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Russia Faces 'Hard-Hitting' Sanctions Over MH17

Written By andika jamanta on Selasa, 22 Juli 2014 | 20.48

Russia Only Needs To Create Doubt Over MH17

Updated: 12:50pm UK, Tuesday 22 July 2014

By Katie Stallard, Moscow Correspondent

From a cavernous situation room inside the Russian Ministry of Defence, the Lieutenant-General set out Russia's version of events.

The briefing was carried live on Russian state TV and handed out on DVDs by Russia's ambassador to Malaysia.

They claim to have detected a Ukrainian military aircraft within 3-5km of the Malaysian Airliner on Thursday.

"The SU-25 fighter jet can gain an altitude of 10km, according to its specification," Lt Gen Kartopolov explained (which happens to be the exact altitude at which MH17 was flying).

"It's equipped with air-to-air R-60 missile that can hit a target at a distance up to 12km, up to 5km for sure.

"We would like to get an explanation as to why the military jet was flying along a civil aviation corridor at almost the same time and at the same level as a passenger plane."

They also claim to have detected an unusual increase in Ukrainian radar activity leading up to the incident, and that the airliner came down "within the operating zone" of Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile defences.

He showed satellite images of a Ukrainian base close to Donetsk, pointing out that its surface-to-air missile units were missing on the day of the crash.

He then appeared to claim that one of the units had moved into rebel-controlled territory on the morning of the crash.

Finally, Russia categorically denied supplying the rebels with Buk surface-to-air missile systems, or indeed any other weaponry.

Now, firstly, it's worth saying there is a propaganda war in both directions here, which has been going on for several months, and that both sides are pursuing interests beyond the immediate tragedy of MH17.

But the questions Russia presents "that Kiev must answer" raise a few questions themselves.

The SU-25 "fighter jet" Russia claims to have identified close to the airliner is a ground attack aircraft - according to its manufacturer its maximum service height, without weapons, is 7,000m - 3km short of MH17.

As Russian military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer pointed out, it's also too slow: "They should have at least claimed it was an SU-27," he said.

And if the rebels don't have the Buk missile system, or indeed any other Russian-supplied weaponry - how did they target the dozen Ukrainian military aircraft they have previously boasted of shooting down?

This included an Antonov-26 transport aircraft, flying at an altitude of 6,500m last week.

It is possible of course that the rebels have acquired weapons from Ukrainian military bases, although the government in Kiev insists it can account for all of its missile systems.

And what exactly is the case Russia is setting out? Is it suggesting the Ukrainian SU-25 (despite its technical limitations) shot down the passenger jet in mid-air?

And why? The plane would seem to have been travelling in the wrong direction for Ukrainian forces to have perceived it as a hostile aircraft coming from Russia, and the rebels don't have an air force.

So are they seriously suggesting the Ukrainians deliberately moved their missiles on to rebel-held territory and shot the airliner down as part of some sort of nefarious plan to frame the rebels and turn world opinion against them?

But then Russia doesn't need to prove its case - all it needs is to create one, to insist that there are different versions of events, that there is credible claim and counter-claim.

In much the same manner as a criminal defence barrister, Russia doesn't have to demonstrate that its alleged client is innocent - just to establish enough doubt in the minds of the jury - in this case the international community - that they can't be completely sure.


20.48 | 0 komentar | Read More

MH17 Crash Victims' Bodies Arrive At Station

Russia Only Needs To Create Doubt Over MH17

Updated: 12:50pm UK, Tuesday 22 July 2014

By Katie Stallard, Moscow Correspondent

From a cavernous situation room inside the Russian Ministry of Defence, the Lieutenant-General set out Russia's version of events.

The briefing was carried live on Russian state TV and handed out on DVDs by Russia's ambassador to Malaysia.

They claim to have detected a Ukrainian military aircraft within 3-5km of the Malaysian Airliner on Thursday.

"The SU-25 fighter jet can gain an altitude of 10km, according to its specification," Lt Gen Kartopolov explained (which happens to be the exact altitude at which MH17 was flying).

