Gaza

Hamas PM banned from Facebook

By Jessica Elgot, July 27, 2009

Facebook has removed the fan page for Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, costing him 10,000 facebook friends.

But the social networking site has not issued an official statement as to why the page was deleted.

The more popular Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal who has 17,000 friends still remains on the site.

More than 10,000 people were "friends" with the Gazan PM on Facebook, and the organisation has received dozens of complaints demanding the page be reinstated, London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat reported.

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Shoah email sackings

By Marcus Dysch, July 23, 2009

Four council workers have been sacked for sending antisemitic emails comparing Israel’s operations in Gaza to the Holocaust.

Five other staff members received written warnings and have since returned to work at Lancashire County Council.

The office workers were suspended in April after the messages were discovered on the authority’s email accounts. The council said the staff had both sent and received “highly inappropriate emails”.

The sacked staff are appealing against the decision.

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Soldiers defend IDF’s conduct

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 23, 2009

IDF soldiers have responded to criticism of the army’s conduct in Operation Cast Lead by producing a website describing how the army did everything in its power to minimise civilian casualties.

Soldiers Speak Out was created by Stand With Us, a Los Angeles-based pro-Israel advocacy organisation, and includes videos of IDF reservists who fought in the Gaza operation.

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Gaza war sparks worst hate wave ever recorded

By Leon Symons, July 23, 2009

The Community Security Trust recorded more antisemitic incidents in the first six months of 2009 than it has done in any previous entire year.

Between January and June there were 609 incidents. In the whole of 2008 there were 544. The CST has never recorded more than 600 incidents in one year, let alone six months.

The main reason for the rise was the response to Israel’s incursion into Gaza.

The 609 incidents included 77 violent assaults, compared with 45 last year. Two of these, in May, were deemed to be extremely violent attacks, which might have involved a threat to life.

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Amnesty slams critics of war crimes report

By Marcus Dysch, July 9, 2009

Amnesty International has defended its report of the Gaza conflict in the face of fierce criticism from the IDF and NGO Monitor.
Although the report, Operation Cast Lead: 22 Days of Death and Destruction, says both sides committed war crimes, it focuses overwhelmingly on the actions of the Israeli army.

Amnesty’s Jeremy Croft said the charity “absolutely refuted” NGO Monitor’s attempt to “rubbish” the document, and said that since February, the IDF had refused requests to discuss the findings.

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Amnesty war crime report picks out Israel

July 2, 2009

A new report from Amnesty International says that both sides in the Gaza conflict committed war crimes.

But the 117-page report has been attacked by NGO Monitor’s Professor Gerald Steinberg, who says that the report is “further evidence of Amnesty’s obsessive attempts to condemn and isolate Israel”.

The overwhelming focus of the report is on the actions of the Israeli army, which Amnesty says “killed hundreds of unarmed Palestinian civilians and destroyed thousands of homes in Gaza, in attacks which breached the laws of war”.

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Israeli navy seizes pro-Palestine boat

By Jessica Elgot, June 30, 2009

A boat carrying pro-Palestinian activists, who were attempting to break the blockade of Gaza has been seized by the Israeli navy who have forced it to sail to the southern port city of Ashdod, the army said.

The boat is said to include at least six activists from the UK.

The navy surrounded the vessel, which was said to be carrying humanitarian supplies to Gaza, and demanded the protesters turn back because of the security risks in breaking the blockade.

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Gazans are trapped ‘in despair’- Red Cross

By Jessica Elgot, June 29, 2009

The Red Cross has released a report today on the effects of the two-year Israeli blockade of the Gaza strip, which it says has trapped 1.5 million Gaza residents ‘in despair.’

The humanitarian organisation said the blockade, which has been in place since Hamas took control of Gaza two years ago, was ‘strangling’ the local economy and that local people were unable to rebuild their homes and their lives six months after the Israeli offensive in Gaza.

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Embassy clashes: more held

By Leon Symons, May 8, 2009

Another six men have been arrested in connection with demonstrations outside the Israeli embassy in west London in January.

This brings to 93 the total number of people held in connection with a number of offences alleged to have been committed in two protests held on January 3 and 10 about Israel’s actions in Gaza.

The arrests were part of the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Ute and were carried out by a team created to investigate the disturbances that took place, which included attacks on police officers and a number of shop windows being smashed.

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Royal Court in squabble over new Gaza play

By Jenni Frazer, May 7, 2009

A new spat has broken out following the staging of controversial Royal Court play Seven Jewish Children, by Caryl Churchill.

A non-Jewish writer, Richard Stirling, wrote his own response, Seven Other Children, which opened this week at Hampstead’s New End Theatre.

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