Gaza’s Forthcoming Crisis Might Be Worse than Anything We Have Ever Seen

March 30, 2022

Israel deprives Palestinians of benefiting from natural resources of water. (Photo: Iyad al Baba, via Oxfam)

By Ramzy Baroud

“The water is back,” one family member would announce in a mix of excitement and panic, often very late at night. The moment such an announcement was made, my whole family would start running in all directions to fill every tank, container or bottle that could possibly be filled. Quite often, the water would last for a few minutes, leaving us with a collective sense of defeat, worrying about the very possibility of surviving.

This was our life under Israeli military occupation in Gaza. The tactic of holding Palestinians hostage to Israel’s water charity was so widespread during the First Palestinian Intifada, or uprising , to the extent that denying water supplies to targeted refugee camps, villages, towns or whole regions was the first measure taken to subdue the rebellious population. This was often followed by military raids, mass arrests and deadly violence; but it almost always began with cutting Palestinians off from their water supplies.

Israel’s water war on the Palestinians has changed since those early days, especially as the Climate Change crisis has accelerated Israel’s need to prepare for grim future possibilities. Of course, this largely happens at the expense of the occupied Palestinians. In the West Bank, the Israeli government continues to usurp Palestinian water resources from the region’s main aquifers – the Mountain Aquifer and the Coastal Aquifer. Frustratingly, Israel’s main water company, Mekorot, sells stolen Palestinian water to Palestinian villages and towns, especially in the northern West Bank region, at exorbitant prices.

Aside from the ongoing profiteering from water theft, Israel continues to use water as a form of collective punishment in the West Bank, while quite often denying Palestinians, especially in Area C, the right to dig new wells to circumvent Israel’s water monopoly.

According to Amnesty International, Palestinians in the occupied West Bank consume, on average, 73 liters of water a day, per person. Compare this to an Israeli citizen, who consumes approximately 240 liters of water a day, and, even worse, to an illegal Israeli Jewish settler, who consumes over 300 liters per day. The Palestinian share of water is not only far below the average consumed by Israelis, but is even below the recommended daily minimum of 100 liters per capita as designated by the World Health Organization (WHO).

As difficult as the situation for West Bank Palestinians is, in Gaza the humanitarian catastrophe is already in effect. On the occasion of World Water Day on March 22, Gaza’s Water and Environmental Quality Authority warned of a ‘massive crisis’ should Gaza’s water supplies continue to deplete at the current dangerous rate. The Authority’s spokesman, Mazen al-Banna, told reporters that 98 percent of Gaza’s water supplies are not fit for human consumption.

The consequences of this terrifying statistic are well known to Palestinians and, in fact, to the international community as well. Last October, Muhammed Shehada of the Euro-Med Monitor, told the 48th UN Human Rights Council session that about one-quarter of all diseases in Gaza are caused by water pollution, and that an estimated twelve percent of deaths among Gaza’s children are “linked to intestinal infections related to contaminated water.”

But how did Gaza get to this point?

On May 25, four days after the end of the latest Israeli war on Gaza, the charity, Oxfam, announced that 400,000 people in besieged Gaza have had no access to regular water supplies. The reason is that Israeli military campaigns always begin with the targeting of Palestinian electric grids, water services and other vital public facilities. According to Oxfam, “11 days of bombardment … severely impacted the three main desalination plants in Gaza city.”

It is important to keep in mind that the water crisis in Gaza has been ongoing for years, and every aspect of this protracted crisis is linked to Israel. With damaged or ailing infrastructure, much of Gaza’s water contains dangerously high salinity levels, or is extremely polluted by sewage and other reasons.

Even before Israel redeployed its forces out of Gaza in 2005 to impose a siege on the Strip’s population from land, sea and air, Gaza had a water crisis. Gaza’s coastal aquifer was entirely controlled by the Israeli military administration, which diverted quality water to the few thousand Jewish settlers, while occasionally allocating high saline water to the then 1.5 million Palestinian people, granted that Palestinians did not protest or resist the Israeli occupation in any way.

Nearly 17 years later, Gaza’s population has grown to 2.1 millions, and Gaza’s already struggling aquifer is in a far worse shape. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported that water from Gaza’s aquifer is depleting due to “over-extraction (because) people have no other choice”.

“Worse, pollution and an influx of seawater mean that only four percent of the aquifer water is fit to drink. The rest must be purified and desalinated to make it drinkable,” UNICEF added. In other words, Gaza’s problem is not the lack of access to existing freshwater reserves as the latter simply do not exist or are rapidly depleting, but the lack of technology and fuel that would give Palestinians in Gaza the ability to make their water nominally drinkable. Even that is not a long term solution.

Israel is doing its utmost to destroy any Palestinian chances at recovery from this ongoing crisis. More, it seems that Tel Aviv is only invested in making the situation worse to jeopardize Palestinian chances of survival. For example, last year, Palestinians accused Israel of deliberately flooding thousands of Palestinian dunums in Gaza when it vented its southern dams, which Israel uses to collect rain water. The almost yearly ritual by Israel continues to devastate Gaza’s ever shrinking farming areas, the backbone of Palestinian survival under Israel’s hermetic siege.

The international community often pays attention to Gaza during times of Israeli wars; and even then, the attention is mostly negative, where Palestinians are usually accused of provoking Israel’s supposed defensive wars. The truth is that even when Israel’s military campaigns end, Tel Aviv continues to wage war on the Strip’s inhabitants.

Though militarily powerful, Israel claims that it is facing an ‘existential threat’ in the Middle East. In actuality, it is the Palestinian existence that is in real jeopardy. When almost all of Gaza’s water is not fit for human consumption because of a deliberate Israeli strategy, one can understand why Palestinians continue to fight back as if their lives are dependent on it; because they are.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

International campaign to lift siege on Yemen launched

13 Mar 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen Net 

It is about time for the world to unite over Yemen, the country seeing the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.

End the siege on Yemen

Activists, human rights activists, and media professionals around the world launched a wide international campaign on social media demanding ending the siege on Yemen, the country plunged into the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.

The campaign was launched under the title “End the Siege on Yemen” with the aim of shedding light on the forgotten suffering of the Yemeni people as a result of the blockade imposed by the Saudi-led coalition on the country and mobilizing efforts to end it right now.

Many activists interacted with the campaign on Twitter under the hashtag #EndTheSiegeOnYemen.

Yemen is living under tragic humanitarian conditions at all levels due to the arbitrary siege imposed on the country by the Saudi-led coalition.

On his part, Member of the Supreme Political Council in Yemen Muhammad Ali Al-Houthi, tweeted, “In the name of the oppressed Yemeni people, we extend our great thanks to the activists from the Arab brethren and friends in the world who launched a campaign to end the unjust siege on Yemen, and we call on our people to interact with it on various social media platforms under the hashtag #EndTheSiegeOnYemen,” both in Arabic and English.

Moreover, the Minister of Information in the Sanaa government, Daifallah Al-Shami expressed his “thanks, appreciation, and gratitude to the free voices from all over the world who feel the suffering of our Yemeni people who will not forget these sincere stances and will reciprocate loyalty. The campaign of #EndTheSiegeOnYemen. A voice in the world of deadly silence.”

The international campaign to lift the siege on Yemen was launched.

Earlier today, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) highlighted that Yemeni children are the “first and most to suffer” from the war on Yemen.

UNICEF reported that at least 10,000 minors were killed or injured and 400,000 were malnourished since the Saudi-led coalition launched its aggression against Yemen in 2015.

Philippe Duamelle, the UNICEF representative to Yemen, pointed out that “just over the first two months of this year, 47 children were reportedly killed or maimed in several locations” across the country.

In total, “the UN verified that more than 10,200 children have been killed or injured” since the beginning of the war on Yemen, Duamelle indicated.

He confirmed that “the actual number is likely much higher.”

Assisted ‘genocide’: How allied weapons embolden Saudi crimes in Yemen

January 25, 2022

By Farah Hajj Hassan

How the Saudi coalition’s crimes began with weapons from allied nations and why they are determined to remain silent.

