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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, AUGUST 8, 2014 PAGE 13A Shelling of U.N. Gaza school kills at least 10 Palestinians JERUSALEM (JTA)--At least 10 Palestinians were killed and dozens wounded in the shelling of a United Na- tions school in southern Gaza. Palestinian and United Nations officials blamed the Israel Defense Forces for Sunday morning's shelling in Rafah. The school is serving as a shelter for some 3,000 displaced Palestinians. The IDF said it was investi- gating reports on the attack. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in a statement called the shelling a"gross violation of international humanitar- ian law." "United Nations shelters must be safe zones, not com- bat zones. The Israel Defense Forces have been repeatedly informed of the location of these sites," Ban said. "This attack, along with other breaches of interna- tional law, must be swiftly investigated and those re- sponsible held accountable. It is a moral outrage and a criminal act." Rafah has been the scene of heavy fighting between the Israeli army and Palestinian gunmen since the attack on an IDF team decommissioning a tunnel that led to the death of two Israeli soldiers and the believed kidnapping of a third. That soldier, Hadar Goldin, later was declared dead. Gaza's Ministry of Health reported Sunday that at least 1,739 Palestinians in Gaza are dead and nearly 10,000 wounded since the beginning of Israel's Gaze operation. In addition, more than 400,000 have been displaced from their homes, the ministry said. Sixty-four Israeli soldiers and three civilians, including a Thai worker, have been killed during the operation. Also Sufiday, representa- tives of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian Authority arrived in Cairo for talks on a possible cease-fire, Israel said it will not send a representa- tive to the talks. State Dept. slams Israel's 'disgraceful shelling' at U.N. school (JTA)---The U.S. State De- partment condemned what it called Israel's "disgraceful shelling" outside a United Nations school. "The United States is ap- palled by today's disgraceful shelling outside an UNRWA school in Rafah sheltering some 3,000 displaced persons, in which ten more Palestin- ian civilians were tragically killed," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement Sunday. "The coordinates of the school, like all U.N. facilities in Gaze, have been repeatedly communi- cated to the Israeli Defense Forces. We once again stress that Israel do more to meet its own standards and avoid civilian casualties.''~ At least 10 Palestinianswere killed and dozens wounded in the attack in Rafah, in south- ern Gaza, on the school run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Pales- tinian refugees. Palestinian and United Nations officials blamed the attack on the IDF. The State Department statement was the harshest condemnation of Israeli ac- tions in Gaze. "U.N. facilities, especially those sheltering civilians, must be protected, and must not be used as bases from which to launch attacks," Psaki said. "The suspicion that militants are operating nearby does not justify strikes that put at risk the lives of so many innocent civilians." Rafah has been the scene of heavy fighting between the Israeli army and Palestinian gunmen since the attack on an IDF team decommissioning a tunnel that led to the death of two Israeli soldiers and the believed kidnapping of a third. That soldier, Hadar Goldin, later was declared dead. The State Department called for a "full and prompt investigation" into the shell- ing of the Rafah school, as well as the other incidents in which U.N.-sponsored schools were shelled. Bardem, Cruz backpedal on genocide charge against Israel (JTA)--Academy Award- winning Spanish actor Javier Bardemwalked back his signa- ture on a letter accusing Israel of genocide in Gaza. Bardem and his Wife, the actress Penelope Cruz, joined the letter early last week signed by 100 Spanish ce- lebrities published in the Barcelona-based El Periodico de Catalunya as well as other Spanish media outlets. In a statement released July 31 by his publicist, Bardem said his signature on the let- ter was "solely meant as a plea for peace." "While I was critical Of the Israeli military response, I have great respect for the people of Israel and deep compassion for their losses," Bardem wrote in his state- ment, which was published by the Hollywood Reporter."I am now being labeled by some as anti-Semitic, as is my wife-- which is the antithesis of who we are as human beings. We detest anti-Semitism as much as we detest the horrible and painful consequences of war. "Palestinians and Israelis in the region deserve to have their safety and human rights recognized and respected so in the near future they may find peace and co-existence, for themselves and their innocent children. So generations to come could bring hope, for- giveness and compassion for each other. This is the most basic and necessary way to peace for all of us," he wrote. Cruz also issued a clarifica- tion: "I don't want to be mis- understood on this important subject. I'm not an expert on the situation and I'm aware of the complexity of it. My only wish and intention in signing that group letter is the hope that there will be peace in both Israel and Gaze. I am hopeful all parties can agree to a cease fire and there are no more in- nocent victims on either side of the border." The celebrities' letter read, in part, "This is a war of occupation and extermina- tion aga!nst a whole people without means, confined to a miniscule territory