|Thursday, 14 December 2017|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-01-12
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 UK Premier Blasts Prince Harry‚s Racial SlurEurope
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said a racial slur used by Prince Harry to describe a fellow soldier was unacceptable, yet he added that the Prince's apology was sincere and therefore it should be accepted.
As soon as the news first appeared on the website of News of the World paper, the 24-year-old prince apologized.
Harry appeared in a video describing an Asian colleague of his as "Paki," a derogatory term used for Indians and Pakistanis
The release of the video footage urged some religious groups, as well as Tory leader David Cameron, to blast the Prince's slur.
"I think the sincerity of his apology cannot be doubted. It was a mistake, he has made the admission of that and, once he has made his apology, I think the British people are good enough to give someone who has actually been a role model for young people and has done well fighting for our country, gone into very difficult situations with bravery, I think they will give him the benefit of the doubt," Gordon Brown told GMTV television.
The Army said it would not launch a formal investigation into the matter because no complaint had been made.Source: ANA-MPA, Reuters
News item: 17597
 Israeli Troops Penetrate into Gaza CityMiddle East - Iraq
Hamas fighters and Israeli troops have been involved in fierce gun battles, after Israel's army penetrated densely populated areas of the city of Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says that Tel Aviv is nearing Gaza goals. Nearly 900 Gazans have been killed and as many as 3,500 have been injured during the conflict, with hospitals being incapable of treating them and their being transferred to Egypt having been halted, due to the escalation of the crisis.
Israeli and Egyptian negotiators are meeting Monday in Cairo to discuss Mubarak's proposals, since the UN Security Council resolution was rejected.
On the other side of the Atlantic, US President-elect Barack Obama said that upon assuming his duties, he would work for an immediate ceasefire and a final solution to the Middle East standoff.
The EU and the Arab nations are feverishly trying to send humanitarian aid to the coastal strip, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis leftist official Alekos Alavanos, who requested the Foreign Minister to guarantee the safety of Greek ship Arion, which is to set sail from Larnaca, Cyprus, carrying humanitarian aid.
"Non-governmental organizations have the right to move the way they think they should. The government, however, is obliged to warn of the existing dangers," said the Greek Foreign Minister.
In the meantime, the Socialist party (PASOK) revealed that the transit of US military material towards Israel takes place through the Astakos port in western Greece.
"Israel Is Nearing Its Goals"
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel was nearing the goals of its offensive in the Gaza Strip, signaling it would continue. "But patience, determination and effort are still needed to realize these goals in a manner that will change the security situation in the south," said he.
Southern Command Head Major-General Yoav Galant, head of the operation against Hamas in the coastal enclave, requested the offensive be extended, read Yediot Aharonot paper.
General Galant requested permission of phase three of the offensive that started on 27 December. Tens of thousands of reserves are expected to join phase three. "If we don't do that we'll be missing a historic opportunity," Major General Yoav Galant was reported to have said.
On Wednesday, Israel said it would halt its operations in Gaza for three hours per day for humanitarian reasons.
Humanitarian Aid Leaves Cyprus
The Greek ship Arion reached the Larnaca port to pick 34 Free Gaza activists responsible to carry humanitarian aid to Gazans.
News item: 17590
 Israeli Forces Step In GazaMiddle East - Iraq
Israeli forces edged into the Gaza Strip's most populous area on Sunday, killing at least 27 Palestinians in an offensive stepped up in defiance of international calls for a ceasefire. Medical officials said about half of the Palestinian dead in the latest fighting in the Hamas-ruled territory were civilians. 12 more Palestinians were killed in 60 bombarding by Israeli air force in camps in Gaza strip on Saturday. According to the announcement released by the Israeli army, the house of the commander of Hamas was among the targets hit. But the announcement does not make clear if the commander was inside the house when it was hit. Since the bombarding started, December 27, members of Hamas have been hiding in underground shelters.
"On Sunday gun fires took place in Syria against the Israeli army. No one was injured but a car was damaged. Forces in the area are examining the incident while appeals and protestations were sent to the UNDOF. The conditions of the incident remain uncertified", an army rep said. Syria made no comment.
Israel, describing as unworkable a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire, wants a halt to rocket attacks and arrangements to ensure that Hamas cannot rearm through tunnels under the Egypt-Gaza border.
Palestinian medical sources refer that 900 Palestinians have been killed 275 of who are children while more than 3.620 are wounded by the operations launched by Israel.
Israel supported the view that Hamas leaders in Gaza strip are hiding in diplomatic missions in an effort to avoid Israeli forces. "Leaders of Hamas and of the army wing are hiding in stores, hospitals and foreign missions", Cabinet Secretary Oved Yehezkel said to journalists.