Assisted Assassinations: How allied weapons enable Saudi crimes in Yemen

As it turns out, the real-life monsters behind the Saudi-led coalition war on Yemen and the massacre of its people are the same champions and cheerleaders of human rights around the world oozing with hypocrisy and double standards. UNICEF has called the situation in Yemen the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, and the UK, France, Canada, and the US are among the countries responsible for making that nightmare a reality.

The US Department of State reports that human rights abuses of Saudi Arabia include, but are not limited to, “unlawful killings, executions for nonviolent offenses, torture, and cases of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment of prisoners, serious restrictions on free expression, the press, and the internet, severe restrictions of religious freedom,” and many many more. As of 2020, Saudi Arabia remains the world’s largest arms importer. Arms sales from the US alone amounted to $3 billion from 2015-2020, agreeing to sell $64.1 billion worth of weapons to Riyadh. 

In what universe does that sound like a government worth funding with weapons? Why then do we not hear the same cries of human rights resounding in the West? Because the west and its previous administrations have long ago sold their soul to the Saudi regime before any of their current administrations can even remember. 

A permanent [bloody] record

US President Joe Biden made foreign policy commitments to end the selling of “offensive” weapons to the kingdom and “end all support” for a war that created a humanitarian catastrophe. 

How did Biden deliver? A major arms sale two months ago, including 280 air-to-air missiles valued at $650 million.

At the time, the Pentagon’s statement said the sale would help to “improve the security of a friendly country that continues to be an important force for political and economic progress in the Middle East.”

Does the US consider economic progress to be the complete destruction and demolishment of a country along with 3,825 murdered children? 

The former administration under Donald Trump shamelessly embraced arms sales to Saudi Arabia that in no doubt helped prolong the war that has killed thousands in what is considered the Arab region’s poorest nation, further destabilizing the already volatile region. 

Unlike Biden, Trump was very public about the economic and diplomatic benefits that would follow the sale, with no regard to the thousands being killed and maimed as a result of the US-designed and manufactured weapons. 

Entesaf Organization for Women and Child Rights in Yemen reported the data, adding that more than 400,000 Yemeni children are suffering from severe malnutrition, 80,000 of whom are at risk of facing death. The number of displaced families as of November has reached 670, 343 in 15 governorates.  Where exactly does Saudi Arabia intend to implement its economic progress in Yemen to allow those families to prosper? 

Britain has been under increased scrutiny over its arms deals to Saudi Arabia and remains silent on the crimes it repeatedly commits. 

The mind-boggling hypocrisy of the west almost has no end. The frenzy that surrounds the defense of Saudi Arabia by its allies can be mirrored with the hysteric defense of “Israel” while it commits its crimes against the Palestinians on a regular basis.

In numerous TV interviews, British and American officials can be shown echoing the same formula we have heard countless times in the last twenty years. Begin with a dictator or lack thereof, blame the people for overthrowing said dictator or supporting him, blame Iran for “emboldening” and training militias, and bam! Claim your get-out-of-jail-free card in international law.

Clean smiles, dirty hands

Other Saudi allies have had their fair share of arms deals that enabled Saudi aggression.

Canada for instance has long been an arms exporter to Saudi Arabia. In 2020, Canada sent close to $2.9 billion of arms hardware to Saudi Arabia. The exports included light-armored vehicles, 31 large-caliber artillery systems, and 152 heavy machine guns

Justin Trudeau, a man who has repeatedly come out and condemned and apologized about residential schools, remains silent regarding the Yemeni children whose schools have been rendered to piles of dust.

In August, Amnesty International Canada and Project Ploughshares urged Canada to end their sales of weapons to Saudi Arabia as a report surfaced accusing the Prime Minister of violating the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) by exporting weapons to Saudi Arabia. The report detailed evidence that weapons from Canada to the Kingdom were used in the war, including LAVs (light-armored vehicles) and sniper rifles. Under the previous Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Canada inked a $12 billion deal to ship Canadian-made LAVs to Saudi Arabia.

France and the UAE: A match made in hell

In December 2021, France signed a deal with the UAE worth $19.20 billion to supply 80 Rafale fighter planes by Dassault Aviation, the largest single purchase of the Dassault-made Rafale outside of the French Army. Human Rights Watch criticized the sale, saying the UAE has played “a prominent role” in the atrocity-ridden war on Yemen. The statement also said that Riyadh was in 2020 the largest buyer of French weapons.

In a report titled “Arms sales: France and the United Arab Emirates, partners in the crimes committed in Yemen,” numerous organizations list how France failed to respect its human rights commitments according to the UN Arms Trade Treaty which “regulates the international trade in conventional arms.” The report details that the UAE is a strategic ally of France and describes the former as a “repressive dictatorship”, where all dissenting voices risk imprisonment or torture, recalling the unjust sentences issued against 69 human rights activists in 2013 after an unfair trial. 

The investigative French website Disclose revealed that France delivered tens of thousands of arms to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar during President Francois Hollande’s reign in 2016, despite knowing that they would be used in the war on Yemen.

The website quoted “secret defense documents” that “since 2016, France has allowed the delivery of about 150,000 shells” to its two Gulf allies.

The French President met with Mohammed Bin Salman as one of the first western leaders to visit the kingdom since the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

The hypocrisy with France, in particular, is that it prides itself in its secular mantra, and its policies have mostly targeted Muslims and adopted highly anti-Islamic rhetoric. Macron’s cozying up to MBS tells a different story, with the Secretary-General of Amnesty International commenting on the move by suggesting that it is part of a “rehabilitation” policy of the Saudi Prince. She expressed, “It grieves me that it is France, a country of human rights, which is used as the tool of this policy.” 

Typhoons of misery for Yemen

Over half of Saudi’s combat aircraft deployed in bombing operations in Yemen are provided by none other than the UK.

The United Kingdom signed off on arms exports worth nearly $1.9 billion to Saudi Arabia between July and September 2020 following the lifting of a ban on weapons sales to the Gulf country. “UK-made weapons have played a devastating role in the Saudi-led attacks on Yemen, and the humanitarian crisis they have created, yet the UK government has done everything it can to keep the arms sales flowing,” said Sarah Waldron, a spokesperson for the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT). 

The published value of UK arms export to the Saudi-led coalition since the beginning of the war is £6.9 billion, and CAAT estimates that the real value is over £20 billion.

Between January 2015 and December 2019, the British government approved 385 licenses for the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia. The UK Government has confirmed that the Saudi-led coalition attacked Yemen with weaponry that was manufactured in the UK, including Typhoon and Tornado fighter planes, Paveway bombs, and Brimstone and Stormshadow missiles. 

The British government has also admitted that precision-guided weapons have also been used in the war on Yemen. 

The Mwatana’s 2019 report “Day of Judgement: the role of the US and Europe in civilian death, destruction, and trauma in Yemen,” dissects the details of UK weapons and attacks on civilians in Yemen including an attack on a community college, warehouse, and multiple factories. 

Raining missiles 

Days ago, the Yemeni Armed Forces announced “carrying out a qualitative military operation, Yemen Hurricane, in response to the escalation of aggression against the country.” The operation targeted Abu Dhabi’s airport, the oil refinery in Mussafah in Abu Dhabi, and several other sites in the UAE.

Ali Al-Qahoum, a member of Ansar Allah Political Bureau, blessed the Yemeni operation in the UAE depth, saying that “this operation and others will continue as long as the aggression and siege continue with strategic goals further ahead.”

Yemeni victims of the Saudi-led war filed a complaint against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for financing terrorism.

The complaint was submitted on behalf of the Yemeni NGO, the Legal Center for Rights and Development, which is based in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa.

The war on Yemen in numbers

Nowhere to run

The megaphones of human rights campaigns and global petitions against the war on Yemen must be amplified, keeping in mind that the enemy is not Ansar Allah, neither is it the Palestinians, nor is it the Lebanese, or the Chinese, or the Russians. The true enemy of the West is the Axis of Resistance. Time has proven that a refusal to kneel to the demands of the West is all it takes to become an enemy. 

