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American actress and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow visited the city of Sderot yesterday, two days after visiting Gaza and meeting with Palestinian children injured during Operation Cast Lead.

Farrow, who also visited nearby kibbutz Nir-Am, was accompanied by UNICEF-Israel chairman Moriel Matalon, and Social Affairs Minister Isaac Herzog. Farrow is expected to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem today, and is due to visit Ramallah and Jenin tomorrow.

The actress is considered to be a prominent activist for the UN-backed worldwide child-support organization. She is also raising 14 children in her California home - four of her own and 10 adopted. Farrow began her film career in the 1960s, when she appeared in Rosemary's Baby under the direction of Roman Polanski.

Speaking at a press conference in the Sderot police station, with remains of hundreds of rockets and mortar shells behind her, Farrow said she feels like an old friend of the State of Israel. "The most basic thing to aspire to is the safety and security of each person. As a grandmother and a mother, I feel that we, the grownups, don't work well enough on either side of the border between Israel and Gaza. Children on both sides want peace and quiet, and cannot be held responsible for the actions of the adults. I see great suffering on part of children both here and in Gaza. I pray for them, because they need water, peace and homes.

When asked to comment on the Goldstone report, the actress said "crimes were carried out by both sides of the conflict. I didn't come to criticize anyone, just to express hope for a better leadership everywhere."

Both Sderot municipality and social affairs ministry sources said they were satisfied with Farrow's relatively moderate and balanced statements. The mayor of Sderot, David Buskila, gave the actress a present "you can't get anywhere else on earth," a small flower made from the metal casing of a Qassam rocket fired at the city.