Middle East & North Africa

UN, World Leaders Ramp Up Plans for Gaza Ceasefire and Recovery

This week has seen noteworthy steps from the international community to put an end to the ongoing hostilities in the Gaza Strip since the latest war between Hamas and Israel began in October last year. This week began with the international community converging at a global conference, “Call for Action: Urgent Humanitarian Response for Gaza.” King Abdullah II of Jordan, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, and UN Secretary-General António Guterres organized the conference, which took place in Amman, Jordan, on June 10.

UN Probe Finds Israel Guilty of ‘Extermination,’ Torture, and Other War Crimes in Gaza

A United Nations commission tasked with conducting an in-depth investigation of Israeli military actions in the occupied Palestinian territories has concluded that Israel's government is responsible for multiple war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip, including "extermination," torture, forcible transfer, and the use of starvation as a weapon of warfare.

Will European Momentum Help Generate a Move to Recognize Palestine as a Sovereign State?

Since the eviction of Palestinians from their homeland pursuant to the controversial Balfour declaration of 1917, the quest for regaining Palestinian statehood has continued as a means towards lasting peace and security within and between Israel and Palestine.

President Biden Needs to Do More than Propose a Ceasefire Plan That Israel Already Rejected a Month Ago

Throughout his long career, but especially these past heart-wrenching eight months, President Biden has consistently placed his ironclad loyalty to Israel over his fidelity and duty to the United States. The consequences this week have been catastrophic for the Palestinian people, made Israelis even less secure, and betrayed American national security and democratic integrity.

‘There can be No Special Status for Public Officials’

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim Khan, last week requested arrest warrants for three Hamas leaders as well as for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Defence Minister Yoav Galant. They are accused of various war crimes and crimes against humanity. But what does this mean and where do things go from here?

Veteran Human Rights Leader Has Seen Enough: Israel Perpetrating Genocide in Gaza

A widely respected humanitarian law expert who has resisted using the term "genocide" for Israel's killing of tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza—a word used "sparingly" in the international human rights movement, he noted—said he has concluded a genocide is indeed taking place, evidenced particularly by Israel's blocking of humanitarian aid.

International Court of Justice Orders Israel to Halt its Military Offensive in Rafah

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Israel to immediately halt its military offense in Rafah. "In conformity with obligations under the Genocide Convention, Israel must immediately halt its military offensive and any other action in the Rafah Governorate which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part," the court said in it's revised order, which was passed by 13 votes to 2. South Africa approached the court on May 10, 2024 for a modification of provisional measures as prescribed by the court. The court also ordered that Israel must take effective measures to ensure the unimpeded access to the Gaza Strip of any commission of inquiry, fact-finding mission, or other investigative body mandated by competent organs of the United Nations to investigate allegations of genocide. Israel was also ordered to ensure that humanitarian aid should be “unhindered provision at scale by all concerned of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance,” and that Israel should maintain open land crossing points, in particular the Rafah crossing. The full order can be read here. IPS UN Bureau Report
 
  

How Netanyahu Made the Creation of a Palestinian State Irreversible

It is ironic how Prime Minister Netanyahu, who vehemently opposed the establishment of a Palestinian state, made it all but irreversible because of his misguided policies and extreme ideological bent.

Afghan Women Struggle with Soaring Mental Health Issues

Afghanistan is grappling with a growing crisis of mental illness, particularly among its women, as highlighted in a United Nations report. Officials from the mental health department at Herat regional hospital have observed a concerning uptick in the number of women afflicted by psychological disorders in the province.

General Assembly Strengthens Palestine’s Status at UN — with New Privileges

The United States and its closest political and military ally, Israel, once again found themselves isolated last week when 143 of the UN’s 193 member states approved a resolution enhancing the role of Palestine providing it with new diplomatic privileges. And the US, meanwhile, has implicitly threatened to cut off funding-- if and when the UN provides legitimacy to Palestine. But that legitimacy is not likely to be achieved as long the US continues to exercise its veto to deny Palestine the status of a full-fledged UN member state.

Biden ‘Moving the Goal Post’ With Threat to Withhold Bombs from Israel

While some Palestine defenders on Wednesday welcomed U.S. President Joe Biden's threat to withhold bombs and artillery shells from Israel if it launches a major invasion of Rafah, critics noted that an invasion is already underway and accused the American leader of walking back a previous "red line" warning against an Israeli assault on the southern Gaza city.

1.8 Million More Palestinians Doomed to Poverty if Gaza War Persists

Nearly seven months into the Gaza war, the UN warns that to rebuild and restore the buildings lost in this period, it would take several decades, and to revitalize Palestine’s economy, it would be a great undertaking. Meanwhile, the great losses in housing and public services and the economic stall only threaten to push even more Palestinians into poverty.

How Israel Has Used US Weapons to Commit War Crimes

The report from Amnesty International USA comes ahead of a May 8 deadline for the Biden administration to certify that Israel is complying with international and domestic laws.

Gaza Journalist Describes 33 Harrowing Days in Israeli Custody

Diaa Al-Kahlout, the veteran Gaza bureau chief for the Qatari-funded London-based newspaper Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, had been covering the Israel-Gaza war for two months when he became part of the news.

The Tragic Death of Palestinian Journalists

It is only fitting, against the backdrop of World Press Freedom Day, to recount the horror being inflicted on journalists and reporters around the world, which is increasing day by day. To tell the story of the mounting death of journalists in Gaza, it is essential to put into perspective the plight of journalists around the world.

The Deadliest Days for Journalists in War Zones

The seven- month-long war in Gaza is perhaps the only military conflict in contemporary history which has claimed the lives of over 100 journalists, including targeted killings.

Gaza Teetering on the Brink of Mass Starvation

As we pass 200 days of war, the population of northern Gaza is teetering on the brink of mass starvation. Oxfam analysis found that the 300,000 people in northern Gaza had been forced to survive on an average of 245 calories per day from January to March—less than a single can of beans, and well below the recommended daily intake of 2,100 calories.

Seeking Justice for the Civilian Victims of the Syrian Civil War

When the Syrian Army launched its offensive against the stronghold of rebel FSA (Free Syrian Army) in Homs in February 2012, the safety of civilians was not a factor.

Fine, Sanctions, or Waiver: Iranian Gas Will Come at a Price for Pakistan

When Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi visits Pakistan this week (April 22, 2024), experts say the two issues topmost on his mind that he will want to discuss with his Pakistani counterpart, President Asif Ali Zardari, will be border security and the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline.

A Hamas-Israel Cease-Fire, Perhaps?

While the international consensus and world public opinion are resoundingly clear in demanding an immediate cease-fire to the Hamas-Israel war, it remains uncertain whether a cease-fire will be observed.

In the Shadows of the Wars in Ukraine & Gaza, Iran and Russia are Growing Ever Closer

Russia and Iran currently appear to be pulling firmly in the same direction in terms of foreign policy; ‘What has caused humanity’s suffering is unilateralism and an unjust global order, one manifestation of which can be seen in Gaza today.’ These were the words of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi during a meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on 7 December.

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