Yemeni Children’s Plight Deepens as Globe Marks World Children’s Day

Yemeni Children’s Plight Deepens as Globe Marks World Children’s Day

By Xinhua News Agency

As the globe marks World Children’s Day on Friday, Yemeni children are suffering from hunger, poverty and disease amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the war-torn country.

“We have been warning for several months that Yemen was heading towards a cliff,” said Jens Laerke, spokesman for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

“We are now seeing the first people falling off that cliff,” Laerke said, referring to the war-inflicted Arab country’s younger generation.

During what the United Nations says the largest humanitarian crisis in the world, children in Yemen are the most vulnerable.

MALNUTRITION

When Mohammed Hassan was transferred to the Al-Sabeen Hospital in Sanaa, the 15-year-old boy weighed only 14 kilograms.

He suffered acute malnutrition for years because his family was never able to put enough food on the table since the starting of the war.

“My children and I are hungry… our daily meal is dry bread, and sometimes we do not get it. The war and blockade have devastated our life. We live now in a tenet with very little food,” Hassan’s father lamented.

Hassan’s family was one of the thousands of Yemeni families that become unable to secure one meal a day or rent a house as food prices are rising and the value of the country’s currency is falling because of the war.

About one-third of the Yemeni families have gaps in their diets, and hardly ever consume foods like pulses, vegetables, fruit, dairy products, or meat, according to the World Food Program.

The malnutrition rate among Yemeni children has soared to the highest level ever recorded.

The United Nations estimated that 7.4 million people in Yemen need nutrition assistance, and 2 million of them are children under the age of five.

In parts of Yemen, as many as 20 percent of the children under five are acutely malnourished.

COLLAPSING HEALTH SYSTEM

With nearly half of the health facilities in Yemen closed down, the other half is now barely functional as their operation almost completely relies on international aid.

The humanitarian aid is quickly draining off. According to the United Nations, 15 of its 41 major programs in Yemen have been reduced or shut down for lack of funds and the humanitarian response plan for Yemen is only 38 percent funded.

The surging malnutrition rate and a shattered health care system is a catastrophic combination. Yemen is now becoming a living hell for the country’s children.

Many families face a cruel and painful choice: to use the little money they have to treat the ailing children or to buy food and save the lives of the whole family.

Having limited access to sanitation and clean water, children here have fallen easy prey to deadly epidemics, including cholera, malaria, dengue fever, and the novel coronavirus.

Although Yemen has only reported about 2,000 COVID-19 cases, it has a death rate of 25 to 30 percent, one of the highest in the world. The United Nations Children’s Fund [UNICEF] warned that the COVID-19 pandemic in Yemen is “an emergency within an emergency.”

EDUCATION

The United Nations said that the war in Yemen has damaged or destroyed more than 2,500 schools and forced 2 million children out of school.

Many students have not been able to return to their schools for more than five years. Those who are lucky enough to go back often have to study in straw-roof huts or even under trees because the war has destroyed most of the school buildings.

But what’s worse than the shortage of classrooms and textbooks is the lack of teachers. Many teachers were displaced during the war and those who stayed did not get paid for years.

A recent UN statement pointed out that thousands of Yemeni teachers have not received salaries since the eruption of the war. Many of the teachers have sought other works to survive.

“Children out of school face increased risks of all forms of exploitation including being forced to join the fighting, child labor, and early marriage,” the United Nations Children’s Fund has warned.

CHILD LABOR

The war and blockade have caused the collapse of the country’s economy and the local currency, forcing millions of children to go to hard labor in order to help their families survive.

Adel Rabie, 13, should be in school. Instead, he works at a market in the Hajjah province in northern Yemen, trying to earn a living.

Adel says he tries to earn around two US dollars a day to buy some food for his mom and his little sisters living in a tent at a camp for the families, displaced by war from the northern border villages. Adel’s father died at the beginning of the war.

Labor is an everyday reality for around 23 percent of children between 5 and 14 years old in Yemen. They are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.

Despite all disasters, the resilience and fortitude of Yemenis also provide some hope. We see parents help schools to build classrooms, doctors offer free treatment for poor families, charity bakeries give out free bread, and so on.

But if the international community does not act quickly, such hopes will also die out. It’s down to the world now to whether rekindle those hopes or watch the whole younger generation of Yemen slid into abysmal despair.

Malnourished Children Starve as Pandemic Worsens Yemen’s Humanitarian Crisis

Malnourished Children Starve as Pandemic Worsens Yemen’s Humanitarian Crisis

By Ben Farmer – The Telegraph

Starving children in Yemen are facing their worst levels of malnutrition since the country’s war began, as the Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically worsened the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Aid groups say the global spread of the new coronavirus has deepened economic chaos in the country of around 29 million people, making hunger a bigger threat than the outbreak itself.

