Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission slams Israel for Gaza aggression

An Israeli border policeman speaks on his communication device after shooting a Palestinian man near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, near the West Bank city of Ramallah December 15, 2017 file photo. (REUTERS)
Updated 09 April 2018
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Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission slams Israel for Gaza aggression

  • Israel solely responsible for the criminal use of force
  • Israel as the occupying power is responsible for protecting the Palestinian people
JEDDAH: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) has condemned Israel’s ongoing aggression against peaceful Palestinian protesters, as well as media and medical personnel, along the Israel-Gaza border. Israeli forces have killed at least 32 Palestinians and injured more than 1,000 over the past week. For the second Friday in a row, Israel used live ammunition against unarmed protesters.
The IPHRC said it holds Israel solely responsible for the criminal use of force, which grossly violates the human rights of Gazan civilians peacefully campaigning for their legitimate and internationally recognized rights.
Under international humanitarian law, in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel as the occupying power is responsible for protecting the Palestinian people, the IPHRC added.
The indiscriminate use of excessive force against innocent civilians constitutes a war crime that cannot be justified under any circumstances, the commission said.
It also expressed deep concern over the unrelenting humanitarian crisis in Gaza, including the lack of access to water, food, sanitation, electricity and medical supplies for almost 2 million civilians besieged since 2007.
The IPHRC urged the international community, particularly OIC member states, to do all they can to put an end to repeated, serious and systematic Israeli violations of Palestinian rights.
The UN must start immediate and independent investigations into the ongoing human rights violations in Gaza, and hold the perpetrators accountable in relevant international courts, the commission added.


Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

Updated 23 April 2019
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Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

  • Mohamed Jafar and Hany Osman, cabin crew with Saudi Arabian Airlines, were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels targeted
  • Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi says officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests

COLOMBO: Two Saudis were among 31 foreigners killed in a string of Easter Sunday suicide bombings in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said on Monday, a day after the devastating attacks on hotels and churches killed at least 290 people and wounded nearly 500.

The extent of the carnage began to emerge as information from government officials, relatives and media reports offered the first details of those who had died. Citizens from at least eight countries, including the United States, were killed, officials said.

Among them were Saudis Mohammed Jafar and Hany Osman. They worked as cabin crew on Saudi Arabian Airlines, and were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels that were hit.

Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi said that officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests on the two Saudi victims, and only after these are received will their names be confirmed.

Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said the Sri Lankan government believes the vast scale of the attacks, which clearly targeted the minority Christian community and outsiders, suggested the involvement of an international terrorism network.

“We don’t think a small organization can do all that,” he said. “We are now investigating international support for them and their other links — how they produced the suicide bombers and bombs like this.”

The attacks mostly took place during church services or when hotel guests were sitting down to breakfast. In addition to the two Saudis, officials said the foreign victims included one person from Bangladesh, two from China, eight from India, one from France, one from Japan, one from The Netherlands, one from Portugal, one from Spain, two from Turkey, six from the UK, two people with US and UK dual nationalities, and two with Australian and Sri Lankan dual nationalities.

Three of Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen’s four children were among the foreigners who were killed, a spokesman for the family confirmed. Povlsen is the wealthiest man in Denmark, the largest landowner in Scotland and owns the largest share of British online fashion and cosmetics retailer Asos.

Two Turkish engineers working on a project in Sri Lanka also died in the attacks, the English-language Daily Sabah newspaper reported. Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gave their names as Serhan Selcuk Narici and Yigit Ali Cavus.

Fourteen foreign nationals remain unaccounted for, the Sri Lankan foreign ministry said, adding that they might be among unidentified victims at the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer’s morgue.

Seventeen foreigners injured in the attacks were still being treated at the Colombo National Hospital and a private hospital in the city, while others had been discharged after treatment.