Iran-backed Houthi militia recruited more than 900 children in 2017

Houthi milita recruited over 900 child soldiers in 2017. (AFP)
Updated 07 March 2018
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Iran-backed Houthi militia recruited more than 900 children in 2017

DUBAI: The Iran-backed Houthi militia recruited more than 900 children into their ranks in 2017, according to the executive director of the Yemeni coalition Monitoring Human Rights Violations Mutahar Al-Baziji, Saudi state-news channel Al-Ekhbariya reported.
Al-Bazaiji said in a statement that the forced recruitment of children was accompanied by many violations, most notably the denial of education and sexual exploitation by older recruits.
Many children were also killed while participating in military actions.
“Childhood tragedy in Yemen is increasing every day as more violations against children at the hands of militias and terrorist organizations are being witnessed,” Al-Baziji said in a speech at the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday.
“Reports from Yemeni civil society organizations indicate that one-third of Houthi militia fighters are children, noting that the coalition documented 902 cases of child soldier recruitment by the Houthis in 2017,” he added
The United Nations, the Human Rights Council, international organizations and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations called for the protection of children in Yemen in the presence of armed groups, led by the Houthi militia.


Israel strikes Hamas post after gunfire at troops

Updated 2 min 36 sec ago
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Israel strikes Hamas post after gunfire at troops

  • An informal truce between Hamas and Israel has brought relative calm to the border in recent weeks
  • Hamas is labelled a terrorist organization by the US and the EU, and banks are hesitant to make the transfer

GAZA CITY, Palestinian territories: An Israeli tank shelled a Hamas site in the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday after gunfire at soldiers near the border fence, the army said.
There were no reports of injuries in either incident. Hamas said two of its military wing’s observation posts had been hit east of Beit Hanoun.
An informal truce between Hamas and Israel has brought relative calm to the border in recent weeks.
But there have been warnings of another escalation since Israel reportedly held up the latest cash transfer from Gulf state Qatar to Gaza, set to take place under the truce.
The payments are controversial in Israel, where they have sparked opposition from right-wing activists and politicians.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is campaigning for re-election in April 9 polls.
Qatar’s ambassador to Gaza said Monday that the $15 million (13 million euros) in cash, to pay the salaries of Hamas civil servants in the enclave, is expected to be delivered via Israel this week.
Israel’s government has not commented. Its permission is required since the cash must be delivered via Israeli territory.
Hamas is labelled a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union, and banks are hesitant to make the transfer.
The payment would be the third of six planned tranches, totalling $90 million, in connection with the truce.
Israel has also allowed deliveries of Qatari-financed fuel to the blockaded enclave to help ease a severe electricity shortage.
Mass protests and clashes erupted on the Gaza-Israel border in March last year.
The weekly protests have been calling for Palestinian refugees in Gaza to be able to return to their former homes now inside Israel.
Israel accuses Hamas of using the protests as cover to carry out violence.
At least 243 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since March, the majority during protests and clashes. Others have died in airstrikes or shelling.
Two Israeli soldiers have been killed over the same period, one by a Palestinian sniper and another during a botched special forces operation inside Gaza.
Israel and Islamist movement Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, have fought three wars since 2008.