Houthis under fire for killing displaced civilians in Marib

Special Houthis under fire for killing displaced civilians in Marib
A boy holds shrapnel of a missile at the site of a Houthi missile attack in Marib, Yemen October 3, 2021. (Reuters)
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Updated 04 October 2021

Houthis under fire for killing displaced civilians in Marib

Houthis under fire for killing displaced civilians in Marib
  • Yemen’s vice president accuses militia of ‘indifferently’ snubbing calls and diplomatic activities to put an end to the conflict

AL-MUKALLA: Yemeni government officials, local and international activists and rights groups and western diplomats on Monday strongly condemned the Houthi shelling of a residential area in the central city of Marib that killed and wounded more than three dozen civilians.

On Sunday, three ballistic missiles fired by the Iran-backed Houthis hit the city of Marib, killing two children and wounding more than 30 people.

One of the three missiles landed in a house in Al-Rawada neighborhood hosting thousands of internally displaced people, flattening the building and killing Ghazlan Faisal Al-Bareq and her brother Rada and critically wounding their parents.

The family comes from the northern province of Amran, sheltering in Marib like thousands of Yemenis who fled the fighting and Houthi repression.

Graphic images taken by local journalists show the headless and burnt Ghazlan lying in a bed in a local hospital in Marib, with several other badly wounded children crying as they receive medication.

The US embassy in Yemen strongly condemned the “terrible” attack by the Houthis and demanded the militias work on achieving peace in Yemen.

“The Houthis only confirm their savagery with such attacks. They must abandon this aggression against their fellow Yemenis and seek a peaceful resolution to the conflict,” Cathy Westley, charge d’affaires for the US embassy to Yemen, said in a brief statement.

Yemeni officials said that the latest deadly strike by the Houthis showed the rebels seeking to obstruct peace efforts to end the war, and vowed to punish them for murdering civilians. 

Yemen’s Vice President Ali Mohsen Ahmer on Monday accused the Houthis of “indifferently” snubbing calls and diplomatic activities to put an end to the conflict in Yemen and intensifying their deadly strikes on heavily populated civilian areas.  

“Day after day, the terrorist militias prove to the Yemeni people, the region and the world their disregard for the blood of Yemenis and their rejection of everything that would lead to ending the bloodshed,” the official news agency SABA quoted the vice president as saying.

Similarly, Yemeni human rights activists and local rights groups have turned to social media and local press to voice their anger over the shelling, calling for greater pressure on the Houthis and blasting the rebels for violating international laws.

“The international community, the UN, and the (UN Yemen) envoy’s office are more concerned than ever to intensify pressure on the Houthi militia to immediately stop launching any attacks on civilian objects,” said Mutahar Al-Badhiji, executive director of the Yemeni Coalition to Monitor Human Rights Violations.

Al-Badhiji told Arab News said that his organization has recorded the deaths of hundreds of civilians in Marib during the past seven years due to Houthi drone and missile strikes or land mines planted by the militia. 

His organization said in a report released last week that land mines, missiles, explosive-laden and artillery rounds fired by the Houthis at central Marib had killed 440 civilians, including 61 children and 37 women, and wounded 914 civilians, including 124 children and 73 women, from December 2014 to June this year. During this period, the Houthis had fired 871 missiles, 119 projectiles and 44 exploding drones at 11 districts in Marib province.  

“These are gross violations of human rights and international laws, and war crimes,” Al-Badhiji said.

International rights and aid organizations also expressed concerns about the growing number of civilian casualties during the conflict, urging warring factions to protect civilians.

“Alarming reports from Marib, Yemen, where an attack on a neighborhood killed 2 children, injuring dozens others. Warring parties are duty bound to protect civilians. We need an end to fighting in Marib and across all Yemen,” Jan Egeland, secretary-general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, said on Twitter.


Continued Israeli targeting of Al-Aqsa and holy sites sparks condemnation

Palestinians salvage belongings from the rubble of their home, following Israeli air strikes in Gaza City, on August 7, 2022.
Palestinians salvage belongings from the rubble of their home, following Israeli air strikes in Gaza City, on August 7, 2022.
Updated 14 sec ago

Continued Israeli targeting of Al-Aqsa and holy sites sparks condemnation

Palestinians salvage belongings from the rubble of their home, following Israeli air strikes in Gaza City, on August 7, 2022.
  • Settlers prostrate themselves in mosque's courtyards

RAMALLAH: Tensions rose in the West Bank and East Jerusalem on Sunday after more than 2,000 settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque amid tight Israeli police protection throughout the Old City and at the gates leading to the mosque.

Hundreds of settlers will participate in the incursion to revive the so-called “destruction of the temple.”

They had gathered since Saturday evening in the Old City and its surroundings before reaching the Western Wall/Al-Buraq, ahead of their overnight preparation for the incursions, with the participation of far-right Knesset member Itamar Ben Gvir.

At dawn on Sunday, Israeli police stopped people under 50 from entering Al-Aqsa to prevent them from confronting the settlers. An arrest campaign was launched on Saturday night, with at least six young men targeted.

The settlers began storming the courtyards of Al-Aqsa in successive groups, with the first group of 50 provided by extremist Yehuda Glick.