"It's equipped with air-to-air R-60 missile that can hit a target at a distance up to 12km, up to 5km for sure.

"We would like to get an explanation as to why the military jet was flying along a civil aviation corridor at almost the same time and at the same level as a passenger plane."

They also claim to have detected an unusual increase in Ukrainian radar activity leading up to the incident, and that the airliner came down "within the operating zone" of Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile defences.

He showed satellite images of a Ukrainian base close to Donetsk, pointing out that its surface-to-air missile units were missing on the day of the crash.

He then appeared to claim that one of the units had moved into rebel-controlled territory on the morning of the crash.

Finally, Russia categorically denied supplying the rebels with Buk surface-to-air missile systems, or indeed any other weaponry.

Now, firstly, it's worth saying there is a propaganda war in both directions here, which has been going on for several months, and that both sides are pursuing interests beyond the immediate tragedy of MH17.

But the questions Russia presents "that Kiev must answer" raise a few questions themselves.

The SU-25 "fighter jet" Russia claims to have identified close to the airliner is a ground attack aircraft - according to its manufacturer its maximum service height, without weapons, is 7,000m - 3km short of MH17.

As Russian military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer pointed out, it's also too slow: "They should have at least claimed it was an SU-27," he said.

And if the rebels don't have the Buk missile system, or indeed any other Russian-supplied weaponry - how did they target the dozen Ukrainian military aircraft they have previously boasted of shooting down?

This included an Antonov-26 transport aircraft, flying at an altitude of 6,500m last week.

It is possible of course that the rebels have acquired weapons from Ukrainian military bases, although the government in Kiev insists it can account for all of its missile systems.

And what exactly is the case Russia is setting out? Is it suggesting the Ukrainian SU-25 (despite its technical limitations) shot down the passenger jet in mid-air?

And why? The plane would seem to have been travelling in the wrong direction for Ukrainian forces to have perceived it as a hostile aircraft coming from Russia, and the rebels don't have an air force.

So are they seriously suggesting the Ukrainians deliberately moved their missiles on to rebel-held territory and shot the airliner down as part of some sort of nefarious plan to frame the rebels and turn world opinion against them?

But then Russia doesn't need to prove its case - all it needs is to create one, to insist that there are different versions of events, that there is credible claim and counter-claim.

In much the same manner as a criminal defence barrister, Russia doesn't have to demonstrate that its alleged client is innocent - just to establish enough doubt in the minds of the jury - in this case the international community - that they can't be completely sure.


20.48 | 0 komentar | Read More

MH17: Families And Futures 'Ruined' By Crash

Russia Only Needs To Create Doubt Over MH17

Updated: 12:50pm UK, Tuesday 22 July 2014

By Katie Stallard, Moscow Correspondent

From a cavernous situation room inside the Russian Ministry of Defence, the Lieutenant-General set out Russia's version of events.

The briefing was carried live on Russian state TV and handed out on DVDs by Russia's ambassador to Malaysia.

They claim to have detected a Ukrainian military aircraft within 3-5km of the Malaysian Airliner on Thursday.

"The SU-25 fighter jet can gain an altitude of 10km, according to its specification," Lt Gen Kartopolov explained (which happens to be the exact altitude at which MH17 was flying).

"It's equipped with air-to-air R-60 missile that can hit a target at a distance up to 12km, up to 5km for sure.

"We would like to get an explanation as to why the military jet was flying along a civil aviation corridor at almost the same time and at the same level as a passenger plane."

They also claim to have detected an unusual increase in Ukrainian radar activity leading up to the incident, and that the airliner came down "within the operating zone" of Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile defences.

He showed satellite images of a Ukrainian base close to Donetsk, pointing out that its surface-to-air missile units were missing on the day of the crash.

He then appeared to claim that one of the units had moved into rebel-controlled territory on the morning of the crash.

Finally, Russia categorically denied supplying the rebels with Buk surface-to-air missile systems, or indeed any other weaponry.

