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Hamas threatens escalation of violence Hamas has threatened an escalation in violence on Israel’s southern border unless Israel allows financial aid from Qatar and an increase in electricity supply to Gaza.
by JTA | Aug 22, 2019

A senior Hamas source made the threat in the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar on Tuesday. The source also warned that Hamas might not be able to prevent independent attempts of Gazan Palestinians to cross the border into Israel to commit terror attacks. He said the situation in Gaza was “heating up”.

“The factions have given the interlocutors a direct threat: if the enemy doesn’t implement the understandings, allowing entry of the Qatari funds and increasing the quantity of electricity by this weekend, they will move to escalate on the ground,” the Hamas source told the newspaper.

Israel has allowed Qatar to distribute cash to needy Gazan families, including $15 million (R230.7 million) in January. Another $25 million (R384.5 million) from Qatar is scheduled to be disbursed at the end of the week.

Ugandan shul visits Tree of Life congregation

The leaders of a new synagogue in Uganda named for Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue visited the Pennsylvania congregation on Monday.

Wanani Esau and Yonatan Katz Lukato, the president and founder respectively, of the synagogue in the capital city, Kampala, spoke to Tree of Life members at the nearby Rodef Shalom Congregation, the Post-Gazette reported. The congregation has been meeting there since a gunman killed 11 worshippers at Shabbat services in October 2018.

In the wake of the attack, the Kampala synagogue contacted the Tree of Life congregation, and asked to name the new congregation in tribute.

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers of the Pittsburgh congregation said the request had received a “unanimous and enthusiastic” response from his board. He said his congregation plans to send prayer books and other religious items to its namesake, and one day hopes to bring a Torah scroll.

World military leaders visit Israel

An organisation that introduces leaders from around the world to Israeli military officials is hosting 42 legal, international relations, and military leaders from around the world in Israel.

The participants in the Our Soldier’s Speak mission to Israel have spent 10 days being briefed on Israel’s security challenges by members of Israel’s Knesset and Supreme Court; leaders from the Israeli Security Agency and national police; active and reserve officers from the Israel Defense Forces’ northern command, infantry, airforce, technology and logistics branches; and Israeli diplomats.

The delegation, whose mission is to “combat ignorance about Israel to people around the world”, has visited centres of coexistence between Jews and Arabs. It has also been briefed about the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, and has been given an analysis of the Gaza border riots and laws of armed conflict, as well as “lone wolf” terror activity.

Uruguayan soccer player apologises for Auschwitz pic

A Uruguayan soccer player apologised for a birthday photo taken outside Auschwitz featuring celebratory emojis.

Rodrigo Zalazar decorated a snap of himself outside the Nazi concentration camp on his 20th birthday on 12 August, and posted it on Instagram.

Zalazar, who plays for the Polish club Korona Kielce, has deleted the post.

In a video message posted to the team’s Instagram account with nearly 15 000 followers, he read what was apparently a pre-written statement.

“It wasn’t in my intention to insult concentration-camp victims. I didn’t know exactly where I was standing when I took the photo. I’m ashamed of my act because I know what happened behind this gate. I want to apologise to everyone who felt offended by my act.”

The picture showed him standing on the train tracks used to transport victims of the Holocaust into the camp in southern Poland. The museum that now operates on the site has had to remind visitors repeatedly in recent years not to take photos or selfies in the most sensitive areas, such as the tracks or the rooms in which people were murdered.

New York rabbi drowns in lake to save child

The body of a New York rabbi was found a day after he jumped into an upstate lake to save one of his children from drowning.

The child was wearing a life jacket, and was returned safely to the rented pontoon boat on Greenwood Lake in Orange County on Sunday afternoon. But Rabbi David Traub, 38, who was not wearing a life jacket, was not able to make it back to the boat, and was pulled under the water.

His body was found on midday on Monday. The search had been called off the previous night because of bad weather.

Traub was the head of school and synagogue at Bais Medrosh Elyon in Monsey, New York. He is reported to be the father of seven children. He will be buried in Israel.

Last month, Rabbi Reuven Bauman, 35, and a father of five, drowned after he jumped into the ocean in a state park in Virginia Beach to save a student who was having trouble returning to shore.

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