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David Ward MP apologises for Twitter comments

Bradford MP David Ward has apologised for comments he made on Twitter about Israel and Gaza.

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BREAKING: @davidwardmp apologises for his comments in a statement sent out by @libdempress

The Liberal Democrat said in a statement through the party:

I utterly condemn the violence on both sides in Israel and Gaza.

I condemn the actions of Hamas, and my comments were not in support of firing rockets into Israel. If they gave the opposite impression, I apologise.

However, while I defend the right of Israel to exist and defend itself, I will continue to speak out for the rights of the Palestinian people who are facing untold suffering. More must be done by the world community to end this humanitarian crisis and protect the families living in Gaza. I can understand their plight and desperation.

A cease fire in this conflict is essential. If we are to end the suffering, and establish a safer society for people in Gaza, the first step must be an end to violence on both sides.

– David Ward MP
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.@libdempress say: “In light of apology, whips and party will decide in due course if further disciplinary action should be taken.”

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UN: Strong possibility humanitarian law violated in Gaza

The UN's Human Rights chief Navi Pullay said Israel's military action in Gaza could amount to war crimes. Speaking earlier today, she said:

There seems to be a strong possibility that humanitarian law has been violated in a manner that could amount to war crimes.

– Navi Pullay

Read: UN says one child killed every hour for past two days in Gaza

Ex-MEP Nicole Sinclaire charged with money laundering

Former MEP Nicole Sinclaire has been charged with money laundering and misconduct in a public office, the Crown Prosecution Service has said.

Former MEP Nicole Sinclaire represented the We Demand A Referendum Party.
Former MEP Nicole Sinclaire represented the We Demand A Referendum Party. Credit: Ian Nicholson/PA Wire

Ms Sinclaire, who represented the We Demand A Referendum Party, allegedly used funds paid into her bank account by the European Parliament "in respect of false travelling expenses claims."

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Flags to fly at half mast over Downing St this afternoon

The Prime Minister said the Union flag and Dutch flag will hang at half-mast over Downing Street from this afternoon, as the coffins of those killed in the MH17 flight begin to arrive in the Netherlands.

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Flying Union flag and Dutch flag at half-mast over Downing St from 14.30 in memory of all MH17 victims as first coffins arrive in Eindhoven

John Kerry meets with President Abbas in Jerusalem

The US Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting with Palestinian Authority president Abbas in Jerusalem for peace talks aimed at ending the deadly violence in Gaza.

Read: One child killed in Gaza every hour for the past two days

Israeli military defend shelling Wafa hospital in Gaza

The Israeli military have defended the bombing of Wafa Hospital in Gaza, saying it was used as a launching site for rockets fired by Hamas into Israel.

Watch: Shells land on Wafa Hospital in Gaza

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Because Hamas uses Wafa Hospital for military purposes, the IDF has targeted specific sites and terrorists within the hospital grounds.

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In recent days, Hamas has fired anti-tank missiles from Wafa Hospital. Hamas gunfire from the building continued this morning.

The bombing of the hospital, along with other attacks on civilian targets, has been criticised by the United Nations, who said it could amount to war crimes.

Read: Israel attacks on Gaza 'could amount to war crimes'

Watkins' 35 year sentence 'not manifestly excessive'

ITV News Correspondent Ben Chapman has tweeted:

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Judges at Court of Appeal say Ian Watkins' crimes were "of such shocking depravity that a very lengthy prison sentence was demanded" @it ...

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Ian Watkins' 35yr sentence was "not manifestly excessive" - Court of Appeal. @itvnews

Read: Watkins refused permission to appeal 35 year sentence

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