Gaza

Analyis: Deceptive quiet on Gaza border

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 18, 2009

My visit last week to the headquarters of one of the battalions stationed around the Gaza border was deceptively tranquil. The road leading to the base may still be full of craters created by Hamas mortar shells, fired in the years of bombardment leading up to Operation Cast Lead last January. But in the neighbouring kibbutz, work is going on peacefully in the fields, right next to the border fence.

For the first time in a decade, children in the nearby town of Sderot started the school year two weeks ago without having to first practise running to the bomb shelters.

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Analysis: Israel never had a chance with the UN’s Gaza report

By Shmuel Rosner, September 18, 2009

It is true: Israel did use “disproportionate force” when fighting Operation Cast Lead. It was also “collectively punishing” the Palestinians.

“The testimonies we have heard… have been very difficult to hear, but I believe it is important that we listen to these stories,” said UN investigator Richard Goldstone, presenting his committee’s report this week.

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Israel 'appalled' by Goldstone report

By Jessica Elgot, September 15, 2009

The Israeli government says it is “appalled” by the latest United Nations commission report which claims both sides in the Gaza conflict committed war crimes.

A fact-finding mission, headed by South African judge Richard Goldstone, has produced a 574-page report which concludes: "Israel committed actions amounting to war crimes, possibly crimes against humanity.”

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Fears over UN Gaza report

By Bernard Josephs, September 10, 2009

A United Nations investigation into the Gaza conflict will be used as a political weapon to undermine Israel and could lead to an upsurge of international antisemitism, the head of a Geneva NGO has warned.

Hillel Neuer, director of the highly respected UN Watch, has said the group is preparing to challenge the report, which is due to be formally presented to the UN Human Rights Commission at the end of the month.

It is widely believed that the report will result in calls for Israel to be prosecuted for alleged war crimes.

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More than 700 civilians killed in Gaza- B'Tselem

By Jessica Elgot, September 9, 2009

Israeli officials seriously underestimated the number of Palestinian civilians killed in Operation Cast Lead, a Israeli human rights group has alleged.

A new report by B'Tselem found that 773 civilians, whose names it publishes today, were killed during the Israeli offensive in Gaza in January. B’Tselem says this includes 252 children and 109 women.

Israeli army figures put the civilian death toll at 209, with 89 children killed, but the figures did not include 245 Hamas policeman, whereas B’Tselem’s report counts policeman in its civilian figures.

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Hamas’s new enemy? Even more radical Islamist set

By Ben Lynfield in Jerusalem, August 27, 2009

Hamas is facing an unprecedented challenge, this time from even more extreme elements within Islam and Gaza.

It is responding by radicalising even further, imposing Islamic dress on schoolgirls, militarily crushing a breakaway mosque preacher and his followers, and undertaking a propaganda push in mosques and on the web.

The source of the pressure on the Hamas leaders is the Jihadi-Salafi Muslims, who believe in returning Islam to what they see as its pure form that existed at the time of Mohammed and his companions, and in using holy war to achieve this.

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Dispute over 'biased' Gaza inquiry professor

By Bernard Josephs, August 27, 2009

A row has broken out over the inclusion of a UK law professor in a United Nations inquiry into the Gaza conflict.

The monitoring group, UN Watch, claimed the LSE professor, Christine Chinkin, was biased against Israel and demanded that she should be removed from the UN’s fact-finding mission into alleged human rights violations, headed by the South African judge Richard Goldstone.

But this week a spokesperson for the mission dismissed as “misplaced” the claims by UN Watch against Professor Chinkin.

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MPs 'regret' use of UK arms by Israel in Gaza

By Simon Rocker, August 20, 2009

A committee of MPs has said it was regrettable that arms components made in the UK were “almost certainly” used by Israel in the conflict in Gaza earlier this year.

In a report published on Wednesday, the arms export controls committee recommended that the government "continue to do everything possible to ensure that this does not happen in future".

It also backed the refusal to licence the sale of certain components to Israel since the Lebanon war of 2006.

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Analysis: This is a lesson for the residents of Gaza

By Miriam Shaviv, August 20, 2009

The notion that Israel is strangling the PA economy is part of the standard Western narrative — though it has little bearing in fact.

While the rest of the world is deep in economic crisis, the economy on the West Bank is growing by 7 per cent. Mr Brown, eat your heart out.

The lessons are twofold. First, while the “official” peace process seems stuck — Mr Obama’s efforts notwithstanding — on the ground, something real is happening.

The Palestinians on the West Bank are investing positively in their futures for the first time in years.

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Hamas PM banned from Facebook

By Jessica Elgot, July 27, 2009

Facebook has removed the fan page for Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, costing him 10,000 facebook friends.

But the social networking site has not issued an official statement as to why the page was deleted.

The more popular Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal who has 17,000 friends still remains on the site.

More than 10,000 people were "friends" with the Gazan PM on Facebook, and the organisation has received dozens of complaints demanding the page be reinstated, London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat reported.

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