Houthis killed 9,646 civilians, including 903 children: Report

Houthis killed 9,646 civilians, including 903 children: Report
Pro-Hadi fighters carry a comrade injured during fighting against Houthis in Taiz, Yemen, in this file picture. (Reuters)
Updated 23 November 2016

Houthis killed 9,646 civilians, including 903 children: Report

Houthis killed 9,646 civilians, including 903 children: Report

JEDDAH: Yemen’s Houthi rebels and supporters of deposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh were responsible for the killings of 9,646 civilians — 8,146 men, 597 women and 903 children — from Jan. 1, 2015 to Sept. 30, 2016 in 16 Yemeni provinces.
This has been revealed by the Yemeni alliance that monitors human rights violations in Yemen (Yemeni Observer) in a new report.
The alliance reported that a total of 9,646 civilians were killed — 8,146 men, 597 women and 903 children — in 17 Yemeni provinces. It said 24,320 civilians sustained injuries — 18,521 men, 3,092 women and 2,707 children.
The total of number of people detained was 12,780, mostly young activists, politicians and media persons, in addition to a number of laborers and children.
The number of violations against public property was 3,811 — committed against educational and health facilities and services, in addition to archaeological sites and places of worship.
Attacks on private properties — headquarters, apartment complexes, factories, farms, shops, and transportation means — numbered 25,934.
The alliance reported the killings of 298 civilians, including 22 children and 53 women, during the third quarter of this year, with the death toll of civilians in the first and second quarters of this year reaching 1,146 civilians, including 373 children and 68 women.
The number of injured civilians in the third quarter of this year was 394, among them 42 children and 98 women, while the number of civilian casualties during the first and second quarters was 4,044, including 369 civilians and 1,067 women.
The Yemeni alliance reported the arrest of 942 people by the Houthis during the third quarter of this year, against 3,380 people arrested during the first and second quarters of the year.
The number of attacks on properties in the third quarter of this year amounted to 82, while 346 attacks targeted private properties.
A total of 949 attacks were carried out against public properties and 2,673 targeted private properties during the first and second quarters of this year.
The death toll of civilians in 2015 was 8,202, including 508 children and 476 women. The number of wounded stood at 19,882, including 2296 children and 1927 women, while 8,458 arrests were made.
The repeated violations affirm the Houthi-Saleh disregard for international and humanitarian laws.
Shami Al-Daheri, a military analyst and strategic expert, said the Houthis are led by Iran, and follow its orders.
“They are moving in Yemen, Iraq and Syria following Tehran’s orders. If the country sees there is pressure on its supporters in Iraq, it issues orders to the Houthis in Yemen to carry out more criminal acts, in order to divert attention and ease the pressure on its proxies in these countries.”
Meanwhile, renewed clashes between Yemeni government forces and rebels killed more than 40 people Tuesday, military officials said, a day after a fragile 48-hour cease-fire expired without halting the violence.
Forces loyal to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi repelled an attack by Shiite Houthis and their allies on the western outskirts of Taiz city, the officials said.
The attack that began late Monday targeted the Al-Dhabab area, which provides pro-Hadi forces with their only access to the flashpoint city of 300,000 people that is surrounded by insurgents.
Warplanes from the Saudi-led Arab coalition took part in operations to repel the attack, officials said.
In northwest Yemen, fighting around the coastal town of Midi cost the lives of 18 rebels and four soldiers, a loyalist commander on the ground, Abdel Ghani Chebli, told AFP.
Rebel sniper fire on Monday night killed three soldiers as the Houthis tried to advance on Midi’s harbor, which is controlled by pro-Hadi forces.
In the southern city of Aden, an airport security officer, Col. Abdel Rahim Samahi, was gunned down outside his home in an attack, a security official said Tuesday.
The Daesh group said it killed Samahi, the Site Intelligence Group reported.
Separately, civilians in Taiz are trapped by intense fighting, with dead bodies lying in the streets and 200 people wounded in the past three days, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Tuesday.
Houthi fighters and government forces backed by a Saudi-led military coalition are battling for control of Taiz, the country’s third largest city with an estimated pre-war population of 300,000.
“Sniper fire and indiscriminate shelling has trapped civilians. Dead bodies are in the streets and people are unable to attend to their most basic needs. The situation is desperate,” Alexandre Faite, head of the ICRC in Yemen, said in a statement.
Some 200 people have been wounded over the past 72 hours, the aid agency said. “Many patients are suffering from blast injuries. Many have had to have limbs amputated,” it said.


