U.S. Jewish groups launch ‘terror relief”

WASHINGTON (JTA) – U.S. Jewish groups launched a $5 million “terror relief fund” in the wake of hostilities between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

“This new Fund will help support the more than one million residents of Israel’s South and provide aid to those who are victims and the most vulnerable Israelis during this time of conflict,” said a statement from the Jewish Federations of North America, which is coordinating the effort. “One hundred percent of all donations will be used for aid.”

The Reform movement sent out an appeal to its membership on Thursday evening. “Your generosity will allow for an immediate response from the North American Jewish community as we demonstrate our continued collective support for Israel,” it said.

Separately, top JFNA officials wrote President Obama thanking him for his backing for Israel in the current hostilities, and particularly for urging Egypt to use its influence to rein in Hamas, the terrorist group that controls the Gaza Strip.

At least 19 Palestinians, including two children and a top terrorist leader, and three Israelis have been killed since Israel launched the operation Wednesday in response to intensified rocket attacks from Gaza.

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