Abbas demands international protection from Israeli tyranny

Updated 15 July 2014
0

Abbas demands international protection from Israeli tyranny

Saudi Arabia has criticized the UN Security Council for not taking effective action to prevent the Israeli military aggression against Gaza. “The Security Council statement on Israel’s attack on the Gazans was not up to the expectations of its members and the stature of the international body,” said Abdullah Al-Muallami, the Kingdom’s permanent representative to the UN.
Al-Muallami, who is also head of the OIC group at the UN, said the Security Council statement had not denounced the Israeli aggression that killed over 160 Palestinians in four days.
“The Organization of Islamic Cooperation had called for setting up a neutral committee to probe the Israeli aggression, especially the killing of Mohammed Abu Khdeir.
“The OIC had also called for providing international protection for the Palestinians,” Al-Muallami said. He expressed hope that Israel would heed the international call for ending its military operation. “If this is not happening, we will again ask the Security Council to adopt more effective measures on the issue,” he said.
Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour accused the council of dragging its feet and said Saturday’s statement had only been agreed after the Arab Group, the OIC and the Non-Aligned Movement threatened to push for a resolution on the issue.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is to ask the UN to put the state of Palestine under “international protection” due to the worsening violence in Gaza, the PLO said Sunday.
Abbas would present a letter to this effect to the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, addressed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, it said in a statement. Abbas also wants a commission of inquiry into Israel’s relentless air bombardment of the Gaza Strip.
Abbas is “undertaking several steps and measures to deal with the horrific situation in Gaza,” senior Palestine Liberation Organization member Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement after a meeting of the PLO executive.
Abbas has asked Switzerland, the depository of the fourth Geneva Convention on the protection of civilians in wartime, to ask signatories to place sanctions on Israel which, as the occupying power, is responsible for the safety of civilians. Its recognition by the UN as a non-member state has allowed Palestine to sign several international conventions, including the Geneva Conventions.
When Arab League foreign ministers meet in Cairo on Monday to discuss the Gaza crisis Palestine would ask them to “adopt a draft resolution at the ministerial level” to be presented to the UN Security Council.
The Palestinians would also seek an emergency meeting of the UN Human Rights Council “to deal with the grave conditions in Gaza and hold Israel to account for its violations of international law and international humanitarian law.”

— With input from agencies


Qatar accused of building World Cup stadiums on land stolen from persecuted tribe

Updated 53 min 40 sec ago
0

Qatar accused of building World Cup stadiums on land stolen from persecuted tribe

  • Al-Ghufran tribe hand a letter of protest to the game’s world governing body, FIFA
  • The tribe claim that land used for World Cup stadiums was taken from them by force

ZURICH: Qatar was accused on Monday of building stadiums for the 2022 football World Cup on land stolen from a tribe it has persecuted for more than 20 years. 

A delegation from the Al-Ghufran tribe handed a letter of protest to the game’s world governing body, FIFA, and demanded that Qatar be stripped of the right to hold the tournament unless the tribe receives justice. 

“The World Cup is a gathering of people who come together for the love of the game, honest competition, brotherhood and love and respect among nations; how will Qatar play the role of supplying this when it is so unfair to its own citizens?” a spokesman for the tribe said. 

“The FIFA system states that the country where the World Cup is held must respect and preserve human rights, but this is a country that harms its own citizens and strips them of their rights, and then talks about freedom and democracy.”

The tribe claim that land used for World Cup stadiums was taken from them by force, and that sports facilities were built illegally and illegitimately after the owners were thrown off the land and stripped of their citizenship.

“The state resorted to every illegitimate method in dealing with the Al-Ghufran tribe, from deprivation to expulsion from the country, withdrawal of their official documents and denial of education and health care,” the spokesman said.

The tribe’s ordeal began in 1996, when some of their members voiced support for Sheikh Khalifa Al-Thani, the Qatari emir deposed the previous year by his son Hamad, father of the current emir, Sheikh Tamim.

About 800 Al-Ghufran families, more than 6,000 people, were stripped of their citizenship and had their property confiscated. Many remain stateless, both in Qatar and in neighboring Gulf countries.

A delegation from the tribe has been in Switzerland for the past week, presenting their case to UN human rights officials in Geneva. 

They have asked the UN to stop Qatari authorities’ continuous and systematic discrimination against them, to protect the tribe’s members and restore their lost rights, and to punish the Qatari regime for human-rights violations.

A delegation from the tribe organized a demonstration on Monday at the Broken Chair, a monumental wooden sculpture opposite the Palace of Nations in Geneva that symbolises opposition to land mines and cluster bombs.

“The international community must stop turning a blind eye to the human rights violations committed against the Al-Ghufran tribe by the Qatari regime,” said Mohamed Saleh Al-Ghafzani, a member of the delegation.

“We are talking to everyone who comes in and out of the United Nations building about our crisis and our stolen rights; after Qatar took our nationality away, there is nothing else we can lose.”