Now, firstly, it's worth saying there is a propaganda war in both directions here, which has been going on for several months, and that both sides are pursuing interests beyond the immediate tragedy of MH17.

But the questions Russia presents "that Kiev must answer" raise a few questions themselves.

The SU-25 "fighter jet" Russia claims to have identified close to the airliner is a ground attack aircraft - according to its manufacturer its maximum service height, without weapons, is 7,000m - 3km short of MH17.

As Russian military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer pointed out, it's also too slow: "They should have at least claimed it was an SU-27," he said.

And if the rebels don't have the Buk missile system, or indeed any other Russian-supplied weaponry - how did they target the dozen Ukrainian military aircraft they have previously boasted of shooting down?

This included an Antonov-26 transport aircraft, flying at an altitude of 6,500m last week.

It is possible of course that the rebels have acquired weapons from Ukrainian military bases, although the government in Kiev insists it can account for all of its missile systems.

And what exactly is the case Russia is setting out? Is it suggesting the Ukrainian SU-25 (despite its technical limitations) shot down the passenger jet in mid-air?

And why? The plane would seem to have been travelling in the wrong direction for Ukrainian forces to have perceived it as a hostile aircraft coming from Russia, and the rebels don't have an air force.

So are they seriously suggesting the Ukrainians deliberately moved their missiles on to rebel-held territory and shot the airliner down as part of some sort of nefarious plan to frame the rebels and turn world opinion against them?

But then Russia doesn't need to prove its case - all it needs is to create one, to insist that there are different versions of events, that there is credible claim and counter-claim.

In much the same manner as a criminal defence barrister, Russia doesn't have to demonstrate that its alleged client is innocent - just to establish enough doubt in the minds of the jury - in this case the international community - that they can't be completely sure.


20.48 | 0 komentar | Read More

Pregnant Woman And Child Among Airstrike Dead

A child and three women, one of them pregnant, have been killed in airstrikes on Gaza say medics, as the Israeli military confirmed one of its soldiers was missing, presumed dead.

The latest deaths came as diplomatic efforts were stepped up aimed at securing a ceasefire in the bloody conflict.

The four civilians died in two separate Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.  

Palestinian medic inspects a shell-damaged hospital in Gaza A Palestinian medic inspects damage at a hospital in Gaza

The missing Israeli soldier was one of seven personnel who had been inside an armoured vehicle hit by an anti-tank missile on Sunday.

The military has only been able to identify six of the dead, but a spokesman denied any possibility the unaccounted for soldier was still alive.

It follows claims by Hamas it had captured a soldier, which was denied at the time by Israel's ambassador to the UN.

A picture taken from the southern Israeli Gaza border shows smoke billowing from the coastal Palestinian enclave following an Israeli air strike on Gaza City Israel is continuing its offensive to stop attacks by Hamas militants

Militants displayed a photo ID and army serial number raising fears they had seized his remains, which could be used to exchange for prisoners.

It came as the number killed in the 15-day conflict passed 560 people, including nearly 100 children.

Palestinians killed since the assault began on July 8 has reached 539, while the number of Israeli dead rose to 29 people.

The continued violence comes as diplomatic efforts intensify in Cairo, where US Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting Egyptian leaders including the country's president Abdel Fattah al Sisi.

US Secretary of State Kerry speaks with Egyptian President al Sisi in Cairo US Secretary of State John Kerry is in Cairo to try and broker a ceasefire

As Mr Kerry arrived in Cairo, the US confirmed it would provide $47m (£27m) in humanitarian aid for Gaza.

"We will work to see if there is some way to not only arrive at a ceasefire of some kind, but to get to a discussion about the underlying issues," Mr Kerry said at the start of a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday.

"Nothing will be resolved by any ceasefire, temporary or long, without really getting to those issues at some point, and that's what we need to do."

Funeral of Israeli soldier in Tel Aviv The funeral of an Israeli soldier near Tel Aviv

Mr Ban is scheduled to fly to Israel for talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and also to meet Palestinian officials in the West Bank.

