May 11, 2009
The Pope will spend the next five days visiting various holy sites in Israel and the West Bank. See the link below for details on their location and his itinerary.
- BBC News
February 6, 2009
A UN spokesman said policemen raided a UN warehouse on Tuesday after officials refused to hand over the aid to a Hamas-controlled ministry. The UN said it was the first time its aid had been confiscated by Hamas.
It condemned the action and demanded the goods be immediately returned. Hamas denied its men had taken any aid.
UN spokesman Christopher Gunness said Hamas police took 3,500 blankets and over 400 food parcels.
The Hamas Social Affairs Minister in Gaza, Ahmed al-Kurd, denied that members of the Islamist movement had removed aid from a UN building. However, he said his ministry was in dispute with the UN relief agency about how aid should be distributed.
He accused the UN of giving aid to local groups with ties to Hamas opponents.
– BBC News
The UN aid agency in Gaza says it has suspended all aid shipments, accusing the Hamas government of seizing hundreds of tonnes of food supplies.
Ten lorries carrying flour and rice were taken from the Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom crossing, the UN’s Relief and Works Agency (Unrwa) said.
Hamas admitted a “mistake” had been made and says it will return the goods. But Unrwa says deliveries will not restart until it has assurances that such seizures will not happen again.
February 5, 2009
In this picture from Reuters, keepers introduce two new male lion cubs born at the Ramat Gan Safari, a park outside Tel Aviv. They are expected to be named Shalom and Salaam, both of which mean ‘peace’.
* for non-Australian readers, Clayton’s was a non-alcoholic beverage marketed heavily in the 1980′s as “The drink you have when you’re not having a drink” (or its slightly more memorable advertising out-take with actor Jack Thompson).
February 1, 2009
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has vowed a “disproportionate” response to rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza.
He was speaking at his weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, soon after at least two rockets hit southern Israel. No casualties were reported.
Two weeks ago, Israel and Hamas – which controls the Gaza Strip – declared separate ceasefires.
They ended Israel’s three-week assault on the Gaza Strip, which Israel said was aimed at stopping rocket attacks.
On Sunday Mr Olmert warned Israel would respond forcefully to renewed rocket fire.
“We’ve said that if there is rocket fire against the south of the country, there will be a disproportionate Israeli response to the fire on the citizens of Israel and its security forces,” he said.
- BBC News
As America remains Israel’s biggest backer financially, militarily and politically it is anyone’s guess how this will relate to President Obama’s recent use of his first formal TV interview to “reach out to the muslim world”.
January 27, 2009
BBC News reports…
Israel has carried out an air attack in the Gaza Strip and launched an incursion with tanks and bulldozers across the border.
There are reports of heavy fighting near Khan Younis in southern Gaza, with many people fleeing their homes.
The incursion follows a bomb attack which killed one Israeli soldier and wounded three near the Gaza border.
It is the worst violence since Israel’s offensive against Hamas in Gaza ended with both sides declaring ceasefires.
No group has said it carried out Tuesday’s bombing on an Israeli patrol near the border crossing of Kissufim.
Soon to be renamed Kissurassgudbai…
come to an end: eg. the hostilities had ceased and normal life resumed
January 18, 2009
Israel is to halt its three-week military offensive against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said.
He said Israel had achieved its aims and the unilateral ceasefire would start at 0200 (2400 GMT). But he said troops would remain in Gaza for now.
A Hamas spokesman said it would not accept one Israeli soldier in Gaza.
Nearly 1,200 Palestinians have been killed since the violence began on 27 December. Thirteen Israelis have died.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed relief at the ceasefire.
- BBC News
January 17, 2009
In remarks to school children broadcast on Israeli radio, Ms Livni’s said her solution for maintaining a Jewish and democratic state of Israel was “to have two distinct national entities”.
“Among other things I will also be able to approach the Palestinian residents of Israel… and tell them: ‘Your national aspirations lie elsewhere.’”
Arab MP Ahmed Tibi demanded that Ms Livni be absolutely open about what she meant, as befits a candidate for Israel’s prime ministership.
“She must decide whether she means to leave 1m Arabs without political rights or a national identity, or whether she really intends to transfer 1m Arab citizens to the Palestinian state that will be established,” he told Israeli army radio.
- BBC News
Israel is of course already protecting the democratic rights of the arab minority by disqualifying two of their three main parties from standing in next month’s general election.
January 10, 2009
Israel has continued to pound Gaza a week after sending in ground troops, despite the UN voicing disappointment ceasefire calls had not been heeded.
Israel said it launched 40 overnight air strikes, while Hamas militants fired several rockets at Israeli towns.
Senior Palestinian officials are in Egypt for talks on how to end the Gaza conflict, which began two weeks ago.
Health officials in Gaza say more than 800 Palestinians have died. Israel says 13 Israelis have been killed.
- BBC News
January 1, 2009
The director of the World Food Programme operation said she was “furious” when she learned Israel was claiming warehouses were full of supplies.
Christine van Nieuwenhuyse said WPF stocks in Gaza showed a 30 per cent shortfall of dry goods such as flour and a much greater shortfall of ‘ready-to-eat’ goods which are in dire need in Gaza because of the acute shortage of power and gas for cooking.
Tzipi Livni, the Israeli foreign minister, speaking during a visit to Paris denied the 1.5 million-strong population of Gaza was suffering a humanitarian crisis.
She was responding to calls led by France but supported by the European Union for a ceasefire in Gaza to allow a surge in humanitarian supplies.
- the Telegraph.
December 30, 2008
The White House has given its tacit backing to Israel’s military operation against Hamas and the Gaza Strip, a flare-up that is threatening to seriously complicate any peace efforts envisaged by the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama.
“The United States understands that Israel needs to take actions to defend itself,” said White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe.
- BBC News