If the cries of the virtuous remain unheard and the coalition and governments complicit in the massacres refuse to listen, then the Yemeni people surely will be left with the only other alternative. It was, is, and will always be the only key that unlocks the shackles of oppression and brutality; Resistance. 

And one thing will certainly never change. The Saudi royals, no matter how enshrined in gold, can never cleanse themselves of the crimes they have committed against humanity, for conscience is the one thing they cannot buy. 

Partner in Unending Crimes: US Approves $650m Weapon Sale to Saudi Arabia

Nov 5, 2021

Partner in Unending Crimes: US Approves $650m Weapon Sale to Saudi Arabia

By Staff, Agencies

Taking yet another part in unending crimes against Yemeni children, the United States approved a $650m sale of air-to-air missiles to Saudi Arabia, the Pentagon announced.

The announcement brings to light the Biden administration’s first major weapons deal with the Gulf kingdom.

In a statement on Thursday, the Pentagon claimed that the US State Department approved the sale to help Riyadh ‘counter current and future threats.’

It added that Massachusetts-based firm Raytheon would be the “principal contractor” for the sale of AIM-120C-7/C-8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles [AMRAAM] and related equipment.

The sale comes months after President Joe Biden claims he would end US support for Saudi Arabia’s “offensive operations” in Yemen, including “relevant arms sales.”

The State Department’s bureau of political-military affairs alleged in a series of tweets on Thursday that the missiles are “not used to engage ground targets.”

The sale does not require congressional approval, but lawmakers can block the deal by passing a disapproval bill in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The missile sale follows the US approval of a $500m helicopter maintenance deal for the kingdom in September.

As a candidate, Biden berated Saudi Arabia over the Yemen war and the killing of US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi, calling the kingdom a “pariah.”

Saudi Arabia and its allies launched a devastating war against the poorest Middle Eastern country in 2015 to reinstall former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh, and crush the Ansarullah resistance movement.

The coalition of aggression, however, has so far fallen way short of the goal. Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis have, however, died ever since amid the aggression and a simultaneous siege that the forces have been imposing on the entire nation.

The protracted war in Yemen has killed or maimed at least 10,000 children since the war began in March 2015, which is equivalent to four children every day, the United Nations Children’s Fund [UNICEF] said in October.

Riyadh Seeks US Help to Boost Missile Systems amid Yemeni Resistance Retaliatory Operations

28.10.21

Riyadh Seeks US Help to Boost Missile Systems amid Yemeni Resistance Retaliatory Operations

By Staff, Agencies

A report revealed that Saudi Arabia has turned to the United States to seek help in strengthening its missile interception systems, as the kingdom — which has been leading a protracted war on Yemen — remains unable to protect its soil against its southern neighbor’s retaliatory operations.

Riyadh is seeking the US help amid pressure by Washington to end its blockade of Yemeni ports that is an obstacle to ceasefire talks, Reuters quoted two sources with knowledge of discussions to end the Yemen war as well as a US official as saying.

“Publicly and privately, we’ve been putting a lot of attention on the port and the airport issue… It’s the right thing for Saudi Arabia to do,” the senior US government official said on condition of anonymity.

The source was referring to US pressure on the Saudi-led war coalition against Yemen to fully open access to the ports and the Sanaa airport, controlled by the Yemeni government, as demanded by the Ansraullah movement, which runs state affairs, as prerequisites to ceasefire talks.

The Riyadh regime, however, wants the US to first provide it with weapons so it can promote its air systems in the face of the Yemeni army’s stepped-up drone and missile operations on the kingdom’s soil, according to the sources.

Since 2015, Saudi Arabia has led a military campaign against Yemen to overthrow the popular Ansarullah movement and reinstall the Riyadh-friendly regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who resigned in 2014 and fled to the kingdom.

The prolonged war, accompanied by an economic siege that has targeted Yemen’s key ports, has failed to reach its goals, killing hundreds of thousands of Yemeni people, and in turn, throwing the poorest Middle Eastern country into what the UN calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

According to the latest estimate by UNICEF, the protracted war on Yemen has killed or maimed at least 10,000 children, which is equivalent to four children every day.

Riyadh enjoyed cordial relations with the US under former president, Donald Trump, who inked hefty arms deals with the kingdom despite worldwide outcry over Riyadh’s war against Yemen and its human rights violations, including the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

However, under Joe Biden, the US has sought to reflect a hardening of its attitudes toward Saudi Arabia, with Biden vowing to end his predecessor’s carte blanche to the kingdom.

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Gaza Children Narrate Horrifying Scars from “Israeli” Aggression: We’re Afraid

24/05/2021

Gaza Children Narrate Horrifying Scars from “Israeli” Aggression: We’re Afraid

By Staff- Agencies

When an “Israeli” air strike targeted a security office near her home in Gaza this month, 10-year-old Zeina Dabous frantically scribbled a note and slipped it under her mother’s pillow.

“Mummy, my love, I am very very scared. If we all die, put us in the same grave all together so I can stay in your arms,” she wrote.

“I want to wear my Eid clothes,” she added, of the outfit she never got to wear for the Muslim celebration after “Israeli” air strikes on the Palestinian enclave started on May 10.

Though a ceasefire has since Friday halted the 11-days aggression, experts warn that children in the besieged coastal strip will likely carry the mental scars for years to come.

Psychologists say many are showing signs of depression, anxiety, behavioral disorders or irritability, and many are wetting their bed.

At home in Gaza city just before the bombing stopped, Zeina said she was constantly petrified and barely sleeping.

“They’re always bombing,” she told AFP.

After a strike hit very close, “before sleeping I wrote a note in red pen to my mother and slipped it under the pillow because I was scared I would die,” she said.

Zeina is one of around a million children living in Gaza, according to the UN’s children agency UNICEF.

“Israeli” strikes on Gaza martyred 248 Palestinians, including 66 children, and have wounded another 1,900 people, the Gaza health ministry says.

“Israeli” air strikes also pounded the densely populated enclave in 2008-2009, 2012 and 2014.

When the last war raged, Zeina was no older than four.

“A whole generation of children has been ravaged by repeated conflicts,” said Zeina’s grandfather, Saeed Dabous.

The charity Save the Children on Friday warned that children in Gaza would suffer for years to come.

They “are suffering from fear and anxiety, a lack of sleep, and are displaying worrying signs of distress, such as constant shaking and bedwetting,” it said.

In their grandfather’s home, Maysa Abu al-Awf, 22, held her two-year-old brother Ahmad on her lap and tried to comfort him after they lost two sisters and dozens of relatives in a devastating air strike.

“I’m scared, I’m scared,” Ahmad constantly repeated, a scab on his hand and stitches on his bare foot.

Maysa said that whenever he heard an explosion, he cried out. “I tell him, ‘don’t be scared, it’s just the sound of balloons popping’.”

After air strikes demolished their four-story family home in Gaza city on Sunday last week, Maysa, little Ahmad and their sister Maram, who is seven, screamed for hours under the rubble before they were rescued.

Their two sisters — 20-year-old dentistry student Shaima and 17-year-old school pupil Rawan — did not survive.

Sitting beside her grandfather, Maram shook as she recounted being trapped under the rubble.

“I called out for Mummy… I called for them to get me out,” she said.

At the site of her demolished home, AFP saw Maram’s favorite red teddy bear lying in the debris, foam spilling from its left leg.

“I am sad,” Maram said. “All my books and notebooks were burnt.”

In the Gaza Strip’s main Shifa hospital, their 16-year-old cousin Omar was in shock after the same strike martyred his two brothers and father, who was the head of internal medicine at the facility.

He had stopped talking, his family said.

