Palestine

Hamas killing Palestinians

April 23, 2009

Hamas has been systematically murdering its political opponents in the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the Israeli operation four months ago.

A report published this week by Human Rights Watch (HRW) details at least 32 instances in which Palestinians were murdered by Hamas members. According to the report, at least 18 men were summarily executed during Operation Cast Lead, and at least 14 in the months since.

Most of the murdered were members of Fatah, Hamas’s rival in the inter-Palestinian power struggle.

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Palestine group told: return Lotto cash

By Marcus Dysch, April 23, 2009

A Palestinian organisation has been ordered to return part of a National Lottery grant after an investigation found the money had been used to promote an unauthorised project.

Palestine Lives was handed £7,434 to run a one-day cultural festival at Manchester’s Albert Square in June last year.

But the group later used the grant to promote two film weekends, claiming they were “funded by the National Lottery”.

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Fatah slam Jenin band’s Shoah gig

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 2, 2009

A Palestinian youth orchestra was ordered to disband after performing for Holocaust survivors and its leader was arrested by the Palestinian security services and banished from the West Bank.

Fatah leaders in the Jenin refugee camp are furious that 13 members of the Strings of Freedom orchestra took part in a “Day of Good Deeds” event in Israel last week. The music group was set up six years ago by veteran educator and violinist Wafa Younis, an Israeli Arab. She lived in the camp but has now been banned.

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Oxfam official to be shown Sderot

By Simon Rocker, March 12, 2009

The head of the Reform movement, Rabbi Tony Bayfield, is to take a senior representative of Oxfam next week to Sderot, the southern Israeli town that has been the prime target of rocket attacks from Gaza.

“We will be going to a school in Sderot,” he told a meeting of the Reform council on Sunday, “and he can see Israeli children who have been physically and psychologically traumatised by the war to understand a bit better that there are two sides to the story.”

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Palestinian group tries to sue UK government

By Simon Rocker, February 26, 2009

A Palestinian human rights group has gone to the British courts in an effort to force the government to adopt sanctions against Israel.

Al-Haq seeks a ruling from the High Court that British policy towards Israel is in breach of international law.

In an application for a judicial review filed in London on Tuesday, it named Foreign Secretary David Miliband, Business Secretary Lord Mandelson and Defence Secretary John Hutton as defendants.

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Israel's case ignored in secret government memo

By Leon Symons, February 5, 2009

An internal UK government briefing note on Israel’s recent action in Gaza is written almost entirely from the Palestinian perspective.

The two-and-a-half page private memo was prepared by the Foreign Office and the Home Office’s research and information unit. It is headed: “The British government position on the situation in Gaza”. It contains only two mentions of Hamas and gives no explanation or context as to how or why Israel launched its operation on December 27.

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War weakened Abbas, Palestinians warn

By Ben Lynfield, January 22, 2009

President Mahmoud Abbas has been politically wounded by the Gaza war, with Hamas enjoying a surge of popularity in the West Bank, according to Palestinian analysts.

“In political terms, Hamas has become much stronger and its rivals much weaker,” said Ghassan Khatib, a former PA minister.

“The mere fact that Israel is targeting Hamas makes Hamas popular, as does the fact that Hamas fought back and did not surrender, and in Palestinian eyes put on an impressive performance by being disciplined, organised and continuing to fire rockets until the last minute.”

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SOAS Palestinians fail to ban Israel lectures

By Jonny Paul, January 15, 2009

The University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies has refused to cancel a series of lectures marking the centenary of Tel Aviv.

A Palestinian pressure group demanded that the series, organised by the Centre for Jewish Studies, did not go ahead, claiming it was “morally repulsive” to be celebrating Tel Aviv “while Gaza burns”.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) called on the university to cancel the “ill-conceived propaganda exercise.”

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Israel helps to boost Bethlehem tourism

By Ben Lynfield, December 23, 2008

A tourist revival in Bethlehem has seen the number of visitors double this year.

Israel and the Palestinian Authority cite improved security as the main factor in bringing 1.25 million tourists to Bethlehem, twice as many as in 2007.

But while Israel stresses that it has made it easier for tourists to cross from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, the PA insists difficulties still remain and that tourism figures could be higher if not for the difficulties still involved in travel.

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Brown criticises Israel’s Palestinian policy

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 18, 2008

Prime Minister Gordon Brown criticised Israel’s policy on the territories at a London conference on investment in the Palestinian economy this week.

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