UN Security Council approves resolution on Yemen sanctions

The UN Security Council approved a resolution on Tuesday extending targeted sanctions in Yemen. (AFP/File photo)
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Updated 26 February 2020

UN Security Council approves resolution on Yemen sanctions

  • The much-revised British draft voted on Tuesday afternoon eliminated all references to the Houthis and Iran

UN, NEW YORK: The UN Security Council approved a resolution on Tuesday extending targeted sanctions in Yemen following contentious negotiations including on whether to refer to UN experts’ findings that Yemen’s Houthi militia are receiving parts for drones and weapons, some with technical characteristics similar to arms manufactured in Iran.

The UK, which drafted the resolution, along with the US and other Western nations supported including the experts' findings, but Russia and China objected.

The much-revised British draft voted on Tuesday afternoon eliminated all references to the Houthis and Iran, but Russia and China said their demands were not fully met and abstained.

That appeared to be a surprise to the UK and its Western allies who thought after negotiations into the early afternoon that all 15 council members would vote “yes.”

The resolution does ask the UN panel of experts, whose mandate was renewed, to report on commercially available components used by individuals and entities under UN sanctions, without referring to any party.

The panel of experts reported in late January that the Houthis had acquired such weapons which were used to assemble drones, water-borne explosive devices and other weapons systems.

Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Yemen Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Jaber said the resolution stresses on the continuous rejection of the international community on the coup led by Iran-backed Houthis and their attacks against the Yemenis.


Palestinian minister claims Israeli police physically abused him

Fadi Hidmi. (Supplied)
Updated 04 April 2020

Palestinian minister claims Israeli police physically abused him

  • East Jerusalem — with a population of 350,000 — has been all but ignored by the Israeli Ministry of Health in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic

AMMAN: Palestinian Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Fadi Hidmi was released by Israeli police on Friday afternoon after being arrested for the fourth time without charge.

Ministry spokesman Awad Awad told Arab News that Hidmi had been “warned” not to “move around” or “do any work in” Jerusalem in accordance with measures being taken to minimize the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Awad also claimed that Hidmi had been physically abused by the police, saying that the minister was “punched in the face and forced to wear a mask with blood on it.”

CCTV at Hidmi’s Mount of Olives house show that he was manhandled by Israeli police during his arrest in the early hours of Friday.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed the arrest.

Rosenfeld told the Israeli press that Hidmi was arrested “on suspicion of Palestinian activities in Jerusalem.”

He said police searched Hidmi’s home and confiscated documents as well as “large sums of money. Israeli media said that the police had confiscated NIS10,000 ($2,750) found in the house.

Hidmi, a Jerusalem resident, was the director of the Jerusalem Chamber of Commerce and Industry before accepting his current job in the Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh’s government.

Before Hidmi’s release on Friday, Shtayyeh wrote on social media: “Israel targets who work for #Jerusalem, even at such critical moments as we work to save our people's lives from #COVID19.”

East Jerusalem — with a population of 350,000 — has been all but ignored by the Israeli Ministry of Health in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Jamil Kousa, director of the St. Joseph hospital, told Palestine TV that he was only informed on March 25 that his hospital should be prepared to accept patients with COVID-19.

Ahmad Buderi, the coordinator of the Jerusalem Alliance — an organization launched to help combat COVID-19 — has said that people in the city are depending almost solely on local initiatives to deal with the pandemic.

Before his arrest, Hidmi launched the website madad.ps to coordinate the distribution of urgenly needed food and medical supplies to the city’s residents.

Walid Nammour, secretary-general of the Jerusalem Hospital Network, estimates that the city’s six hospitals need $7 million to to deal with the potential spread of COVID-19 in East Jerusalem.

Nammour told Arab News that 300-400 ventilators are needed and that only 26 are available at present.