1-yr-old among 29 children injured in Israeli aggression in al-Quds: UNICEF

Sunday, 09 May 2021 11:07 PM  [ Last Update: Sunday, 09 May 2021 11:07 PM ]

Source

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Israeli forces surround a blindfolded Palestinians as they crack down on the holy occupied city of Jerusalem al-Quds’ Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood during the holy fasting month of Ramadan. (Photo by AFP)

The United Nations’ children agency reports that the Israeli regime’s recent aggression in the holy occupied city of Jerusalem al-Quds has injured 29 children, including a one-year-old, saying some of the victims have suffered head and spine injuries.

The casualties have been caused during the regime’s violence across al-Quds, including in its Old City and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, UNICEF said on Sunday.

“A one-year old toddler was among those injured. Some children were taken for treatment at hospitals with injuries in the head and the spine,” the body added.

Since the beginning of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, the Israeli regime has been carrying out repeated assaults on Palestinian worshippers and protesters on al-Aqsa Mosque’s compound, Islam’s third-holiest site, that is located in al-Quds’ Old City.

Also during the month, the forces attacked Palestinian homes in East al-Quds’ Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. The aggressors were trying to prompt the Palestinians to abandon their residences there. The regime had earlier issued them warnings that they had to evacuate their homes.

UNICEF said, “Eight Palestinian children were meanwhile arrested” during the assaults.

Israel prevented treatment of Palestinian children

The UNICEF report also featured a chilling account of how the regime would barbarically prevent the wounded Palestinian children from receiving treatment.

“UNICEF received reports that ambulances were restricted from arriving on location to assist and evacuate the injured and that an on-site clinic was reportedly hit and searched.”

According to the Palestinian Red Crescent emergency service, during the time space between Friday and Sunday, Tel Aviv’s brutality wounded around 305 Palestinians throughout al-Quds.

The regime has been deploying rubber bullets, tear gas, stun grenades, and water cannons against the protesters.

The service has echoed UNICEF’s account about Israeli interference in Palestinians’ treatment, saying the forces once attacked an ambulance operated by it in al-Quds’ Palestinian-majority At-Tur neighborhood.

14 more Palestinians wounded

Early on Monday, the Palestinian Red Crescent emergency service said the Palestinian casualty figure had climbed up by 14.

The casualties, it said, were caused during clashes in Bab al-Amoud (Damascus Gate) of the Old City and Sheikh Jarrah.

Protests have erupted elsewhere, including the port city of Haifa in the occupied territories and the city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, where al-Quds is located, in condemnation of the regime’s measures targeting the Palestinians.

The regime has laid 20 people under arrest during the Haifa protests.

Israeli forces have also cracked down on solidarity protests in the Tel Aviv-blockaded Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip. According to Al Jazeera, the forces deployed teargas canisters against the protesters rallying along Gaza’s border with the occupied territories recently, causing several people to suffer asphyxiation.

Jordan summons Israeli diplomat

Jordan, the official custodian of Muslim and Christian sites in al-Quds, that has already lambasted Tel Aviv’s atrocities, meanwhile, summoned the regime’s charge d’affaires in Amman to further protest the brutality.

The Foreign Ministry, which had summoned the Israeli diplomat, called the Israeli actions clear violation of the international law as well as the historical and legal situation in the occupied territories.

It called on Tel Aviv to swiftly stop the measures, warning about repercussions of their potential continuation.

Moreover, James Cleverly, Britain’s minister for the Middle East and North Africa, also issued a statement, saying, “The UK appeals for calm, and calls for an end to the violence….”


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The Failed Saudi War

The Failed Saudi War

By Ahmed Fouad

Throughout history – from the ancient empires and the priests of the pharaohs, to modern times, via pictures and screens – countries and regimes worldwide have been striving to justify the wars they wage and give various reasons for resorting to arms, as well as, trying to mark every single fault of their enemy, giving their soldiers and officials the grounds for heroism.

Inside and outside Yemen, the hopeless Saudi-American war is marching towards its sixth year, with an unprecedented intention to a bloody failure and complete fall. Saudi Arabia and its allies are increasing their craziness, trying to divert attention from the crimes against humanity by committing more horrible crimes. The pretext here is: national security, the concept that Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Cairo are always hanging on to. They are all fighting Yemenis to protect their national security while they are groveling to Netanyahu! The war against Yemen is the same as any war that happened in history; not more than leaders seeking a “monumental” and peerless military achievement that would legitimize their victory. During a historical crisis that all Arabic regimes are experiencing, the Zionist entity became their friend, ally and brother, in the face of people who are materially the poorest in the Arab Region and Arabian Peninsula.

Starting with the western media, the American primarily and the European secondly, Gulf regimes fought the first battle, led by bin Zayed and bin Salman, to buy consciences and stances, succeeding to make the war against Yemen tenable through the world. It wasn’t harder in the Arab World as Qatar joined them with its channels at the beginning of the war, then it encouraged other countries such as Egypt and Sudan to join the alliance.

At the beginning of the war, more than 5 years ago, all stances were ready to be sold, and the money of Al Saud and Al Zayed was ready to buy them. They succeeded to mark their missiles, tanks and warships by “morality” and direct them towards a defenseless nation.

The leadership of the aggression alliance achieved what appeared to be the media victory, in the inauguration of its military campaign against Yemen. All voices that had been opposing the war were silent, or silenced.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates tried so hard to conceal their intervention in Yemen using the moral cover in a region which, looking at everyone and everything in it, seems like a slaughterhouse. No matter how much they might try to beautify themselves, they will never seem peaceful. As it proceeded, the war continued to exhaust the capacity of the two states, which everyone thought endless.

As the years went by, Saudi Arabia squandered its affluent treasury, including the wealth and capacities, for the sake of the alliance and the Arab fascist regimes, and it didn’t stop squandering in the fear of a remarkable Yemeni victory that would firstly deprive it from the opportunity of enthroning the heir presumptive; secondly give Yemen the opportunity of looking at historical demands concerning regions that the Yemenis consider to be unfairly taken from them in earlier stages; and most significantly, grant Yemen the ability to demonstrate its powerful model that just beat all the Gulf states.

The Saudi treasury, that today seems to be in miserable conditions, is deepening the woes of Al Saud. Just before the war against Yemen, at the end of 2014, all the external debts owed by the SA were around $12 billion, worth nothing for the world’s richest state.

Only 5 years later, these debts increased by 1400%, according to data from the World Bank, which unmasked a record high in the debts owed by Saudi Arabia that reached $150 billion in 2018, then $183 billion at the end of 2019, and it goes on and on. It is the Yemeni victory, not the defeat of Saudi Arabia that would haunt rulers in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.

As the war progressed, the Gulf media failed, in parallel with the military failure, to continue marshalling opinions that convict Yemenis and their armed forces. The available pictures of mass destruction in Yemen shows the scale of the Arab crime, whether by contributing or staying silent. International actors finally started to draw attention by sharing chilling reports about the humanitarian situation in all Yemeni regions. Nothing could be more evident than the UNICEF’s report concerning the disaster, as it says that “Every single hour, a mother and 6 children are killed throughout Yemen, and because of the maritime and airborne barbaric blockades of Yemen by the alliance, health services have completely collapsed, and it is difficult to obtain medical supplies or buy and import medicine and equipment!”

Since the war has been prolonged, it is obviously an end in itself. It uses the importation of arms, in a region that doesn’t fear any external or internal threats, as a large door for commissions and enormous profits. And with the drain of the war, all Gulf people’s properties became under the control of Western arms furnishers. The treason is now completed. On the economic side: the war caused the waste of enormous opportunities in an era where petroleum is missing its decisive influence and its incomes are declining, and on the social side: the abundant arms like a sword hanging over the heads of those who refuse to be loyal to furnishers, or think outside the box to which they are supposed to stick.

Only now, all imaginations that anyone could control Yemen over have become a well-established fact, more than being a future expectation. Today, everyone knows and conceives that the end will not be in Sanaa or Aden; but the beginning of the end will be in Jizan and Najran, and the absolute end will be in Riyadh.

