Polish PM visits Lebanon ahead of refugee donor conferences

Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki visits Lebanon ahead of a series of European donor conferences to support nearly one million Syrian refugees living there. (File Photo: Reuters)
Updated 13 February 2018
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Polish PM visits Lebanon ahead of refugee donor conferences

BEIRUT: Poland’s prime minister is visiting Lebanon ahead of a series of European donor conferences to support the tiny Mediterranean country as it hosts nearly one million Syrian refugees.
Lebanon says the international community must share the burden of the refugee crisis caused by the civil war in neighboring Syria.
Mateusz Morawiecki was received by Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Monday for a working dinner. There were no comments to the press.
Citing security concerns, Poland’s conservative government rejected an EU plan to distribute refugees currently in Greece and Italy to countries around Europe.
Rome, Paris, and Brussels will all host conferences this spring to support Lebanon’s institutions and the regional humanitarian response for Syrian refugees.


ICC prosecutor issues warning on Bedouin village demolition by Israelis

Updated 10 min 55 sec ago
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ICC prosecutor issues warning on Bedouin village demolition by Israelis

  • Israel's Supreme Court recently rejected a final appeal against plans to demolish the village, Khan Al-Ahmar.
  • Israel says Khan Al-Ahmar was built illegally and has offered to resettle its residents a few kilometers away

THE HAGUE: The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor has issued a warning that if Israel goes ahead and destroys a Palestinian Bedouin village in the West Bank that could constitute a war crime.

Israel's Supreme Court recently rejected a final appeal against plans to demolish the village, Khan Al-Ahmar.

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in a written statement that "evacuation by force now appears imminent."

She added: "It bears recalling, as a general matter, that extensive destruction of property without military necessity and population transfers in an occupied territory constitute war crimes" under the Rome Statute treaty that established the ICC.

Israel says Khan Al-Ahmar was built illegally and has offered to resettle its residents a few kilometers away. Palestinians and other critics say the demolition aims to displace Palestinians in favor of Israeli settlement expansion.

The ICC has been conducting a preliminary inquiry since 2015 in the Palestinian territories, including Israel's settlement policy and crimes allegedly committed by both sides in the 2014 Gaza conflict. Israel is not a member of the court and does not accept its jurisdiction. 

 

Israeli crimes

However, Israeli forces could face charges if they are suspected of committing crimes on Palestinian territories as the court has accepted the "State of Palestine" as a member.

Bensouda's written statement also said she is "alarmed by the continued violence, perpetrated by actors on both sides, at the Gaza border with Israel." 

There have been weeks of escalating violence along the border.