Abbas blames international community for Israeli impunity

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York on September 23. (AFP)
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York on September 23. (AFP)
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Updated 23 September 2022

Abbas blames international community for Israeli impunity

Abbas blames international community for Israeli impunity
  • ‘Why are we the only people left under occupation?’ Palestinian president asks UN
  • ‘Our trust in achieving a peace based on justice is regressing’

LONDON: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday delivered a stinging rebuke of the international community for allowing Israel to persist with its destruction of his country.

Addressing the UN General Assembly, he described the colonization of Palestinian land by Israel as a “stain on all humanity,” and asked why the international community had made an “exception” out of Palestine by allowing Israel to act with impunity.

“I am telling you on behalf of the Palestinian people that our trust in achieving a peace based on justice is regressing. Do you want to smother the hope we have?” asked Abbas.

“Israel has decided not to be our partner in the peace process, and has undermined any attempt to find peace by deploying policies that destroy the two-state solution because it does not believe in peace but in the forceful imposition of a status quo.”

Abbas described the relationship between Israel and the Palestinians as that of an “occupying state and occupied people.”  

While spending a substantive amount of time detailing various Israeli abuses against the Palestinians, it was the lack of will from the international community to hold Israel accountable that received his sharpest criticism.

“How long should we wait for our lands? Should we wait one century, two centuries? Why are we the only people left under occupation?” he asked.

“Why is Israel held unaccountable for its violations of international law? Who is doing this? You, the UN, allow this, and on top of this, the most powerful in the UN. Why these double standards? Why do they not treat us equally?”

Abbas said Israel has so far committed more than 50 massacres against the Palestinians. Furthermore, he questioned how the UN, an institution constructed to uphold international law, was allowing Israel to commit crimes against humanity.

“The international community must hold them accountable, and we ask the international community to do this,” he said.

“States like the US pretend to uphold international law and protect human rights, while concurrently providing unlimited support to Israel and protecting it from accountability — behavior that has allowed the occupier to pursue its hostile policies.”


#BREAKING: Depositors storm three banks in Lebanon’s cities of Tripoli, Bekaa and Tyre to demand their frozen money

#BREAKING: Depositors storm three banks in Lebanon’s cities of Tripoli, Bekaa and Tyre to demand their frozen money
Updated 8 sec ago

#BREAKING: Depositors storm three banks in Lebanon’s cities of Tripoli, Bekaa and Tyre to demand their frozen money

#BREAKING: Depositors storm three banks in Lebanon’s cities of Tripoli, Bekaa and Tyre to demand their frozen money

#BREAKING: Depositors storm three banks in Lebanon’s cities of Tripoli, Bekaa and Tyre to demand their frozen money


Iran launches test ‘tug’ into suborbital space

Iran launches test ‘tug’ into suborbital space
Updated 04 October 2022

Iran launches test ‘tug’ into suborbital space

Iran launches test ‘tug’ into suborbital space
  • Saman test spacecraft was built by the country’s Space Research Center
  • Iran has long pursued a space program saying it is aimed at peaceful purposes

TEHRAN, Iran: Iranian state media said Tuesday the government has launched a space tug capable of shifting satellites between orbits.
State TV said the Saman test spacecraft was built by the country’s Space Research Center and launched Monday by the Defense Ministry.
Hassan Salarieh, chief of the Islamic Republic’s space agency, told state TV that officials “hope to use and test the main tug in near future.” Iran unveiled the craft in 2017. A space tug can transfer a satellite from one orbit to another.
Iran has long pursued a space program saying it is aimed at peaceful purposes. The country has both a civilian and a military space program, which the US fears could be used to advance its ballistic missile program.
In June Tehran had launched a solid-fuel rocket into space and in August a Russian rocket successfully launched an Iranian Khayyam satellite into orbit. It’s named after Omar Khayyam, a Persian scientist who lived in the 11th and 12th centuries.
However, Iran has seen a series of mishaps and failed satellite launches over recent years
Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard in April 2020 revealed its own secret space program by successfully launching a satellite into orbit. The Guard operates its own military infrastructure parallel to Iran’s regular armed forces.