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A Generation Deleted: American Bombs in Yemen Are Costing an Entire Generation Their Future

Yemen war children feature photo

Feature photo | A child injured in a deadly Saudi-led coalition airstrike rests in a hospital in Saada, Yemen, Aug. 12, 2018. Hani Mohammed | AP

As a new school year begins in Yemen, Ahmed AbdulKareem investigates the impact that American weapons have had on the war-torn country’s schoolchildren.

Yemen Genocide: 14 Million ’On Brink of Famine’

Local Editor

Thirty-five Yemeni and international NGOs called Wednesday for an “immediate cessation of hostilities” in Yemen, where they warned 14 million people were now “on the brink of famine”.

The joint appeal was signed by the International Federation for Human Rights [FIDH], Action Against Hunger, CARE International, Oxfam, Doctors of the World, and Yemeni organizations, according to a statement.

“With 14 million men, women and children on the brink of famine – half the country’s population – there has never been a more urgent time to act,” the statement warned.

It called on governments to “secure an immediate cessation of hostilities” and “suspend the supply of arms at risk of being used in Yemen”.

Yemen has been under a brutal Saudi-led military campaign since 2015.

“The humanitarian crisis in Yemen is manmade and a direct consequence of the warring parties’ severe restrictions on access to food, fuel, medical imports and humanitarian aid,” the statement added.

“The collapse of the Yemeni rial and the non-payment of public sector workers is adding to the catastrophe.”

“We call on governments to redouble their efforts to guarantee unimpeded access to essential items … including through the lifeline port of al-Hudaydah, where civilians have been caught in renewed fighting over the past few days.”

Nearly 10,000 Yemenis have lost their lives in the conflict since 2015, according to the World Health Organization.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

Local Editor

Adam closed his eyes forever…

Adam was one of 400,000 children who may still, in not dead yet, be suffering from severe acute malnutrition in a country on the brink of famine.

The 10-year-old boy who weighed only 10kg died of hunger in Yemen.

UNICEF confirmed the young child called Adam had died less than 24 hours after Sky News published an article about his plight.

He had been too weak to get out of his hospital bed by himself when aid workers came to his bedside last week.

They reported that he was crying and found it difficult to breathe, with his tiny chest heaving with the effort.

Lying in hospital in the city of al-Hudaydah before his death, he should have been able to focus on his recovery.

But as fighting in the Yemeni port city continues – with almost 100 airstrikes falling on it this weekend alone – the conflict moves closer and closer to Al Thawra hospital.

UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore said the fighting is now “dangerously close” and is “putting the lives of 59 children, including 25 in the intensive care unit, at imminent risk of death”.

Heavy bombing and gunfire could be heard from Adam’s hospital bed.

Juliette Touma, chief of communications for UNICEF’s Middle East and North Africa region, travelled to Yemen between 29 October and 3 November.

She has spent 16 years working in the region but said meeting Adam would never leave her.

“Adam was not able to utter a word,” she told Sky News.

“All he did was to cry in pain without tears but making the sound of pain.”

Geert Cappelaere, regional director of UNICEF Middle East and North Africa office, also met Adam before the child’s death on Saturday.

Paying tribute to the youngster, he said: “Rest in peace Adam.”

“Adam was very sick and he also had severe malnutrition. Al Thawra hospital… where Adam died is now in the line of fire.”

“Adam is one of 400,000 severely malnourished children in Yemen. They – like Adam – might also die, any minute. May his soul rest in peace.”

Half of Yemeni children under the age of five are chronically malnourished. Some 30,000 Yemeni children die every year with malnutrition as one of the most important underlying causes.

Locals worry constantly about money and being unable to buy food, Ms. Touma said.

“Poverty is very visible, people are just exhausted,” she said.

Civil servants, including doctors and teachers, have not been paid for more than two years and the devaluation of the currency means that despite food being on sale in markets most families cannot afford to buy it.

Adam, who also had a brain condition and shared his ward with other severely malnourished children, was unable to access health care until his family were able to save up to afford the transport to take him there.

News of Adam’s death comes as a group of 14 international non-governmental organizations, including Save the Children, Care and Action Against Hungry, signed a joint statement saying “as an urgent priority, civilians and children in particular in and around al-Hudaydah must be protected from the direct and indirect impact of the fighting.”

Yemen has become the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with more than 22.2 million people in need of assistance.

Source:News Agencies, Edited by website team

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Thanks to the U.S. & Nato Half a million children face `immediate danger` in Libyan capital: UNICEF

Half a million children face `immediate danger` in Libyan capital: UNICEF

A fighter loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) fires during renewed clashes in the south of the Libyan capital Tripoli on September 22, 2018. (Photo by AFP)A fighter loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) fires during renewed clashes in the south of the Libyan capital Tripoli on September 22, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

The UN children’s agency (UNICEF) says intensified fighting in the Libyan capital Tripoli has put the lives of half a million children in “immediate danger,” warning that more than 2.6 million children are living in dire conditions across the conflict-ridden North African country.

Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, made the remarks in a statement published on Monday.

Citing Libya’s Health Ministry, local media said clashes that broke out last month between armed groups in Tripoli and those from another city over control of the capital had killed at least 115 people and wounded nearly 400 by Saturday night.

Clashes between the Seventh Brigade from Tarhouna, a town southeast of Tripoli where the Government of National Accord (GNA) is based, and the Tripoli Revolutionaries’ Brigades (TRB) have escalated since late August and the two rival groups have been vying to take control of the Libyan capital despite a truce declared earlier this month.

“Over 1,200 families have been displaced in the past 48 hours alone as clashes intensified in southern Tripoli, bringing the total number of displaced to over 25,000. UNICEF estimates half are children. Half a million children in immediate danger in Tripoli. More than 2.6 million children in need across the country,” Cappelaere said.

The shortage of food, water and electricity is among the daily challenges that children and families in Libya face, according to the UNICEF official.

“The country is facing an outbreak of measles, with over 500 cases reported – most of which are among children. A growing lack of fully functioning health services will only result in more cases of measles,” Cappelaere said.

The regional director also noted that schools are increasingly being used to shelter displaced families, which is likely to delay the start of the academic year planned for October 3.

“Hundreds of detained refugees and migrants, including children, were forced to move because of violence. Others are stranded in centers in dire conditions,” Cappelaere said.

“UNICEF calls on all parties to the conflict in Libya to protect children at all times,” the official added. “The way out of the recent fighting and the crisis in Libya is not through violence but through diplomacy and a political agreement, with the interest of children at the very center.”

Armed forces loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) patrol a street during renewed clashes in the south of the Libyan capital Tripoli on September 22, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Libya plunged into chaos in 2011, when the country’s long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi was ousted in a NATO-backed uprising.

The North African country is currently split between two rival governments in the east and west, each backed by an array of rival militias.

The Tripoli-based GNA is recognized by the UN as the official government. The other government, known as the House of Representatives, is based in the eastern city of Tobruk and has the support of forces loyal to military strongman General Khalifa Haftar

The US Enables Deliberate Saudi Attacks on Civilian Targets in Yemen

Source

Originally appeared on The American Conservative.

UNICEF reports on the latest Saudi coalition attack on a water system in Saada. This is the third time that the same site has been bombed:

UNICEF deplores in the strongest terms yet another attack on vital and lifesaving water systems in Yemen.

A large water facility in Sa’ada, northwest of the country, came under attack this week. This is the third such attack on the same facility. More than half of the project is now damaged, cutting off 10,500 people from safe drinking water.

Continuous attacks on water systems in Yemen are cutting off children and their families from water; increasing the likelihood of water-borne diseases spreading in the war-torn country.

The Saudi coalition deliberately attacks civilian targets in Yemen. Just as they struck the MSF-run cholera treatment center once and then blew it up again after it had been rebuilt, they have repeatedly attacked this vital infrastructure needed to provide clean drinking water to Yemeni civilians in Saada. This is the second time the coalition has struck this site this year. I wrote about the previous attack back in April:

The destruction of infrastructure needed to provide clean drinking water for civilians is clearly a violation of international law, and the fact that the same system has been targeted more than once should put to rest the idea that the coalition strikes these targets only by accident. Just as it has systematically and deliberately attacked food production and distribution inside Yemen, the Saudi-led coalition repeatedly strikes at the infrastructure that the population needs for water and sewage treatment.

