Gaza

Gaza rocket kills Negev man at kibbutz

By Jessica Elgot, March 18, 2010

A man has been killed by a Kassam rocket fired by Gaza terrorists. It exploded next to him when it hit a kibbutz in the northern Negev, Nativ Ha’asara.

The man is believed to be a migrant worker from Thailand who was working in the kibbutz’s greenhouse.

The rocket is the third to have hit the region in the past 24 hours, after riots in Jerusalem and protests in the Gaza Strip over Israel’s plan to build 1,600 new homes in East Jerusalem.

Two women have been treated for shock, but no-one else has been reported injured.

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EU chief allowed into Gaza

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 11, 2010

Israel will allow the European Union Foreign Affairs Representative, Baroness Catherine Ashton, and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, to enter the Gaza Strip, in an apparent reversal of policy.

Baroness Ashton will visit next week and Mr Ban in April. Both asked Israel to open the Erez crossing into Gaza for their delegations.

Since Hamas took control of the Strip in 2007, Israel has enforced a ban on visitors. The closure was designed to delegitimise Hamas and help the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority assert its leadership.

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Viva Palestina 'did not give money to Hamas'

By Jessica Elgot, March 9, 2010

Respect MP George Galloway’s Viva Palestina group has been criticised for “misleading” the public after it announced it had raised £1m for Gaza, when the real figure was just £180,000.

The Charity Commission opened an inquiry after concerns were raised over how much Viva Palestina had collected for Gaza. The Commission was concerned the money had been given to Hamas, considered by the US and EU to be a terrorist organisation.

But no evidence has been found that property, vehicles or money had been given to Hamas.

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Irish minister visits Gaza

By Jessica Elgot, March 5, 2010

Ireland’s Foreign Minister Micheál Martin has called the situation in Gaza “inhumane and unacceptable” after a visit to the region.

Mr Martin, who is the first European Union foreign minister to visit the Gaza Strip in over a year, has called on the EU to put pressure on Israel to end its blockade of Gaza.

Writing in the International Herald Tribune, Mr Martin said: “The tragedy of Gaza is that it is fast in danger of becoming a tolerated humanitarian crisis.”

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Hamas bans male hairdressers in Gaza

By Jessica Elgot, March 5, 2010

Hamas will ban male hairdressers from working in women’s hair salons in the latest bid to impose stricter Islamic law in the Gaza strip.

The Interior Ministry, which announced the new law, has warned of stern consequences for anyone found disobeying.

Islamic women are traditionally not allowed to show their hair to men who are not members of their family.

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Lib Dems under fire over Gaza leaflets

By Marcus Dysch, March 4, 2010

Parliamentary candidates across the country have clashed over pre-election attacks on Israel.

Labour's Oldham East and Saddleworth MP Phil Woolas has written to Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, questioning his party's views on arms sales to the Jewish state.

Mr Woolas acted after the Lib Dem candidate in the constituency, Elwyn Watkins, wrote to Muslim supporters condemning Israel's "disproportionate use of force" during last year's Gaza conflict and calling for an end to arms sales to Israel.

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Analysis: Gaza protesters might be 'angry' but they're still guilty

By David Aaronovitch, March 4, 2010

In January 2009 someone sent me a link to footage taken at one of the Gaza protests in London. Taken by a demonstrator, and 10 minutes long, it showed a thin cordon of policemen being, in effect, chased from the edge of Trafalgar Square to the Hyde Park end of Piccadilly.

For the entire distance, men with faces covered were throwing traffic cones, sticks and anything that came to hand at the retreating officers, while shouting "Run, you f**** cowards!" The only time this mantra changed was when the police, briefly, put up a fight, when the shout became "you racist bastards!"

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Gaza activists claim ‘state racism’

By Marcus Dysch and Jessica Elgot, March 4, 2010

Supporters of pro-Palestinian demonstrators jailed for their roles in violent protests outside the Israeli Embassy say the sentences are a result of "state racism" against Muslims.

At least 22 people have so far been handed jail terms ranging from eight months to two and a half years. More are awaiting sentencing.

Thousands attended demonstrations outside the Israeli Embassy in Kensington in January last year. More than 60 were later charged, the majority with public order offences.

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Galloway anger at Gaza protest sentences

By Jessica Elgot and Marcus Dysch, March 3, 2010

Supporters of the Gaza protesters jailed for violence outside the Israeli embassy held a meeting at Parliament last night calling for their release.

Supporters claimed that the protesters, who threw bottles at police and vandalised a local branch of Starbucks, were victims of a “direct attack on the Muslim community” by the government and police.

At least 22 protesters have now been jailed for between eight months and two-and-a-half years, almost all for public order offences.

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More jailed for Gaza protest violence

By Jessica Elgot, February 26, 2010

More protesters have been jailed for offences during the January 2009 violent protest in London against Israel’s operation in Gaza.

At Isleworth Crown Court, one of the protesters was sentenced to 12 months in prison. One will serve ten months in a Young Offenders Institute. Another was given 12 months conditional discharge and one given an 18 month supervision order.

All had pleaded guilty to violent disorder.

More than 5,000 people attended the demonstration outside the Israeli Embassy in January and protests occurred across the capital during December 2008 and January 2009.

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