Rights groups urge UN probe mission for Beirut port blast

Rights groups urge UN probe mission for Beirut port blast
Updated 15 June 2021

Rights groups urge UN probe mission for Beirut port blast

Rights groups urge UN probe mission for Beirut port blast
  • Human Rights Watch said the call was made in a joint letter by over a hundred Lebanese, regional, and international groups, individuals and survivors and families of the victims

BEIRUT: A group of international and regional rights groups on Tuesday urged member states of the UN Human Rights Council to establish an investigative mission into last year’s massive deadly blast at Beirut’s port.
Human Rights Watch said the call was made in a joint letter by 53 Lebanese, regional, and international groups and individuals, as well as 62 survivors and families of the victims.
HRW said it documented many flaws in the domestic investigation of the explosion — including flagrant political interference, lack of respect for fair trial standards and violations of due process.
Nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate — a highly explosive material used in fertilizers — had been improperly stored in the port for years. The chemicals ignited in the catastrophic Aug. 4 blast that killed 211 people, injured more than 6,000 and damaged entire neighborhoods.
It still remains unknown what triggered an initial fire at the warehouse that then caused the explosion and who was responsible for storing the rotting fertilizer there since 2014.
“Lebanese authorities have had over 10 months to demonstrate that they are willing and capable of conducting a credible investigation,” said Aya Majzoub, Lebanon researcher at Human Rights Watch. “But they have failed on all accounts,”
Six days after the blast, the Lebanese government referred the Beirut explosion to the country’s Judicial Council, a special court with no appeals process. No indictments have been issued so far.
In December, the prosecutor probing the blast filed charges against the caretaker prime minister, Hassan Diab, and three former ministers, accusing them of negligence that led to the deaths of hundreds of people.
Two months later, the judge in the probe was replaced following legal challenges by two former Cabinet ministers he had accused of negligence.


New Israel government faces early test with far-right march

New Israel government faces early test with far-right march
Updated 15 June 2021

New Israel government faces early test with far-right march

New Israel government faces early test with far-right march
  • Jewish ultranationalists prepared to march into annexed east Jerusalem
  • Palestinian prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh condemned it as a provocation

JERUSALEM: Israel’s fledgling new government faced an early test Tuesday as Jewish ultranationalists prepared to march into annexed east Jerusalem, stoking tensions the UN has warned threaten a fragile Gaza cease-fire.
Rallies by far-right Jewish groups in Arab neighborhoods have raised tensions in recent months, prompting a police intervention in the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound that triggered the deadliest flare-up of Israeli-Palestinian violence since 2014.
The so-called March of the Flags, which celebrates the anniversary of Israel’s 1967 occupation of the city’s eastern sector, was originally scheduled for last Thursday but was delayed due to Israeli police opposition to the route and warnings from Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas.
The former government of veteran premier Benjamin Netanyahu put off the march until Tuesday, a decision confirmed late Monday by the incoming government of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
“The right to demonstrate is a right in all democracies,” said Internal Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev.
“The police is ready and we will do everything in our power to preserve the delicate thread of coexistence.”
Organizers consulted police on the best route for the march that begins at 1430 GMT to avoid friction with Arab residents, the government said.
But Palestinian prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh condemned it as a provocation.
“We warn of the dangerous repercussions that may result from the occupying power’s intention to allow extremist Israeli settlers to carry out the Flag March in occupied Jerusalem tomorrow,” Shtayyeh tweeted in English.
He said it was “a provocation and aggression against our people, Jerusalem and its sanctities that must end.”
The new Israeli premier is himself a Jewish nationalist but the coalition he leads also includes centrist and left-wing parties and, for the first time in the country’s history, an Arab party.
The support of the four lawmakers of the Islamic conservative Raam party was vital to the wafer-thin majority that the government won in a historic confidence vote that unseated Netanyahu on Sunday.
UN Middle East peace envoy Tor Wennesland urged all sides to behave responsibly to avoid damage to a hard-won May 21 cease-fire that ended 11 days of heavy fighting in and around Gaza.
“Tensions are rising again in Jerusalem at a very fragile & sensitive security & political time, when UN & Egypt are actively engaged in solidifying the cease-fire,” Wennesland said.
“Urge all relevant parties to act responsibly & avoid any provocations that could lead to another round of confrontation.”
The US embassy called on its staff to avoid entering the walled Old City in the heart of east Jerusalem because of the march and “possible counter-demonstrations.”
Israel’s annexation of east Jerusalem since the Six-Day War of 1967 is not recognized by most of the international community which says the city’s final status should be a matter of negotiation between the two sides.
The Palestinians claim the city’s eastern sector as the capital of their future state.
The iconic Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the heart of the Old City is Islam’s third holiest site and a national symbol for all Palestinians regardless of religion.
It is also considered by Jews to be Judaism’s holiest site but by longstanding convention Jews are not allowed to pray inside the compound and visits by Israeli Jewish politicians often trigger disturbances.
When the march was originally announced for last week, senior Hamas official Khalil Hayya warned it could spark a return to violence like that of May 10-21.
“We warn the occupation (Israel) against letting the march approach east Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque compound,” Hayya said.
“We hope the message is clear so that Thursday doesn’t become (a new) May 10.”
Last month’s conflict started after Hamas issued a deadline for Israel to remove its security forces from flashpoint areas of east Jerusalem, and then fired a salvo of rockets at Israel when the ultimatum went unheeded.
Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip between May 10 to 21 killed 260 Palestinians including some fighters, the Gaza authorities said.
In Israel, 13 people were killed, including a soldier, by rockets fired from Gaza, the Israeli police and army said.