The coalition is repeatedly striking at the medical facilities and infrastructure needed to prevent the spread of cholera in a country suffering from the worst modern cholera epidemic on record. There have already been well over a million cases, and the deteriorating conditions in the country could cause that number spike upwards. The coalition obviously carries out these attacks on purpose, and they keep doing it because they are never held accountable for their crimes. The Saudis and their allies use both starvation and disease as weapons against the civilian population of Yemen in a policy of cruel collective punishment. The U.S. continues to provide unstinting support to the coalition campaign and makes attacks like this possible. Congress needs to cut off all U.S. support for the war on Yemen now, and every day that U.S. involvement continues our government is complicit in crimes like the one committed against these civilians in Saada.

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at The American Conservative, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and is a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Dallas. Follow him on Twitter. This article is reprinted from The American Conservative with permission.

UNICEF: 2017 «Horrible» Year for Children in Yemen!

27-12-2017 | 11:19

Children in Yemen could not have a worse year than 2017, according to a senior official from the UN Children’s Fund [UNICEF].

Yemeni family

“2017 was a horrible year for the children of Yemen,” UNICEF Representative in the country, Meritxell Relaño, told UN News by telephone from the capital, Sanaa.

More than 80 children had been martyred or injured in December alone, while millions face a cholera epidemic, looming famine, a disruption in health services and a blockade hampering delivery of much-needed supplies.

She urged a political solution for what she said was a man-made conflict and warned that without a political solution many more children would die.

Relaño recounted meeting a woman and her dying 7-year-old son Ali in a hospital in Aden.

“He was like skin on bones. I asked why they had not come sooner and the mother told me that she could not afford to ride the bus to the hospital. The levels of poverty in the families [have] now reached levels that are unsustainable,” she said.

To offset some of this type of need, Relaño noted that some 1.3 million families, or about 8 million people, are being reached with emergency cash as part of a transfer project between UNICEF and the World Bank.

She also praised successful efforts to deliver vaccines and implement a polio immunization campaign this year to benefit some 5 million children and provide treatment for 200,000 children with acute malnutrition.

“Yemenis who work on the ground to support the Yemenis are the true heroes,” she said, noting the efforts of local authorities, doctors, nurses and teachers in the country.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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BY Thomas C. Mountain

Trump threatens Cuba with ‘regime change’

On Friday, speaking to Cuban-American exiles in Miami, Florida, Donald Trump ordered tighter restrictions on Americans traveling to Cuba and a clampdown on US businessmen doing business with companies allegedly controlled by the Cuban military.

Effective immediately, I am canceling the last administration’s completely one-sided deal with Cuba. Our policy will seek a much better deal for the Cuban people and the USA,” said Trump.

Trump called Raul Castro’s government brutal and vowed to liberate the island nation. “With God’s help a free Cuba is what we will soon achieve,” he thundered.

It is best for America to have freedom in its hemisphere whether in Cuba or Venezuela,” he added.

The Castro regime has sent arms to North Korea and fueled chaos in Venezuela. It has supported human trafficking, forced labor and exploitation across the globe,” added Trump.

It would be talking to Holy Cow to remind Donald Trump that Washington has been arming Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, and Egypt which are using them against Palestinian, Syrians, Yemenis and Lebanese. In 2016, Human trafficking in the United States rose 35.7 percent from the previous year.

US, the self-appointed champion for human rights around the globe – is also the worst human rights abuser when it comes to minors. According to the Family Research Council:

Each year, right under our noses, 100,000 American children are victimized by sex traffickers. Make no mistake, this is not a problem that’s just “over there.” These heinous crimes are happening in our own backyards”.

In 2007, UNICEF reported that the US and Britain  are the worst nations for children to live among the industrialized nations.

Cuban-American Israel-Firsters Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) are allegedly the authors of Trump’s anti-Havana rant.

Since Barack Obama’s historic visit to Cuba in March 2016, a lot of people felt happy believing that finally the five-decade old American crusade against Castro dynasty came to an end. But now they’re disappointed to find out that the ‘crippling sanctions’ against Cuba, like Iran, are still in force.

Washington lifted some travel restrictions against Cuban citizen. The US released the Cuban-Five in exchange for American Jew spy Alan Gross. US State Department even took-off Cuba from list of countries sponsoring terrorism. Iran and N. Korea are still on that list while Israel which had committed most terrorist acts against the US, never made to the list.

Commenting on Trump’s rant, Ellie Schwartz (Jew) at the Latin America Working Group (LAWG) said:

The way forward for US-Cuba relations is to not simply relax travel and trade restrictions, but to end the embargo once and for all. After half a century, it is clear that the embargo is a failed policy. It has done nothing to accomplish its primary goal of regime change. The embargo has not improved Cuban lives; it has succeeded only in further snubbing the Cuban people it claims to help. If Trump truly sought a better deal for the Cuban people, he would support continued engagement, trade, and travel to Cuba, and thereby increase opportunity for all.”

Both Cuba and Venezuela have no diplomatic relations with the Zionist entity. Both countries have recognized a separate Palestinian state. Cuban president Fidel Castro and Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez have paid state visits to Iran. Iranian president Dr. Hassan Rouhani has also visited both Cuba and Venezuela.

Unicef Fears Yemen Cholera Outbreak Could Hit 300,000 in Coming Weeks

Cholera in Yemen

June 3, 2017

Cholera cases in Yemen could quadruple in the next month to 300,000, the regional director of Unicef said Friday, calling the spread of the disease in the war-ravaged country “incredibly dire.”

Speaking by phone after visiting Yemen, the agency’s regional director, Geert Cappelaere, said he had never seen a cholera outbreak of that size in the country, which already is contending with the risk of a famine and a collapse of the health care system because of the war.

Half the cholera cases in Yemen belong to children, Mr. Cappelaere said, and parents have little recourse because many hospitals and clinics are closed or lack supplies.

Mr. Cappelaere, who was named Unicef’s director for the Middle East and North Africa last year, worked for the agency in Yemen from 2009 to 2012. This was his first trip since then back to the country, poorest in the Arab world.

“We are responding to a major crisis without having the basics,” he said. “The reality is incredibly dire.”

Cholera, a bacterial disease spread by water contaminated with human waste, causes potentially fatal dehydration if left untreated. It has been expanding at an alarming rate in Yemen for the past month, from a few thousand cases to roughly 70,000. Most areas of the country are affected, Mr. Cappelaere said.

Unicef, also known as the United Nations Children’s Fund, has provided clean water to roughly one million people, rehydration kits and other medicine to help fight the outbreak. Like other aid groups, it has implored combatants in the conflict to pause so that more can be done.

Mr. Cappelaere said Unicef was calculating that without significant intervention, “within a few weeks’ time” the number of Yemen cases could reach 250,000 to 300,000.

“Cholera doesn’t need a permit to cross a checkpoint or a border, nor does it differentiate between areas of political control,” he said in a statement released by Unicef about his visit.

Yemen has been since March 26, 2015 under brutal aggression by Saudi-led coalition.

Thousands have been martyred and injured in the attack, with the vast majority of them are civilians.

Riyadh launched the attack on Yemen in a bid to restore power to fugitive ex-president Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi who is a close ally to Saudi Arabia.

Source: Websites

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“ZEINAB, SHE WAS FORCED TO WATCH THE MASSACRE OF 116 CHILDREN”–VANESSA BEELEY ON TERRORISTS’ MASSACRE OF FOUA KAFRAYA CIVILIANS

In Gaza

Apr 21, 2017, UK Column News

21st Century Wire’s Vanessa Beeley speaks to Mike Robinson about the recent murder of children enticed off a bus with the promise of food. This was the most obscene war crime and brings the conflict in Syria to a new low.

At the centre of it all are Boris Johnson sponsored White Helmets. Please share this video, and with a general election in the UK, ask some hard questions of all prospective MPs.