A recent survey from the United Nations estimates acute malnutrition rates among children under five are at the highest ever recorded in parts of Yemen.

The country suffered a significant wave of Covid-19 infections and deaths in May and June. Those have now subsided, only to leave a devastating economic toll.

Covid’s arrival on top of the grinding six-year-long conflict has further weakened the economy, while the lifeline of remittances from overseas has dried up as economies in the Gulf have locked down. Transport restrictions have hit food supplies for a country which imports as much as 90 per cent of its sustenance.

“We are actually seeing the highest rates of acute malnutrition in Yemen since the very start of the war, which is incredibly concerning,” said Stephanie Puccetti, deputy programs director in Yemen for International Rescue Committee.

“Yemen already had a very high baseline level of malnutrition and then with the war it’s just continued to deteriorate over the past five years. The rates we are seeing now are absolutely the highest.”

Food prices have risen by 30 per cent, she said, while at the same time remittances had fallen by four-fifths.

“You can imagine these families that were already in such a precarious situation and already really struggling to survive are now having an even harder time to come up with the money on a day to day basis to but food for their families,” she said.

Estimates published last week by the United Nations found acute malnutrition had risen by 10 per cent in the south of the country this year. The most extreme form of hunger, called severe acute malnutrition, had gone up 16 per cent.

“We’ve been warning since July that Yemen is on the brink of a catastrophic food security crisis, said Lise Grande, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for Yemen.

“If the war doesn’t end now, we are nearing an irreversible situation and risk losing an entire generation of Yemen’s young children.”

The lives of thousands of women and children are at risk, she said.

A severe lack of testing has made the spread of Covid-19 difficult to track in Yemen. Last week a first-of-its-kind study using satellite images to count fresh graves in the Aden region estimated 2,100 excess deaths between April and September around.

“This total is best interpreted as the net sum of deaths due to Covid-19 infection and deaths indirectly attributable to the pandemic,” said the researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

The indirect deaths would be those caused by disruptions to health services or by measures which may have caused problems accessing food, they added.

Saudi-led blockade keeps lifeblood Yemeni port at standstill

Saudi-led blockade keeps lifeblood Yemeni port at standstill

October 31, 2020

Original link: http://middleeastobserver.net/saudi-led-blockade-keeps-lifeblood-yemeni-port-at-standstill-news-report/

Description:

News report on the deteriorating situation at Yemen’s lifeblood port of Al Hudaydah caused by the Saudi-led blockade.

Source: RT Arabic

Date: October 24, 2020
(Important Note: Please help us keep producing independent translations for you by contributing as little as $1/month here: https://www.patreon.com/MiddleEastObserver?fan_landing=true)
Transcript:

RT reporter:

A complete standstill and empty berths with no commercial ships nor humanitarian aid… This is the situation at the Yemeni port of “Al Hudaydah” that is waiting for cargo-laden ships to bring it back to life.

Al Hudaydah Port is the second biggest Yemeni port. It is the lifeblood of two-thirds of Yemen’s population. The overpopulated provinces receive imports, and medical and food aid via this port. The restrictions and measures imposed by the (Saudi-led) Arab coalition on the entry of ships (to the port) increase the suffering of civilians, as asserted by those in charge of the facility who have called on (the Saudi-led coalition) to keep the port out of the conflict.

Yahya Sharaf (Al-Deen), Vice Chairman of Red Sea Ports Corporation in Hudaydah:

The blockade and restrictions on foodstuff and oil products are one of the most significant factors that have led to this humanitarian crisis. However, unfortunately, the United Nations (UN) does not mention the (Yemeni) crisis except when it is looking for donors. It talks about the suffering and humanitarian crisis in Yemen only to scrounge help from (other) states. However, it turns a deaf ear to the actions of the (Saudi- led) coalition that are preventing the Red Sea Ports Corporation from receiving oil products and food supplies.

RT reporter:

The dockers at the (Al Hudaydah) Port are living in terrible conditions due to the decline in the number of ships arriving. Their suffering worsens because their source of income has been cut off.

Yasser Makbouli, a worker at Al Hudaydah Port:

The Al Hudaydah Port is suffering because of the (Saudi-led) Coalition. More than 30 or 40 tankers carrying diesel, fuel and petrol (have been detained by the Coalition). We are suffering greatly. The poor workers at the Al Hudaydah Port don’t earn enough to live on for even one day. We have been just sitting around (doing nothing) for four months.