UAE imposes new COVID-19 measures for charter flight passengers from India and Pakistan

UAE imposes new COVID-19 measures for charter flight passengers from India and Pakistan
Updated 15 June 2021

UAE imposes new COVID-19 measures for charter flight passengers from India and Pakistan

UAE imposes new COVID-19 measures for charter flight passengers from India and Pakistan
  • Passengers must wear tracking devices for a minimum of 10 days in a new circular from the General Civil Aviation Authority
  • Those who arrived in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Ras Al-Khaimah, have already been given the devices

DUBAI: The UAE has imposed new coronavirus measures for charter flights arriving from countries including India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Nepal and Uganda.
Passengers must wear tracking devices for a minimum of 10 days in a new circular from the General Civil Aviation Authority.
Those who arrived in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Ras Al-Khaimah, have already been given the devices, travel agencies and charter flight operators confirmed, local daily Khaleej Times reported.
Abu Dhabi has also been requiring arriving passengers to wear the devices during their 14-day home quarantine, since September of 2020.
Arrivals must also take a PCR test after landing in the country followed by two other PCR tests on the fourth and eighth day of their isolation period.
In Dubai, travelers have to isolate for 10 days and undergo a PCR test, Raheesh Babu, group COO of Musafir.com, an internet travel agency, said.
Crew members operating from the listed countries are also required to abide by the new regulations.
Passengers must also quarantine in a hotel during the transit period, and are only allowed movement when transferring between the hotel and the airport, without being in contact with people in the UAE community, the circular said.


Shoukry visits Qatar to convey message from El-Sisi

Shoukry visits Qatar to convey message from El-Sisi
Qatar's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defense Affairs Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah (R) meeting with Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in Doha on June 14, 2021. (AFP)
Updated 15 June 2021

Shoukry visits Qatar to convey message from El-Sisi

Shoukry visits Qatar to convey message from El-Sisi
  • Shoukry will attend the first meeting of the Palestine Committee

CAIRO: Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry arrived in Doha on Monday to convey a message from President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on the positive developments in Egyptian-Qatari relations following the signing of the “Al-Ula reconciliation agreement” on Jan. 5.
It also expressed Egypt’s aspiration to take further measures to advance the priority areas of bilateral cooperation to achieve the interests of the two countries and their people.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez said in a statement that Shoukry will take part during his visit to Doha in the consultative meeting of Arab foreign ministers, which will be held at the invitation of Qatar — the president of the current session of the Council of the Arab League — to resume coordination and consultation on the current situation in the region, and ways to strengthen joint action mechanisms regarding the growing challenges facing Arab countries.