Israeli police deployed members of its special units in the courtyards to provide guards for the intruders, keep Palestinians away from the path of the incursions, and prevent their movement during the tours.

Settlers raised the Israeli flag while storming the courtyards.

They organized dancing and singing sessions near the Al-Silsila Gate from the outside. There were also tours and prayers at all the gates of Al-Aqsa from the outside.

Several settlers prostrated themselves in the courtyards of Al-Aqsa, as Muslim worshippers confronted the intruders and their provocations.

A statement from the Islamic Awqaf, which is affiliated with Jordan and in charge of Al-Aqsa, was signed by other Islamic commissions in Jerusalem and obtained by Arab News.

It said: “In an attempt to change the religious, legal, and historical status of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif, the occupation authorities and their police and intelligence forces turned this morning, Sunday, the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque into a military barracks to secure the storming of groups of Jewish extremists to the premises of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, after their calls to mobilize large numbers to storm the mosque in remembrance of the so-called ‘Destruction of the Temple.’”

According to the Islamic Awqaf, about 2,176 Jewish extremists stormed the courtyards under the protection of the Israeli police and intelligence forces who secured their tours, dances, singing, and laying down as part of their rituals in an apparent provocation to the feelings of Muslims, in return for emptying the mosque of worshippers, pursuing several young men and women, forcibly expelling them outside the mosque, arresting a number of them, and preventing the entry of a large number of worshippers.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said it held the Israeli government fully and directly responsible for its ongoing aggression against Christian and Islamic holy sites, the foremost of which was Al-Aqsa, and for its repercussions and dangers on the conflict and the entire region.

 


Gaza hospital services at risk amid power plant crisis

Gaza hospital services at risk amid power plant crisis
Updated 07 August 2022

Gaza hospital services at risk amid power plant crisis

Gaza hospital services at risk amid power plant crisis
  • Airstrike kills second senior Islamic Jihad commander; 31 Palestinians, including 6 children and 4 women, dead

GAZA CITY: The Palestinian Ministry of Health has warned that its hospital services would stop within 48 hours if operations at the power plant in Gaza were not restored.

The power station has stopped working since noon on Saturday, as fuel supplies ceased with the closure of Kerem Shalom last week.

During its continuous raids since Friday, Israeli forces have killed at least 31 Palestinians, including six children and four women, and wounded more than 270 others.

Medhat Abbas, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health, said that services would be suspended if around-the-clock electricity was not restored within two days.

“The Ministry of Health needs half a million liters of fuel per month to be able to operate the private generators,” Abbas said. 

He fears a real disaster soon, as fuel is currently unavailable.

Gaza City Mayor Yahya Al-Sarraj said that municipal services were also being negatively impacted due to the lack of electricity.

“As a result of the power plant shutdown, municipal services will be minimal or even stopped. It will minimize the supply of domestic water, the consumption of which increases especially during July and August,” Al-Sarraj said.

“Raw sewage will drain into the sea because the plants are not functioning at full capacity,” he added. 

The power supply has been reduced to four hours a day, and the resulting situation will affect water distribution as well as sewage treatment plants, Abbas said.

Efforts to reach a ceasefire continued with Egyptian and UN mediation.

Local and Arab media quoted Egyptian sources as saying that they were making efforts to reach a ceasefire agreement and to restore calm to the Gaza Strip.

But Israeli warplanes continued to bomb various targets in the Gaza Strip for the third day in a row.

The Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad, fired dozens of missiles toward Israeli cities.

Missiles were also directed toward Jerusalem for the first time since the start of the latest fighting round. Israel’s assassination of Khaled Mansour, the Al-Quds Brigade commander in Rafah, was a new blow to the Islamic Jihad in Gaza in the wake of the killing of Taysir Al-Jabari, another Islamic Jihad commander.

The Military Council of the Islamic Jihad in Gaza consists of 10 members under the leadership of Akram Al-Ajouri, whom Israel tried to assassinate in Beirut previously.

Abu Hamza, a spokesman for the Al-Quds Brigades, said in a press statement: “What has emerged from our missile capabilities, which today are draining our foolish enemy, is a small part of what we have prepared.”

He asked the Palestinian people in the West Bank to get involved in the resistance. 

“We call on all the resistance fighters and free people in the West Bank and occupied lands to engage in this epic, and let it be a massive intifada that establishes the demise of our enemy.”

Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Hamas political bureau, said in a statement: “Around the clock, we are making all required efforts to protect our people and stop the aggression.”


UN Security Council will meet to discuss Israeli attack on Gaza: Palestine’s UN Ambassador

UN Security Council will meet to discuss Israeli attack on Gaza: Palestine’s UN Ambassador
Updated 07 August 2022

UN Security Council will meet to discuss Israeli attack on Gaza: Palestine’s UN Ambassador

UN Security Council will meet to discuss Israeli attack on Gaza: Palestine’s UN Ambassador
  • Mansour emphasized Security Council’s responsibility to condemn and halt Israeli aggression and provide international protection for the Palestinian people.

