01/08/2014 Newsnight


In-depth analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines. Can the outside world halt the deaths in Gaza? The botnet protection racket. The Military Wives Proms Choir sing Holst.

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The ceasefire in Gaza was meant to be for three days.


What chance of stopping the violence in Gaza when the two


sides can't stop killing each other for longer than it takes to reload.


So much depends now on the fate of an Israeli soldier who went missing


this morning. If he has been captured alive, the violence could


intensify. Tonight, we will hear from an


adviser, the former secretary David Miliband and the UN's adviser to the


Middle East. Also: The botnet protection racket, give us your cash


or your websites go down. And... Newsnight's latest Proms


preview. Today was meant to be the day


when the guns of Gaza fell silent and the talking around negotiating


tables grew louder. This morning, at 8.00am, Gaza time,


a 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire A truce that took days


of deliberations, involving leaders US Secretary of State, John Kerry,


is said to have made 100 It was a huge achievement to reach


that 8.00am moment, more than Then, it all fell apart


within 90 minutes. Not only that,


the crisis now appears even more serious, with Hamas's reported


capture of an Israeli soldier. In a moment, we'll look ahead to


where this leaves the herculean First,


let's look at what happened today. As the day began, it was quiet but


not calm. For Gazans, a truce is time to return to their homes or


what is left of them. And to stock up on food, quickly. No one is ever


sure how long any pause will hold. This one did not last much longer


than one hour. Both sides blamed the other. The first major incident was


in southern Gaza near the crossing with Egypt. Israeli soldiers came


under attack as they searched for Hamas tunnels. This truce left


Israeli ground forces in place, to continue operations to destroy the


tunnels used for cross-border raids. Today, Israel said one of its


soldiers was captured when her Hamas gun men emerged from a tunnel. A 20


Three Rd lieutenant is said to have been taken back into Gaza in a


tunnel. -- a 23-year-old lieutenant. His father has pleaded for his


release. But this has already become a major setback in the difficult


effort to reach a cease-fire. Hamas is being widely blamed, by both the


United Nations and the United States. We have and I have


unequivocally condemned Hamas and the Palestinian factions who are


responsible for killing two Israeli soldiers and abducting a third,


almost minutes after the cease-fire had been announced. For Israel, the


soldier's capture is a game changer and its worst nightmare. Almost


every Israeli family has a connection to the military. In 2006,


a young conscript, Gilad Shalit, was also captured on the Gaza border.


Israel blew up that tunnel shortly after. The missing soldier was a


major wound for five long years, until finally Israel got him back in


exchange for 1000 Palestinian prisoners. Hamas knows an Israeli


soldier alive or dead, can be a strategic weapon. Corpses and body


parts have also been exchanged in the past. But this time, Israel


warns it only response will be crushing force.


Joining me now is our diplomatic editor, Mark Urban.


Why is there so much confusion about whether or not an Israeli soldier


has been captured? It is interesting and gruesome. 1600 people killed in


Gaza but so much depends on this young lieutenant. Hamas waltzes


briefly told journalists they had him and then that was taken back. --


Hamas sources briefly told journalists that they had him. There


are possibilities that he is dead. But Israelis plastered the area with


fire. But President Obama's statement clearly contains the


assumption that Hamas do have him, perhaps on the basis of


intelligence, and that is the assumption people are working to and


that is why they are worried. It puts the Israeli government on the


high road to military escalation rather than getting back to the


cease-fire business. So this means the cease-fire talks are trapped? At


one stage the Egyptian government said talks would go ahead.


Palestinians have talked about going there tomorrow. But nothing will


happen until it is much clearer what has happened to this man.


happen until it is much clearer what acknowledge that they have him,


maybe an understanding, they have created a situation that is too hot


to handle. They do, it seems, wants this cease-fire now, but if they


acknowledge they have him, that may frustrate it.


Thank you. Let's get a Palestinian perspective now.


Joining me from Ramallah, in the West Bank,


is Mohammad Shtayyeh, a Minister in the Palestinian Authority who has


Is it a good idea to be capturing Israeli soldiers at this delicate


point in the crisis? We were all hoping that this aggression should


stop by 8am in the morning. A Palestinian delegation were on their


way to Cairo. Unfortunately, violence has escalated. The people


in Rafa are telling us that this was taken at 6:30am, the Israeli sources


are saying this happened at 9am or 10am. We have two stories.