But Israel has signalled it is not willing to reach a truce before it knocks out militant infrastructure in Gaza, including networks of tunnels along the Gaza frontier.

"This is not the time to talk of a ceasefire," Israel's communications minister Gilad Erdan said.

A Palestinian woman walks past the rubble of a residential building, which police said was destroyed in an Israeli air strike, in Gaza City The bombardment of Gaza has led to an exodus of more than 100,000 civilians

"We must complete the mission, and the mission cannot end until the threat of the tunnels is removed."

Israel's aerial bombardment has so far resulted in an exodus of more than 100,000 Palestinian civilians, according to the United Nations.


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'Fake Sheikh' Suspended As Tulisa Trial Collapses

Written By andika jamanta on Senin, 21 Juli 2014 | 20.48

An undercover reporter dubbed the "fake sheikh" has been "suspended pending an immediate internal investigation" following the collapse of the Tulisa Contostavlos drugs trial.

The former N-Dubz singer, 26, was accused of brokering a cocaine deal for Mazher Mahmood but the trial has been thrown out after the judge told the jury there were "strong grounds to believe" that Mr Mahmood had "lied".

Reading a statement outside Southwark Crown Court, Ms Contostavlos said the whole case had been a "horrific and disgusting entrapment" by Mr Mahmood and The Sun on Sunday newspaper.

"Mahmood has now been exposed by my lawyers openly lying to the judge and jury. These lies were told to stop crucial evidence going before the jury, " she said.

Ms Contostavlos claims Mr Mahmood's driver Alan Smith had been pressurised into changing his statement to strengthen Mr Mahmood's evidence.

Mr Smith originally suggested he had heard the star talking disapprovingly about drugs but "changed his mind" after a conversation with the undercover reporter, the court was told.

During a pre-trial hearing, Mr Mahmood was asked: "Did you subsequently ask or find out, discuss with Mr Smith anything that was said in the car?"

He replied: "No."

Michael Coombs Michael Coombs, also known as Mike GLC, walks free

Asked if at any stage he discussed Ms Contostavlos saying she "disapproved" of drugs, he also said no.

But the judge said he gave answers which were "entirely inconsistent" when he gave evidence about the same topic at the trial last week.

It can now be reported that, before the trial began, defence counsel argued that the case should be "stayed" - meaning thrown out - but their application was turned down.

In her statement Ms Contostavlos denied ever having dealt or taken cocaine and said she was targeted by the reporter when things were going badly for her.

Ms Contostavlos has urged the police to launch an investigation and said "this type of entrapment should not be allowed to happen to anyone", adding that her life had been ruined for a year.

A Sun spokesman said: "We are very disappointed with this outcome, but do believe the original investigation was conducted within the bounds of the law and the industry's Code. This was demonstrated by the CPS decision to prosecute.

"The Sun, of course, takes the judge's remarks very seriously. Mr Mahmood has been suspended pending an immediate internal investigation."

Explaining his decision to halt the case to the jury, the Judge Alistair McCreath said: "Occasionally - very rarely - circumstances may arise in which a court has to say that, whatever apparent merits a prosecution may have, the court cannot allow the prosecution case to be taken forward to trial."

He said the situation arose from a "fundamental principle" that the court "cannot allow itself to be party to improper conduct".

The Metropolitan Police said it is aware of the judge's decision and will "continue to liaise with the CPS should further work be required".

Earlier Ms Contostavlos appeared ecstatic, punching the air as she left the dock before crying as she hugged supporters including her PA, Gareth Varey, shortly after the case against her was thrown out.

Mike GLC - whose real name is Michael Coombs - pleaded guilty before the start of the trial to supplying half an ounce (13.9g) of cocaine but he also walked free after judge said the case cannot proceed against him.

The 36-year-old also wept as he hugged defence barrister Jeremy Dein QC.


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MH17: Warplane 'Flew Near Doomed Airliner'

A Ukrainian military plane flew within three to five km of flight MH17 just before the crash, the Russian Defence Ministry has claimed.

