Arab coalition in Yemen: We respect humanitarian rights

HELPING THE WAR-HIT: Aid for all Yemenis affected by war, regardless of religious views or backgrounds, is the motto of the King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Works.
Updated 26 May 2016

Arab coalition in Yemen: We respect humanitarian rights

RIYADH: The Saudi-led Arab military coalition fighting Iran-backed Shiite rebels in Yemen said Thursday it respects international humanitarian law, denying accusations by rights groups.
The coalition command, in a statement, gave assurances that it “respects the rules of international humanitarian law and human rights in all its military operations” in Yemen.
“To defend civilians and shelter them from the impact of the conflict,” the coalition had imposed “strict... rules of engagement in accordance with the principles of international humanitarian law.”
As well as identifying targets, these rules also focused on the use of precision weapons and dropping leaflets warning people in areas with military targets, it added.
The coalition was also evaluating its air strikes in Yemen and investigates allegations about some incidents, the command said.
The coalition intervened in Yemen in April 2015 after Iran-backed Houthi militias, conspiring with loyalists of the
Non-governmental organizations have repeatedly accused the coalition of being responsible for the deaths of civilians in Yemen since intervening on the side of the country’s internationally recognized government in March 2015.
Earlier this month, Human Rights Watch accused the Arab coalition of indiscriminate bombing in Yemen, but also said the Houthis were to blame for abuses committed on the ground.
In late February, Amnesty International said it had documented a series of serious humanitarian and rights violations, including war crimes, since the Arab intervention.
The United Nations has repeatedly warned about the threat of a “humanitarian catastrophe” in Yemen, where more than 6,400 people have been killed in 14 months of war. 


Israeli PM: Palestinians in Jordan Valley won’t be citizens

Updated 42 min 10 sec ago

Israeli PM: Palestinians in Jordan Valley won’t be citizens

  • Netanyahu has vowed to press ahead with plans to annex the Jordan Valley

JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that Palestinians living in the Jordan Valley will remain in what he described as an “enclave” after Israel annexes the territory and will not be granted Israeli citizenship.
Netanyahu has vowed to press ahead with plans to annex the Jordan Valley and Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, in line with President Donald Trump’s Middle East plan, a process that could begin as early as July 1.
The annexation of the Jordan Valley and the far-flung settlements would make it virtually impossible to create a viable Palestinian state alongside Israel, which is still widely seen as the only way to resolve the decades-old conflict.
In an interview with the Israel Hayom newspaper, Netanyahu said Palestinians in the Jordan Valley, including residents of the city of Jericho, would remain under limited Palestinian self-rule, with Israel having overall security control.
“They will remain a Palestinian enclave,” he said. “You’re not annexing Jericho. There’s a cluster or two. You don’t need to apply sovereignty over them. They will remain Palestinian subjects, if you will. But security control also applies to these places.”
Palestinians in the West Bank have lived under Israeli military rule since the 1967 war, when Israel captured the territory, along with east Jerusalem and Gaza. The Palestinians want all three territories to form their future state.
The Trump plan would grant the Palestinians limited statehood over scattered enclaves surrounded by Israel if they meet a long list of conditions. Israel has embraced the plan, while the Palestinian Authority, which administers parts of the West Bank, has angrily rejected it and cut ties with the US and Israel.
Netanyahu said that if the Palestinians accept all the conditions in the plan, including Israel maintaining overall security control, “then they will have an entity of their own that President Trump defines as a state.”
Under a coalition agreement reached last month, Netanyahu can bring his annexation plans before the government as early as July 1.
The Palestinian Authority has said it is no longer bound by any agreements signed with Israel and the US, and says it has cut off security coordination with Israel. Neighboring Jordan, a close Western ally and one of only two Arab states to have made peace with Israel, has warned of a “massive conflict” if Israel proceeds with annexation.