Iran-backed Houthi missile attacks are ‘threat to regional peace’

Nayef Falah Mubarak Al-Hajraf, secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council. (SPA)
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Updated 14 July 2020

Iran-backed Houthi missile attacks are ‘threat to regional peace’

  • Allies denounce latest attempt to target civilians in Saudi Arabia, and reiterate support for the Kingdom

JEDDAH: An attack on Saudi Arabia by Iran-backed Houthi militias on Monday morning drew widespread international condemnation, as allies expressed solidarity with the Kingdom.

Arab coalition forces successfully intercepted and destroyed four missiles and seven explosive drones fired across the border from Yemen.

The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the attack and vowed to support Saudi Arabia in all its defensive measures. Egypt also reaffirmed the importance of responding to all cease-fire initiatives as part of efforts to achieve peace in Yemen.

Describing the attacks as “blatant aggression,” the Republic of Djibouti reiterated its full support for the Kingdom in opposing all threats.

Nayef Falah Mubarak Al-Hajraf, secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), said such hostile Houthi actions against civilian targets, inside Yemen and in neighboring countries, are flagrant violations of international law. He also condemned Iran for supplying the Houthi militias with arms and ammunition, in defiance of UN Security Council Resolution 2216.

Al-Hajraf said these actions threaten regional stability and hinder efforts to achieve a political solution to the crisis in Yemen. Pledging the full support of the GCC for Saudi Arabia, he called on the wider international community to take action against forces determined to undermine the peace and security of the region.

Youssef Al-Othaimeen, secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, denounced the terrorist attacks and the forces behind them.

Pakistan also condemned the attacks, and praised the coalition forces for preventing the attempt to target civilians in the Kingdom. Islamabad reiterated its solidarity with Saudi Arabia in the face of threats to the security and territorial integrity of the Kingdom.



Israel strikes Hamas positions in Gaza over fire balloons

Updated 2 min 40 sec ago

Israel strikes Hamas positions in Gaza over fire balloons

JERUSALEM: The Israeli military said Wednesday it carried out overnight strikes on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip after incendiary balloons were launched across the border from the Palestinian enclave.
The army said the strikes were “retaliation” for the launching of multiple balloons from the Hamas-run enclave in recent days.
Jets, attack helicopters and tanks struck a number of Hamas targets including “underground infrastructure and observation posts,” a statement said.
Fire services in southern Israel said the balloons caused 60 fires on Tuesday alone but reported no casualties.
Explosives tied to balloons and kites first emerged as a weapon in Gaza during intense protests in 2018, when the makeshift devices drifted across the border daily, causing thousands of fires in Israeli farms and communities.
Israel has closed its Kerem Shalom goods crossing with the Gaza Strip in response to the recent balloon launches.
Hamas denounced the closure as an “aggressive” move that showed Israel’s “insistence on laying siege” to Gaza, and warned it could cause further worsening of the humanitarian situation in the territory.
As the Kerem Shalom crossing closed, the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt opened Tuesday for the first time since April.
Traffic in both directions was to be permitted for three days, allowing Gazans to leave the enclave for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
The Rafah crossing provides Gaza’s sole access to the outside world not controlled by Israel.
The Palestinian territory has been under an Israeli blockade since 2007.
Hamas and Israel have fought three wars since 2008.
Despite a truce last year, backed by the UN, Egypt and Qatar, the two sides clash sporadically with rockets, mortar fire or incendiary balloons.
Palestinian analysts say cross-border fire from Gaza is often used as a bargaining tool to secure Israel’s green light for the entry of Qatari financial aid into the territory.