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easyJet suspends flights to Israel amid violence

Budget airliner easyJet is among several airlines to suspend services to Israel, after a rocket landed near Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport. EasyJet said it would review its operations on a day-to-day basis.

The safety and security of easyJet's passengers and crew is the airline's highest priority. We will try to provide suitable and secure hotel accommodation for affected passengers and will fly affected passengers home as soon as we can.

– easyJet

Flights cancelled include:

  • EZS1191 0615 Basel - Tel Aviv
  • EZY2085 1225 London Luton - Tel Aviv
  • EZS1192 1215 Tel Aviv - Basel
  • EZY2086 2020 Tel Aviv - London Luton

BA continues flights to Israel despite recommendations

British Airways is to continue flights to Israel despite other airlines suspending services to the war-torn country.

BA continues flights to Israel
BA continues flights to Israel Credit: PA

Some American and European countries have stopped Israeli flights after a rocket landed near Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport. But BA said yesterday it was carrying on with its twice-daily London to Tel Aviv services.

"We are continuing to operate to Israel as normal," a BA spokeswoman said.

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Netherlands to lead day of mourning for MH17 victims

The king and queen of the Netherlands will lead mourners as the first victims of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 disaster are repatriated from the Ukraine.

The Dutch flag flies at half-staff at the Kneuterdijk Palace in The Hague
The Dutch flag flies at half-staff at the Kneuterdijk Palace in The Hague Credit: Reuters

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima will be in Eindhoven with relatives of the 298 people - including 10 Britons - killed when the Boeing 777-200 was apparently shot down by Russia-backed separatists over eastern Ukraine on Thursday.

The Dutch government had declared today a national day of mourning. The Netherlands government said a minute's silence will be held before a motorcade takes them to the Korporaal van Oudheusden barracks, where the process of identifying them will begin.

Obama and Rutte welcome more sanctions over Ukraine

President Obama, in a call with the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, has welcomed EU preparations over additional sanctions against "those destabilising Ukraine", a White House spokesperson said.

The White House spokesperson added that the leaders both agreed that once the remains of victims from the plane crash were repatriated, their priority would be to secure the crash site and allow an international investigation to proceed.

The president welcomed the action taken today by the European Union's Foreign Affairs Council strongly condemning the actions leading to this tragedy and preparing additional sanctions against those destabilizing Ukraine.

The president and prime minister noted their concerns about further evidence that Russia is continuing to send weapons and fighters across the border to support the separatists, while continuing to mass its own forces.

– White House

Veteran MP Frank Dobson to step down at election

Former Health Secretary Frank Dobson
Former Health Secretary Frank Dobson Credit: PA

Veteran Labour MP Frank Dobson has confirmed that he will step down at the 2015 general election. The former cabinet minister formally announced his decision not to seek a ninth straight general election win at a meeting of party members.

"I have decided to pack in when people are stopping me in the street to say they hope I am not going - rather than waiting until they ask why the hell I am still around," he said.

'Rocket' tweet by Lib Dem MP 'vile and desperate'

Labour has called remarks made by Liberal Democrat MP David Ward over the Israel-Gaza conflict "vile and desperate", urging Nick Clegg to disassociate from the comment:

At a time when all sides should be working for a ceasefire and a peaceful settlement, it defies belief that a Liberal Democrat MP should tweet something so vile and irresponsible.

Nick Clegg must act immediately to disassociate his party from this comment.

– Labour spokesman
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“@davidwardmp: The big question is - if I lived in #Gaza would I fire a rocket? - probably yes” Vile comment from desperate Lib Dem MP.

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Tory chairman condemns 'appalling rocket tweet'

Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps
Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps Credit: PA

Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps has called on Liberal Democrat MP David Ward to withdraw remarks made over the Israel-Gaza conflict, which Labour said was a "vile" comment by a "desperate" MP.

"Appalling: No MP should Tweet what's essentially incitement to violence," Mr Shapps said. "Mr Ward must withdraw now. Completely irresponsible."

Read: Lib Dem MP: If I lived in Gaza would I fire a rocket? Probably.

Lib Dem MP faces disciplinary action over 'rocket' tweet

The Liberal Democrats has said it "utterly condemned" remarks made by MP David Ward, who had posted a tweet saying if he lived in Gaza, he would "probably" fire a rocket.

The party said the comments were "not representative of the Liberal Democrats". In a statement, a spokesman said:

Nick Clegg has been at the forefront of calling for peace in Israel and Gaza. The party takes this matter very seriously and will treat it as a disciplinary issue.

– Liberal Democrats spokesman

Read: Lib Dem MP: If I lived in Gaza would I fire a rocket?

Lib Dem MP: If I lived in Gaza would I fire a rocket?

A Liberal Democrat MP was accused of inciting violence and faces a fresh disciplinary investigation after backing Hamas rocket attacks on Israel.

David Ward was suspended by the party for several weeks last year after making a string of controversial comments about Israel and Jews. His future is once again is in doubt after he used social media to give his verdict on the current Israel-Gaza conflict.

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The big question is - if I lived in #Gaza would I fire a rocket? - probably yes

Bb1f04aeaa421f4d27f264bbc2d22436_normal

Ich bin ein #palestinian - the West must make up its mind - which side is it on?

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