Gaza

British Army expert: "Blame flotilla for deaths"

By Marcus Dysch, June 3, 2010

The former commander of British forces in Afghanistan has said Israeli troops should not be blamed for the deaths of activists on the Gaza-bound flotilla.

Speaking on behalf of the Israel Project, an international non-profit education organisation, Colonel Richard Kemp said: “We should not forget that none of these deaths would have occurred if the people on the ships had not attacked the Israelis.

“It’s wrong to blame the Israeli soldiers for the deaths. The flotilla must shoulder the blame for this.”

More..

Hundreds demonstrate for Israel in London

By Jessica Elgot, June 3, 2010

More than 700 pro-Israel supporters were outside the Israeli embassy on Wednesday night, waving flags, singing and denouncing Israel’s treatment by politicians and by the media.

One supporter who broke through the police barriers was taken away by police. He is thought to have been carrying a paint bomb, but police did not confirm why he had been arrested.

More..

Hamas refuse to let aid into Gaza

By Jennifer Lipman, June 2, 2010

Hamas has refused to allow the supplies from the flotilla ships into the Gaza Strip and has accused Israel of tampering with the equipment.

Israel has loaded 20 trucks with the cargo from the aid ships, including clothing, medical supplies and blankets, to bring into the area.

But Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, is apparently preventing its delivery.

A Hamas spokesperson said they would only accept the transfer of the humanitarian supplies when all the pro-Palestinian activists detained by Israel were released.

More..

Hague calls for investigation into flotilla raid

By Robyn Rosen, June 2, 2010

Foreign Secretary William Hague has said he is “seriously concerned” about Israel’s actions and called for a full investigation.

Mr Hague gave a statement to the House of Commons today and said the government had expressed its “disappointment” to the Israeli government about its lack of access to the 37 British nationals who were on board the flotilla, of whom it has been in contact with twenty-eight.

He said: “We have demanded urgent information about and access to all UK nationals involved. Their welfare is our top priority at this time.

More..

United States vote against UNHRC Gaza motion

By Jennifer Lipman, June 2, 2010

The United States has voted against a resolution by a UN body condemning Israel’s raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla.

Italy and the Netherlands also voted against the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) document, while the UK abstained.

The Palestinian-sponsored resolution was passed by a majority of 32. It calls for Israel to lift the blockade on Gaza and for an independent probe into the incident.

The UNHRC previously instigated the controversial Goldstone Report into the 2009 Gaza war.

More..

Cameron criticises Israel’s “unacceptable” behaviour

By Jennifer Lipman, June 2, 2010

Prime Minister David Cameron has described the events in Gaza this week as “completely unacceptable” but stressed that he remains a “friend of Israel”.

He made the comments in his first session of Prime Minister’s Questions in response to a question from Harriet Harman.

The acting Labour Party leader had asked the Prime Minister what was the status of the British nationals who had been caught up in the Gaza flotilla operation.

She added: “I’m sure he agrees this is a tragic loss of life which has angered Palestinians and dismayed friends of Israel too.

More..

Turkey gives Gaza ultimatum to Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, June 2, 2010

Turkey’s foreign minister has said the country would normalise ties with Israel if it lifts the blockade of Gaza

Following the IDF raid of a flotilla ship on Monday, which left nine dead including several Turkish nationals, Ahmet Davutogu said: "It is time calm replaces anger".

He said: "I see no reason for not normalising the ties, once the Gaza blockade is lifted and our citizens are released."

His comments came as Turkish planes arrived in Israel to take the activists home.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.”

More..