without water and where hospitals, ambulances, and children are targeted and presumed to be terrorists." Missing Israeli soldier Ha- dar Goidin declared dead (JTA)--Hadar Goldin, tl{e Israeli soldier who was thought to have been captured last Friday by Hamas, was declared dead. The Israel Defense Forces announced early Sunday morning that it had deter- mined that Goldin was killed in action. The determination was based on an analysis of what took place on the battle- field, a medical review, Jewish legal considerations and other considerations. "A special IDF committee has determined that Lt. Hadar Goldin was killed in combat in Gaza on Friday," the IDF Spokesman.'s Office said. "We join Lt. Goldin's family in mourning their loss and will continue to support them during the grieving period." IDF soldier declared dead was relative of defense minister JERUSALEM (JTA)--Is-~ raeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon posted on Twitter that he was related to Hadar Goldin, the soldier thought to have been kidnapped by Hamas and later declared killed in action. "Hadar Goldin is a member of my family. I have known him since he was born," Yaalon tweeted Sunday morn- ing, hours after the soldier's family was notified of his death. "He and the fallen IDF fighters have gone to battle to restore calm and security to Israel. I embrace their families." Yaalon's grandfather was the brother of Goldin's great- grandmother. The publica- tion of the relationship was censored until after Goldin was declared dead for fear that Hamas would use the information. Yaalon knew Goldin's fa- ther, Simcha, from childhood and had known Goldin since his birth, Yaalon once lectured at Goldin's high school at his request, Ynet reported. The Israel Defense Forces said early Sunday morning that it determined Goldin was killed in action. The determi- nation was based on an analy- sis of what took place on the battlefield, a medical review, Jewish legal considerations and other considerations. Goldin and his twin brother, Tzur, served at the same time as combat soldiers and trained together as officers. Hadar Goldin was engaged a few months ago. Netanyahu: 'All options on the table' in continuing Gaza operation TEL AVIV (JTA)--Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Ne- tanyahu said Israel will keep "all options on the table" as its military operation continues in Gaze. Netanyahu also offered enthusiastic praise for U.S. support of Israel throughout the conflict. As Operation Protective Edge in Gaza neared the end of its 26th day, Netanyahu said Saturday night during a con- ference at Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv that the operatior~would continue "no matter how much time it takes and how much strength it requires." "Every option is on the table to ensure long-term quiet to the residents of Israel," he said. "I won't say when we'll finish and where we'll go. We have no obligation outside of our security concerns." Netanyahu's remarks came at the end of a tumultuous weekend in Gaza. Shortly after Israel and Hamas agreed to a three-day cease-fire begin- ning at 8 a.m. Friday, Hamas killed two soldiers in a suicide bombing and was said to have captured a third. The Israel Defense Forces determined on Sunday that the soldier sup- posedly abducted, Lt. Hadar Goldin, was killed in action. Fighting continued in Gaze through Friday and Satur- day, though the IDF began withdrawing an unspecified number of troops on Saturday. Following Netanyahu's statement, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said the IDFwas nearing the end of its mission to destroy Haines' network of tunnels in Gaze. Ahead of Netanyahu's state- ment on Saturday, Goldin's family helda news conference during which they called for the IDF to continue op- erations until the soldier is returned. "I demand that the state of Israel not leave Gaze until it brings my child home," said Hedva Goldin, the soldier's mother. "I demand the state of Israel not give up on my child, and not give up on any child who went out to defend the state of Israel." Netanyahu said he planned to speak to the Goldin family after his statement and that "their statement touched my heart." Buthe added that "we will continue the operation until it reaches its goals, and the deliberations will be based on those concerns." "I'm ready to get to the end of the operation militarily or, if I can, diplomatically," he said. "I prefer to diplomatically, but if that is impossible, we'll use all of the tools available." The prime minister said "the U.S. has been terrific," and offered strong words of praise for President Obama and for an "untiring effort" by Secretary of State John Kerry. He also thanked the United States for its financial support of the Iron Dome mis- sile defense system. "President Obama has made constant statements on Israel's right to defend itself," Netanyahu said. "I appreciate it deeply." Netanyahu also blamed Qatar for funding Hamas and harboring Khaled Meshal, Hamas' political head. But Netanyahu also noted an emerging %onstellation" of Middle Eastern states that op- pose Hamas and "that allows us to create a new reality." Report: Israel listened in on Kerry peace conversations JERUSALEM (JTA)--Is- raeli intelligence reportedly eavesdropped on telephone conversations made by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. In addition to Israel, at least one other intelligence agency also listened in on the phone calls, the German weekly Der ' Spiegel reported in an article to appear in its Monday print edition. A summary was posted Sunday to its English- language website. The