Gaza

MFA ex-aide: Israel must respond to UN report

By Bernard Josephs, October 8, 2009

Israel must face up to the fallout from a UN report accusing it of war crimes in Gaza, a top international lawyer and former Israeli diplomat told the JC this week.

Alan Baker, former legal adviser to Israel’s Foreign Ministry and ex-ambassador to Canada, dismissed hopes in Jerusalem that the document, presented last month to the UN by South African judge Richard Goldstone, would be shelved.

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Hamas bans Gaza women from motorcycles

By Jessica Elgot, October 7, 2009

Hamas has banned women from riding motorbikes in Gaza, raising fresh concerns over the movement’s ultra-conservative agenda.

The interior ministry said the ban was to "to preserve citizen safety and the stability of Palestinian society's customs and traditions".

The move is the latest step in an "Islamification" campaign by Hamas.

In July, a senior judge announce that female lawyers would be obliged to wear headscarves in court, a move slammed by human rights groups.

Hamas have also attempted to ban the display of women’s underwear in shop windows.

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EU 'failed to protect citizens' from Gaza rockets

By Jessica Elgot, October 7, 2009

Fifteen European citizens living in Israel are taking legal action against the European Union for failing to protect them from Palestinian rocket fire while they are living in Israel.

The citizens, of Britain, France, Italy and Hungary, who are all currently living in Israel, have filed a claim with the European Commission demanding that the EU intervenes in the funding of terrorism in Gaza, and takes action to protect them from terrorists while they live in Israel.

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Israel may set up official inquiry into Cast Lead

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 1, 2009

The Israeli government is considering whether to set up an official commission of enquiry into Operation Cast Lead in the wake of the United Nations Goldstone report.

The investigation, prepared by Judge Richard Goldstone for the United Nations Human Rights Council and presented two weeks ago, accused the IDF of committing war crimes during the Gaza operation in January.

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Anger over Cathedral art

By Robyn Rosen, October 1, 2009

An Israel support group in Liverpool is outraged at a cathedral which, they claim, is displaying a “one-sided” exhibition of children in Gaza.

Last week, the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool city centre unveiled the exhibition, entitled Loss of Innocence, featuring pieces of art by Gaza children.

But Sue Hadden, chairwoman of the Liverpool Israel Support Group, was angered by its content and contacted the cathedral.

She said: “There needs to be more balance. If they are showing pictures of Gaza children suffering, it should show Sderot children who have suffered terribly.”

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Analysis: Judge Goldstone's other religion

By Gerald Steinberg, September 24, 2009

Richard Goldstone does not fit the model of alienated anti-Zionist Jews who promote boycotts and have no other involvement with Israel or the Jewish community. Quite the opposite. He is an active member of the community, is involved in Zionist groups, and has a daughter who lived in Israel.

So other explanations are needed for the harshness of his report on Gaza. From his activities, speeches and writings, some themes emerge.

Judge Goldstone’s life is intensely focused on the “laws of war”, in which he strongly believes, rejecting all debate or criticism.

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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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