Brother of fallen IDF soldier Hadar Goldin invents Purim dance in his memory

(JTA) – The Bnei Akiva Jewish youth movement published online a Purim video of its members performing a dance choreographed by the brother of a fallen Israeli soldier.

Hemi Goldin, whose brother, Hadar, was killed by Hamas in 2014 and whose body has not been returned for burial, invented the dance routine in memory of his brother’s joviality, World Bnei Akiva said in a statement about the video, which was uploaded to YouTube on Thursday. [Click here to see the video.] [Read more…]

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Israeli troops strike Hamas positions in Gaza after coming under fire at border

(JTA) – Israeli troops retaliated for a Gaza border attack, striking two Hamas positions in the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday afternoon.

Earlier in the day, the troops came under fire near the border in an attack that included a hit on an army engineering vehicle. That attack came hours after a rocket fired from Gaza exploded on the beach in Ashkelon in southern Israel. [Read more…]

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Report on 2014 Gaza War slams Netanyahu, military leadership

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel’s prime minister, defense minister and army chief of staff did not update the Security Cabinet about the serious threat of Hamas tunnels from Gaza, the nation’s state comptroller said in a report on the 2014 Gaza War.

The Security Cabinet did not have enough information about the threat posed by the tunnels to make decisions about how to proceed during the war, leaving the Israeli military unprepared, Yosef Shapira wrote in the 200-page report released Tuesday afternoon. [Read more…]

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Israeli retaliatory airstrikes target Hamas positions in Gaza

(JTA) – The Israeli Air Force retaliated for rocket fire from Gaza with strikes targeting five Hamas positions in the coastal strip.

It was not known if the targeted positions were hit by Monday’s airstrikes, which came in response to a rocket fired hours earlier that landed in an open area of the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council in southern Israel early in the morning, the Israel Defense Forces spokesman said. No damage or injuries were reported. [Read more…]

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Two Palestinians reported dead in Gaza tunnel blast

(JTA) – Two Palestinians were killed and five were injured in what Gaza authorities said was an airstrike on a smuggling tunnel between Egypt and Gaza, officials in the Strip said.

The fatalities from the strike Wednesday, which Hamas’ health minister Ashraf al-Qidra on Thursday said was carried out by Israel, were identified as Hussam Hamid al-Sufi, 24, and Muhammad Anwar al-Aqraa, 38, Ma’an news reported. [Read more…]

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Israeli cabinet ministers warn of possible escalation in Gaza

(JTA) – Two Israeli cabinet ministers warned of a possible escalation along Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett said Tuesday that a conflict in Gaza is a “matter of when, not if,” The Times of Israel reported. And in an interview the same day with Army Radio, Housing Minister Yoav Galant, a former general and head of the army’s Southern Command, said Hamas “might … be drawn to escalation in the spring or the summer.”

The comments followed a day of tensions in Gaza, beginning with an early morning rocket launch from the coastal territory that landed near the Israeli city of Ashkelon, causing no injuries. Later in the day, an Israeli patrol came under fire near the Gaza border. In response, Israel struck several Hamas positions from the air and with tank shells.

“We have no interest in an escalation of violence, but are determined to fulfill our obligation and protect the people of Israel from attacks originating in Gaza,” Israel Defense Forces spokesman Peter Lerner told The Times of Israel.

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