article cites unnamed "reliable sources." The intelligence agencies reportedly were able to inter- cept the calls between Kerry and high-ranking negotia- tors on both sides because they were made on landlines rather than encrypted equip- ment. The calls came during the height of the peace talks last year. "Revelations of the eaves- dropping could further dam- age already tense relations between the US government and Israel," der Spiegel wrote. The U.S. State Department and Israeli officials declined to comment to Der Spiegel. Escape tunnel found in Pal- estinian prisoners' bathroom JERUSALEM (JTA)--An escape tunnel was discovered in the bathroom of Palestin- ian prisoners in an Israeli prison. Guards from the Israel Prisons Service uncovered the tunnel Sunday at the Gilboa Prison, in northern Israel, in a bathroom shared by eight members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group. Two of the prisoners are serving, life sentences, according to Ynet. It was not yet clear where the tunnel was heading and what happened to the dirt dug out of the tunnel. It was the second such tunnel discovered in recent months. British public horrified by killings in Gaza, new FM says (JTA)--Much of the British public is "deeply disturbed" by the impact of Israel's operation in Gaze, the new foreign secretary of England said, and the response could be more widespread anti- Semiticattacks. "Of course it's a concern," Philip Hammond told the Sunday Telegraph, speaking of the hate crimes on Jew- ish communities in Britain, "and we have already seen certainly an upturn in anti- Semitic rhetoric." Anti-Semitic incidents have doubled since Israel began its operation in Gaze nearly a month ago,. ac- cording to the Community Security Trust, the security apparatus for the British Jew- ish community. Hammond, who assumed his post less than a month ago, said the British govern- ment shares the "widespread public horror" of a "wide swath" of the British public at the suffering of the people of Gaze. "The British public has a strong sense that the situa- tion of the civilian population in Gaze is simply intolerable and must be addressed- and we agree with them," he told the Independent. "There must be a humanitarian cease-fire that is without conditions. We have to get the killing to stop." Shortly after assuming his position, Hammond traveled to the Middle East in an at- tempt to help broker a Gaze cease-fire. British Labor Party leader Ed Miliband, who is Jewish, on Saturday night criticized Prime Minister David Cam- eron of the Conservative Party for not opposing Israel's Gaze operation. "The prime minister is wrong not to have opposed Israel's incursion into Gaza. And his silence on the kill- ing of hundreds of innocent Palestinian civilians caused by Israel's military actionwill be inexplicable to people," Miliband said, according to the Guardian. "I am a supporter of Israel and I believe in Israel's right to self-defense. But its mili- tary actions in the past two weeks have been wrong and unjustifiable." Meanwhile, British law- makers and their supporters called on the government to determine whether U.K.- manufactured weapons or components have been used bythe Israel Defense Forces in Gaza during the current operation. The Independent reported that documents obtained by the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) under Britain's Freedom of Information Act showed that nearly $71 million in military-related exports to Israel have been approved since 2010. According to the docu- ments, among the manufac- turers given permission to make sales to Israel are two British companies that supply components for the Hermes drone--the "backbone" of targeting and reconnaissance missions, the Israeli Air Force says--and one company that supplies components for Is- rael's Merkava tanks. In a statement to the Independent, a government spokesman said, "We are cur- rently reviewing all existing export licenses to Israel. All applications for export li- censes are assessed on a case- by-case basis against strict criteria. We will not issue a license if there is a clear risk that the equipment might be Used for internal repression, or if there is a clear risk that it would provoke or prolong conflict." Rio Jews rally for peace in Israel RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (JTA)--Some 2,500 people rallied at the Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro for peace in Israel and the Middle East. Participants of varying ages and types--Jews and non-Jews--marched along the promenade and in the street. They sang Hebrew songs, as well as the Brazilian and Israeli national anthems. Huge signs in Portuguese and English called for peace in the Middle East and condemned anti-Semitism. The blue and white of the Israeli flag flew alongside the Brazilian flag's green and yellow, symbolizing the Jew- ish community's integration in Brazilian society. Signs, flags and T-shirts carried pro- peace slogans anda rejection of terrorism perpetrated by Hamas. The Rio Jewish federation and several activists orga- nized the rally's details on a newly created Facebook group that gained thousands of supporters in less than a week. A recent similar rally in Sao Paulo gathered some 3,000 participants. The Rio Jewish community has some 40,000 members; Sao Paulo has 60,000. Earlier this month, Brazil- ian President Dilma Rousseff condemned Israel for the "massacre" in Gaze without mentioning Hamas. In re- sponse, the spokesman for Israel's Fore!gn Ministry, Yigal Palmor, called Brazil a "diplomatic dwarf," spurring Brazil to recall its Tel Aviv- based ambassador.