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Thursday, Oct 23rd

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Rights groups call on Israel to allow investigators into Gaza

war crimes gazaHuman Rights Watch and Amnesty International renewed a call to Israel on Wednesday to allow the groups access to Gaza via the Israeli-controlled border, saying in a joint press release that the resumption of fighting makes it more important than ever for their investigators to monitor the situation.

“The Israeli authorities appear to have been playing bureaucratic games with us over access to Gaza, conditioning it on entirely unreasonable criteria even as the death toll mounts,” Anne FitzGerald, Amnesty International’s director of Research and Crisis Response, said in the release.

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Israeli court allows protesters to picket Palestinian-Jewish wedding

LehavaA Palestinian man and his Jewish bride-to-be are facing hostile protests in the Israeli town of Rishon Letzion after Israel's high court refused their application to ban demonstrations outside their wedding reception.

Mahmoud Mansour, 26, a Palestinian from Jaffa, has had to hire dozens of security guards after an anti-Arab group, Lehava, published details of his wedding reception online and called for Israelis to come and picket the wedding hall.

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Ferguson police chief cedes much of his authority

Ferguson police cheifIn less than a week, the nation's most embattled police chief has ceded much of his authority — first to county police and then to state troopers.

Thomas Jackson, the snowy haired leader of the Ferguson Police Department, has been the public face of the agency at the center of the violent protests over a white police officer's killing of an unarmed black teenager.

Jackson's leadership has drawn wide criticism, both for the aggressive police response to the protesters and for his agency's erratic and infrequent releases of key information.

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Israel bans national service with human rights group B'Tselem in Gaza row

Israel bans service in human rights groupIsrael has banned young people from serving with one of its most prominent human rights groups because of its opposition to the war in Gaza. B'Tselem, which campaigns against Israeli settlements in the West Bank, was informed on Wednesday night that it has been blacklisted as a civilian alternative to military service.

The director of the body responsible for non-military options for Israelis who don't want to serve in the IDF, Sar-Shalom Jerbi, told Channel 2 TV that B'Tselem had "crossed the line in wartime [by] campaigning and inciting against the state of Israel and the Israel Defence Force, which is the most moral of armies".

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U.S. Avoided Threat to Act on Israel’s Civilian Targeting

Gaza bombingUnited Nations officials and human rights organisations have characterised Israeli attacks on civilian targets during the IDF war on Gaza as violations of the laws of war.

During the war, Israeli bombardment leveled whole urban neighbourhoods, leaving more than 10,000 houses destroyed and 30,000 damaged and killing 1,300 civilians, according to U.N. data. Israeli forces also struck six schools providing shelter to refugees under U.N. protection, killing at least 47 refugees and wounding more than 340.

But the Barack Obama administration’s public posture during the war signaled to Israel that it would not be held accountable for such violations.

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Egypt's Rabaa deaths 'crime against humanity

Rabaa deathsA new report has alleged that the Egyptian security forces' killings of at least 1,000 protesters at the Rabaa al-Adawiya Square sit-in last year in Cairo "most likely amount to crimes against humanity".

The 195-page Human Rights Watch (HRW) report released on Tuesday found that Egyptian security forces "gunned down hundreds of unarmed protesters" when they moved in to disperse the sit-in on August 14.

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Obama's Pentagon Covered Up War Crimes in Afghanistan, Says Amnesty International

US covered up war crimes in AfghanistanThe human-rights group reports the U.S. military systematically ignored evidence of torture and unlawful killings in Afghanistan as recently as last year.

The U.S. military has systematically covered up or disregarded “abundant and compelling evidence” of war crimes, torture, and unlawful killings in Afghanistan as recently as last year, according to a report by Amnesty International published today in Kabul.

The human rights organization alleges that the U.S. military has routinely failed to properly investigate reports of criminal behavior and, in some instances, tampered with evidence to conceal wrongdoing. On the rare occasions when servicemen are held to account, the report found that the compromised military justice system seldom secured justice for the victims of enforced disappearances, killings, and abuse that included torture.

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