Read more here:

RASHIDEEN MASSACRE: Children Lured to their Slaughter by NATO State Terrorists

21st Century Wire says…

On April 15th 2017, the people of Kafarya and Foua were attacked, their children mown down deliberately, by a suicide bomb or expolosive detonation, that targeted these innocent children who had been lured to their deaths by NATO and Gulf state terrorists, including Ahrar al Sham and Nusra Front (Al Qaeda). Mothers had to watch from behind the windows of the buses they had been imprisoned in for 48 hours, while strangers, terrorists, picked up their children, their wounded, bleeding, mutilated children, and piled them up in the backs of trucks and Turkish ambulances before driving them away from the horrific scene and stealing them from their distraught, powerless mothers.

Zeinab

“This is Zeinab, she was forced to watch the massacre of 116 children through the windows of a bus while the NATO and Gulf state terrorists, collected the dead, dying and mutilated bodies of her community’s children and flung them in the back of trucks and Turkish ambulances, before driving them to Turkey. She has 10 members of her family still missing. She has no idea where they are.

She gave her courageous and emotional testimony to us in Jebrin registration centre, where the survivors of the 15th April, suicide bomb attack, were taken for shelter after this horrific event, described by CNN as a “hiccup”.

I speak about part of her testimony with RT yesterday who also used my interviews in their news feed. Unlike corporate media, RT investigate these atrocities and honour the voices of the Syrian people.

Telegraph
The Telegraph edited out this appalling and callous phrasing immediately after the RT interview.

The Telegraph described the dead Syrian babies as “Syrian Government supporters” in an attempt to whitewash the UK Regime terrorist crimes by proxy and to erase the existence of these innocent children from our consciousness..by the familiar dehumanization process that we have witnessed every time the various NATO and Gulf state extremist carry out mass murder of Syrian civilians.” ~ Vanessa Beeley

(Photo: Tommy Bergset Solvedt)

IMG_5174
Bombed out remains of one of the buses that had been carrying evacuated civilians from Kafarya and Foua to Rashideen holding centre. (Photo: Vanessa Beeley)

Vanessa Beeley, associate editor at 21st Century Wire, was present at the scene and provided video footage of the witness and survivor testimony to RT for use in the news section. She also spoke to RT about the heartbreaking accounts given to her by Zeinab, a mother, from these besieged Idlib villages of Kafarya and Foua, who had seen the carnage and who still has 10 missing relatives, who were taken to Turkey by the waiting ambulances.  A full report, and subtitled video will follow shortly, when internet and time allows, but for now, here is the report from RT and the interview at the end of the report.

For more details on Kafarya and Foua please read Eva Bartlett’s article: The Children of Kafarya and Foua are Crying in the Dark

RT Report:

Terrorists lured evacuees out of buses with snacks before blast – Aleppo attack witnesses:

Eyewitnesses to the bomb attack on a refugee convoy near Aleppo that killed dozens of children said the militants lured people out of the vehicles with snacks before the explosion, and also stopped them from escaping the blast site.

A powerful explosion hit several buses full of people leaving militant-held towns and villages outside Aleppo last Saturday, killing over 100 people, including dozens of children, and injuring scores more.

Following the attack, Vanessa Beeley of the 21st Century Wire website gathered first-hand accounts from those who survived the assault. People told her that the militants did their utmost to increase the death toll. The exclusive videos she provided to RT shed more light on the incident.

“Just before the explosion, a strange car got from the militants’ checkpoint. They said they were bringing snacks for children,” the bus driver who was in the convoy said.

“Then they got out of the car and started shouting, ‘Who has children? Who has children?’”

The driver said the militants knew for sure that the children “haven’t seen biscuits and crisps for so long” as they were under siege. “People have been stuck in buses for 48 hours as the rebels didn’t let us out,” he noted. A woman said that she and other evacuees were held in the buses “like prisoners,” adding that they were only allowed to get out and stretch 10 minutes before the explosion.

Many people, including children, left the buses and approached the car when the blast hit the convoy.

One of evacuees said that the militants “were throwing potato chips on the site of the future blast. One of the terrorists said that it was food for the infidels.”

The driver recalled that “there were Ahrar ash-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra [Al-Nusra Front], and some factions of the Free Syrian Army [FSA]…”

According to another witness, “the Ahrar ash-Sham fighters didn’t hide their faces, while Jabhat al-Nusra were always wearing masks. One could only see their eyes,” one of the eyewitnesses said.

WARNING:Graphic and distressing footage from the attack ~

There were many foreigners among the terrorists – “Uzbeks, Turks, people from Chechnya, Saudis and Qataris. One could judge on their appearance; their language,” another evacuee added.

“When the blast rocked the area, people rushed into the woods but militants surrounded them and forced back to the buses,” the bus driver said.

A female evacuee recalled that “the militants told us that terrorists from another group were shelling our buses and that we must flee towards the bushes… but then they said that the bushes were mined and found ourselves trapped.”

Another woman also told Beeley that even before the explosion, four yellow Turkish ambulances were present at the scene for some reason. After the blast, the ambulances started picking up the dead and injured, only to take them to an unknown location.

“We don’t know where they [the children] are. They’re gone. There are no bodies. We’ve searched for them, but with no result,” one of the witnesses said.

Many relatives of those missing still know nothing of their whereabouts, other witnesses said. Some people told Beeley that the controversial White Helmets were also seen at the blast site, retrieving bodies of Al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham militants, but apparently leaving injured civilians.

Beeley, who has consistently covered the Syrian war, also filmed people’s testimonies about their escape from the rebel-held areas. The evacuees boarded the buses on Friday in the Rashideen neighborhood of Aleppo, but were not allowed out of the vehicles for nearly three days.

Many of them, however, were happy to leave as “this place turned into a terrorists’ hotbed,” one woman said.

[Some] international organizations have already condemned the attack on the humanitarian convoy in the strongest terms.

“We must draw from this not only anger, but renewed determination to reach all the innocent children throughout Syria with help and comfort,” said UNICEF’s executive director, Anthony Lake.

“And draw from it also the hope that all those with the heart and the power to end this war will do so.”

However, Beeley told RT that not many in the West followed the UN’s example in decrying the attack.

“We’ve just witnessed one of the most heinous crimes of our lifetime, and yet corporate… there’s no international condemnation from governments, from NGOs, from the media,” she said.

On the contrary, the media is making an attempt to “whitewash this utterly abhorrent” incident, in which, according to Beeley’s information, 116 children lost their lives.

Full video interview. Watch ~

***

READ MORE SYRIA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Syria Files

READ MORE KAFARYA AND FOUA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Kafarya and Foua Files

READ MORE ON THE WHITE HELMETS AT: 21st Century Wire White Helmet Files

Other Related Links:

Kevork Almassian of Syriana Analysis: Video Analysis: MSM & Al-Qaeda Presstitutes Gone Disgusting Over Kafriya Massacre

-Eva Bartlett: The Children of Kafarya and Foua are Crying in the Dark

Vanessa Beeley writings on Kafraya and Foua

-Eva Bartlett: Untold Suffering in Foua and Kafraya: Two Northwestern Syrian Villages Under Siege and Assault by NATO’s Terrorists Part 1

-Eva Bartlett: Untold Suffering in Foua and Kafarya-Part 2

UNICEF: 1.4 Million Children Could Die from Famine in Africa, Yemen

Yemeni child

Local Editor

Nearly 1.4 million children are at imminent risk of death from hunger in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, the UN children’s agency warned.

Yemeni child

In Yemen, with war tearing the country apart for two years, some 462,000 children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition, UNICEF said.

The Saudi-led strikes on Yemen don’t make the situation any better: in January, the UN warned that over 7,000 people had died in the attacks and about two-thirds of the population is in need of humanitarian aid.

At the same time, 450,000 children are malnourished in northeast Nigeria, and the famine early warning group Fews Net expressed concern that some remote areas of the Nigerian state of Borno are already in famine.