Regardless, the cease-fire should continue, as it has been said


earlier by the earlier speaker. I think the focus should not be on a


soldier who has been taken captive. I think we should continue with the


cease-fire in order for us to really stop this aggression and put an end


to it. But 6:30am or 9:30am, whenever he was captured, do you


condemn it, because it is derailing the objective which is to end the


suffering of the Palestinians? Thousands of Palestinians have been


killed. This morning, in order for the Israeli army to try and block


the roads leading out of rougher, more than 80 Palestinians have been


killed, in order for the Army to. This is an operation. The Israeli


army are taking aggression measures. Let's just be clear if we could deal


with this central issue. How is the capture of an Israeli soldier got in


the way? Do you condemn it? As I told you, the Israeli army is


occupying... So you do not condemn it? No, excuse me, if the story that


we have been told that the soldier has been taken captive at 630 in the


morning, it was in the middle of an escalation in the Israeli side. The


problem that occurred today is that the agreement itself has seeds of


conflict. When you allow Israel to continue destroying tunnels and they


claim the tunnels are under houses, that left seeds of conflict. On the


other hand in the agreement, it did allow Hamas to retaliate in self


defence. The two sides in the agreement, they did leave the seeds


of conflict which have left a catastrophic situation which we left


today. What happens now? Are the delegation is going to be heading to


Cairo in the morning for talks? Yes, yes, the Palestinian delegation


is going to Cairo because we are sending a very clear message. We are


keen on a cease-fire. We want to stop the aggression, we want to stop


the killing of innocent people. 80% of those who were killed in the Gaza


Strip are innocent Palestinian children, old men and women and so


on and so forth. We are keen for a cease-fire. We want all parties to


commit to it and nobody should be allowed to sabotage it. Is their


concern in Ramallah where you are, the seat of the Palestinian


authority, of fatter, fatter and Hamas our long-standing political


rivals -- Fatah. Do you believe they have been strengthened in this war?


We think the aggression on Gaza is an aggression on all of us. Of


course, we will remember one important thing, this whole war on


Gaza has come a month after the Palestinian reconciliation. We were


in the middle of bringing the whole issue to a different scenario. The


Palestinian Authority was going to Gaza. Hamas was not coming to the


West Bank. Unfortunately, the whole international community, or


fortunately, the international community has fully is a ported the


agreement on the Palestinian government. It was Israel who wanted


to sabotage this. Israel wants to keep Gaza totally isolated from the


rest of the Palestinian territory, in order for it not ever to have a


Palestinian state or Palestinian territory. This is what Israel


wants. Mohammad Shtayyeh, thank you for joining us from Ramallah.


So, with a 72-hour truce in tatters, and a lasting ceasefire even harder


to reach, what more can the United Nations do - aside from saying,


"there must be a ceasefire!" We're joined from UN Headquarters


in New York by Jeffrey Feltman, the UN's Under-Secretary-General


for Political Affairs. He's the main man advising


the Secretary-General on the Middle East.


