Gaza rocket fire torpedoes Neil Young Tel Aviv gig

AFP
Neil Young and the Crazy Horse band perform in Oslo Spektrum on August 7, 2013
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Jerusalem (AFP) - Safety fears have forced the cancellation of Canadian rocker Neil Yong's impending concert in Tel Aviv, the target of repeated rocket fire from Gaza in the past week, organisers said Sunday.

Concert promoter Shuki Weiss announced "with great sorrow" the cancellation of a show scheduled for Tel Aviv's riverside Yarkon Park next Thursday.

"This is due to the rocket attacks of recent days and the fear for the audience’s safety in a mass event," he wrote on his Facebook page.

Since last Tuesday when Israel launched its Operation Protective Edge deadly air war to stop Palestinians firing rockets into southern Israel, the militants have increased the intensity and range of their barrages.

As in previous days, air raid sirens sent Tel Aviv residents sprinting to bomb shelters on Sunday and Israel's Iron Dome missile defence system blew up incoming rockets in the skies above. None have so far hit inside the city limits.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP that the concert was called off after consultation with civil defence authorities, "in regard to large gatherings in central populated areas due to the security dangers involved."

Young last played in Israel in 1993, appearing with Pearl Jam.

He has resisted calls to boycott Israel and fans were looking forward to his return, this time with his band Crazy Horse.

Haaretz on Sunday said that other forthcoming visits in danger were those of Paul Anka, on July 24 and 26, and the Backstreet Boys, scheduled to play three dates on July 29-31.

Media said over 40,000 tickets to the Young event had been sold. Weiss said information on refunds would be made public later in the week.

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