Moscow also denied supplying pro-Russian rebels with BUK missile systems or any other weapons.

It said it detected the Ukrainian warplane on radar and noticed an increase in radar activity just before the Malaysian Airlines plane carrying 298 people was destroyed.

The claims came after Ukraine's Prime Minister said Vladimir Putin is "on the side of the devil" as he reiterated Kiev's view that Russia had a clear role in shooting down the airliner.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk said the Boeing 777 was probably brought down by a BUK-M1 missile launcher.

Special report 4.30pm and 8.30pm

"This system could not be operated by drunk pro-Russian terrorists. There were professional people," he told a news conference.

He also said Kiev is willing to hand over the probe into the atrocity to its Western partners.

In the Netherlands, Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima are meeting relatives of the 193 Dutch people who died on the plane.

The pair have been criticised for not attending memorial services for the victims on Sunday. Their aides are refusing to say what they were doing instead.

Earlier, the Russian President vowed to "do everything to ensure the security and safety" of experts investigating the disaster.

Mr Putin said "all people" in Ukraine are responsible for the tragedy.

"No one has the right to use this tragedy for any kind of vested interest in the political sense. Such incidents should unite people rather than separate them," he said.

Putin composite MH17 Mr Putin says experts investigating the disaster should be protected

"We need to do everything to ensure the security and safety of the observers and the experts working at the crash site."

However, Mr Yatsenyuk said: "I do not expect anything from the Russian government ... Putin should understand that it's enough already. This is not a conflict between Ukraine and Russia. It is an international conflict."

He added: "Russia is on the dark side, on the side of the devil."

US Secretary of State John Kerry said intelligence assessments had provided overwhelming evidence of Russian complicity in the downing of MH17.

Mr Kerry also demanded Russia take responsibility for the actions of pro-Moscow rebels in Eastern Ukraine, branding their mishandling of victims' bodies as "grotesque".

Donetsk

Ukrainian government investigators say 272 of the 298 bodies have now been found scattered over fields at Grabovo in the Donetsk region.

They said two trains carrying 251 bodies are stuck in the town of Torez because "terrorists are blocking its exit".

Mr Putin has promised Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte he will help retrieve bodies and black boxes from the crash site.

However, Mary Dejevsky, a Russian and EU analyst, told Sky News that Mr Putin controls rebels in the area "far less than is commonly believed outside Russia".

She said nobody controls the area which is "one of the reasons why things are so desperate there".

British Prime Minister David Cameron said tougher sanctions may soon be imposed on Russia.

Trains containing bodies from the MH17 crash site are being blocked by "terrorists", the Ukrainian government has said. Trains carrying bodies are being blocked by rebels, says Kiev

He said he had spoken to Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande and there is "strong co-operation" within the EU for action.

UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond is due to chair an emergency Cobra committee meeting on the crisis at 4.30pm today.

The UN Security Council will today vote on a resolution to condemn the downing of the aircraft.

The resolution, drafted by Australia, demands that those responsible for bringing the plane down will be held accountable, and that armed groups do not compromise the integrity of the crash site.

More follows...


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MH17: 'Bloody Guerrillas' Hold Train Of Bodies

Trains containing bodies from the MH17 crash site are being blocked by "terrorists", the Ukrainian government has said.

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said: "We sent two trains, four carts, which right now are in Torez City.

"These bloody guerrillas do not allow the train to leave the area."

The trains are reportedly surrounded by 50 insurgents - but Dutch forensic teams say they have been promised the wagons will be released later on Monday so they can "do their work".

Trains containing bodies from the MH17 crash site are being blocked by "terrorists", the Ukrainian government has said. Pro-Russian rebels guards a train carrying crash victims' bodies

There are conflicting reports about whether the refrigeration systems on the trains are working.

As Russia and Ukraine continue to trade accusations over the cause of the Malaysia Airlines crash, rescuers have found 272 of the 298 victims - as well as 66 fragments of bodies - in the area where the plane came down in eastern Ukraine on Thursday.