Can there be a continuation of cease-fire talks now? We have no


choice but to continue pushing for a cease-fire. If we look at the


casualty rate just from today, it is appalling. We link the escalation


directly back to the capture of the Israeli soldier this morning. Israel


says it can't continue, even though Ban Ki-Moon has said the 72 hour


humanitarian cease-fire must resume. The language Israel is using


tonight is crushing force. We are very aware of the language the


Israelis are using and others are using, but I can assure you that our


goal is to figure out a way to protect the civilians who are the


ones who are caught up in this conflict. To find a way first of all


to make sure the humanitarian relief to those sheltering in their


schools, continues to flow, that we find ways to bring in food, water


and sanitation etc. But we also have to get back to where we were


yesterday, which is bringing the parties around the idea that this


cannot continue. That unique to have enough of a pause for the


humanitarian side and enough of a pause to create the political space


that you start to deal with some of the issues that are handed back row


raised, that you need to address to make this durable. -- that Mohammad


Shtayyeh raised. We have seen Gaza erupt into this fighting


periodically. We cannot have this every couple of years. But can you


actually pick up where you left off, because the UN


Secretary-General said what has happened today, the breaking of the


cease-fire, the kidnapping of the soldier, calls into question the


assurances given by Hamas. Do you actually have a movement to


negotiate with still? Can you trust them? I do not think this is an


issue of trust. That is what the Secretary-General said. He said


called into question means you do not trust any more what Hamas said,


they do not keep their promise. We certainly did work on the assurances


that we got yesterday, that we received yesterday, to try and put


in place the cease-fire. It did not work. But that does not mean we


should not be trying again and learning from what happened this


time. What did you learn from what happened this time? I hope that


others have learned and thought hard about the fact that whether they


like it or not, when there is an Israeli soldier that has been taken


captive, the Israelis are going to take very tough measures. We saw


this in 2006 with Lebanon as well. You mentioned the Gilad Shalit


capture in 2006 and you may remember how hard the Israelis then hit the


Gaza Strip and the same thing happened a month or so later with


Lebanon. The war between Israel and Lebanon. Those who took the soldier


today need to think about what is in the best interests of the


Palestinians. Right now I would say the best thing is to try and work


with all parties to get back to where a cease-fire can create enough


of a pause that you start to get political momentum to a more durable


solution. I do not let how we get back to where we were yesterday that


we have to explore our options to do so. How are you talking to Hamas, a


terrorist organisation, in the mind of the United States and the


European Union. Are you and officials sitting down face-to-face


talking to Hamas? I'm not going to get into the tactics - Are you


talking directly, so you can give them the messages you are giving us


tonight on Newsnight. Can you give those directly to Hamas,


face-to-face? Yes. Yes, face-to-face? We have many ways to


make sure that Hamas understands our message and Hamas has ways of


communicating with us through a variety of channels and through a


variety of means. Including face-to-face? I'm not going to go


into how we do this. I'm sorry. I just... There are ways we


communicate. There are ways that we can try to verify that messages get


through when they aren't direct. There are other ways of talking as


well. 24-hours ago the focus was on the high civilian casualty toll in


Gaza. Atrocious action, to use again the Secretary General's words. What


is the message to Israel? There has to be some way of providing greater


civilian protection. There has to be some way that these casualty rates


do not continue to escalate in the way that they're going now. It's


heartbreaking to see the imagery that your news broadcasters and


others are sending out from Gaza. The Secretary General has made it


very, very clear that, even in times of war, there are rules. There are


international standards that have to be applied. So we, despite the


heightened emotions that the Israelis today have, we still have


to counsel that restraint, that taking extraordinary measures to


protect civilians is a requirement under international law. These


messages are the same today as they were yesterday. Very good luck with


the negotiations. Thank you for joining us.


It may seem like a long time ago, but the spark for this conflict


wasn't lit in Gaza, it was the killing of three Israeli teenagers


in the West Bank which precipitated the events that led to the pounding


Today, Hamas called on Palestinians from all factions to participate


in a Day of Rage against the Israeli Defence Force


There have been eruptions of violence in the West Bank


since the conflict started, Tim Whewell spent the day there.


They say they'll sacrifice themselves for Gaza. But here in


Hebron today, there was much that Arabs could do but shout their


hopeless rage over the deaths of so many Palestinians. They flew the


green flag of Hamas along the side of the Fatah party that has been


ruling the West Bank because, two months ago, the once warring


Palestinian factions finally formed a joint government. Then, many


hoped, that was a step towards peace. No-one here is thinking of


that today. This demonstration is emphasising Palestinian unity, but


now it's not about unity in favour of a settlement, it's simply about


resistance to Israel. This youth worker wasn't a Hamas supporter. But


what is happening in Gaza makes him and everyone here back Hamas now.


People are very angry. They see children killed in Gaza. They see


women, mosques demolished. We see a lot of homes completely destroyed.