Israel's Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai in his statements broadcasted by state radio said that the operations in Gaza strip seem to be close.
Correspondents of French News Agency reported that thousand of people protested in Madrid outside the center of the Spanish capital for the "genocide" that is in progress in Gaza and asked for "peace" in Palestine.
"Stop the genocide in Palestine", the protestors shouted in Puerta de Sol. ‚We are all Palestinians", "Israel Murders" was some of the slogans protestors shouted while they were holding Palestinian flags and photos of dead children killed by the Israeli operations launched in Gaza.
Meantime, Venezuela president Hugo Chavez is the new hero of the Palestinian people. Protestors crammed in Western Bank holding photos of the President. His decision, January 6, to deport the Israeli ambassador in Caracas- the only country along with Mauritania that have ever taken such a decision-made Chavez a national hero in Palestine. Source: Reuters,ANA-MNA
News item: 17580
 Israel Advances in GazaMiddle East - Iraq
Developments in the Gaza Strip have turned really dramatic, since Israel sent tanks deeper into the coastal enclave early on Sunday, forcing hundreds of families to flee the area. Hamas militants, on the other hand, fired anti-tank missiles and mortar bombs to halt the advancing Israeli forces, Hamas and Jihad said. Defying international calls for a ceasefire, Tel Aviv stepped up phase three of its offensive, while millions of Israeli leaflets written in Arab were flown in the Gaza Strip warning the residents to avoid Hamas-controlled areas, for operations were to escalate. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that Israel was close to achieving his goals.
Israel launched new ground and air strikes overnight killing three Palestinians and injuring dozens, hospital sources were quoted as saying. According to information, the killings occurred a few hours after the throwing of leaflets.
The last attacks in southern Gaza have injured dozens of Palestinians.
Paramedics said that most of the injured had sustained burns and inhaled poisonous gases, symptoms caused by exposure to white-phosphorus munitions. The above information has yet to be confirmed, but the use of white-phosphorus munitions against civilians is forbidden by international law.
The Israeli offensive has taken a heavy toll on Palestinians, since at least 858 Palestinians, including hundreds of civilians have been killed and as many as 3,300 people have been injured. Ten Israeli troops have been killed in clashes with Hamas militants and three civilians perished in rocket-firing.
In the meantime, Hamas's leader in exile, Khaled Meshaal said that the war in Gaza dashes the last hopes of settling the Palestine standoff, and dismissed the Israeli incursion as a "holocaust."
In Europe, thousands of demonstrators packed the streets. "How more dead children?" was the prevalent slogan. Demonstrators clashed with police outside the Israeli embassy in London. Twenty thousands of people hurled shoes and red paint, before things went out of control. Incidents and arrests occurred in Oslo, Norway, as well, while thousands of people took to the streets of Paris and Berlin.
Source: NET, ANA-MPA
News item: 17574
 Gaza: Tragedy ContinuesMiddle East - Iraq
Israeli and Hamas defied the cease fire calls. Despite a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire and Egyptian-European mediation efforts, Israel appeared set on pressing on with its offensive, designed to stop Hamas rocket fire. Hamas fired more rockets. Israeli aircraft, tanks and ships pounded the Gaza Strip for a 15th day Saturday and militants from Hamas fired rockets back at Israel, defying international efforts to put a stop to the conflict. 810 Palestinians at least are dead among whom 303 women and children and 3.600 wounded while in Israel 3 civilians and 13 soldiers were killed. United Nations announced that humanitarian aid in Gaza will continue. Unrwa stopped the aid when one of the convoys transferring aid were hit by Israeli bombs and a Palestinian driver was killed.
US as well as the US Congress mutually decided to support Israel recognizing the right of the Jewish state to defend itself against Hamas' rocket attacks.
European and Israeli diplomats said Egypt was objecting to proposals that foreign troops and technicians be stationed on its 15-km (9-mile) border with Gaza to prevent arms smuggling.
Instead, diplomats said, Egypt was ready to accept technical assistance for its own forces on the border. Israel says the Egyptians have failed in the past to prevent Hamas building up an arsenal of hundreds of Soviet-designed Katyusha missiles.
Meantime, Greece will provide medical care and hospitalization to wounded children from Palestine after initiation adopted by ministers of Foreign Affairs. The non governmental organization "Solidarity" prepares humanitarian aid in Gaza. A protestation rally is staged today in Syntagma Square at 13.30. The Hellenic Committee UNICEF appeals citizens to express their solidarity, to reinforce their efforts and to adopt necessary humanitarian aid sending food water and medicines to children and mothers in Gaza. For this purpose citizens can deposit money in National Bank to the following bank account: 169/480021-48. Citizens cal also make donations calling 801 500 12345. For more information they can visit www.unicef.gr.
News item: 17555