was no major unrest in Jerusalem when then-President Donald Trump recognized the city as Israel’s capital and nominally moved the U.S. Embassy there. There were no mass protests after four Arab countries normalized relations with Israel, abandoning a long-held consensus that they would never do so until the Palestinian-Israeli conflict had been resolved. Two months ago, few in the Israeli military establishment were expecting anything like this. In private briefings, military officials said the biggest threat to Israel was 1,000 miles away in Iran, or across the northern border in Lebanon. When diplomats met in March with the two generals who oversee administrative aspects of Israeli military affairs in Gaza and the West Bank, they found the pair relaxed about the possibility of significant violence and celebrating an extended period of relative quiet, according to a senior foreign diplomat who asked to remain anonymous in order to speak freely. Gaza was struggling to overcome a wave of coronavirus infections. Most major Palestinian political factions, including Hamas, were looking toward Palestinian legislative elections scheduled for March, the first in 15 years. And in Gaza, where the Israeli blockade has contributed to an unemployment rate of about 50%, Hamas’ popularity was dwindling as Palestinians spoke increasingly of the need to prioritize the economy over war. The mood began to shift in April. The prayers at Al-Aqsa for the first night of Ramadan on April 13 occurred as the Israeli president, Reuven Rivlin, was making his speech nearby. The mosque leadership, which is overseen by the Jordanian government, had rejected an Israeli request to avoid broadcasting prayers during the speech, viewing the request as disrespectful, a public affairs officer at the mosque said. So that night, the police raided the mosque and disconnected the speakers. “Without a doubt,” said Sabri, “it was clear to us that the Israeli police wanted to desecrate the Aqsa Mosque and the holy month of Ramadan.” A spokesman for the president denied that the speakers had been turned off, but later said they would double-check. In another year, the episode might have been quickly forgotten. But last month, several factors suddenly and unexpectedly aligned that allowed this slight to snowball into a major showdown. A resurgent sense of national identity among young Palestinians found expression not only in resistance to a series of raids on Al-Aqsa, but also in protesting the plight of six Palestinian families facing expulsion from their homes. The perceived need to placate an increasingly assertive far right gave Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel little incentive to calm the waters. A sudden Palestinian political vacuum, and a grassroots protest that it could adopt, gave Hamas an opportunity to flex its muscles. These shifts in the Palestinian dynamics caught Israel unawares. Israelis had been complacent, nurtured by more than a decade of far-right governments that treated Palestinian demands for equality and statehood as a problem to be contained, not resolved. “We have to wake up,” said Ami Ayalon, a former director of the Israeli domestic intelligence agency, Shin Bet. “We have to change the way we understand all this, starting with the concept that the status quo is stable.” The loudspeaker incident was followed almost immediately by a police decision to close off a popular plaza outside the Damascus Gate, one of the main entrances to the Old City of Jerusalem. Young Palestinians typically gather there at night during Ramadan. A police spokesman, Micky Rosenfeld, said the plaza was closed to prevent dangerously large crowds from forming there, and to head off the possibility of violence. To Palestinians, it was another insult. It led to protests, which led to nightly clashes between the police and young men trying to reclaim the space. To the police, the protests were disorder to be controlled. But to many Palestinians, being pushed out of the square was a slight, beneath which were much deeper grievances. Most Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, which Israel occupied during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and later annexed, are not Israeli citizens by choice, because many say applying for citizenship would confer legitimacy on an occupying power. So they cannot vote. Many feel they are gradually being pushed out of Jerusalem. Restrictions on building permits force them to either leave the city or build illegal housing, which is vulnerable to demolition orders. So the decision to block Palestinians from a treasured communal space compounded the sense of discrimination that many have felt all their lives. “It made it feel as though they were trying to eliminate our presence from the city,” said Majed al-Qeimari, a 27-year-old butcher from East Jerusalem. “We felt the need to stand up in their faces and make a point that we are here.” The clashes at the Damascus Gate had repercussions. Later that week, Palestinian youths began attacking Jews. Some posted videos on TikTok, a social media site, garnering public attention. And that soon led to organized Jewish reprisals. On April 21, just a week after the police raid, a few hundred members of an extreme-right Jewish group, Lehava, marched through central Jerusalem, chanting “Death to Arabs” and attacking Palestinian passersby. A group of Jews was filmed attacking a Palestinian home, and others assaulted drivers who were perceived to be Palestinian. Foreign diplomats and community leaders tried to persuade the Israeli government to lower the temperature in Jerusalem, at least by reopening the square outside Damascus Gate. But they found the government distracted and uninterested, said a person involved in the discussions, who was not authorized to speak publicly. Netanyahu was in the middle of coalition negotiations after an election in March — the fourth in two years — that ended without a clear winner. To form a coalition, he needed to persuade several extreme-right lawmakers to join him. One was Itamar Ben Gvir, a former lawyer