Fews Net also warned that should the disaster go on, aid agencies wouldn’t be able to get to the remote area.

In Somalia, the drought saw 185,000 children malnourished, and these numbers look set to skyrocket to 270,000 over the next few months, according to UNICEF.

Some 270,000 children are currently malnourished in South Sudan and a famine has just been declared in the north of the country.

UNICEF urged the world for prompt response, with Executive Director Anthony Lake saying “we can still save many lives.”

“Time is running out for more than a million children,” Lake added. “The severe malnutrition and looming famine are largely man-made. Our common humanity demands faster action. We must not repeat the tragedy of the 2011 famine in the Horn of Africa.”

Source: News Agencies, Edited by Website Team

22-02-2017 | 09:22

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Childhood for Sale: Children of the Syrian Crisis

19-01-2017 | 09:27

It’s 2:00 p.m. on a Thursday, and I’m caught in a massive traffic jam in one of Beirut’s busiest streets. I turn on the radio to keep myself preoccupied while I wait for my turn to pass through one of the security checkpoints.

Childhood for Sale: Children of the Syrian Crisis

The checkpoints had been placed a couple of years ago, after suicide bombers and occasional explosions struck Lebanon a while after the start of the crisis in Syria.

As I tuned into the radio, a boy – not older than 10 years old – knocked on the car window.

“Do you want a CD?” the boy asked. “It costs 2000 L.L. but if you buy 2 CDs, you can have them for 3000 L.L.”

The moment the boy speaks, you’d realize he’s not Lebanese; he uses a North Lebanese dialect but with a Syrian twist.

A long line of cars to the checkpoint was still ahead of mine, so I took the time and had a little tête-à-tête with the boy.

“Shouldn’t you be at school right now?” I asked.

The boy said, “I don’t go to school,” adding that he hasn’t been enrolled in school for a couple of years now since he came to Lebanon.

“My name is Abdullah, by the way,” the boy said.

I was surprised by the young boy’s outgoing personality. It is rare to meet children with such characters – a personality forged and hardened by experience.

Abdullah had met more people than I had in my childhood. Why not? If he roams the streets from dusk to dawn, talking to thousands of people passing by, drivers and passengers, just to sell a couple of CDs.

His family came with some relatives to Lebanon when the war in Syria began.

Abdullah told me that he is the oldest of 5 brothers and sisters, pointing to a 5-year-old boy selling packs of tissue papers at the far end of the street.

The young boy knows Beirut and its streets like none of us ever knew it before.

For him, these streets are the air he breathes; the streets are what keep him and his family alive.

Abdullah said that before they came to Lebanon, his family lived in a farmhouse in their village in Syria. During weekends, he would help in feeding the animals while his father ploughed the farm.

He said he was not that bright at school, but of all subjects, he liked Maths the most.

In his eyes, you’d see the sorrow of an aged man! A boy burdened with the responsibility of an entire family.

Abdullah said he misses his cousin, Yasser.

Both boys strolled the streets of Beirut together; that was then, when Yasser’s family hadn’t left Lebanon yet.

Unlike Abdullah, Yasser was an only child. His parents, Abdullah’s relatives, had fewer mouths to feed. That’s why they were able to save some money and take refuge in Germany two years ago.

The crisis in Syria had torn families apart. It had killed thousands of innocent civilians and displaced hundreds of thousands of others to neighboring countries.

More than 80 per cent of Syria’s child population are now affected by the conflict, which is some 8.4 million children.

Based on a United Nations High Commission for Refugees [UNHCR] estimate, the toll of displaced Syrians is 4,862,778 with more than 2.3 million of them children.

According to a UNICEF report, an estimated 3.7 million Syrian children – 1 in 3 of all Syrian children – had been born since the conflict began five years ago, their lives shaped by violence, fear and displacement, with more than 151,000 children born as refugees since 2011.

Providing children with learning has been one of the most significant challenges to the conflict in Syria. School attendance rates in the country had hit rock bottom with more than 2.1 million children inside Syria, and 700,000 in neighboring countries, are out-of-school.

It makes you wonder, what kind of a world it would be for Syrians with a large number of its youth growing illiterate?

In his life, days are running into days that are exactly the same. At least until Abdullah goes back to Syria – the Syria which has changed a lot since he had last been there.

The war-torn Syria. The standing-strong Syria. The persevering Syria. The prevailing Syria.

It was my turn to the checkpoint. I didn’t buy the CD. But what I’m sure of is that I’d always meet Abdullah, or many other Abdullahs in the streets of Lebanon.

Al-Ahed News

Stop the Genocide in Yemen

As Yemen continues to be ravaged by war, its people on the verge of mass starvation, social media users are urging the world to take notice and help the Yemenis in their silent plight.

Today beginning of 2017
Saudi airstrikes attacked their home in Marib
Kill 5 people ☝👇

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

Yesterday this old woman lost 5 sons by Saudi air strike
Also
Today old man lost 6 members of his family

Just imagine if it were you, searching for your children after an airstrike

The conflict escalated in March 2015 when a Saudi-led coalition began conducting airstrikes with the assistance of the US and UK on behalf of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who had fled following an uprising of Houthi rebels.

01/01/2017 :
Some of the victims of the US_Saudi massacre.
5 murdered and others wounded.

 

The operation has devastated the country and its people. In August 2016, the UN estimated that more than 10,000 people had died.

Yemen is on the brink of famine as the coalition’s blockade has cut off supplies and led to food prices skyrocketing. Yemen usually imports 90 percent of its food.

 

According to UNICE

F, a child dies in Yemen every 10 minutes. The UN reports more than 2.2 million children are malnourished, with close to half a million suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition, a 200 percent increase on 2014 levels.

Yemenis have seen the effects of airstrikes on hospitals and health clinics, leaving many suffering from preventable illnesses.

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

.@monarelief and .@AKF_Social distributing now food aid for the forth day in Hodeidah to most needy ppl there. @monareliefye

Yemenis have seen the effects of airstrikes on hospitals and health clinics, leaving many suffering from preventable illnesses.

READ MORE: Yemenis ‘slowly starving’ to death as world ‘turns blind eye’ – aid charity

Children have been prevented from attending school, with UNICEF reporting at least 350,000 have had access to education blocked.

At least 350k children in have been unable to go to school as a result of the going conflict. @UNICEF_Yemen

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

The latest massacre in the mass extermination war against , which is still absent from the Western media

The powerful images shared across social media convey the horrifying reality for the people of Yemen, forcing the world to see the devastation and suffering caused by an onslaught of bombings.

Amidst the disturbing tweets are calls for the US and UK to take responsibility for their role in the conflict.

Yemen is proving beyond any doubt the hypocrisy of the west. They remain in support of Saudi despite continual WarCrimes

The good the bad & the ugly in 2016 still steadfast.
UK & USA still supply arms to Saudi. still in UNHRC

Saudi Arabia and its coalition of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Sudan have been accused of war crimes in Yemen, and social media activists are calling on politicians such as UK Prime Minister Theresa May, the US Secretary of State John Kerry and the UN to put an end to the attacks.

Children have been prevented from attending school, with UNICEF reporting at least 350,000 have had access to education blocked.

The powerful images shared across social media convey the horrifying reality for the people of Yemen, forcing the world to see the devastation and suffering caused by an onslaught of bombings.

Amidst the disturbing tweets are calls for the US and UK to take responsibility for their role in the conflict.

Saudi Arabia and its coalition of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Sudan have been accused of war crimes in Yemen, and social media activists are calling on politicians such as UK Prime Minister Theresa May, the US Secretary of State John Kerry and the UN to put an end to the attacks.

The UK and the US have come under fire from human rights organizations for their role in the conflict. The US approved $20 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia in 2015 alone, while the UK has provided training and $4.1 billion in arms during the first year of the conflict.

In January 2015, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told journalists in London, “We have British officials and American officials and officials from other countries in our command and control center. They know what the target list is and they have a sense of what it is that we are doing and what we are not doing.”

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