Yemen seeks to implement developmental projects in Taiz

Yemen seeks to implement developmental projects in Taiz
Updated 04 October 2022

Yemen seeks to implement developmental projects in Taiz

Yemen seeks to implement developmental projects in Taiz
  • Work plans and challenges were reviewed ahead of finalizing projects under the Saudi Program for Yemen’s Development and Reconstruction

ADEN: Yemeni officials reviewed plans with charity organizations to implement developmental projects in Taiz as part of ongoing reconstruction efforts in the province.

On Monday, Taiz Governor Nabil Shamsan discussed work plans and challenges ahead of finalizing projects under the Saudi Program for Yemen’s Development and Reconstruction.
Yemen is working closely with Saudi Arabia to establish a college of medicine in Taiz University, construct a center to treat cancer and rehabilitate a road linking Taiz with Makha.
Shamsan said these sustainable projects aim to serve the people of Taiz, which remains under Houthi siege, and mitigate the effects that the war has left on vulnerable communities.
Meanwhile, Major General Abdul Karim Al-Sabri, the Undersecretary of Taiz Governorate for Defense and Security Affairs, discussed de-mining efforts with the HALO Trust, a Scottish charity organization specialized in clearing mines in war zones.
He vowed collaboration with the organization in surveying targeted areas, detecting the type of mines implanted and raising awareness among citizens on dealing with mines that might be encountered.
He said local authorities would facilitate the work with the organization to de-mine high-priority targeted areas and save lives.


Iran arrests prominent rights activists

Iran arrests prominent rights activists
Updated 04 October 2022

Iran arrests prominent rights activists

Iran arrests prominent rights activists
  • Iranian government has been referring to the protests as ‘riots’ and ‘sedition’ to suppress them

DUBAI: Iran’s crackdown against prominent individuals linked to ongoing protests in the country continues with the arrest of prominent human rights activists in Tehran.

Bahareh Hedayat, a university student, was detained early on October 3, Radio Farda reported, as the unrest hit a crescendo in Tehran and has hit far-flung provinces in open demonstration of grievances against rigid social restrictions, political repression and a failing economy.

Hedayat is a former political prisoner who has been arrested and imprisoned several times, the report noted, quoting the BBC.

Hossein Masumi, another political activist, was arrested on October 2 with his whereabouts unknown according to his family.

The protest actions, spurred by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while under detention by Iran’s morality police for alleged violations of the Islamic dress code, are on their third week despite government efforts to quell them.

The Iranian government has been referring to the protests as ‘riots’ and ‘sedition’ to suppress them, and being used as basis for the detention of key personalities.


UNRWA director visits Jenin refugee camp days after Israeli assault

UNRWA director visits Jenin refugee camp days after Israeli assault
Updated 04 October 2022

UNRWA director visits Jenin refugee camp days after Israeli assault

UNRWA director visits Jenin refugee camp days after Israeli assault
  • Adam Bouloukos said: ‘I witnessed the extent of the damage caused by the recent Israeli military operation. I saw fear and concern in school children’s eyes’
  • He added that the current level of violence in the camp, and across the West Bank, is at the highest level the agency has seen in years

JERUSALEM: Adam Bouloukos, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East’s director in the West Bank, has visited Jenin refugee camp, the Palestine News and Info Agency reported on Monday.

His visit came just days after a large-scale Israeli military assault on the camp last Wednesday that left four people dead and 44 injured.

During his visit to the camp, Bouloukos was shown an UNRWA clinic that was hit by bullets during the attack, which took place while patients and medical staff were inside. It provides healthcare services to about 35,000 people. He also visited a UNRWA school, where he met students and teachers.

“I witnessed the extent of the damage caused by the recent Israeli military operation,” Bouloukos said. “I saw fear and concern in schoolchildren’s eyes.

“The level of violence in Jenin camp, and across the West Bank, is the highest we have seen in years. Many Palestinians, including refugees, were killed or injured. Violence only brings loss of life, grief for families and instability.

“All parties to the conflict should protect civilians, including Palestine refugees. UN staff and facilities and civilian infrastructure must be kept out of harm’s way. I specifically call on the Israeli security forces to limit the use of excessive force and spare the loss of civilian life in Jenin and across the West Bank.”