HIGHLIGHT

Shoukry will also participate in the ministerial level extraordinary meeting of the Arab League Council to discuss developments of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam issue, which will be held at the request of Egypt and Sudan following the consultative meeting of Arab foreign ministers.

Shoukry will also participate in the ministerial level extraordinary meeting of the Arab League Council to discuss developments of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam issue, which will be held at the request of Egypt and Sudan following the consultative meeting of Arab foreign ministers.
He will also attend the first meeting of the Palestine Committee.
A meeting is also scheduled with Shoukry and Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani.


Palestinians warn new Israel government ‘will not differ from predecessors’

Palestinians warn new Israel government ‘will not differ from predecessors’
Palestinian fishermen stage a demonstration at the Gaza seaport against the Israeli authorities’ reduction of the fishing area to six nautical miles. (File/AFP)
Updated 15 June 2021

Palestinians warn new Israel government ‘will not differ from predecessors’

Palestinians warn new Israel government ‘will not differ from predecessors’
  • The occupation is governed by a security and military system that does not stop practicing terrorism and aggression

GAZA CITY: Palestine should not expect a radical change in Israeli policy, especially toward Gaza, following the end of Benjamin Netanyahu’s premiership, Palestinian political figures have warned.
However, opinions still differ on the formation of the new Israeli government headed by Natfali Bennett.
Palestinian factions agreed that the new government will not differ from its predecessors.
Osama Hamdi, 33, hailed the departure of Netanyahu as “a great achievement.”
He told Arab News: “The fall of any tyrant, no matter who comes next, should be considered positive, regardless of who will follow in power, even though all Israelis are not doing anything in our favor.”
But Hamdi warned that the new government does not have a strong base in the Knesset and within Israeli society.
Israel’s parliament narrowly approved the new Bennett-led coalition government on Sunday, ending Netanyahu’s historic 12-year rule.
The divisive former prime minister — the longest to ever hold office in Israel — will now serve as opposition leader.
Under a coalition agreement, Bennett will hold office for the first two years of the term, and then Minister of Foreign Affairs Yair Lapid, the architect of the coalition, will become prime minister.
Mohammed Sultan, 45, said that Netanyahu is a “strong figure” who can reach solutions with Palestinians, but in light of the weak new government, no real breakthrough can be achieved regarding Israel’s relationship with the Gaza Strip.
“Throughout history, strong leaders in Israel have taken bold steps — whether in war or peace — like Rabin, Sharon and Netanyahu. Now there is a government in which there is no real leader, so nothing can be achieved with it,” Sultan said.
Israel has imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip since Hamas took control of the area in 2007. The coastal strip has witnessed four wars and a rounds of fighting since then. Hamas does not expect any change in its relationship with Israel following the inauguration of the new government, especially in light of ongoing tensions with Jerusalem, which led to a military confrontation last month.
Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas official, said on Twitter: “We do not count on any change in the occupation governments.
“They are united on the policy of killing and confiscation of Palestinian rights, but the fall of Netanyahu is one of the successive consequences of the victory of the resistance.”
Islamic Jihad spokesman Tariq Salmi said in a press statement: “The occupation is governed by a security and military system that does not stop practicing
terrorism and aggression.
“Therefore, we must always be ready to defend our people, our land and confront this entity.”
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said: “The formation of a new occupation government headed by Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid alternately will not change anything on the ground.
“The new prime minister agrees, in essence, with Netanyahu’s program and policies, which are based on aggression, settlements and Judaization.”
Mustafa Ibrahim, a writer specializing in Israeli affairs, also warned that there would be no real change in Israel’s relationship with the Gaza Strip.
“This government is not a change for the Palestinians,” he told Arab News.
“It is an extension of the Netanyahu government as a result of the contradictions in it. It cannot take fateful decisions, but it will be more concerned with internal Israeli issues.
“The new government will abide by the red lines set by the previous government, that easing the blockade imposed on Gaza is linked to the release of the Israelis in Gaza, and agreement on this requires a strong government and a strong Israeli leader, which is not present in the new government.”
However, Ibrahim said that foreign pressure, especially from the US, “may make a difference in Israel’s relationship with Gaza and could keep the flame of confrontation dormant for a period of time.”