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Probe into '£42 million UK arms sales to Israel'

Questions were tonight being asked about whether military equipment manufactured in the UK has been used in Israel's offensive on the Palestinian enclave.

Israeli soldiers load shells on to a tank near the Gaza Strip.
Israeli soldiers load shells on to a tank near the Gaza Strip. Credit: Reuters

Documents obtained by The Independent showed arms export licences worth £42 million were granted to 130 British defence manufacturers since 2010.

This allowed them to sell military equipment to Israel, ranging from weapons control and targeting systems to ammunition, drones and armoured vehicles.

The Government said it was now reviewing all licences to Israel.

At least 1,600 Palestinians - most of them civilians - have been killed and 8,000 injured during the assault, while Israel has lost 63 soldiers and three civilians.

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Missing Israel soldier 'may have been killed' in ambush

Missing Israeli soldier Hadar Goldin may have been killed during an ambush, Hamas has claimed.

The militant group insisted it had "no clear indication of the whereabouts" of the 23-year-old Israel accused them of abducting.

A statement by the group said: "We have lost contact with the group of fighters that took part in the ambush and we believe they were all killed in the (Israeli) bombardment.

"Assuming that they managed to seize the soldier during combat, we assess that he was also killed in the incident."

Disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris is 'spat at in prison'

Disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris has been spat at in prison, it has been claimed.

Rolf Harris wants to appeal against his five year sentence for 12 indecent assaults on young women.
Rolf Harris wants to appeal against his five year sentence for 12 indecent assaults on young women. Credit: PA

The 84-year-old was allegedly targeted during an incident at HMP Bullingdon in Oxfordshire.

A source told the Press Association there was a scuffle and "someone aimed a spit" at Harris.

The source said the perpetrator missed and Harris "was not spat on and was not physically hurt."

News of the incident came as it was announced Harris has applied for permission to appeal against his convictions for a string of indecent assaults.

A spokesman for the Judicial Office confirmed that lawyers had lodged papers at the Court of Appeal this week.

PM: Nato must rethink its relationship with Russia

Prime Minister David Cameron has said Nato must rethink its long-term relationship with Russia in the wake of its "illegal" actions in Ukraine.

Prime Minister David Cameron is calling on Nato to act after Russia's "illegal" activities in the Ukraine.
Prime Minister David Cameron is calling on Nato to act after Russia's "illegal" activities in the Ukraine. Credit: PA

He also called for Nato's members to take measures to ensure it can respond quickly to any threat from Moscow.

In a letter to his Nato counterparts, Mr Cameron said the measures should include sustaining a "robust" defensive presence in eastern Europe, keeping equipment and supplies in key locations and beefing up Nato's Response Force of swiftly deployable land, air, maritime and special operations troops.

The letter comes just days after a government report warned the trans-Atlantic military alliance was not adequately prepared for a potential threat from Russia.

Genome project could help find cure for blindness

The government-backed genome project could help find a cure for a deadly eye disease which is the leading cause of blindness in children.

Professor Graeme Black, strategic director at the Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine, said it was a "very, very exciting development" in the search for a possible treatment for the condition known as retinitis pigmentosa or RP.

At the moment around 200 genes relating to the illness have been identified which if mutated can cause sight loss, but there are thought to be more than 500.

RP Fighting Blindness chief executive David Head said: "For people faced with blindness as a result of inherited retinal dystrophies, this is really important."

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Missing soldier focus of escalated conflict in Gaza

The fate of an Israeli soldier is a new and potentially dangerous focus of the conflict in Gaza.

More than sixty people were killed in violence today, the majority of whom where Palestinian civilians, after a 72 hour truce was shattered after just three three hours.

Read: Collapse of hope as ceasefire unravels

Amid the renewed violence were persistent reports that Hamas had captured an Israeli soldier during fighting around a Hamas tunnel. Neither they nor Israel have confirmed it but, in the last few hours, President Obama talked of the need for Hamas to 'release' him.

Middle East Correspondent Geraint Vincent reports from Tel Avivi

Watch: Obama calls for soldier's unconditional release

$100 million response plan launched to combat Ebola

The World Health Organisation moved to combat an "unprecedented outbreak" of the Ebola Virus in West Africa.

The Director-general of WHO Margaret Chan, said the disease was moving faster than efforts to control it after launching a $100 million response plan, adding "tough measures" will be needed to stop it.

ITV News correspondent Martha Fairlie reports

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