Muhammad Al-Rimi, a worker at Al Hudaydah Port:

The situation (at the port) is miserable for everyone, present or absent. There is nothing to do. We are just sitting around.

RT reporter:

Yemen is facing a humanitarian crisis described by the UN as the worst globally because of the ongoing war and blockade. This (crisis) has caused food shortages, an increase in malnutrition rates, and even famine in some remote areas, in addition to a spread of diseases and epidemics as medicine stocks dwindle.

Jamal Al Ashwal, RT, at the Al Hudaydah Port.

UK Has Blood of Innocent Yemenis on Its Hands: Iran’s Mousavi

UK Has Blood of Innocent Yemenis on Its Hands: Iran’s Mousavi

By Staff, Agencies

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said Britain’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia has made the UK an accomplice to Riyadh’s war crimes in Yemen.

“As the atrocities of the aggression push #Yemen on the brink of the worst humanitarian crisis, coupled w/ COVID19, the British Gvt. has profited from the arms export to the KSA & left the blood of innocent Yemenis on its hands. The UK must stand on the right side of history,” Mousavi tweeted on Friday.

In a recent report, Yemen’s Legal Center for Rights and Development, an independent monitoring group, put the civilian death toll in the war-torn Arab country since 2015 at 16,075.

In 2017, Andrew Smith of the UK-based Campaign Against the Arms Trade [CAAT] said weapons sold to the Saudi regime have been used for killing civilians in Yemen.

“The scale of the destruction that has been inflicted upon Yemen is appalling,” said Smith.

Smith said supplying weapons to Saudi Arabia was unlawful and the UK government, which was selling arms to Riyadh, was complicit in this illegal act.

The Saudi-led bombing campaign has created all sorts of shortages, triggering a variety of issues across Yemen, including water, food and medicine shortage, as well as a deadly cholera epidemic that has claimed the lives of nearly 22-hundred people and is suspected to have infected more than 840,000 others.

CAAT accuses the British government of complicity with the Saudis in the atrocities against Yemeni people.

US Hypocrisy Reigns As War in Yemen Intensifies

By Staff, American Conservative

The US has spent five years helping Saudi Arabia commit war crimes and slaughter civilians in an aggressive war against Yemen. Washington’s subservience to the Saudi royal family, whose regime shares few interests and even fewer values with America, has made the US complicit in tens of thousands of needless deaths.

The Trump administration recently demonstrated a particularly toxic mix of hypocrisy and sanctimony regarding Yemen. The Pentagon complained that naval seizures by American patrols working on behalf of the Saudis had captured blasting caps for improvised explosive devices and components of anti-tank, anti-ship, and anti-aircraft missiles. The latter, called 358s, are known as “loitering” missiles, containing two different motors and avoiding normal defensive measures. An unnamed Pentagon official complained to the New York Times that the 358s could down American helicopters and tilt-wing Ospreys – though why that matters is unclear, since Washington supposedly is not running combat missions in Yemen.

Captain Bill Urban, a spokesman for US Central Command, charged: “They are illicitly smuggled for a purpose and that purpose is to spread lethal assistance to the Houthis…, there’s not a plausible explanation on how these weapons got on to a vessel in Yemen without the sanction of the Iranian government.”

With no hint of irony, he complained that Tehran had been arming the Houthi Ansarullah Revolutionaries since the war’s start – when Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen – and had thereby prolonged the fighting. That is, Iran’s assistance enabled the Yemenis to defend themselves from their much richer and better armed adversary, which was supplied and otherwise aided by the US.

For decades, Washington has allowed Saudi Arabia to essentially hire out the American military as royal bodyguard. The Kingdom is an absolute monarchy without even a hint of religious or political liberty – indeed, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman [MBS], to whom the president and administration officials routinely genuflect, has reduced to nothing the minimal space that previously existed in his country for dissent. His most brazen act, in October 2018, was the murder and dismemberment of Saudi journalist and US resident Jamal Khashoggi.

The United Arab Emirates is not quite so bad, at least if graded on a curve. Abu Dhabi, which has sharply downgraded its involvement in the conflict, has also long committed bombing carnage. Moreover, reports Amnesty International, the UAE imprisoned Yemenis and practiced “detention at gunpoint, torture with electric shocks, waterboarding, hanging from the ceiling, sexual humiliation, prolonged solitary confinement, squalid conditions, inadequate food and water.”

Washington has sold billions of dollars’ worth of aircraft and munitions to Riyadh and the UAE. The Pentagon also provides intelligence assistance to the Saudis in choosing their Yemeni targets, which itself raises serious questions since the royals appear to have intentionally struck civilians. For years, the US military has also refueled Saudi aircraft engaged in bombing Yemen sites, including apartments, hospitals, weddings, funerals, school buses, and commercial sites. 

