The Israeli military on Thursday 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.
On Thursday, 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.
Hurndall is in a coma with severe brain damage after being shot in the head by an Israeli soldier last month as he attempted to protect a small child from gunfire. The UK Foreign Office minister, Mike O'Brien, called in the Israeli ambassador to London to press the demand, which diplomatic sources portrayed as a ratcheting up of pressure on the Israeli government.
"On the basis of the evidence we've seen, we feel this case is so serious that we are asking for a military police investigation," said a Foreign Office spokesperson.
The waiver to enter Gaza requires foreigners, including UN relief workers, to acknowledge that they are entering a danger zone and will not hold the Israeli army responsible if they are shot or injured. The army document also warns visitors that they are forbidden from approaching the security fences next to Jewish settlements or entering "military zones" in Rafah refugee camp close to the Egyptian border where Miller was shot dead on Saturday.
He was the third foreigner killed or severely wounded in the area in recent weeks besides numerous Palestinian civilians hit by Israeli fire, many of them children. The army invariably claims the victims were caught in crossfire. Palestinians say most of the shooting is indiscriminate and reckless, or worse.
The latest victims include a one-year-old boy, Alian Bashiti, shot dead in his home in neighboring Khan Younis refugee camp on Wednesday.
On Thursday, Israel's forensic institute issued its autopsy report which backs up the accounts of witnesses who say that Miller was killed by a shot from an Israeli armored vehicle. A video of the shooting also appears to undermine Israeli army claims that Miller, 34, was caught in crossfire and that soldiers shot in his direction in response to incoming fire from a Palestinian gunman nearby.
The film shows three journalists in flak jackets and helmets, clearly marked with the letters TV. They are shouting "Is there anyone there? Is there anyone there? We are British journalists." A single shot is heard and then another followed by the sound of Miller groaning after he was hit. There is no sound of crossfire.
On Thursday, the army said it had yet to receive the report and therefore could not comment.
The military also now requires visitors to Gaza to declare that they have no affiliation to the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) which is close to becoming a banned organization since it was revealed that members met with two British suicide bombers days before the attack on a Tel Aviv bar last week in which three people were murdered.
The ISM acknowledges that the bombers -- Asif Hanif, who blew himself up, and Omar Sharif, whose bomb failed to explode and who is still being hunted -- attended one of its meetings but says they were not members and the organization had no idea of their intent.
Pins hidden in her shoes, head forced down a toilet, kicked in the stomach: South Korean hairdresser Pyo Ye-rim suffered a litany of abuse from school bullies, but now she is speaking out. The 26-year-old is part of a phenomenon sweeping South Korea known as “Hakpok #MeToo,” where people who were bullied publicly name and shame the perpetrators of school violence — “hakpok” in Korean — decades after the alleged crimes. Made famous globally by Netflix’s gory revenge series The Glory, the movement has ensnared everyone from K-pop stars to baseball players and accusations — often anonymous — can be career-ending, with
One of Australia’s two active volcanoes on an island near Antarctica — known as Big Ben — has been spotted by satellite spewing lava. The lava flow on the uninhabited Heard Island, about 4,100km southwest of Perth and 1,500km north of Antarctica, is part of an ongoing eruption that was first noted more than a decade ago. The image was caught by the European Space Agency’s Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite on Thursday, and is a composite of an optical picture and an infrared image. The lava is seen flowing down the side of Big Ben from near the summit, known as Mawson Peak.
SYMBOLIC: The bill sponsored by a cross-party group of lawmakers was hailed as a ‘historic moment’ in the fight for marriage equality, but is unlikely to pass Lawmakers in South Korea have proposed the country’s first same-sex marriage bill, in a move hailed by civic groups as a defining moment in the fight for equality. The marriage equality bill, proposed by South Korean lawmaker Jang Hye-yeong of the minor opposition Justice Party and co-sponsored by 12 lawmakers across all the main parties, seeks to amend the country’s civil code to allow same-sex marriage. The bill is unlikely to pass, but forms part of a trio of bills expected to increase pressure on the government to expand the idea of family beyond traditional criteria. The two other bills relate to
TIME TO TALK: Among China’s grievances were economic and trade issues related to Taiwan, but both countries emphasized the need to maintain communication US Trade Representative Katherine Tai (戴琪) on Friday raised complaints about China’s state-led economic policies during a meeting with Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao (王文濤), who objected to US tariffs and trade policies, as well as issues related to Taiwan, their offices said. However, statements from the US Trade Representative’s (USTR) office and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce emphasized the need for Washington and Beijing to maintain communication on trade. “Ambassador Tai highlighted the need to address the critical imbalances caused by China’s state-led, non-market approach to the economy and trade policy,” the USTR said in a statement released after the