There are fears some of the bodies were incinerated without a trace during the crash.

Michael Bociurkiw, a spokesman for the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), said: "We're looking at the field where the engines have come down.

Special report 4.30pm and 8.30pm

"This was the area which was exposed to the most intense heat. We do not see any bodies here. It appears that some have been vaporised."

The have also been accusations that bodies were removed by rebels.

Lyubov Kudryavets, a worker at the Torez morgue, said that on the evening the plane went down, a resident brought in the bloodied body of a child aged seven or eight. On Saturday militiamen came to take it away, she said.

"They began to question me: 'Where are the fragments of rocket? Where are the fragments from the plane?'" Ms Kudryavets said.

Monitors from the OSCE stand near a refrigerator wagon, which according to employees and local residents contains bodies of passengers of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane, at a railway station in the town of Torez Investigators and rebels cover their faces while inspecting the wagons

The blocking of the trains comes despite comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin that "we need to do everything to ensure the security and safety of the observers and the experts working at the crash site".

Ukraine is set to hand control of the crash investigation to Western partners, with the Netherlands, which lost 192 citizens, taking a lead.

A Joint International Investigation Team has been established and includes experts from Malaysia, Britain, Germany and the US.

However, the OSCE is the only official body allowed access to the crash site so far.

Fighting in Donetsk, Ukraine Smoke rises from Donetsk railway station amid clashes

Elsewhere, Ukraine's military has tried to break into Donetsk - which was taken by rebels in April - in the first significant outbreak of violence since the crash.

Fighting broke out near the city's railway station and airport, with reports of shelling. 

Health officials reported four people dead.

Ukraine's military denied responsibility for any explosions in the country's second city.

Donetsk

"There is work on clearing approaches to the city, on destroying checkpoints of the terrorists. If there are explosions in the middle of the city, then it is not Ukrainian soldiers," said Andriy Lysenko.

"We have strict orders not to use air strikes and artillery in the city. If there is fighting in the city, we have information that there is a small self-organised group who are fighting with the terrorists." 


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Israeli Tank Shells 'Hit Hospital, Killing Four'

Four people have been killed and a further 60 injured after Israeli tank shells hit a hospital in central Gaza, according to Palestinian medics.

Thirty of those wounded in the attack were reportedly medical staff.

Health official Ashraf al Kidra said 12 shells hit the intensive care unit, surgery department and administration building at the al Aqsa hospital in the town of Deir el-Balah.

A Palestinian man holds a child while fleeing the Shujayeh neighbourhood during heavy Israeli shelling in Gaza City A Palestinian man holds a child while fleeing the Shaja'iya district

Footage on Hamas' al Aqsa TV station showed chaotic scenes at the facility.

Fayez Zidane, a doctor at the hospital, told the station: "There is still shelling at the hospital."

Earlier, the Israeli army claimed it killed more than 10 Hamas militants who entered Israel via cross-border tunnels.

Palestinian families flee the Shujayeh neighbourhood during heavy Israeli shelling in Gaza City Officials said 35,000 civilians fled the fighting on Sunday

Grainy video released by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) showed what appeared to be Hamas gunmen in a fire fight with Israeli forces before they were hit by an air-strike.

The film showed several armed men lying in the grass near what Israel claimed was the exit to the tunnel on the Israeli side.

After exchanging fire the men appear to retreat before they're hit by what Israel claimed was an airstrike. There was no way of verifying the video.

Israeli soldiers mourn with the brother of Israeli soldier Bnaya Rubel during Rubel's funeral in Holon Israeli soldiers mourn during the funeral of colleague Bnaya Rubel in Holon

The attack came as the UN Security Council called for an "immediate ceasefire" and Israel continued its air assault on the Gaza Strip this morning, killing 28 members of a single family near the enclave's southern border with Egypt, according to medics.

One of the tunnels came out just one kilometre (half a mile) from the southern Israeli town of Sderot, the IDF said.

Military radio claimed the "second terrorist squad" tried to approach Niram kibbutz, close to Gaza's northeastern tip, where they engaged in gunfire with Israeli soldiers.

