News in Brief

Third Grad lands in south in 24 hours; none hurt

A Grad rocket hit an open area near Kiryat Gat yesterday, the third such rocket Palestinians had fired from the Gaza Strip in 24 hours. The other two landed before dawn, one near Ashkelon and one near Kiryat Gat. None of the three Grads caused casualties or damage, but on Monday a woman was lightly wounded by a Qassam rocket. Mayors of towns within rocket range of Gaza said they expect the situation to get worse as September approaches, given the heightened tensions caused by the Palestinians’ planned bid for UN recognition as a state that month. ‏(Yanir Yagna‏)

Hamas leader in West Bank released from Israeli prison

Israel released some 200 Palestinian security prisoners Thursday− a gesture in honor of Ramandan − among them a Hamas founder and top leader in the West Bank, Sheikh Hassan Yousef, who has been jailed for terror for five years. He was due to be released in a month and a half. The story of Sheikh Hassan Yousef’s son, Mosab Hassan Yousef, who was nicknamed “the Green Prince” and supplied intelligence to the Shin Bet, has been extensively reported on by Haaretz. ‏(Avi Issacharoff‏)

IDF opts to keep God out of memorial prayer

The Israel Defense Forces said yesterday it has opted to leave a reference to God out of the memorial prayer for fallen soldiers following a public debate that touched the heart of the country’s secular and religious divide. Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, who had formed a committee to examine how the Yizkor prayer would be recited at ceremonies, ruled the prayer would open with the phrase “May the nation of Israel remember” rather than “May God remember.” ‏(Reuters‏)

Last homosexual Holocaust survivor dies at 98

Rudolf Brazda, believed to be the last surviving person who was sent to a Nazi concentration camp because of his homosexuality, has died in France, aged 98. Brazda was sent to Buchenwald in August 1942 and held there until its liberation by U.S. forces in 1945. Nazi Germany declared homosexuality an aberration and convicted some 50,000 homosexuals as criminals. An estimated 10,000 to 15,000 gay men were deported to concentration camps, where few survived. Brazda, who settled in France after the war, was awarded its Legion of Honor. ‏(AP‏)