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July 18, 2014

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JULY 18, 2014 Weekly roundup of world briefs from JTA Damage from Gaza rocket cuts power to 70,000 in strip JERUSALEM (JTA)--A rocket fired from Gaza dam- aged power lines in Israel that resulted in the loss of power to 70,000 Palestinians in the coastal strip. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Infrastructure Minister Sil- van Shalom instructed the Israel Electric Company not to endanger its employees by repairing the lines from Sun- day night's outage while the threat of rocket attacks from Gaza remains. The lines were knocked down at Kissufim, near the Gaza border. "The power company plans to remedy the problem," Israel Electric said in a statement sent to JTA late Sunday night. "However, in view of the secu- rity situation and the great danger faced by employees by making the repair under fire, the error will be corrected as soon as we possibly can in terms of security." Also Sunday, a rocket fired from Syria hit Israel on the Golan Heights. The rocket fell in an open area and caused no casualties. The Israel Defense Forces said it believes the rocket fire was intentional and not a byproduct of the more than three-year civil war in Syria. The IDF responded with artil- lery fire in the direction of the rocket iaunchand confirmed hits on its targets. Earlier in the evening, the Ir0n Dome missile defense system intercepted a rocket over the West Bank city of Arielmthe first time a rocket has reached the northern West Bank, some 52 miles away. A rocket fired at Jeru- salem also was intercepted. Meanwhile, some 17,000 Palestinian residents of Belt Lahiya left their homes-- against thewishes of Mamas-- after Israeli leaflets encour- aging them to leave ahead of a military operation were dropped on the area, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency told Israel Radio. On Sunday, the GazaMinis- try of Health said that over 166 Palestinians have been killed and at least 1,000 injured since Israel started its Operation Protective Edge early last Tuesday, the Palestinian Maan news agency reported. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday reportedly called Netanyahu and offered help from the United States in brokering a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. Netanyahu appeared Sunday morning on "Fox News Sun- day," NBC's "Meet the Press '' and CNN's"Stateofthe Union" to defend Israel's military operation in Gaza. The IDF said that 130 rock- ets fired from Gaza hit Israel on Sunday and 22 more were intercepted by Iron Dome. Since the start of Protective Edge, more than 700 rockets have hit Israel, according to the IDF. The Israeli Cabinet on Sun- day approved a $121.8 million aid package for residents and communities of southern Israel, who have been hard hit by Gaza rockets. About half the aid will be given to the town of Sderot. The government said it also will establish five men- tal wellness centers offering psychological and social work services, mainly for children affected by the conflict. The aid package includes an in- come tax credit and property tax breaks for residents and businesses. Rocket seriously injures Israeli teen in Ashkelon; dual citizens leave Gaza JERUSALEM (JTA)--An Israeli teenager was seriously injured by a rocket fired from Gaza that landed in Ashkelon. Another Israeli man was wounded inthe rocket strike on Sunday afternoon in a resi- dential area of the southern Israeli city. "Hamas has chosen to at- tack our cities with massive and indiscriminate rocket fire," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday at the beginning of the regular Cabinet meeting. "I said from the outset that we would respond in strength against this criminal firing at our citizens and this is what we are doing." Early Sunday morning, four Israeli Navy comman- dos were injured in a ground battle on a beach near Gaza City, where they destroyed long-range rockets and its launcher, according to the Israel Defense Forces. Three Hamas fighters reportedly were killed in the clash. Also Sunday morning, nearly 700 Palestinians with foreign passports, including dozens of dual Palestinian- Americans, left Gaza for Israel. From there they will travel to their other home locations. Since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge early on July 8, more than 800 rockets have been fired from Gaza on southern, central and northern Israel, according to the IDF. Some 147 rockets have been intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. The IDF said its forces have struck 1,320 of what it calls "terror targets" across Gaza, including 735 concealed rock- et launchers, 64 training bases and militant compounds, 58 weapons storage and manu- facturing facilities, 32 Hamas leadership facilities, 29 com- munications infrastructures and additional sites used for terrorist activities. Cities throughout northern Israel on Sunday checked and opened public bomb shelters following two salvos of rockets fired from Lebanon since the start of Protective Edge. Also Sunday, the Temple Mount was closed to visitors after Palestinians rioted, throwing rocks and explo- sives at Israeli policemen. Two officers were injured in the unrest. Rockets force cancellation of Neil Young concert in Tel Aviv JERUSALEM (JTA)--The Neil Young concert scheduled for Tel Aviv was canceled due to the continuing rocket fire on Israel. The July 17 performance by Neil Young and Crazy Horse at Yarkon Park was canceled Sunday, according to the Shuki Weiss production com- pany, due to "missile attacks in recent days and the fear for the audience's safety at an event with so many participants." It Would have been Young's second performance in Israel; the first was in 1995. Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters on Thursday released a letter that he wrote to Young in January urging him not to sign a contract to play the Tel Aviv concert. Young reportedly did not respond to the letter. Meanwhile, Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder on Fri- day denounced Israel in an expletive-laden tirade during a concert in England. "I swear to f***ing god, there are people out there who are looking for a reason to kill," Vedder said. "They're looking for a reason to go across borders and take over land that doesn't belong to them. "They should get the f*** out, and mind their own f***ing business. We don't want to give them our money. We don't want to give them our taxes to drop bombs on children." Rabbi of Casablanca as- saulted in response to Israel's Gaza operation (JTA)--The rabbi of the Jewish community in Casa- blanca, Morocco, was beaten allegedly because of Israel's Gaza operation. Rabbi Moshe Ohayon was attacked last Friday night as he walked to synagogue for Sabbath services, according to local and Israeli reports. Ohayon suffered a broken nose and broken ribs, andwas beaten on the head in the at- tack, according to the French language alyaexpress-news. com. The rabbi reportedly asked passers-by for help but was ignored. The alleged attacker, a local Muslim man in his 20s, report- edly told the rabbi during the attack that it was in retribu- tion for Israeli airstrikes on Gaza. The assailant is known to local police, according to the report, and officers were searching for him in order to arrest him. Following the attack, Casa- blanca Jews called on local au- thorities to increase security around synagogues and other Jewish institutions. Palestinian officials put the Palestinian death toll at more than 166 since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge, which entered its sixth day on Sunday. Since July 8, the Israel De- fense Forces said, 707 rockets have hit Israel and 160 have been intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. New Iron Dome battery goes operational JERUSALEM (JTA)--More Iron Dome batteries will become operational and be deployed in the coming days, the Israeli government said. A seventh missile defense battery was put into service last week and immediately intercepted five rockets from Gaza, according to Defense News. Israel's defense minister, Moshe Yaalon, met Friday with executives from the Israeli companies Rafael and Israel Aerospace Industries, and praised Iron Dome for its "impressive performance" and "strategic significance" as Operation Protective Edge in Gaza goes forward. "It saves lives and grants us expanded opportunities for managing the campaign against Hamas," Yaalon said. "And it sends a message to countries and organizations amassing huge quantities of rockets and missiles" for ter- rorist purposes. Rafael is working on an eighth Iron Dome battery. Yaalon said both companies are working to produce more interceptor rockets. Jewish groups launch emergency campaigns for Israel (JTA)--American Jewish groups are launching emer- gency fundraising campaigns to send Israel aid while the fighting with Hamas con- tinues. The Jewish Federations of North America is partnering with the Union for Reform Judaism and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism for a campaign called Stop the Sirens aimed at dis- tributing safety equipment and emergency information providing trauma counseling and respite opportunities. The funds will be sent over the next two weeks and in the immediate aftermath of the conflict, according to the Jewish Federations. The money will be distributed in conjunction with the federa- tion's overseas partners, the Jewish Agency for Israel and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. The Orthodox Union has also issued a call for its Israel Emergency Fund to help of- fer respite and psychological services to children in the conflict zone. B'nai B'rith International also opened an Israel Emergency Fund. The American Jewish Com- mittee sent $50,000 to a hospi- tal inAshkelon, Barzilai Medi- cal Center, for the purchase of an anesthesia machine for its emergency room. SeveralAmerican fundrais- ing arms of Israeli organiza- tions have issued calls for help, including Na'amat, an Israeli day care organization, and American Friends of Magen David Adorn, Israel's emer- gency services, which asked for money for emergency medical supplies for ambu- lances and first responders, blood bags and supplies, and communications equipment. Meanwhile, the Interna- tional Fellowship of Chris- tians and Jews said Sunday that it was opening a new emergency support center for the elderly and allocating more funds for bomb shelters for southern Israelis, who have been the major targets of Gaza bombing. The centerwill provide a base for volunteers to contact and accept calls from the elderly in need of assistance. Fellowship volunteers will deliver food, medication and emotional support to the elderly in endangered areas, the organization said in a statement. In the past week, the fel- lowship said it raised over $2 million from Christian sup- porters of Israel to help the victims of Gaza rockets. U.N.'s Ban: Hamas stop- ping rocket fire would stop escalation NEW YORK (JTA)--U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon said an end to Hamas rocket fire was the only means of preventing an Israeli ground invasion of the Gaza