Israeli soldiers and a relative of Israeli soldier Bnaya Rubel mourn during Rubel's funeral in Holon, near Tel Aviv Rubel, 20, was killed in Gaza on Saturday during Operation Protective Edge

Several soldiers were hurt, the radio report said, without giving further details.

Hamas' armed wing the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades claimed it had carried out "an operation behind enemy lines in response to the massacre in Shejaiya [Shaja'iya]".

Meanwhile, several explosions could be heard and clouds of black smoke rose over Gaza City's Shaja'iya and Zeitoun neighbourhoods this morning.

Israel's continued aerial bombardment has resulted in an exodus of some 35,000 civilians, according to officials.

Sagit Greenberg and two of her children mourn during the funeral of her husband and their father, Israeli soldier Amotz Greenberg, in the central town of Hod Hasharon The wife and children of an Israeli soldier mourn during his funeral

People fleeing Israeli shelling in Shaja'iya at the weekend described it as a "massacre", with many women and children among the dead.

The Israeli army said it had given civilians two days warning to leave the area.

Meanwhile, Israel's UN ambassador Ron Prosor denied claims by Hamas that an Israeli soldier had been abducted.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon held talks with regional leaders and called on Israel to exercise "maximum restraint and do far more to protect civilians".

Pro-Israel supporters shout slogans during a rally at Times Square in New York, to show support for Israel's military offensive in the Gaza Strip Pro-Israel supporters rallied at Times Square, New York at the weekend

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas described the situation in Gaza as "intolerable" and the Israeli attacks a "crime against humanity".

The Israeli government has claimed Hama is hiding behind the civilian population.

Spokesman Naftali Bennet said: "What Hamas is doing is effectively self genocide.

"They're, in a cowardly and cynical fashion, placing their women and children as shields, killing them, then coming to Sky News and other outlets and saying 'Israel is killing us'."


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Rebels Load MH17 Crash Bodies Onto Trains

Written By andika jamanta on Minggu, 20 Juli 2014 | 20.48

Armed pro-Russian separatists have reportedly forced emergency workers to hand over all the bodies recovered from the Malaysia Airlines crash site.

International monitors and Ukrainian officials said victims' remains were taken away and loaded onto refrigerator wagons on trains at Torez station which were said to be headed for rebel-held Donetsk later.

Kiev's emergency officials said 196 bodies had been recovered so far, as separatists said the jet's two black box voice and data recorders had been found and taken to the eastern Ukrainian city where they would be handed over to the international aviation authority.

Monitors from the OSCE inspect a refrigerator wagon, which according to employees and local residents contains bodies of passengers of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane, at a railway station in the town of Torez Monitors examine the bodies loaded onto a refrigerator wagon on a train

It comes as footage emerged showing evidence that one flight recorder had been recovered at the scene, two days ago.

In addition, Ukrainian security services released audio recordings of what they claimed were rebels talking about trying to hide the black boxes at Moscow's request.

World leaders have piled pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop the armed Moscow-backed rebels from preventing investigators from fully accessing the MH17 crash site.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said Europe and the West must "fundamentally change our approach" unless Mr Putin altered his stance.

OSCE monitors and journalists walk as pro-Russian separatist stands on guard near bodies at crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near settlement of Grabovo International monitors and journalists are confronted by armed separatists

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond accused Russia of "dragging its heels" on Sky's Murnaghan programme and said the country risked becoming a "pariah" state.

The prospect of further sanctions against Russia was raised as public anger and concerns grow over claims of looting and evidence being tampered with.

The US has condemned the lack of security at the scene as an "affront to all those who lost loved ones and to the dignity the victims deserve", while Malaysia has attacked the failure to preserve evidence as a "betrayal of the lives lost".

The Ukraine government has accused pro-Russian separatists of removing bodies from the crash scene and debris, and attempting to destroy evidence.

