Showing posts with label UN. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UN. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Amnesty International: American munitions killed 43 civilians in two documented Israeli raids

    4:26 AM   No comments

 US-made Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) were used by the Israeli military in two deadly, unlawful air strikes on homes full of civilians in the occupied Gaza Strip, Amnesty International has found based on a new investigation into those strikes. The organization found that these air strikes were either direct attacks on civilians or civilian objects or indiscriminate attacks and is calling for them to be investigated as war crimes.

The organization found distinctive fragments of the munition in the rubble of destroyed homes in central Gaza following two strikes that killed a total of 43 civilians – 19 children, 14 women and 10 men. In both cases, survivors told Amnesty International there had been no warning of an imminent strike.

On 10 October, an air strike on the al-Najjar family home in Deir al-Balah killed 24 people. On 22 October, an air strike on the Abu Mu’eileq family home in the same city killed 19 people. Both homes were south of Wadi Gaza, within the area where, on 13 October, the Israeli military had ordered residents of northern Gaza to relocate to.

Meanwhile, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Al-Haq, and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights express deep concern over the prolonged delay in the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor's direct engagement with Palestinian victims, especially in Gaza, despite persistent calls since the assumption of his office. While acknowledging Prosecutor Khan's upcoming meetings with Palestinian officials in Ramallah during his first-ever visit to the State of Palestine, the crucial need for direct interaction with victims remains unaddressed.


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.

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.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Chinese envoy urges US to immediately lift Syria sanctions to return 'hope of survival' to children

    7:56 AM   No comments

Chinese envoy urges immediate lifting of unilateral sanctions on Syria to return the "hope of survival" to children in the country as the US' long-arm jurisdiction has further exacerbated the earthquake disaster and hindered rescue efforts with more children's lives as the cost.  

Nearly a week since the most devastating earthquakes in recent history, the combined death toll in Turkey and Syria surpassed 38,000 while searches for signs of life in the rubble amid freezing temperatures continues.  

A UN official pointed out on Sunday in a post on Twitter that international help has "failed the people in northwest Syria," where more than 12 years of civil war have resulted in a complex political situation. ( Read the reporting on the Chinese statement about Syria).

This call for the lifting of unilateral sanctions on Syria comes after UN officials have made a similar demand.

UN Special Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures and human rights Alena Douhan today urged sanctioning States to lift unilateral sanctions against Syria, warning that they were perpetuating and exacerbating the destruction and trauma suffered by the Syrian people since 2011. 

“I am struck by the pervasiveness of the human rights and humanitarian impact of the unilateral coercive measures imposed on Syria and the total economic and financial isolation of a country whose people are struggling to rebuild a life with dignity, following the decade-long war,” Douhan said.

In a statement following her 12-day visit to Syria, the Special Rapporteur presented detailed information about the catastrophic effects of unilateral sanctions across all walks of life in the country. (Read the reporting on the UN statement on sanctions).

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