Tuesday, October 31, 2023

The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor documents the torture of Palestinian detainees by occupation soldiers

    3:03 PM   No comments

The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said on Tuesday that it documented severe abuse and torture against civilians and Palestinian detainees during their arrest by the Israeli army in the West Bank recently.

Egregious acts of torture, abuse committed by Israeli army against Palestinian civilians in the West Bank -- euromedmonitor.org

The Geneva-based observatory added that it had seen video clips “showing Israeli soldiers dragging and abusing Palestinian civilians from the town of Yatta in Hebron in the south of the West Bank, after stripping them of their clothes, blindfolding them, and tying them by their hands and feet, then leaving them in the open for long hours.”

He pointed out that he obtained "other video clips of the same people immediately after their arrest, where the Israeli forces left them for two days inside an army camp. It turned out that they were the same detainees from the town of Yatta."

He said that the clips were published on an account on the (X) platform and a channel on (Telegram) “that includes soldiers from the Israeli army, and several video clips were published bragging about the torture of Palestinian detainees.”

The Observatory for Human Rights expressed "its shock at the exposure of Palestinian civilians during their arrest, some of whom appeared in civilian clothing and others completely stripped of their clothes, to brutal beatings with rifle butts and soldiers trampling on their heads."

He stressed, "Taking and torturing hostages and abusing them is prohibited under international law, which obliges all parties not to hold detainees under brutal conditions and to treat them humanely and not to violate the right to life."

He also stressed that hostage-taking and torture are considered war crimes, and those responsible for committing them, giving orders to do so, or failing to prevent them - when their situation allows it - bear criminal responsibility, including before the International Criminal Court.

Over the past few hours, tweeters and activists have circulated on social media video clips showing what they said were Israeli soldiers brutally torturing a number of Palestinian detainees.

Some clips circulated on social media show these detainees being stripped of their clothes, tied, and kicked violently and cruelly.

Some of them also show someone being covered with the Israeli flag, and another being forced to carry the Israeli flag in the middle of what looks like a dance party, in a scene that brought to mind what happened in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, according to some commentators.


Wednesday, October 25, 2023

UNICEF: Child casualties in Gaza “a growing stain on our collective conscience”

    4:27 AM   No comments

 The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said that 2,360 children have been killed since the beginning of the war in the Gaza Strip as a result of the continuous Israeli bombing, and that the rate of deaths and injuries among children in the Strip is estimated at more than 400 children every day, between wounded and killed.

The UN organization explained that reports indicate that 5,364 children have been injured in Gaza since the beginning of the Israeli war on the Strip, which it described as the most violent escalation since 2006.

UNICEF said in a statement issued yesterday, Tuesday, that the number of dead and wounded children in Gaza constitutes a growing stain on the collective conscience, and called for an immediate ceasefire and allowing humanitarian aid to enter the Strip without obstacles.

She also indicated that almost all of the children in the Gaza Strip, who constitute 50% of the Gaza Strip’s population, were exposed to horrific events and extremely painful shocks, as a result of the widespread destruction in Gaza, the continuous bombing and displacement, and the severe shortage of basic necessities. Such as: food, water, and medicine as a result of the stifling siege imposed on the Gaza Strip.

“The killing and maiming of children, their abduction, attacks on hospitals and schools, and the denial of humanitarian access constitute grave violations of children’s rights,” said Adele Khader, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Guterres: Hamas attacks did not occur in a vacuum and do not justify Israel's mass killing in Gaza

    1:54 PM   No comments

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called - today, Tuesday - for a “humanitarian ceasefire” in the Gaza Strip, and said that the attacks of the Palestinian resistance do not justify Israel’s mass killing taking place in Gaza, while Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki considered that the Council’s failure to act to save the residents Gaza is “unforgivable.”

This came in an emergency session of the UN Security Council to discuss the situation in the Middle East and the Palestinian issue, after the escalation of confrontations between the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and Israel.

"It is important to realize that Hamas's attacks did not occur in a vacuum, and that these attacks do not justify for Israel the mass killing taking place in Gaza." Guterres said.

He added, "In order to alleviate this enormous suffering, facilitate the guaranteed distribution of aid, and facilitate the release of hostages, I reiterate my call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire."

He expressed "deep concern about the clear violations of international humanitarian law that we see in Gaza," adding, "Let us be clear: every party to any armed conflict is not above international humanitarian law."

Guterres stressed that the aid that has entered Gaza so far "is just a drop in the ocean of needs. In addition, the United Nations fuel stocks in Gaza will run out within days. This will be another disaster."

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

UN's OCHA: Israel commits widespread war crimes in Gaza, humanitarian catastrophe is imminent

    8:30 AM   No comments

Palestinian Territory - The Israeli forces destroyed at least 70 industrial facilities and 970 residential units in the Gaza Strip, documented Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor.

Israel is committing widespread crimes against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, Euro-Med Monitor said; amidst four consecutive days of its escalating war, Israel has cut off Gaza’s electricity, water, food, and fuel supplies, creating a threat of imminent humanitarian catastrophe.

Euro-Med Monitor stated that the Israeli attack has resulted in the deaths of 880 Palestinians, with approximately 59% of them being civilians, including 185 children and 120 women. Around 5,000 others have been injured, with hundreds remaining trapped under rubble and along border areas.

Euro-Med Monitor added that Israel’s army is expanding its military operations in Gaza, targeting residential buildings without prior warning and causing the deaths of entire families.