Flowers and messages left by local residents for victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 are pictured outside the Dutch embassy in Kiev A message left among floral tributes outside the Dutch Embassy in Kiev

Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans said the government was "angry" and "furious" over allegations bodies were being dragged around the site.

Sky presenter Colin Brazier, at the crash scene, said: "I've been walking around, coming across body parts all the time, many of them charred beyond recognition.

"Men, women and children indeterminate, frankly, you can't tell. Very often you are looking at charred spines, that's all that's left.

"There are flies. It is hot. There are stretchers lying by the roadside. They have not been used because many of the bodies were dismembered by the forces of the impact.

A flight recorder being taken away from a plane crash site A still showing evidence that a flight recorder was found, two days ago

"It is a truly macabre, horrific situation. There is a degree of anarchy and lawlessness.

"You feel the need for an overarching body to get a grip and sort this dreadful situation out."

All 298 passengers including 10 Britons and 80 children were killed when flight MH17 was brought down near Grabovo, Donetsk, where Ukrainian forces have been battling separatists.

Kiev and Moscow have blamed each other for the air disaster.

Malaysia Airlines earlier announced it is retiring the flight number of the MH17 Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur route and replacing it with MH19.


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Newcastle Fans Fund Gets Thousands From Rivals

Malaysia Airlines Defends War Zone Flight Path

Updated: 4:48pm UK, Saturday 19 July 2014

A Malaysia Airlines official has defended the company's decision to fly over eastern Ukraine after flight MH17 was brought down.

Hugh Dunleavy, commercial director for the airline, said there had been no incidents involving civilian aircraft using the flight path and Malaysia Airlines had been using it "for quite some time".

However, at least three Ukrainian military aircraft were hit by missiles fired by pro-Russian separatists operating in the region in the week before MH17 was shot out of the sky, killing 298 people. Of the victims, 189 are Dutch.

Mr Dunleavy told Sky News: "Now there's been an incident like this, everyone is looking back saying 'you should have done something different'.

"But at the time we were flying, along with many other airlines on that flight path, there had been no incidents involving civilian aircraft.

"These are routes that are traditionally accepted on a day-by-day basis by the air traffic control authorities so they also consider them safe to fly.

"This was something totally extraordinary, it could just as easily have been the aircraft ahead of Malaysia Airlines or the aircraft behind that was hit."

Mr Dunleavy added the airline would now be using an alternative flight path around Ukraine and they have stopped calling the route MH17 out of respect for the victims. It will now be called MH19.

The International Civil Aviation Organisation, a UN agency and other aviation authorities recently issued a "notice to airmen" (NOTAM) putting the eastern edge of Ukrainian airspace off limits up to 32,000 feet because of the conflict.

But MH17 was flying at 33,000 feet when it was hit by a missile fired from what experts believe was a Buk launcher.

Ukraine has now closed all airspace in the east. 

Ismail Nasaruddin, president of the Malaysian Flight Attendant Union, said some crew members were too distraught to work following the tragedy.

He said: "We have lost 21 crew members in a very short time period. This is not something we like to see.

"We are affected, the crew members are demoralised by the essence of this tragic incident.

"What we are looking at now is probably an event that Malaysia crew members have never experienced before."

Daniel Holland, a military aviation expert, told Sky News airspace above war zones should be sealed off to commercial aircraft.

He said: "When a war zone occurs, everything from ground level up until realistically the level of space needs to be sealed off to any and all commercial traffic just to avoid something like this happening where a plane accidentally wanders over a battle ground.

"You've got that probability that an accidental misfire could occur and strike a civilian target without any real rhyme or reason, other than it being in the wrong place at the wrong time."

On Tuesday, Polish blogger Michael Dembinski suggested flying over eastern Ukraine was "worrying".

He wrote: "Take a look at eastern Ukraine and you'll see a procession of civilian aircraft flying along an air corridor between Luhansk, Donetsk, Horlivka, Kramatorsk - places where battles are raging and people are being killed.

"Yet blithely oblivious to what's happening on the ground, some of the world's largest civilian airliners are criss-crossing the area at 38,000ft."


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