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.

Saudi Dissident’s Detention in Bulgarian Migrant Center Illegal—Rights Group

When Abdulrahman Al-Khalidi fled Turkey for Bulgaria after his fellow Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi was murdered, he thought he was heading for safety and sanctuary in the European Union. But, he says, he instead would end up facing the exact opposite.

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.

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.

More Diversified Trade Can Make Middle East & Central Asia More Resilient

Dislocations from the pandemic, geoeconomic fragmentation, and Russia’s war in Ukraine have shifted world trade dynamics. While this has created challenges, the redirection of trade has also generated new opportunities, particularly for the Caucasus and Central Asia.

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.

The World Must Not Abandon the Mothers of Gaza

As millions of children and families celebrate their mothers, my thoughts turn to the pregnant women and new mothers our teams at UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, support in more than 130 countries around the world. And I hold in my heart all those who, tragically, will never live to see their newborns.

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.

By Sending Nuclear Weapons to UK, Could US be Fueling Nuclear Proliferation?

For the first time in 15 years, the United States is reportedly planning to station nuclear weapons in the United Kingdom, a decision many experts interpret as attempting to counter growing geopolitical instability.

US Foreign Policy in Middle East Still Governed by Israeli Priorities

The vote and the American veto at the United Nations Security Council on April 18 was predictable. Though European countries are increasingly supportive of a Palestinian state, the US is not yet ready for that eventuality, for these reasons:

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