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Monday, July 31, 2006

Keeping vigil

NEWTON

It’s an annual event, but one that has taken on particular significance in light of the current hostilities between Israel and Lebanon-based Hezbollah militants.

Members of the Newton area’s Jewish community will gather tonight at the Newton War Memorial on the grounds of City Hall for a “Community Vigil for Israeli Victims of Terror.”

The 6 p.m. event -- which is sponsored by the Boston Israel Action Committee; the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston; Congregation Beth El – Atereth Israel, Congregation Shaarei Tefillah and Temple Emanuel of Newton; The David Project; Young Israel of Brookline; and the South Area Israel Action Team – is expected to draw a larger crowd that usual due to the current fighting.

Officials said they are also watching for a possible increase in the number of counter-demonstrators, especially after an Israeli air strike on Sunday killed 54 civilians in the town of Qana, including 19 children. The Israeli government called the attack a “tragic mistake” and announced a 48-hour cessation of air strikes on suspected Hezbollah targets so it could investigate what happened.

Continue watching this space for a report from the vigil tonight…

-- Ralph Ranalli

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