Gaza

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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UN divided over Gaza ‘war crimes’ report

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 7, 2009

Israel has created a rift in the higher echelons of the United Nations over the investigation of alleged “war crimes” in the Gaza operation.

Israeli diplomats, backed by President Shimon Peres and American diplomats at the United Nations, have persuaded the UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon not to investigate further the allegations of illegal actions carried out by the Israeli army during Operation Cast Lead. But Mr Ki-moon is under intense pressure from many in his own organisation to announce a new investigation.

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Ron Prosor and Gerry Adams: road to peace

By Marcus Dysch in Belfast, May 7, 2009

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has said he “would like to help” advance the Middle East peace process using his experience from Northern Ireland.

His comments came as Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor made a two-day tour of Belfast this week.

When Mr Adams visited the Middle East in March, Israeli officials refused to meet him after he held talks with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza.

But he offered Mr Prosor a warm welcome to Ulster ahead of an hour of private talks on Wednesday afternoon.

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IDF: no war crimes were committed

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 23, 2009

The Israel Defence Force has denied all allegations of war crimes during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, in a report published on Wednesday.

“We have not found even one case in which an Israeli soldier intentionally aimed and fired at innocent civilians,” said IDF deputy chief of staff, Major General, Dan Harel. “The IDF acted in accordance with international law and abided by the highest moral and professional standards.”

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BBC upholds bias charge against Bowen

By Simon Rocker, April 16, 2009

The BBC has partially upheld complaints of inaccuracy and bias against its Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen in an online article about the Six-Day War. Another complaint over a radio broadcast about an Israeli settlement made by Mr Bowen in January 2008 was also partially upheld.

In respect of the article published on the BBC website in June 2007, the BBC found that the author “should have done more to explain that there were alternative views on the subject which had some weight”.

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Therapists' 'Nazi' slur

By James Martin, April 14, 2009

A medical journal has been condemned for publishing an article comparing Israel’s actions in Gaza to Germany under the Nazis.

Therapy Today, the 32,000-circulation house journal of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), ran a 4,000-word article in its March edition titled: “Palestine: to resist is to exist.”

The piece was written by Martin Kemp and Eliana Pinto, two psychotherapists who went on a 10-day trip to the West Bank in November, and gives their views of the effect of the Gaza conflict on the health of the population.

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Muslim leader sues Blears in Gaza row

By Marcus Dysch, April 7, 2009

The deputy general secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain is suing Communities Secretary Hazel Blears for defamation following a row over Israel’s actions in Gaza.

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