Gaza

Analysis: Drone signals new spy era for Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 25, 2010

During the rolling-out of the Israeli Air Force's new spy-plane, the Eitan, on Sunday at Tel Nof airbase, one of the guests whispered to his neighbour: "Do you think they scheduled this for today to take the international attention away from the Dubai fiasco?" The neighbour answered: "To do that they would have had to roll out an atom bomb."

More..

Family of Rachel Corrie will sue Israel

By Jessica Elgot, February 24, 2010

The family of American peace activist Rachel Corrie, killed seven years ago while apparently acting as a human shield in front of an Israeli army bulldozer, is to sue the Israeli Defence Ministry.

Cindy and Craig Corrie of Olympia, Washington, say they have four key witnesses, three Britons and an American, who saw Ms Corrie crushed underneath a Caterpillar bulldozer in Rafah in 2003.

The witnesses belong to the International Solidarity Movement, the pro-Palestinian activist group with which Ms Corrie, 23, was involved at the time of her death.

More..

Seven jailed for Gaza protest violence

By Jessica Elgot, February 17, 2010

Seven men, two of whom hold Palestinian nationality, 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 a young offenders’ institution (YOI) and three people were imprisoned for 18 months, one in a YOI.

Two more protesters were sentenced for two years, one in a YOI and another has been jailed for two and a half years. Six of the men pleaded guilty to violent disorder at the protest and one to handling stolen goods.

More..

Military expert on Goldstone report ‘severely biased’

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 11, 2010

An investigation by an Israeli think tank has alleged that the military expert on the UN’s Goldstone Commission, Desmond Travers, was so biased against Israel that the commission’s report was a travesty of the truth.

And in an interview last week, Colonel Travers — who retired from the Irish Army in 2001 — accused “Jewish lobbyists” of strongly influencing Britain’s Middle East policy.

More..

B'Tselem call for Gaza white phosphorus probe

By Jessica Elgot, February 1, 2010

The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem has demanded an investigation into the alleged use of white phosphorous at a UN compound in Gaza, which the IDF denies occurred.

A spokesperson for B’Tselem said: “Israel not only covered up the details of the incident but also refrained from stating, in the report, why measures had been taken against those responsible for this particular event, although many lives were lost in dozes of similar incidents throughout the operation.

More..

IDF officers disciplined for Gaza 'white phosphorus'

By Jessica Elgot, February 1, 2010

Two senior IDF officers have been found to have “endangered human life” during last year’s Gaza operation, for reportedly firing white phosphorus towards a UN compound, injuring an aid worker.

Gaza Division Commander Brigadier-General Eyal Eisenberg and Givati Brigade Commander Colonel Ilan Malka were subject to disciplinary action from the IDF command for but details of the officers’ punishments were not revealed.

More..

Col Tim Collins: Hamas 'committing war crimes'

By Jessica Elgot, January 20, 2010

Gulf War veteran Colonel Tim Collins has told the BBC that he believes Hamas is committing war crimes.

Col Collins, who grew up in Belfast during the Troubles, visited the town of Sderot in Israel and Gaza in a programme for BBC Newsnight, to give a soldier’s view of the Middle East conflict.

He was shown around Sderot bomb shelters and the police station, where he inspected a rocket from Gaza and pronounced it to be an indiscriminate weapon.

He said: “From growing up in Belfast during the Troubles, I can sympathise with the people of Sderot, this is just no way to live.”

More..

Analysis: As Hamas loses control, the risk for Israel grows

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 14, 2010

AT Around 11pm on Monday, a large explosion was heard near Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip. Reports began to stream in from civilians on both sides of Israeli Air Force strikes, dead Hamas fighters, IDF units concentrated near the border and forces on the move. For a few minutes, it seemed as if a year after Operation Cast Lead, another Israeli invasion of Gaza was under way.

More..

George Galloway deported from Egypt

By Jessica Elgot, January 8, 2010

MP George Galloway has been deported from Egypt after attempting to enter Gaza.

The Respect MP tried to cross the border into Gaza after members of the Viva Palestina convoy were arrested there.

He and collegue Ron McKay arrived at the Rafah border crossing which goes from Gaza into Egypt.

The two men were driven away and placed on a plane back to London by plain-clothed Egyptian police, a Viva Palestina convoy spokeswoman said.

More..

EastEnders Ross Kemp's guide to the Middle East

By Robyn Rosen, January 7, 2010

Actor and TV presenter Ross Kemp has said he was anxious about the impact of his new programmes on the Israel/Gaza conflict, for fear they could give extremists a “publicity platform”.

Mr Kemp, best known for his work on EastEnders, spent a month in Israel and Gaza for a two-part series which concludes on Sunday (January 10) on Sky1.

The actor, who has also filmed in Afghanistan and Kenya, told Sky News that he made the programme to give access to the on-going and complicated conflict to those who would not usually be interested.

More..