“What is happening in Gaza represents a comprehensive humanitarian disaster, especially with the lack of electricity and water affecting more than 90% of residents, and the disruption of various essential supplies,” the organisation said in a statement. The group documented the killing of seven journalists, injury of at least 10 more, and loss of contact with two.

About 40 media and press institutions have been damaged or completely destroyed due to Israel’s targeting of residential and commercial buildings, including the Palestine and Watan towers; 56 schools and roughly 30 kindergartens have been affected.

Euro-Med Monitor has recorded the destruction of at least 70 industrial facilities and 970 residential units, plus significant damage to approximately 7,920 residential units. Fourteen water and sanitation stations have been severely damaged, the statement said, affecting services for nearly half a million people.

Israeli warplanes bombed a house belonging to the Za’anin family in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza, without prior warning, destroying the four-storey building where four families lived. The bombing resulted in the deaths of all 20 civilians inside, including 11 children and five women.

In a similar incident, an Israeli aircraft, without prior warning, targeted a house belonging to the Nabahin family, east of the Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza. Directly hitting residents, the attack led to the deaths of 13 people, including 10 children and two women. Additionally, another four-storey house and neighbouring house were completely destroyed.

Euro-Med Monitor’s statement highlighted the events of Monday, 9 October, pointing to the Israeli army’s targeting of a residential building beside one of the main markets in Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza and an area near shelters provided for the displaced. The assault resulted in the simultaneous killing of over 40 people, exposing the severity of Israeli retaliatory crimes and collective punishment against Palestinian civilians.

Significantly, teams from the Palestinian Civil Defence in Gaza have lost much of their ability to retrieve the bodies of victims from under the rubble due to Israeli attacks in various areas of the Strip, given the shortage of necessary logistical supplies for such tasks.

The Israeli bombing has resulted in the deaths of five healthcare workers and the injury of 10 more, stated the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza. According to the ministry, Israel’s attacks have targeted seven hospitals and health centres, causing direct damage to large parts of the facilities, and have forced the evacuation of Beit Hanoun Hospital—the only hospital in the city of Beit Hanoun—following repeated targeting of the building’s vicinity, which made it impossible for medical staff to enter or leave safely and damaged various sections within.

Officials from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society and the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza informed the Euro-Med Monitor team that Israeli authorities refused a request that was transmitted from the International Committee of the Red Cross to evacuate seriously injured individuals for treatment outside of the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli Security Cabinet approved a declaration of war on Gaza on Saturday evening, allowing for extensive military operations in response to the armed attack by Hamas on Israel, referred to as (Operation Iron Swords-Israel) (The Battle of Al-Aqsa Flood-Hamas), which resulted in the deaths of approximately 900 Israelis and the capture of dozens more. Since then, the Israeli army has carried out thousands of airstrikes targeting residential neighbourhoods and multi-storey buildings inhabited by civilians in the Gaza Strip.

Monday night and Tuesday morning witnessed intensive Israeli attacks by air and sea, with limited ground actions. Shocking scenes of extensive destruction have been observed, including the erasure of entire neighbourhoods, including many central and densely populated areas.

Due to Israel’s consecutive attacks on neighbourhoods, Euro-Med Monitor estimated that nearly 400,000 people, including more than 180,000 in United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) facilities, have been displaced.

Euro-Med Monitor documented damage to about 14 UN facilities as a result of Israeli airstrikes, including the direct targeting of a UNRWA school housing hundreds of displaced individuals. The organisation’s statement also documented direct and severe attacks on universities, mosques, markets, banks, telecommunications companies, residential towers, and other civilian infrastructure.

The statement emphasised that Israel’s army is violating the principles of international humanitarian law in its continuous attacks on the Gaza Strip, especially the principles of necessity and proportionality, given the absence of shelters or safe areas for Gazan civilians. It stressed that international humanitarian law requires the protection of civilians in all circumstances and under any conditions, and considers the killing of civilians to be a war crime in both international and non-international armed conflicts, which may rise to the level of a crime against humanity.

“Attacking or bombarding towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended” is prohibited under Article 25 of the Hague Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land. Moreover, Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states that, “Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or to social or cooperative organisations, is prohibited, unless such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.”

According to Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the destruction of property that is not justified by military necessity and is carried out on a large scale constitutes a grave breach that requires prosecution. Such practices are also considered to be war crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Euro-Med Monitor further highlighted that, in parallel with systematic killings, Israel has imposed a complete closure on the Gaza Strip, which covers an area of approximately 365 square kilometres and is inhabited by around 2.3 million civilians. This closure has deprived them of water, food, fuel, electricity, and medical supplies.

Israeli Defense Minister Ya’alon has referred to Palestinians as “human animals” and vowed to act accordingly, announcing a “complete siege” on Gaza, which has already been under intensely strict restrictions since 2007.

Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor reiterated its call for the United Nations, countries, and relevant powers to exert pressure on Israel to immediately cease its unjustifiable attacks on civilians, refrain from military operations, and open all closed border crossings to ensure the flow of medical, food, and logistical supplies into the Gaza Strip.

UK special forces killed nine people "in their beds" during an Afghanistan night raid, an independent inquiry has heard

    8:15 AM   No comments

Family members say the victims were unarmed civilians. The SAS had claimed they acted in self-defence.

Senior officers suspected troops of carrying out a policy of executing "fighting age" men even if they posed no threat.

The government announced the inquiry after BBC Panorama revealed an SAS squadron killed 54 people in suspicious circumstances on one six-month tour.

As substantive hearings got under way at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Monday, UK special forces were accused of "abusing" night raids in order to commit "numerous" extra-judicial killings - which were allegedly later covered up.

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