Palestine

Sex abuse complaint rejected

By Marcus Dysch, July 8, 2010

The Charity Commission has rejected a complaint against Christian Aid for publishing claims that Israeli settlers had sexually abused Palestinian children in Hebron.

Christian Aid apologised "unreservedly" after sending out a press release which mistakenly made the false claim and said it should have described the alleged incidents as having involved "verbal sexual abuse".

The episode came after social worker Miranda Pinch travelled to the West Bank town to "monitor human rights abuses" as part of an accompaniment programme part-funded by the
charity.

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Two more Brighton activists cleared of factory damage

By Jessica Elgot, July 2, 2010

Two more pro-Palestinian activists who broke into an arms factory in Brighton and caused £180,000 worth of damage have been acquitted after they argued they were trying to prevent war crimes in Gaza.

Elijah Smith, 43, of no known address and Christopher Osmond, 30, of Islington Park Road, Islington were cleared of conspiracy to commit criminal damage.

The defendants' solicitor, Lydia Dagostino, said: "We are delighted at the result.

"It sends a clear indication that sometimes direct action is the only option when all other avenues have failed."

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Ambassador criticises judge in arms factory case

By Jessica Elgot, July 1, 2010

Israel's ambassador to Britain, Ron Prosor, has strongly criticised Judge George Bathurst-Norman over the direction he gave to a jury who acquitted five pro-Palestinian activists who broke into an arms factory in Brighton and caused £180,000 worth of damage. The five said they were seeking to prevent war crimes in Gaza.

The activists, Robert Nicholls, 52, Tom Woodhead, 25, Harvey Tadman, 44, Ornella Saibene, 50, all from Bristol, and Simon Levin, 35, from Brighton, argued that they were legally justified breaking into the factory, owned by EDO MBM.

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Police probe 'threat' posters

By Jessica Elgot, June 24, 2010

Police are investigating pro-Palestinian posters put up in a small Sussex town after a Jewish resident complained they were "threatening".

The posters in Barnham, West Sussex, were put up by two groups calling themselves "The UK Friends of Palestine and Israel" and the "Free Gaza Movement".

They call for a boycott of Israel and urge support for "the orphans of the Gaza massacre". There are also "Wanted" posters which accuse Israeli politicians of war crimes, including Opposition leader Tzipi Livni, which have also been seen in the town.

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PA drive to boycott settlement goods

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 27, 2010

Israeli officials are concerned that the Palestinian campaign against buying produce from the settlements will escalate into a larger international boycott on Israeli goods.

In recent weeks, the Palestinian Authority published a booklet with a list of Israeli companies that operate in the West Bank and on the Golan Heights, calling upon its people not to buy their products.

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Abbas: 'Second intifada was a mistake'

By Jessica Elgot, May 26, 2010

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said that peace in the Middle East could be achieved in just one week if Israelis were willing to negotiate. But in a surprise move, he expressed regret over the second intifada.

Speaking to Egyptian media, Mr Abbas said that both he and former Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat did not want the intifada in October 2000.

He said: “The second intifada was one of our worst mistakes. Arafat didn't want the intifada to erupt, but he couldn't stop it.”

During the past week Mr Abbas has made encouraging sounds about the proximity talks.

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Amnesty steps up its campaign on Israel

By Simon Rocker, May 21, 2010

Amnesty International's UK branch is continuing to highlight Israel's treatment of the Palestinians with an exhibition in London next month directed against its security barrier.

The event follows a meeting last week hosted by Amnesty International UK entitled "Capital Murder: Inside the Israeli authorities' regime of discrimination and control in Occupied East Jerusalem".

Journalist Ben White, author of Israeli Apartheid: A Beginners Guide, described what was happening as "a microcosm of Israeli apartheid".

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Anti-Israel demo planned for David Cameron

By Jessica Elgot, May 14, 2010

Film director Ken Loach, Lib Dem peer Jenny Tonge, comedian Jeremy Hardy and Sir Gerald Kaufman MP are signatories to a petition which will be delivered to Downing St as part of an anti-Israel march this weekend.

It will be the first organised rally outside Downing Street since David Cameron became Prime Minister.

Representatives of the Green Party, UNITE, UNISON, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition and CND are also planning to attend.

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BBC's Bowen: Problems in US-Israel relations 'enjoyable'

By Jessica Elgot, May 14, 2010

The BBC’s Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen has said that a report where he described the tension in US-Israeli relations as “enjoyable” was down to an editing glitch.

In his piece ‘Analysis: Bleak climate for Mid-East talks’ for the BBC News website, Mr Bowen wrote: “It has been an unusual and enjoyable new experience to be able to look on as the Israelis argued with their most important ally.”

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Palestinian boy 'shot by settlers', reports claim

By Jessica Elgot, May 14, 2010

Palestinian witnesses claim a 14-year-old boy was shot dead by Jewish settlers in the West Bank last night.

The witnesses, including the boy’s cousin, told police the boy was shot on Highway 60, a short distance from Ramallah after Palestinians threw stones at the car of the settlers.

He has been named locally as Ayssar Yasser from the village of Mizra al-Sharqiah, but this has not been confirmed by Israeli police.

The IDF said the body of a teenager had been found and the cause of death was unclear.

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