Neighbourhoods completely smashed, dismanteled completely. People are


angry. Violence in them started growing. Two months ago, he says,


everything looked very different. They announced they were ready to


negotiate with Israel and ready to follow the international conditions


and rule. They recognised Israel. Israel was deeply suspicious of the


unity government. If you walk through the rocky countryside


outside Hebron, you see why. The it's near here, soon afterwards,


that three young Israeli hitchhikers were kidnapped. Near here that a


huge search operation began. TRANSLATION: It was 5.00pm we were


sitting outside a restaurant and soldiers arrived. There must have


been 1,000 of them. Eventually, on this pass, the young men's dead


bodies were found. Israel, which blamed Hamas, it was proof that the


unity government backed terrorists. What happened here is the deep


mystery at the heart of the current crisis. The deaths of those three


hitchhikers led indirectly to the deaths already of 1,500 people in


the warring Gaza, which, on a clear day, you would be able to see in the


distance over there. Yet, it's still not clear whether Hamas, as an


organisation, was responsible for the murders. This is what happened,


the same day the bodies were found, when Israeli forces came to the


house of one of the murder suspects. TRANSLATION: They made me and my


children leave the house. Then they came in and destroyed. It they broke


all the windows. At 2.00am in the morning they strapped dynomite


sticks to the walls and blew this part of the house She denies up. Her


son, who has now disappeared, could possibly have been involved in the


murders. The Israeli government says that he and another suspect were


following Hamas orders. Hamas has carried out many kidnappings, it


denies this one. Others think the murders were the work of a lone cell


affiliated to Hamas. Whatever the truth, there is no doubt of this


mother's support of the militants. TRANSLATION: I want freedom fighters


to bring us victory and Gaza to be victorious. Israel hit us so


brutally. Taught us to hate them. They don't want peace. Today, in


Hebron, some of the protesters certainly didn't want peace. In a


ritual that has been repeated again and again, they began throwing rocks


at Israeli soldiers. The troops replied with rubber bullets. Laters,


protesters claimed, with some live rounds. About 80 people, according


to the demonstrators, were wounded. This man believes the rage will burn


for a long time and he thinks the war on Hamas is counter productive.


Israel is giving the opportunity for Hamas to be stronger. They are not


destroying Hamas. They are strengthening Hamas by targeting the


civilians and targeting them in Gaza. On the other hand, they are


weakening their partner. Israel thinks the opposite. That


Palestinians will tire of war and turn against Hamas. But that isn't


happening here yet. For a broader reflection on this Gazan war


David Miliband, the President and CEO of the International Rescue


Of course, he was Foreign Secretary from 2007 to 2010 and


on his watch the world grappled with a previous war in Gaza.


I started by asking him who he blamed.