NEW YORK: Palestine’s UN ambassador has said that the UN Security Council will hold a meeting on Monday to discuss the Israeli brutal aggression on the Gaza Strip, the Palestine News and Info Agency (WAFA) reported.

Ambassador Riyad Mansour emphasized that the Security Council is responsible for maintaining international peace and security, as well as responding to the imperatives of condemning and halting Israeli aggression and providing international protection for the Palestinian people.

UN Humanitarian Coordinator Lynn Hastings issued a statement on Saturday expressing her deep concern about the situation, which has killed at least 31 Palestinians and injured more than 253.

“The humanitarian situation in Gaza is already dire and can only worsen with this most recent escalation” she said.

“The continued operation of basic service facilities such as hospitals, schools, warehouses, and designated shelters for internally displaced persons is essential and now at risk,” she cautioned.

An electricity company spokesman said that Gaza’s sole power plant shut down on Saturday after running out of fuel five days after Israel closed its goods crossing with the Palestinian enclave, AFP reported.

Hastings added that the movement and access of humanitarian personnel, critical medical cases and essential goods, such as food and fuel, into Gaza must not be hampered in order to meet humanitarian needs.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is also scheduled to deliver an important speech before the UN General Assembly in New York on Sept. 23, WAFA reported.

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El-Sisi: Egypt has an unchangeable policy on Taiwan

El-Sisi: Egypt has an unchangeable policy on Taiwan
Updated 07 August 2022

El-Sisi: Egypt has an unchangeable policy on Taiwan

El-Sisi: Egypt has an unchangeable policy on Taiwan
  • El-Sisi said that Egypt supported the “One China” policy as it is in the interests of world security and stability

CAIRO: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has said that his country’s policy remains consistent on Taiwan, with Egypt supporting the “One China” policy.

During a speech to military students, El-Sisi said that Egypt supported the “One China” policy as it is in the interests of world security and stability.

“We do not want more global crises that may affect us all,” he said. “In our foreign policy, we have constants in our policy that do not change, and we are always keen to be supportive of regional and international stability.”

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan has angered China, which views the island as part of its territory.

A day after Pelosi’s visit to the self-governing island, China on Thursday began unprecedented military exercises and fired multiple missiles near Taiwan.

In response to Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, China said on Friday that it was suspending talks with the US in a number of areas, including on climate change. China’s foreign ministry announced that it was also halting communications with the US on combating transnational crime and drug trafficking, actions that the US referred to as irresponsible.

On Thursday, the US criticized China’s display of force as an “overreaction” and “provocative” after Beijing launched missiles and stationed fighter jets near Taiwan in retaliation for Pelosi’s visit to the island.

The Taiwanese defense ministry reported on Friday that it sent out planes to warn off Chinese aircraft that it claimed violated the median line in the Taiwan Strait, an unofficial boundary between the two sides, and entered the island’s air defense zone.


Italy ‘deeply concerned’ over Palestinian civilian casualties

Italy ‘deeply concerned’ over Palestinian civilian casualties
Updated 07 August 2022

Italy ‘deeply concerned’ over Palestinian civilian casualties

Italy ‘deeply concerned’ over Palestinian civilian casualties
  • Every effort must be made to de-escalate Gaza tension, diplomatic source tells Arab News

ROME: Italy condemns the escalation of violence in Gaza and is “deeply concerned” about the news of casualties among Palestinian civilians, the Italian ministry of foreign affairs said.

The ministry said it “strongly condemns the launch of rockets toward Israel’s territory and reiterates Israel’s right to ensure the safety of its citizens,” and “urges all sides to show moderation to prevent an escalation of the hostilities, which would cause further casualties and pain among civilians.”

“This new wave of violence confirms once again the necessity to relaunch diplomatic efforts to reach a fair and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” an official communique added.

“The situation is escalating badly and may bear unexpected consequences: This is just something we do not want to see in a global situation, which is already full of tensions due to the war in Ukraine and the China-Taiwan contest. This is why we believe that every diplomatic effort must be made in Middle East,” a diplomatic source in the prime minister’s office told Arab News.

The Italian Parliament is also concerned about the escalation in Gaza. Members of the foreign affairs committees of both Houses will meet in Rome on Tuesday to discuss the situation in a joint meeting.

“We are following with great concern what is happening at the border with the Gaza Strip. We must absolutely avoid the prospect of an escalation in the confrontation between Israelis and Palestinians on the border with the Gaza Strip,” Stefania Craxi, senator for the Forza Italia party and chairperson of the Italian Senate’s foreign and international committee told Arab News.

Craxi urged all parties to “work hard in order to foster a structured dialogue between both parts.”

The Middle East, she said, was “thirsty for peace, and no one can ever believe that a conflict is unavoidable. We all must think that the more all this will go on the more all these tensions may be badly destabilizing for all the Mediterranean area. This would certainly have repercussions on a global level in a moment when all geopolitical balances seem to be redefined.”

Piero Fassino, the member of Parliament for the Democratic Party who chairs the Italian Chamber of Deputies’ foreign and international committee, told Arab News: “It is necessary now more than ever to do everything possible to prevent a wider conflict, which would affect civilians on both sides and cause more casualties and greater suffering.”