Middle East & North Africa

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.

‘Scattered Measures’ in Humanitarian Aid for Gaza Are Not Enough – UN Secretary General

As the humanitarian crisis in Gaza drags into its sixth month on Sunday, April 7, the UN Secretary-General calls for a “true paradigm shift” in the delivery of humanitarian aid. On Friday April 5, 2024, Secretary-General António Guterres spoke before reporters to mark six months since the October 7 attacks, where 1,200 civilians in Israel were killed in a terrorist attack led by Hamas, which has since led to a military campaign by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) into Gaza.

Israel’s De Facto Peace Plan

The de facto peace plan of Israel is Greater Israel (Eretz Yisrael Hashlema) with a dominant Jewish majority, which Israel expects America will accept and support.

Biden Quietly OKs More 2,000-Pound Bombs & Warplanes for Israel

Despite growing worldwide calls for an arms embargo, the Biden administration in recent days has approved the transfer of billions of dollars worth of new weapons shipments to Israel, including warplanes and 2,000-pound bombs that have been dropped on densely populated areas of Gaza with devastating results.

The Kids of the Islamic State: A Childhood Stolen

Rozena, a 31-year-old woman from Guyana, says she travelled to Turkey in 2015 to join an NGO which helped Syrian refugees. That’s all she’ll reveal when asked how and why she ended up living in the so-called Islamic State for four years.

Abandoned Children Growing Problem in Northern Syria

Wael Al-Hassan was returning from work in the Syrian city of Harim when he heard the sound of a baby crying. He was returning from work on December 10, 2023. He stopped momentarily, turned on his mobile phone flashlight to investigate, and spotted a baby girl, around one month old, wrapped in a white blanket, lying by the roadside.

UN Security Council’s Ceasefire Resolution in Gaza Welcomed

After nearly six months of a devastating war in Gaza, the UN Security Council has at last adopted a resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. The resolution calls for the ceasefire to come into effect for the month of Ramadan, demands the unconditional release of all hostages and ensures humanitarian access.

Fueling Future: Dabaa Nuclear Project Offers Light in Egypt’s Economic Gloom

Egypt’s economy continues to face significant challenges, but amidst these, the Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant project emerges as a beacon of hope.

After 13 years in Conflict & Displacement, Syrian Women & Girls Must not be Forgotten

“I don’t think the world understands what it means to be a woman living in Syria today,” explains Shatha, a woman from Deir-ez-Zor, Syria, who is a survivor of gender-based violence. “It is a life filled with danger, grief, and daily struggle.”

Mortality and Misery in the Hamas-Israel War

Estimates of mortality in the Hamas-Israel war after five months of fighting indicate a Palestinian death rate 80 times greater than the Israeli death rate. In absolute terms, the number of Palestinian deaths is 18 times greater than the number of Israeli deaths.

International Women’s Day, 2024
Rural Tajik Woman’s Road to Empowering Women Living with HIV

Born and raised in a rural area in a traditional Tajik family, Takhmina Haidarova managed to finish high school with excellent grades and wanted to go to university. “[But] it was compulsory for my family to give higher education to boys, and girls were trained to be housewives,” she says. Her dream of higher education was instead replaced by an arranged marriage to a cousin.

UNWRA Chief Warns Agency’s Fate ‘Hangs in the Balance’

UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini asked the UN General Assembly to urge member states to support the organization's mandate during this period of unprecedented crisis for the region and the agency. He also called for member states to facilitate a “long-overdue political process” for the two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. Only then, in this context, should UNRWA be allowed to transition.

Gaza Massacre and Western Hypocrisy

Israeli troops opened fire targeting the Palestinians, gathered around food aid trucks, killing at least 112 and injuring hundreds on 29 February. The massacre happened, about a month after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered provisional measures for Israel to refrain from all acts under the Genocide convention. Ironically Israel was supposed to report to the Court, within one month, of all measures taken in line with its order. Israel has been emboldened by a beholden US.

Turkey Keeps Bombing Civilians in Syria’s Northeast

The Ramsys, a farming couple from northeast Syria, never thought they'd spend almost all their savings on solar panels. “We’ve paid 1,700 USD. We simply couldn't cope with darkness and being disconnected from the outside world,” Najma Ramsy tells IPS from her residence in Keshka, a small Kurdish village 70 km east of Qamishli.

Bearing Witness: No Safety for Children in Gaza

Nothing could prepare me for my recently concluded mission into the Gaza Strip, where children face catastrophic conditions. In my twenty years with UNICEF, traveling from one humanitarian crisis to the next – from famines to floods and war zones to refugee camps – I’ve simply never seen such devastation and despair as is happening in Gaza.

Female Genital Mutilation Continues Amid Sudan’s Conflict and Forced Displacement

Female genital mutilation (FGM) stands as one of the most egregious violations of human rights, particularly affecting women and girls worldwide. However, when conflict and forced displacement enter the equation, the horrors of FGM are exacerbated, creating a dire situation that demands urgent attention and action. Where instability and insecurity prevail, the prevalence of FGM often intensifies, exacerbated by factors such as displacement, poverty, and the breakdown of social systems.

‘Unbounded’ Impunity Emboldens Israel

Israel continues to reject calls for a ceasefire in Gaza and now readies itself for an assault on Rafah with a Ramadan deadline for the release of all hostages. It emphatically says, it will oppose any international attempt at creating a Palestinian State, regarded as an “unilateral recognition”. Its unrestrained bombings and ground assaults so far have resulted in close to 30,000 Palestinian deaths more than half of whom are women and children. they have brazenly ignored the International Court of Justice (ICJ) order to take all measures to prevent a plausible genocide. Many thousands are facing starvation and death even when the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) demanded unhindered aid flows to besieged Gaza. All these were possible due to Israel’s ‘unbounded’ impunity which emboldens it.

No Ceasefire Gaza Threatens Humanitarian Aid, Raises the Palestinian Question

As negotiations within the UN Security Council and internationally continue, the humanitarian response to Gaza continues to be under threat.

Western States Scramble to Explain Themselves, as UN experts call for Arms Transfers to Israel to “Cease Immediately”

There are moments when international treaties, long forgotten by the general public, suddenly spring back to life. Moments when glimpses of reality shine through the thick-laden bureaucracies of the United Nations and catch the attention of the world outside.

South Africa vs Israel: ICJ Declines SA’s New Application But Says Israel Duty Bound to Protect Civilians

The International Court of Justice has declined the South African government's urgent application for further measures to prevent an "unprecedented military offensive against Rafah,” but reiterated that Israel is bound to protect civilians in the country. South Africa argued in an urgent application that this military offensive “announced by the State of Israel, has already led to and will result in further large-scale killing, harm, and destruction in serious and irreparable breach both of the Genocide Convention" and of the Court's Order of January 26, 2024.

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