Gaza

How $500 million was lost down Gaza's tunnel network

By Mordechai Kedar, October 15, 2009

Much has been published in Israel and around the world on the motorway of underground tunnels connecting Gaza to Egypt. Our natural inclination is to think that the tunnels are run by a few poor, hungry people bringing a little food into Gaza, and a few poor families making a living by smuggling weapons, food and goods into the besieged Strip. This image has helped bring many international donations to Gaza, from governments, organisations and individuals.

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Will the UN report finish Abbas?

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 8, 2009

Internal fallout from the Goldstone Report on the fighting in Gaza is now threatening to bring down the Palestinian Authority leadership.

A commission of inquiry has been set up in Ramallah to investigate why the Palestinians dropped their demand to refer the report to the United Nations Security Council.

The report, written by a team headed by Justice Richard Goldstone, alleged that Israel committed war crimes during Operation Cast Lead in January.

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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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