It's important the focus remains on the civilian casualties. It seems


evident from the news today that Hamas did break the ceasefire. The


hard won ceasefire, the hard-fought ceasefire that was established this


morning. The terrible tragedy is, Hamas cannot rocket their way to


victory and Israel cannot bomb its way to security. And, at the centre


of this conflict, are 1.8 million civilians who are at the absolute


epicentre of a terrible military storm. I think their needs need to


come centre stage, if any sanity is to be restored. Negotiations should


still continue, even though there is now an Israeli soldier, it seems, in


captivity? I think it's very important that all sides recognise


that the rights of civilians in war are absolute, over hundreds of


years, through to are absolute, over hundreds of


years, through the Geneva Conventions, especially in 1949 that


established the rights of civilians in warfare, there is a drive to


ensure new laws were established. The trend we have seen, not just in


Gaza, Syria, in Sri Lanka too, is that civilians aren't just pawns in


a conflict, they end up becoming the victims without any proper status at


all. The whole notion of a non-combattant inner conflict is now


under threat. I think that's a very serious issue for democratic


societies around the world and for those who would seek to undermine


them. Has Israel used disproportionate force in this


crisis, in this war? disproportionate force in this


crisis, in this Well, look, for me as a leader of a humanitarian


charity, it's important to assert that a single civilian, who loses


their life innocently in a war, that is to breach the most fundamental


basics of international humanitarian laws. If you are a lawyer you have


to look at questions of intent and have to look at wider questions of


porportionality. What I'm saying to you is, for me, as someone leading a


humanitarian organisation, I want to assert the principle that every


single civilian life is worth defending. When a single civilian


life is lost, that is disproportionate to the norm that is


have been established. The norms are about absolute rights, not about the


tradeoff of rights of civilians. The now you are wearing a humanitarian


hat rather than the Foreign Secretary hat, you would say it has


been a disproportionate use of force by Israel? Of course. Of course. Of


course. 80% of the civilians that have been lost, 80% of the


casualties in this war have been civilians. As the leader of a


humanitarian movement I have to defend the principle, after


centurieses in which civilians were, to use your phrase "caught in the


cross fire of war" in 1949, the Geneva Convention, established


absolute rights for civilians in defence of times of war. That is


being brooched. The the the situation that faces the people of


Gaza tonight is that 1.8 million of them are trapped in an area where


frankly there is no safe zone. That is completely contrary to every


basic fibre of being that anyone can really understand or uphold. Has the


British Government been strong enough in its condemnation of


civilian casualties? Look, I'm not spending my time following the ins


and outs of British politics. I will not get into a partisan political


attack one way or another or defence of the British Government. What I


think is important is that democratic societies around the


world uphold the principle that democratic governments are held to


higher standards than terrorist organisations and that is the


defence of civilians in times of war. I think that the stakes now are


very high indeed. Not just in Gaza, but more wide spread because the


idea that civilian rights and the interests of civilians, never mind


the thousands, tens of thousands of children at stake, the most t


innocent of all, the fact it could be traded away is very difficult


indeed. Diplomacy is needed more than ever. I remember 2009 when I


was at the centre of negotiating the ceasefire for the 2008-0 # Gaza


conflict, at the heart is reestablishing political stability


in the Gaza Strip. That means the re-entry of the Palestinian


Authority as the governing authority there. And reassertion of basic


humanitarian at the heart of the Middle East. David Miliband, thank


you. Now, to shift gear. If you live on the internet,


getting knocked offline could ruin your whole day -


such is the world we live in. If you make your living


on the internet, then it's a lot more serious


when someone kills your connection. Your entire business could be


at stake. Pay up, they're telling tech


companies, or we'll take you down. They're using what's known as


a Distributed Denial of Service, or Malicious attacks


on websites have grown in frequency Our technology editor,


David Grossman, reports. If you want


your business competitors to go If you want your rivals to


go offline, well they will. You have to admit,


it's pretty brazen, offering to take The weapon, a distributed denial


of service attack, or DDoS. A denial of service attack is all


about filling up the resources of a website, so that legitimate


requests can't get through. In the physical world,


you could think of it as something like a sit-in or


if you had all of your friends go to a store, fill the entire space,


but not actually buy anything. The result is,


a whole load of clients or potential customers who can't access your


website for hours or even days. The worrying development though is


an increasing number of these attacks are now being launched,


not personal revenge or business A hacker writes


a virus that then infects a whole load of computers, sometimes running


into the hundreds of thousands. Then, unknown to the owners of those


computers, the hacker instructs this network, known as a botnet,


to attack the target website. Previously, the people who made


these botnets would hire them out to email spammers who would try


to sell you Viagra or convince you they were the Nigerian


Finance Minister or something. But the email providers have got


much, much better The answer they've come up with,


is to turn them into a weapon The sums demanded to stop attacks


are comparatively trivial. The targets are often small to


medium-sized tech companies who cannot afford to be offline


for a minute, let alone a day. Companies like meetup, a social


network for community groups. The attack started on a Thursday


morning, early. We received an email asking


for money to stop the attacks. They hadn't actually started yet,


but within a few minutes of receiving


the email we saw large traffic that That was the start of a five-day


battle to bring the site back up It was really a kind


of cat-and-mouse game with Meetup is pretty rare


in being a company that doesn't mind I've been in contact with many


more who, although happy to talk CloudFlare is a network protection


company based in San Francisco. They say they've seen a huge


increase in the numbers of tech I think that there's


a reluctance to talk about this happening because there's a


perception that these companies have The challenge is,


a lot of these companies have done Some of the companies we have


seen are incredibly tech-savvy. They have contingency plans


in place, redundant providers. The attackers, the criminals,


can generate so much traffic that unless you have the resources


of a company like CloudFlare or Google, that literally has a global


network, it's very hard to defend Smashing the window,


putting it out of business. It's, effectively,


like an old mobster sort The police have


a straight-forward view of this activity and say they will


investigate if complaints are made. So far there has been one successful


prosecution in the UK These programmers were filmed


by Greater Manchester Police threatening a DDoS attack


on an online casino. But, in this case, the extortionists


were known to the victim. When there is that connection


between the victim and the offender, obviously it's


a lot easier to investigate. But even when there isn't that


connection, there is still obviously stuff law enforcement can do


because they still have to have an element of communication with


the victim because they want Obviously,


if they are attacking a number of different companies, then they might


be using the same email address, the same language in the email that


gets profiled and you can build a The random nature of most DDoS


attacks means the long-term answer Attacks are magnified


by exploiting a weakness in the very To find out about a website,


a computer will send a very short In one type of DDoS attack,


hackers use this to their advantage by telling the websites to send


the response to the server they're trying to knock offline instead


of back to themselves. The target network is then inundated


with data that makes the attack far These kinds of attacks exploit


the open, free-flowing way that internet servers around the globe


communicate with each other. There are fears that introducing


more checks and limits could slow But while we wait for a solution,


many tech companies take the view it's better to pay up


the comparatively small amounts of money being demanded


and hope the extortionists move As part of our season of Proms


previews, in the week we remember Here's the 100-strong Military Wives


Choir performing, Home They Brought Her Warrior Dead by Gustav Holst,


and conducted by Gareth Malone. # Home they brought her warrior dead


# She nor swooned, nor uttered cry # All her maidens watching said,


# She must weep or she will die. # Then they praised him, soft and


low, # Called him worthy to be loved,


# Truest friend and noblest foe, # Yet she neither spoke nor moved.


# Stole a maiden from her place, # Lightly to the warrior stept,


# Took the face-cloth from the face # Yet she neither moved nor wept.


# Rose a nurse of 90 years, # Set his child upon her knee


# Like summer tempest came her tears


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