Gaza

Israel not prosecuting pro-Palestinian activists

By Jennifer Lipman, June 2, 2010

Israel has said it will not be prosecuting the pro-Palestinian activists detained after the weekend's fighting on the Gaza-bound aid flotilla.

The move comes as Israel prepares to send 325 of the activists home immediately, with the remaining number expected to be flown home in the next 48 hours.

An aide said Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had made the decision after consulting his cabinet.

Turkish planes have landed in Israel to return nationals to the country, while others are at Ben Gurion airport awaiting flights.

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Pro-Palestinians protest at Israeli embassy

By Jessica Elgot, June 2, 2010

Around 250 protesters gathered outside the Israeli embassy last night with anti-Israeli banners and waving Palestinian flags.

The Association of the Palestinian Community in the UK organised the protest, which took place across the road from the embassy amid heavy police presence.

Although the protest was mostly peaceful, protesters chanted “Khyber al-Yahud” – an Islamic battle cry which celebrates the death and defeat of Jews in the battle of Khyber. The also chanted “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” – a chant which calls for the destruction of Israel.

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Jewish Agency Facebook page vandalised

By Robyn Rosen, June 1, 2010

The Jewish Agency for Israel has been forced to suspend all comments on its Facebook page after it was vandalised with offensive remarks and images.

On Monday, it placed a message on its Facebook page stating that postings on its online wall had been “temporarily prohibited”.

It said: “Due to the flotilla incident in Israel today our Facebook page was vandalised with anti-Israel and anti-Jewish wall postings.

“For that reason, fan postings on the wall have been temporarily prohibited. We will do our best to remove comments with similar sentiments as soon as possible.”

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Gaza protester charged

By Jennifer Lipman, June 1, 2010

A man has been charged with a racially aggravated public order offence following a protest over the deaths on the Gaza flotilla.

Stephen Andrew, a 19-year-old from Bolton, who had been demonstrating outside the BBC’s building in Manchester, will appear in court in July 1.

He was among up to 1,000 protesters who marched through Manchester and smashed the doors of the BBC offices.

Two officers suffered minor injuries during the incident. Another woman was arrested and has been bailed until June 16.

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Egypt reopens Rafah crossing

By Jennifer Lipman, June 1, 2010

The Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, has ordered the reopening of his country's border with Gaza.

The Rafah crossing will be reopened to allow humanitarian and medical aid into Hamas-controlled Gaza, following the weekend's raid on a flotilla ship which left at least nine pro-Palestinian activists dead.

Rafah has been kept mostly closed in the three years since Hamas gained control of the area. It is the only point on the Gaza border that Israel does not fully control.

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More deaths in aftermath of IDF raid

June 1, 2010

Two terrorists were shot dead attempting to infiltrate the Gaza border this morning.

The attempt followed Monday's IDF raid of the "Free Gaza" flotilla in which nine passengers were killed.

Four settlements near the border fence have been closed and families living nearby have been asked to stay in their homes. It is believed schools have been closed.

As international outrage mounted, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu cut short his visit to North America and canceled a meeting with President Barack Obama to return to Israel.

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Analysis: Gaza aid deaths: how could it happen?

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 31, 2010

Flotilla 13, the IDF's naval commandos, were the toast of Israel's military - until yesterday. The recipients of a rare citation for the entire unit from Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi, only last month, the "Shayetet" are credited with numerous secret missions far away from the country's shores. According to the non-Israeli press, these missions included interdiction of ships bearing arms from Iran to Israel's enemies in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.

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Netanyahu regret over Gaza aid killings

By Jessica Elgot, May 31, 2010

Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has expressed his regret that nine people were killed in the IDF action against the Gaza flotilla.

The six ships, which were part of a supposed aid mission to Gaza, have now docked in the port of Ashdod and 32 activists have been arrested.

Israeli had previously offered the ships a safe passage to dock in Ashdod and have their aid transported by land to Gaza.

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Gaza analysis: These were not 'peace protesters'

By Stephen Pollard, May 31, 2010

It’s depressing, but not in the least bit surprising, that the ‘condemn first, ask questions later (if at all)’ attitude towards Israel is as universal as ever.

To judge from the media coverage of what happened last night, you’d think that the IDF had attacked a defenceless group of peace activists almost for the sake of it, shooting indiscriminately and behaving like barbarians.

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Gaza protesters killed in clash with IDF

May 31, 2010

Up to sixteen members of a Turkish Gaza protest organisation are said to have been killed by Israeli forces after fighting on board a flotilla of ships en route to Gaza.

The ships, part of an ‘aid convoy’ from the ‘Free Gaza’ organisation, a Turkish based group, had left northern Cyprus on Sunday. Six boats carried 600 activists. One of those on board was Mairead Corrigan Maguire, the Northern Ireland peace protester who won a Nobel Prize in 1976.

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