Gaza

Baroness Ashton told easing blockade not enough

By Jennifer Lipman, July 19, 2010

A group of non governmental organisations have written to the EU High Representative claiming that Israel’s decision to ease the blockade of the Gaza Strip is not enough to rebuild the area’s economy.

The 19 organisations, including Amnesty International UK, Christian Aid, and War Child UK, asked Catherine Ashton to press for restrictions on Gaza to be lifted completely.

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CPS to probe judge who acquitted Gaza activists

By Jessica Elgot, July 15, 2010

The Crown Prosecution Service may investigate the conduct of a Brighton judge who inferred an anti-Israel activist should win a medal for bravery.

The Board of Deputies have asked the Office of Judicial Complaints to review the judge's summing up and the CPS have also requested a transcript.

Last month a jury acquitted seven activists of causing £200,000 worth of damage to an arms factory in January 2009. The defendants claimed they were trying to prevent the factory, owned by EDO MBM, from making arms for Israel during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza.

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Anti-Israel protesters block Athens flight

By Jennifer Lipman, July 14, 2010

Greek pro-Palestinian protesters delayed a flight to Israel for two hours by staging a demonstration against the situation in Gaza at the airport.

The Tel Aviv bound El Al plane could not take off on time after the group from a Communist backed union obstructed five counters, preventing passengers from checking in their luggage.

Police at Athens International Airport did not intervene but there were no reports of violence.

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Gaza protesters' sentences cut

By Simon Rocker, July 13, 2010

The Court of Appeal has reduced the prison sentences of a number of people who pleaded guilty to violent disorder in protests against Israel’s incursion into Gaza outside the Israeli embassy in London.

The judges cut the prison terms in some instances from two years to 18 months, and from 18 months to 10 in others: in one instance, they quashed a 12-month jail sentence and replaced it with a community order, citing an “inexcusable” delay in bringing the man to court.

Eight appeals for reduced sentences were accepted, two were dismissed.

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Gaza protesters appeal

By Jennifer Lipman, July 13, 2010

A group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators who attacked a coffee shop outside the Israeli embassy are appealing against their sentences.

The ten protesters were among more than 78 people charged following a demonstration against Israel’s invasion of Gaza.

Their lawyers are expected to argue that the “deterrent” sentences, some of up to two and a half years and most for violent disorder, were inappropriate.

Police intervened and arrested more than 100 people after the crowd threw stones and bottles.

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Israeli coalition hit by secret Turkish meetings

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 8, 2010

A meeting between Israeli and Turkish ministers last week, intended to be secret, seems to have done nothing to improve the countries' rocky relations, instead causing at least two crises within Binyamin Netanyahu's coalition.

Trade and Industry Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer has close ties with politicians in many Muslim countries and has undertaken delicate diplomatic missions in the past. Following the breakdown of Israel's relationship with the Erdogan administration after the Gaza flotilla incident last month, Mr Ben-Eliezer tried to use back channels to mend fences.

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Analysis: No end in sight for IDF Gaza probes

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 8, 2010

Eighteen months after Operation Cast Lead in Gaza and there still is no end in sight to the investigations and court proceedings.

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Soldier to be charged for Gaza death

By Jennifer Lipman, July 6, 2010

The Israeli military has said it is charging a soldier with manslaughter for an incident during Operation Cast Lead.

His will be the third case of a soldier going on trial for offences during the January 2009 incursion into the Gaza Strip.

The soldier, named only as First Sergeant S, is from the Givati regiment.

Investigators said he broke Israel’s rules of engagement in firing at two Palestinian women, killing both. The troops been ordered only to fire warning shots at combatants in the crowd.

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Proposal to twin Dublin and Gaza

By Jennifer Lipman, July 6, 2010

The newly elected Lord Mayor of Dublin has suggested twinning the Irish capital with the Gaza Strip out of “sympathy”.

Gerry Breen proposed that the City Council explore the idea at its next monthly meeting, but said it was not meant as a criticism of Israel but as a positive step.

He said: "Gaza doesn't necessarily need to benefit from it, sometimes you can do these things because it's the right thing to do.

"It's saying that we empathise with the plight of the inhabitants in that area."

Both Dublin and Gaza are already twinned with Barcelona.

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Ayalon: Shalit is the only Gaza crisis

By Jessica Elgot, July 1, 2010

Danny Ayalon told 70 ambassadors, including representatives from Egypt and the EU, at the Kerem Shalom Gaza crossing, that Israel consumes 25,000 tons of imported food and Gaza consumes 10,000 tons. Israel has a population which is seven times larger than Gaza.

However, Israel produces much of its own food, whereas Gazans depend greatly on imported supplies.

He said: “Israel is making every effort to make sure Gazans lack nothing. Hamas is the only obstacle in the residents' way.
 

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