Great Britain
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'The rules of war must be followed - that is not happening in Gaza'

With UNICEF reporting 2,360 children have been killed in less than three weeks in Gaza, the Israeli bombardment is a merciless slaughter of innocents.

Hamas murdering 1,400 Israelis in the October 7 pogrom was a barbarous war crime but this mass killing of Palestinians is a grotesque abuse of international law. Israel has an absolute right to defend itself yet the rules of war must also be followed. It is not happening in Gaza where ordinary people are being denied food, water, medical care and power as bombs and missiles fall.

No wonder growing calls for a humanitarian ceasefire or pause are endorsed by a large majority of the British public. Our hearts weep for the Israeli dead and those taken hostage by Hamas. Our hearts weep too for the mounting toll of dead Palestinians, particularly the children.

Parole shame

Open justice is a fundamental principle eroded by the decision to hold Jon Venables’ parole hearing in private. It surely is in the public interest to know how James Bulger’s killer – who was jailed again after child abuse images were found on his computer – will be managed in the community should he be released from prison.

The need for Venables’ new identity and location to remain secret is well understood and that anonymity order is legally enforced. But that blanket protection should not be thrown over how the public will be protected. We urge the Parole Board to think again because they risk undermining public confidence in how and why prisoners are freed.

Drop in ocean

Offering flooded households up to £500 cash only adds insult to injury. It would not cover the cost of new carpets, never mind dry out homes, replace furniture and pay for alternative accommodation. It’s no wonder an out-of-touch Conservative Government headed by the richest Prime Minister in recent history is sinking fast.