for Lehava who advocates expelling Arab citizens whom he considers disloyal to Israel, and who until recently hung a portrait of Baruch Goldstein, a Jewish extremist who massacred 29 Palestinians in Hebron in 1994, in his living room. Netanyahu was accused of pandering to the likes of Ben Gvir, and fomenting a crisis to rally Israelis around his leadership, by letting tensions rise in Jerusalem. “Netanyahu didn’t invent the tensions between Jews and Arabs,” said Anshel Pfeffer, a political commentator and biographer of the prime minister. “They’ve been here since before Israel was founded. But over his long years in power, he’s stoked and exploited these tensions for political gain time and again and has now miserably failed as a leader to put out the fires when it boiled over.” Mark Regev, a senior adviser to Netanyahu, rejected that analysis. “Exactly the opposite is true,” Regev said. “He has done everything he can to try to make calm prevail.” On April 25, the government relented on allowing Palestinians to gather outside the Damascus Gate. But then came a brace of developments that significantly widened the gyre. First was the looming eviction of the six families from Sheikh Jarrah, a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem. With a final court decision on their case due in the first half of May, regular protests were held throughout April — demonstrations that accelerated after Palestinians drew a connection between the events at Damascus Gate and the plight of the residents. “What you see now at Sheikh Jarrah or at Al-Aqsa or at Damascus Gate is about pushing us out of Jerusalem,” said Salah Diab, a community leader in Sheikh Jarrah, whose leg was broken during a recent police raid on his house. “My neighborhood is just the beginning.” Police said they were responding to violence by demonstrators in Sheikh Jarrah, but video and images showed they engaged in violence themselves. As the images began to circulate online, the neighborhood turned into a rallying point for Palestinians not just across the occupied territories and Israel, but among the diaspora. The experience of the families, who had already been displaced from what became Israel in 1948, was something “every single Palestinian in the diaspora can relate to,” said Jehan Bseiso, a Palestinian poet living in Lebanon. And it highlighted a piece of legal discrimination: Israeli law allows Jews to reclaim land in East Jerusalem that was owned by Jews before 1948. But the descendants of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who fled their homes that year have no legal means to reclaim their families’ land. “There’s something really triggering and cyclical about seeing people being removed from their homes all over again,” Bseiso said. “It’s very triggering and very, very relatable, even if you’re a million miles away.” On April 29, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority canceled the Palestinian elections, fearing a humiliating result. The decision made Abbas look weak. Hamas saw an opportunity, and began to reposition itself as a militant defender of Jerusalem. “Hamas thought that by doing so, they were showing that they were a more capable leadership for the Palestinians,” said Mkhaimar Abusada, a political expert at Al-Azhar University in Gaza City. On May 4, six days before the war began, the head of the Hamas military, Muhammed Deif, issued a rare public statement. “This is our final warning,” Deif said. “If the aggression against our people in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood does not stop immediately, we will not stand idly by.” War nevertheless seemed unlikely. But then came the most dramatic escalation of all: a police raid on the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday, May 7. Police officers armed with tear gas, stun grenades and rubber-tipped bullets burst into the mosque compound shortly after 8 p.m., setting off hours of clashes with stone-throwing protesters in which hundreds were injured, medics said. Police said the stone throwers started it; several worshippers said the opposite. Whoever struck first, the sight of stun grenades and bullets inside the prayer hall of one of the holiest sites in Islam — on the last Friday of Ramadan, one of its holiest nights — was seen as a grievous insult to all Muslims. “This is about the Judaization of the city of Jerusalem,” Sheikh Omar al-Kisswani, another leader at the mosque, said in an interview hours after the raid. “It’s about deterring people from going to Al-Aqsa.” That set the stage for a dramatic showdown on Monday, May 10. A final court hearing on Sheikh Jarrah was set to coincide with Jerusalem Day, when Jews celebrate the reunification of Jerusalem by dint of the capture of East Jerusalem in 1967. Jewish nationalists typically mark the day by marching through the Muslim Quarter of the Old City and trying to visit Temple Mount, the site on which the Al-Aqsa Mosque is built. The looming combination of that march, tensions over Al-Aqsa and the possibility of an eviction order in Sheikh Jarrah seemed to be building toward something dangerous. The Israeli government scrambled to tamp down tensions. The Supreme Court hearing in the eviction case was postponed. An order barred Jews from entering the mosque compound. But police raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque again, early on Monday morning, after Palestinians stockpiled stones in anticipation of clashes with police and far-right Jews. For the second time in three days, stun grenades and rubber-tipped bullets were fired across the compound, in scenes that were broadcast across the world. At the last minute, the government rerouted the Jerusalem Day march away from the Muslim Quarter, after receiving an intelligence briefing about the risk of escalation if it went ahead. But that was too little, and far too late. By then, the Israeli army had already begun to order civilians away from the Gaza perimeter. Shortly after 6 p.m. on Monday, the rocket fire from Gaza began. This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company