Yemen FM calls on international community to condemn Houthis for violating humanitarian law

Houthi militias have caused humanitarian disasters in various regions of Yemen, says Foreign Minister Khalid Al-Yamani. File/Getty Images
Updated 26 June 2018
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Yemen FM calls on international community to condemn Houthis for violating humanitarian law

  • Houthis have caused humanitarian disasters in various regions of Yemen in order to harm the Yemeni people
  • Houthis planted about 1 million land mines in various parts of the war-torn country

RIYADH: Yemen’s Vice President Lt. Gen. Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar said the capital Sanaa will be “cleansed of the Houthi militias,” Saudi state TV Al-Ekhbariya reported on Monday.

The vice president’s statement came during a meeting with senior Yemeni army officials in Marib that was attended by the commander of the Saudi-led Arab coalition forces.
During the meeting, Al-Ahmar claimed that “victory was just around the corner” and that Sanaa would return to its Yemeni identity, stressing the need to “redouble efforts,” “intensify training and rehabilitation” and “complete military tasks and plans.”
Al-Ahmar reiterated that the Yemeni government, led by Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, and the Arab coalition were determined to restore the legitimate government and establish lasting peace.
The vice president’s remarks came as Foreign Minister Khalid Al-Yamani called on the international community to condemn the Houthi militias for violating international humanitarian law.
Al-Yamani said Houthis have caused humanitarian disasters in various regions of Yemen in order to harm the Yemeni people.
The militias prevent citizens from leaving for liberated areas and use them as human shields, he added.
The foreign minister also said that preliminary statistics indicated that the Houthis planted about 1 million land mines in various parts of the war-torn country.
Landmines placed by Houthi militias cause many civilian casualties on a daily basis in area across Yemen where the Iranian-backed militants have been defeated, according to a report from Saudi Press Agency.
Reports say that Yemen became has one of the largest land mine battlefields in the world since the Second World War, with more than half-a-million mines laid by the Houthis across several Yemeni cities.
On Sunday, President Hadi had a meeting with senior officials and security leaders in Hodeidah to discuss the situation there.
The president discussed plans to arrange for humanitarian and relief aid to be delivered, along with preparations for a decisive solution in the battle to liberate the port city.
Hadi said the liberation of Hodeidah was imminent and that the Iran-backed Houthi militia would soon be defeated.
He also stressed the importance of increased efforts by the leadership of the province and managers of basic services for the people.
He called on ministers to provide the necessary support for the people of the province in terms of logistics, relief, health and other fields.
Efforts are being made to provide relief and shelter for all areas of the west coast with the support of the KSRelief, the UAE and international organizations. Two planes loaded with relief supplies from KSRelief are expected to arrive with supplies soon.
Health Minister Nasser Baoum said that 50 hospital beds were transferred to a field hospital in the west coast and a number of ambulances with their crews, in addition to medical supplies provided by China and India.
The minister of water and the minister of social affairs and Labor discussed a number of measures to ensure the continuity and provision of basic water and tents services.


Latest Gaza flare-up: What does it mean for the blockaded strip?

This cease-fire, like others before it, is fragile and could easily be derailed. (AFP)
Updated 18 November 2018
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Latest Gaza flare-up: What does it mean for the blockaded strip?

  • “Unfortunately aggression against the Palestinian people will continue.”
  • Israel and Hamas have fought three wars in Gaza since 2008

AFP JERUSALEM: A truce in Gaza has left Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu battling to keep his government afloat after Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman walked out in protest.

Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, welcomed Lieberman’s resignation on Wednesday as a “victory” — but what will it mean for Gaza?

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars in Gaza since 2008, interspersed with simmering hostilities and periodic spikes in violence.

Hamas refuses to recognize Israel. The Jewish state, like the US and the EU, defines Hamas as a “terrorist” organization. For over a decade Israel has maintained a crippling blockade on the coastal strip.

An apparently botched Israeli army raid into the Gaza Strip triggered the worst escalation in violence since 2014 and brought the two sides to the brink of war.

On Tuesday, Hamas and Israel accepted an Egyptian-mediated cease-fire. Denouncing it as “capitulation,” Lieberman resigned from his post the next day, leaving the government with a majority of just one seat in Parliament.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad declared the cease-fire with military powerhouse Israel “a political victory.”

It came after Israel in October allowed Qatar to provide Gaza with fuel to help ease its chronic electricity crisis, under a UN-brokered deal.

In parallel, Egypt and the UN have been seeking to broker a long-term Gaza-Israel truce in exchange for Israel easing its embargo.

The events of the past week gave a boost to Hamas and its allies, said Gaza political analyst Mukhaimer Abu Saada. “But if there is a war that could change,” he said.

After the pounding Gaza took in 2014, most residents want above all to avoid a rerun. Indirect contacts between Israel and Hamas have eroded the status of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

A peace initiative by US President Donald Trump is expected to emerge in the next few months. The PA fears that it will drive the wedge even deeper between Gaza the West Bank, two territories long envisaged as part of a unified Palestinian state.

Jamal Al-Fadi, a professor of political science in Gaza, says such a divide suits Israel. “We can not have results against Israel except by unity,” he said.

This cease-fire, like others before it, is fragile and could easily be derailed.

With the Israeli political tensions unleashed by Lieberman’s departure, there will be fresh domestic pressure on Netanyahu to hit Hamas harder.

“The coming days will be difficult” for Gaza, Al-Fadi said.

“It was a right-wing government and the (next) elections will bring another right-wing government,” he said.

“Unfortunately aggression against the Palestinian people will continue.”