Strip. "Today_we face the risk of an all-out escalation in Israel and Gaza with the threat of a ground offensive still palpable and preventable only if Hamas stops rocket firing," Ban said Thursday at a U.N. Security Council session on the latest outbreak of hostilities. Ban's casting of the respon- sibility for ending the conflict principally on Hamas was unusual for a U.N. official. Palestinian and Israeli representatives addressed the session of the council, the only body with decisions that have the force of international law. Ron Prosor, Israel's ambas- sador to the United Nations, played the sound of a warning siren during his address. "Imagine having only 15 seconds to find a bomb shel- ter," he said. "Now imagine doing it with small children or elderly parents or an ailing friend." Israel launched a counter- offensive on Tuesday after an intensification of rocket fire, dubbing its campaign Opera- tion Protective Edge. Some 100 Palestinians have been reported killed so far in strikes by Israeli combat aircraft.on suspected terrorist targets. Anti-Israel protesters be- siege Paris synagogue (JTA)--Dozens of young men protesting Israel's ac- tions in Gaza briefly besieged a Paris synagogue and clashed with security. At least three Jews were taken to the hospital as a result of the clashes that erupted Sunday between the protesters and young Jewish men who guarded the Don Isaac Abravanel Synagogue in Paris, a witness told JTA. "The attackers splintered off an anti-Israel demonstra- tion and advanced toward the synagogue when it was full," Alain Azria, a French Jewish journalist who covered the event told JTA. Azria said that when the demonstrators arrived at the central Paris synagogue, the five police officers on guard blocked the entrance as the protesters chanted anti- Semitic slogans and hurled objects at the synagogue and the guards. He said nearly 200 congregants were inside. "They were determined to enter and the police did not have enough forces," he said. Azria said the mob was kept away by men from the SPCJ Jewish security unit, the Jewish Defense League and Beitar, who engaged the attackers in what turned into a street brawl. "Thank God they were there because the protesters had murder on their minds and it took awhile before police reinforcements arrived," he added. The synagogue attack fol- lowed several anti-Semitic incidents that coincided with Israel's offensive in Gaza, which began on July 8. In one attack in Beileville north of the French capital, a firebomb was hurled at a synagogue, causing minor damage. In another attack, a man pepper-sprayed the face of a 17-year-old girl. Frankfurt protester cons cops, chants anti-Israel slogans with police mega- phone (JTA)--A demonstrator in Frankfort, Germany, used a police megaphone to shout anti-Israel slogans after dup- ing police. Police said the demonstra- PAGE 13A tor had agreed to calm down a violent protest Saturday but instead shouted "Child murderer Israel" and "Allahu akbar!"--Arabic for "God is great'--a Frankfurt police spokeswoman told The As- sociated Press. "We as police had come up spontaneously with this un- usual method and he abused it--we didn't expect that," the spokeswoman, Virginie Wegner, told AP. The crowd of more than 2,000 protesters, who were waving Palestinian flags and calling for a boycott of Israeli products, followed the police car while cheering and repeat- ing the slogans, according to AP. Dieter Graumann, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, condemned the incident. "I'm shocked that a Ger- man police car was used to spread hatred and agitation," Graumann said, according to AP. "It was a big mistake that the police let themselves be abused for this." Berlin protest against Is- raers Gaza op turns violent BERLIN (JTA)--Rocks were thrown at police in Berlin during a protest by some 1,000 demonstratorsmmost of them Palestinians--against Israel's military campaign in Gaza. As many as 10 demonstra- tors were arrested for breach of the peace and trying to forcibly free others already arrested in Saturday's protest, a police spokesman said. One police officer was struck by a rock but was not injured. The march was unreg- istered; demonstrations in Berlin require a police permit, The demonstrators, who the police spokesman said were aggressive and chant- ing, tried unsuccessfully to enter the "Fan Mile," where tens of thousands of soccer fans have been gathering to watch World Cup games on big screens over the past few weeks. Pushed back by police, the protesters proceeded up one of Berlin's main avenues near Potsdamer Platz. Facing a major police re- sponse, the demonstrators-- at that point led by someone who was trying to calm them, the spokesman said--gradu- ally broke up. By some estimates, Berlin is home to 35,000 Arabs of Palestinian origin. Last Friday, several hun- dred pro-Israel demonstrators gathered at Wittenberg Platz in Berlin under the banner "Fight Terror, Support Israel" organized by the Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin, a non-denominational NGO. Aussie official, a Sydney Jewish leader, rapped for 'inappropriate' email on Gaza conflict SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) -- A senior Jewish leader in Sydney who also holds a gov- ernment post is under fire for an email on the Gaza conflict deemed "biased." The email sent last week by VicAlhadeff, chief executive of the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies and chair of the Community Relations Commission there, accused Hamas of "war crimes" but did not make reference to Palestinian deaths from Is- JTA on page 14A