UN chief set to appoint Britain’s Martin Griffiths as Yemen envoy

Former Head of Henry Dunant Centre (HDC) Martin Griffiths talks to journalists during a press conference in Banda Aceh, 09 February 2003. (AFP)
Updated 14 February 2018
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UN chief set to appoint Britain’s Martin Griffiths as Yemen envoy

UNITED NATIONS: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres notified the Security Council on Tuesday of his intention to appoint former British diplomat Martin Griffiths as his new envoy charged with trying to broker peace in Yemen, diplomats said.
The appointment will be approved by the council on Thursday evening if none of the 15-members have raised any objections. Typically, the Secretary-General has already informally consulted with council members before sending official notification.
Griffiths, currently executive director of the European Institute of Peace, will replace Ould Cheikh Ahmed, who the United Nations said would step down after three years in the job when his current contract finishes this month.
A Saudi Arabia-led coalition intervened in Yemen’s civil war in 2015, backing government forces fighting Iran-allied Houthi terrorists


Israeli planes strike Hamas targets in Gaza

Updated 48 min 18 sec ago
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Israeli planes strike Hamas targets in Gaza

  • The attacks targeted two Hamas military sites and a munitions manufacturing site
  • “Fire balloons” and kites carrying flammable material have become symbols of the Palestinian border protests in recent months

JERUSALEM: Israeli warplanes on Monday conducted strikes against nine Hamas “military targets” in the northern Gaza Strip in response to incendiary kites being sent into Israeli territory, the army said.
The attacks targeted two Hamas military sites and a munitions manufacturing site, the military said in a statement, without specifying whether the raids had resulted in casualties.
“Fire balloons” and kites carrying flammable material have become symbols of the Palestinian border protests in recent months.
The Israeli army on Saturday wounded two Palestinians in the Gaza Strip attempting to launch incendiary balloons across the border into Israel, officials said.
Since major border protests broke out at the end of March, more than 300 fires have devastated several thousand hectares of fields and shrubland, the Israeli fire service has said.
According to Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, 400 kites have been intercepted from some 600 launched since the start of the recent protests.
At least 130 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli gunfire in the same time span. No Israelis have been killed.
Palestinians are calling to return to the homes their families fled or were forced from in 1948 during the war surrounding the creation of Israel.
The Gaza Strip is controlled by the Islamist movement Hamas which Israel considers its chief enemy.
The two sides have fought three wars since 2008 and observe a tense cease-fire.