Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Gaza Freedom March set to challenge Israel's illegal inhuman blockade

UNITED NATIONS, Dec 22 (IPS) - More than 50,000 people are expected to take to the streets of Gaza on Dec. 31 for a mass march designed to send a message to the United States, a key supporter of Israel's army, that the situation in Gaza violates international human rights laws.

The idea behind the "Gaza Freedom March" comes from CODEPINK, a women's peace group committed to drawing attention to the humanitarian crisis in the occupied Palestinian territories, among other campaigns.

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UK government hopes to protect Israeli war criminals

The British government is trying its best to work out a way in which it can circumvent international law, all in order to protect Israel's war criminals from arrest in the UK. Shame on Miliband.
LONDON — Britain's flagship Muslim organization on Wednesday attacked a government pledge to reform a war crimes law used to try to arrest visiting Israeli dignitaries, saying the move could hurt Britain's image in the Middle East.

The Muslim Council of Britain said it was "deeply disappointed" that the country's foreign minister, David Miliband, promised to change the law so that judges could no longer issue secret arrest warrants against Israeli officials or military officers, saying the move was biased toward Israel.

"You appear to be committing the government to the path of selective compliance with the enforcement of international law," the council's Secretary General Muhammad Abdul Bari wrote in a letter to Miliband. "This is surely not in the best interests of our country as it will add a further dimension to the double standards that our government is seen to have in relation to the politics of the Middle East."

Prisoner swap negotiator carries message from Israel to Hamas as deal gets closer

Up to 1,000 Palestinian prisoners could be freed in exchange the Israel's lone soldier, according to the Wall Street Journal.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip -- A German mediator met with Hamas in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday to deliver Israel's latest counter offer for a prisoner swap, but the Islamic militant group's Syrian-based leadership is expected to have the final say.

The German mediator is seeking to clinch a long-anticipated swap of some 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for a single Israeli soldier.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum confirmed the mediator delivered the offer and said Hamas was considering it.

"We in Hamas are discussing this issue among our leadership, and when we finish, we will give our answer through the German mediator," he said, without indicating when the group would respond.

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