Thursday, 25 February 2010

Irish foreign minister Martin in Gaza visit calls on Israel to lift siege

The Irish, who know a thing or two about colonialism and occupation have sent their Foreign Minister to Gaza. It is the first trip by any European state for a year. Martin was refused entry to Gaza by Israel last year.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs Micháel Martin has said the current humanitarian situation in Gaza is "extremely depressing".

Mr Martin is visiting the area for the first time today after being refused entry by Israel late last year.

His tour is the first by an EU foreign minister for a year.

Speaking in Gaza city, he said Israel's defence that it tried to avoid women and children during last year's offensive was "not credible".

He is also appealing to the Israeli Government to lift its three-year blockade on the people of Gaza.


US slams Israel's heritage site move as provocation but will take no action

US slams heritage provocation but will they actually do anything about it and the allied ethnic cleansing being brought about through settlement construction and demolition of Palestinian homes?
...the State Department on Wednesday sharply criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government for adding two shrines in the West Bank to Israel's list of national heritage sites. The move, announced Sunday, sparked Palestinian protests and has drawn criticism from other quarters, including the United Nations.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the administration viewed the move as provocative and unhelpful to the goal of getting the two sides back to the table.

Toner said US displeasure with the designations of the Cave of the Patriarchs in the flash point town of Hebron and the traditional tomb of the biblical matriarch Rachel in Bethlehem had been conveyed to senior Israeli officials by American diplomats.


UN's Ban ki-moon complains about Israel's heritage site provocation and demolitions at Barak meeting

The general assembly meets tomorrow to discuss the Goldstone Report and the responses from the Israeli and Palestinian side. Expect the UN to end up postponing any decision - give the parties more time to come up with better reports, as if both sides were somehow equally guilty of war crimes!
UNITED NATIONS -- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon raised concern at a meeting Wednesday with Israel's defense chief that Israel's recent designation of holy sites in the West Bank as heritage sites and demolitions in East Jerusalem could hinder a resumption of stalled peace talks with the Palestinians, a U.N. spokesman said.

The U.N. chief discussed prospects for reviving peace negotiations and broader Mideast issues with defense chief Ehud Barak for about an hour, including a 15-minute tete-a-tete, officials said.