West Bank settlers attack soldiers

By Jessica Elgot, April 21, 2010

Settlers from the West Bank town of Yitzhar have wounded an IDF soldier, hurled stones and slashed the tyres of a military vehicle.

The IDF strongly condemned the attacks, said to be in response to a closed military zone order against the settlers to keep them from entering the Palestinian village of Madma, south of Nablus.

The settlers, mainly teenagers, had intended to visit Madma on Yom Ha’atzmaut to protest against the settlement building freeze. A clash ensued after security forces tried to prevent the settlers from going any further.


MPs urge Home Office to free embassy-protest mob

By Marcus Dysch, April 8, 2010

Supporters of pro-Palestinian demonstrators jailed after violent protests outside the Israeli embassy last year have stepped up their campaign against the sentences.

A small group of Stop the War Coalition members protested outside the Home Office last week, demanding that the remaining charges against defendants be dropped.

MPs George Galloway and Jeremy Corbyn, accompanied by representatives from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and British Muslim Initiative, delivered a 1,200-name petition.


MP: Israel's tentacles will steal the election

By Martin Bright and Robyn Rosen, March 29, 2010

The election campaign took a distinctly unpleasant turn last week as pro-Palestinian MPs suggested the “Israel lobby” would play a behind-the-scenes role in key constituencies.

Martin Linton, chair of Labour Friends of Palestine, told a meeting at the House of Commons held by the Palestine Solidarity

Campaign and Friends of al-Aqsa: “There are long tentacles of Israel in this country who are funding election campaigns and putting money into the British political system for their own ends.


Reform rabbi: Jews should think of Palestine during Seder

By Simon Rocker, March 25, 2010

The head of BBC's religion and ethics asked whether Jews think of Palestinian suffering at Pesach during a demonstration Seder last week.

Aaqil Ahmed was among a select group of journalists who attended the event organised by the Reform movement.

According to The Tablet, the Catholic magazine, guests were discussing "plagues of the modern world" when Mr Ahmed asked: "Not speaking personally, but journalistically, I would ask, do people remember the plight of those people today who suffer oppression at the hands of the Israelis?"


Palestine group gets student union ban

By Marcus Dysch, March 11, 2010

A pro-Palestinian group which launched an angry protest against an Israeli speaker has been banned from using a student union's facilities.

Leeds University Union took action against the student Palestine Solidarity Group after protesters interrupted a talk given by Ishmael Khaldi, Israel's deputy consul.

They chanted and banged on the doors of the lecture theatre as Mr Khaldi spoke at the Jewish Society event.

The union's activities executive has stopped PSG booking rooms in the union building until the start of the next semester in April.


Biden hails new Israel, Palestinian peace talks

By Jessica Elgot, March 9, 2010

US Vice-President Joe Biden has hailed the new, indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinians as a “moment of real opportunity”.

Mr Biden, who met Israel’s President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem today, praised the proposed four months of talks, which have been brokered by US Middle East special envoy George Mitchell.

Mr Biden said: “I hope it is a vehicle, a vehicle by which we can begin to allay that layer of mistrust that has built up in the last several years,"


Israel, Palestinians agree to peace talks

By Jessica Elgot, March 8, 2010

Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to indirect peace talks, brokered by US special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell.

Mr Mitchell, who is currently in Israel, met Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu over the last two days to raise the issue of restarting negotiations. He then met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas this afternoon.

Israel and the Palestinians are expected to conduct four months of negotiations through a US mediator, which will focus on security issues and borders of a potential future Palestinian state.


Right-wing MK ‘Give Palestinians Israeli citizenship’

By Nathan Jeffay, March 4, 2010

Tzipi Hotovely, an MK on the right flank of the Likud, surprised political observers last month by saying that Israel should give citizenship to Palestinians in the West Bank.

The country's political centre is increasingly talking about this scenario - but as a potentially disastrous move that will be forced on them if attempts to create a Palestinian state fail.

Defence Minister Ehud Barak said earlier this month that Israel needs a Palestinian state to come into existence because, without one, it has only two options - to become a "bi-national country" or "an apartheid country".


Analysis: Riots in Israel are not an intifada

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 4, 2010

The images of youths throwing stones and border policemen firing tear-gas grenades back at them last week in the alleyways of Hebron and at the entrance to the Temple Mount seemed eerily reminiscent of the two intifadas. But that is all they were: images.

So far, a widespread uprising throughout the territories, coupled with gradually escalating responses by the Israeli security forces, has failed to materialise; the riots seem to be petering out. This is not a third intifada, at least not yet.


Human rights group takes UK to court over Israel sanctions

By Simon Rocker, February 25, 2010

A Palestinian human rights group is making a fresh attempt through the courts to force the British government to adopt sanctions against Israel.

The West Bank-based Al Haq wants a ruling that Britain is in breach of its human rights obligations by failing to take action.

The group, represented by the Birmingham-based Public Interest Lawyers, lost an application for a judicial review to hear its case in the High Court last year.

But an appeal, which will be contested by the Foreign Office, was due to begin in the Court of Appeal yesterday.