Saudi coalition refutes ‘biased’ and ‘inaccurate’ UN Yemen report

The Arab coalition said some aspects of the report were incorrect and biased. (SPA)
Updated 30 August 2018
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Saudi coalition refutes ‘biased’ and ‘inaccurate’ UN Yemen report

  • Report ignored the role of Houthis in starting the conflict and their Iran backers
  • UN allegations based on 'misleading reports of some NGOs and media publications'

JEDDAH: The Arab coalition on Wednesday refuted a UN report on Yemen that made a series of accusations against the alliance.

In a strongly worded statement, the coalition, which supports forces loyal to the internationally recognized government, rejected the claim that it did not provide information requested by the UN.

The coalition dismissed as “false” and “inaccurate” claims in the report that its forces were obstructing humanitarian access to civilians in the country.

The statement also said the report, which was published on Tuesday, disregarded the humanitarian role played by the coalition countries in Yemen, including recent donations from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait amounting to $1.8 billion. 

The coalition also accused the panel of experts who drafted the report of bias and ignoring the fact that the conflict started after the Houthi militia seized control of the capital Sanaa in a “coup” in 2014.

The statement said the report also ignored the role played by Iran in supporting the Houthis.

“The coalition countries completely disagree with all the report’s conclusion,” the statement said. “The report had many methodological fallacies, some regarding the description of the conflict’s facts, which lacked objectivity.” 

The coalition said the report’s false allegations that its forces had targeted civilians “were based on misleading reports of some NGOs and media publications.”

“These allegations were included in the report although the coalition countries had already refuted them during their meetings with the UN group of experts,” the statement said.

“The coalition affirms that the group rushed while objectively assessing the human rights situation in Yemen, as well as the inaccuracies in its conclusions and recommendations.”


Palestinians to cut civil servant salaries after Israeli tax freeze

Updated 21 February 2019
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Palestinians to cut civil servant salaries after Israeli tax freeze

  • Israel's security cabinet on Sunday approved the freezing of $138 million (122 million euros) over the PA's payments to the families of prisoners, or prisoners themselves, jailed for attacks on Israelis
  • Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said Wednesday he would not accept anything but full payment of the tax transfers owed by Israel

RAMALLAH: The Palestinian finance minister on Thursday announced salary cuts for civil servants, days after Israel said it would withhold tens of millions of dollars in tax transfers to the Palestinian Authority.
Israel's security cabinet on Sunday approved the freezing of $138 million (122 million euros) over the PA's payments to the families of prisoners, or prisoners themselves, jailed for attacks on Israelis.
Israel, which collects taxes on behalf of the PA, says the payments encourage further violence.
The PA claims they are a form of welfare to families who have lost their main breadwinner.
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said Wednesday he would not accept anything but full payment of the tax transfers owed by Israel.
The PA, which is already running a deficit, will "pay the salaries of civil servants in time, but they will be reduced", said PA finance minister Shukri Bishara after a meeting with EU representatives in Ramallah.
The cuts will not apply to salaries "paid to pensioners and families of martyrs, wounded or prisoners", he added, adding that wages below 2,000 shekels ($550) would also not be affected.
Many Palestinians view prisoners and those killed while carrying out attacks as heroes in their conflict with Israel. Palestinian leaders often venerate them as martyrs.
Under a 1994 agreement, Israel collects around $190 million each month in customs duties levied on goods destined for Palestinian markets that transit through Israeli ports.
The money it then transfers to the PA is the authority's most important source of revenue.
The Palestinians want EU countries to pressure the Israeli government to rescind its decision, said Mahmoud al-Aloul, deputy of Abbas's Fatah party.
Palestinian leaders will take steps to "boycott Israeli goods", he said, adding they had already prepared "a list of Israeli products that have local (Palestinian) equivalents".