Gaza

Lords shown Sderot bomb part at debate

By Marcus Dysch, February 12, 2009

The Israeli army’s tactics and the aftermath of the Gaza conflict have been discussed at length during a special House of Lords debate.

An additional session of the Upper House was convened last Friday, with 34 peers taking the opportunity to give their views on Operation Cast Lead and the subsequent humanitarian crisis.

Many recalled their personal experiences of visits to both sides of the border.

Lord Janner brought to the chamber pieces of a shattered car tail light and a bomb fragment which he had collected in the aftermath of a rocket attack on Sderot last month.

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Amnesty charges Hamas with torture and murder

By Marcus Dysch, February 12, 2009

Hamas gunmen used last month’s conflict in Gaza to murder, kneecap and torture Palestinian political opponents suspected of collaborating with Israel, Amnesty International has reported.

The human rights organisation said they had learnt of at least two dozen cases during Operation Cast Lead in which men were abducted from their homes and later dumped with horrific injuries or found dead in hospitals.

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UN aid for Gaza stolen by gunmen

By Yaakov Katz, February 12, 2009

The United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) this week renewed aid deliveries to the Gaza Strip following several days of a temporary suspension imposed after Hamas violently seized the supplies.

In two separate incidents, Hamas gunmen stormed UN warehouses in the Gaza Strip and commandeered truckloads of supplies including flour, plastic bags and other basic commodities.

“We cannot subjugate our work to the Ministry of Social Affairs in Gaza…we need assurances that our work will be unimpeded,” UNRWA spokesman Sami Mshasha said.

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ZF guest Halevy hails Gaza action

February 12, 2009

Former Mossad head Ephraim Halevy hailed the impact of Operation Cast Lead in a speech to 500 Zionist Federation supporters in Central London on Sunday.

Addressing the ZF’s annual dinner, which raised over £100,000, Mr Halevy maintained that from a military standpoint, the operation had been an “all-out success”, inflicting a humiliating defeat on Hamas.

“This was also evident with the total isolation of Hamas in the Arab world. Egypt and Saudi Arabia turned their back, as did Iran and Syria. And where was [Hizbollah leader Sheikh Hassan] Nasrallah?”

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Live: House of Lords debate on Gaza

February 6, 2009

The House of Lords is today holding a debate on developments in Gaza.

Around 35 peers are listed to speak, with each allotted 10 minutes to give their views on last month’s conflict, and the possibilities for peace in the region.

Israel's case ignored in secret government memo

By Leon Symons, February 5, 2009

An internal UK government briefing note on Israel’s recent action in Gaza is written almost entirely from the Palestinian perspective.

The two-and-a-half page private memo was prepared by the Foreign Office and the Home Office’s research and information unit. It is headed: “The British government position on the situation in Gaza”. It contains only two mentions of Hamas and gives no explanation or context as to how or why Israel launched its operation on December 27.

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Muslim peer in ‘student war’ slur

By Marcus Dysch, February 5, 2009

A Muslim peer has claimed that student societies are recruiting young British Jews to join the Israeli army. They fought, he said, in last month’s Gaza conflict and should be prosecuted for war crimes on their return to this country.

Lord Ahmed of Rotherham said student unions had been “actively recruiting young people in Britain to join the Israeli Defence Force”.

British citizens had, he claimed, “gone out to fight against the Palestinian people”.

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'Toxic atmosphere' at Oxford University

By Simon Rocker, February 5, 2009

Jewish students at Oxford University have accused it of appearing to “appease” organisers of a sit-in at the university library last month in protest at Israel’s actions in Gaza.

The incident is also said to have disturbed some Jewish academics. One University Reader reportedly told a meeting that “within five years, Oxford will be a Jew-free zone”.

In an official reaction to the protest, the Senior Proctor of the university, Professor Donald Fraser, who oversees disciplinary matters, recommended “a relatively lenient course of action” against the demonstrators.

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Hamas keen to show off power

By Jacey Herman, February 5, 2009

If 14-year-old Amira al-Qerem does not get specialist medical care soon, she will never be able to walk again.

She is one of four children in Gaza City’s Al Shifa hospital waiting for permission to be evacuated to France. Hamas in Gaza has agreed, but the Fatah government in Ramallah is refusing, arguing that Hamas is using the children to garner international sympathy. This war of words is just another sign of the ever-increasing rivalry between the Palestinian factions.

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Roads closed after student protest

By Marcus Dysch, January 30, 2009

An anti-Israel protestor was arrested after scaling a student centre on Thursday evening.

The incident came as around 50 protestors gathered outside the London Student Centre, in Euston Road, central London, where Colonel Geva Rapp, a retired IDF officer, was due to speak.

Police closed roads and sealed off the area outside Euston Station shortly after the incident began at 6pm.

The man, carrying a “Free Palestine” placard, climbed a wall and walked across a ledge before sitting outside the first floor windows of the student centre.

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