The Guardian

Israel can halt this now

British Labour MP Oona King visited the occupied Palestinian territories last week. She came to the conclusion that, given the scale of the atrocities and collective punishment waged by the Israelis against Palestinians, she has no choice but to boycott Israeli products. 

Straw under fire for ignoring Israeli attacks on UK nationals

[Anthony Hurndall,] the father of a British peace activist left in a coma by an Israeli army bullet has accused the Foreign Office of showing more concern at the killings of Israeli citizens than investigating Israeli responsibility for the shootings of Britons… “I have expressed to the embassy strongly my unease at the fact that immediately following the bombing at the bar in Tel Aviv and the killing of three Israelis, the British government jumped to give a statement of support for Israelis and to freeze funds and make arrests. “In contrast, the almost passive reaction of the British government at the shooting of three of its nationals in Israel is very disturbing,” he said. 

UK envoys held at gunpoint by Israelis

Israeli forces opened fire above a British embassy convoy and held it at gunpoint in Gaza while it was carrying diplomats and the family of an English peace activist left in a coma by an Israeli bullet. Two armoured Range Rovers with diplomatic plates were forced to halt as they drove through the Abu Houli crossing on Sunday, even though British officials had notified Israeli forces of their arrival 10 minutes earlier. “There’s a complete lack of control. They fire without warning,” said Tom Hurndall’s father, Anthony, who was in one car with his wife and 12-year-old son. “As we passed the first pillbox a shot was fired over the cars. We weren’t clear why, or what was happening. Nobody came out, we couldn’t tell if we were supposed to get out or go on. Chris McGreal reports in The Guardian. 

Why friends of Israel should see Gaza

“The result is that, while Israel claims to be hitting at the “terrorist infrastructure”, the consequence last week was a two-mile funeral procession through Gaza City, in which mourners chanted “no to Abu Mazen”, the new pro-roadmap Palestinian prime minister. In Gaza, as in the other Palestinian territories, the space for moderation gets smaller with every minor humiliation and every death. You don’t have to be a peace activist to understand that this is a kind of madness. If ordinary Israelis and their friends in other countries were to spend even a few hours in Gaza, or talking to people on the West Bank, then it is difficult to imagine them supporting the policies of the present Israeli government.” 

Gaza visitors must sign waiver in case army shoots them

The Israeli military yesterday began obliging foreigners entering the Gaza Strip to sign waivers absolving the army from responsibility if it shoots them. Visitors must also declare that
they are not peace activists. The move came hours before an autopsy on James Miller - the British cameraman killed in a Gaza refugee camp - confirmed that he was almost certainly killed by an Israeli soldier, despite the army’s assertions to the contrary. Yesterday, the British government demanded an Israeli military police criminal investigation into Miller’s death and the shooting of another Briton by the army in Gaza, Tom Hurndall, a peace activist. Chris McGreal reports for The Guardian

My friend James

“Late on Friday night, I received a phone call: Reuters was reporting that a man had been shot dead in Rafah, on the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. That the man was a cameraman and director called James Miller. The sense of shock and fury with which I put the phone down has still not faded: James was a man with whom I spent some of the most extraordinary times of my life, a man of talent, intelligence and integrity. A man I was plotting to go down the pub with in a few weeks’ time.” Cassian Harrison remembers her friend James in the pages of The Guardian — and joins a growing call for a complete investigation into his murder by the IDF

Israeli report clears troops over US death

An Israeli army investigation into the death of Rachel Corrie, an American peace activist, has concluded that its forces were not to blame for her death. It accused Corrie and other members of the International Solidarity Movement of “illegal, irresponsible and dangerous” behaviour. Corrie, 23, was crushed to death by an army bulldozer in Rafah, Gaza, as she protested against house demolitions. The investigation, led by the chief of the general staff of the Israeli Defence Force, found that Israeli forces were not guilty of any misconduct. 

Activist's memorial service disrupted

Israeli forces fired teargas and stun grenades yesterday in an attempt to break up a memorial service for Rachel Corrie, the American peace activist killed by an army bulldozer in Gaza on Sunday. Witnesses including several dozen foreigners and Palestinian supporters say Israeli armoured vehicles tried to disperse the gathering at the spot in Rafah refugee camp where Ms Corrie was crushed to death. 

This is a road map to nowhere

George Bush and Tony Blair’s burst of enthusiasm for Palestine and the ‘road map’ is a transparent attempt to stretch the sticking plaster of a Middle East settlement over the gaping wound of the Iraq crisis. But what the Palestinians need is an end to occupation, not bogus statehood writes Ahmad Samih Khalidi in The Guardian.