Of course, Riyadh’s culpability and cant are greater than Washington’s. American officials are aiding and abetting murder; Saudi officials are engaging in it. Riyadh announced that it had recently intercepted missile attacks on Saudi cities. Saudi spokesman Turki al-Malki piously complained: “They were launched in a systematic, deliberate manner to target cities and civilians, which is a flagrant defiance of international humanitarian law…”

Unsurprisingly, Malki failed to mention that he represents one of the world’s richest nations, which attacked one of the poorest. Yemen has long been convulsed by internal conflict. The latest round of fighting had nothing to do with Saudi Arabia. They invaded to restore to power a ruler they believed they could control. To the Saudi royals, everything is about the Saudi royals, irrespective of the cost to anyone else.

As for Malki’s complaint about attacks on Saudi cities, humanitarian groups agree that Riyadh has killed thousands of Yemenis. Two thirds to three quarters of all civilian casualties and property damage have resulted from Saudi and Emirati air attacks. Almost the entire Yemeni population faces death, hunger, poverty, and/or disease, the nation’s commercial, health, residential, and transportation infrastructure having been intentionally destroyed.

Last year, the United Nations warned, “The humanitarian crisis in Yemen remains the worst in the world. Nearly four years of conflict and severe economic decline are driving the country to the brink of famine and exacerbating needs in all sectors.” The UN then estimated that some 24 million people, an astounding 80 percent of the population, needed international assistance. More than 14 million were in “acute need.” The cholera epidemic afflicted a million people. All of these resulted from Riyadh’s invasion.

Another perverse result of Washington’s support for Saudi tyranny has been the unintended transfer of US weapons to Islamist radicals. The Coalition, as the Saudi-Emirati axis styled itself in 2015, has allied with Islamists, including al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, long the most feared national affiliate of Osama bin Laden’s transnational group. According to the Associated Press, the Saudis and Emiratis “cut secret deals with al-Qaeda fighters, paying some to leave key cities and towns and letting others retreat with weapons, equipment and wads of looted cash.” Militias supported by the Coalition “actively recruit al-Qaeda militants, or those who were recently members, because they’re considered exceptional fighters.”

Equally serious, the Saudis and Emiratis have armed militias, sometimes with American weapons. Amnesty International charged that “the UAE has become a major conduit for armored vehicles, mortar systems, rifles, pistols, and machine guns – which are being illicitly diverted to unaccountable militias accused of war crimes and other serious violations.” The Pentagon recently complained about Iran allegedly transferring missiles to the Ansarullah, yet Riyadh provided antitank missiles to local al-Qaeda forces. Explained CNN, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi “have used the US-manufactured weapons as a form of currency to buy the loyalties of militias or tribes, bolster chosen armed actors, and influence the complex political landscape.”

The Gulf matters much less to America these days: the “Israeli” entity is a regional superpower and the oil markets have diversified. The US has no intrinsic security interest in Yemen. AQAP is a concern, but it is the Saudis and Emiratis who have allied with Takfiri radicals. The conflict is a humanitarian tragedy, but on that score Washington is fighting on the wrong side, on behalf of the brutal aggressor.

The administration should end America’s participation in such an unjust, unnecessary war. That would encourage Riyadh to accelerate discussions with the Ansarullah in search of a diplomatic settlement. But America’s policy also shouldn’t depend on the Saudi position. The shock is not that Iran aided the Yemenis; it’s that Washington is supporting the corrupt, repressive Saudi

An Ocean of Lies on Venezuela: Abby Martin & UN Rapporteur Expose Coup

On the eve of another US war for oil, Abby Martin debunks the most repeated myths about Venezuela and uncovers how US sanctions are crimes against humanity with UN Investigator and Human Rights Rapporteur Alfred De Zayas. FOLLOW // @EmpireFiles // @AbbyMartin LIKE // https://www.facebook.com/TheEmpireFiles

The text of his report

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2002 documentary about the April 2002 Venezuelan coup attempt which briefly deposed Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. A television crew from Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTÉ happened to be recording a documentary about Chávez during the events of April 11, 2002. Shifting focus, they followed the events as they occurred. During their filming, the crew recorded images of the events that they say contradict explanations given by Chávez’s opposition, the private media, the US State Department, and then White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer. The documentary says that the coup was the result of a conspiracy between various old guard and anti-Chávez factions within Venezuela and the United States.

 

The Bahraini Revolution in the Words of its Elite

By Zeinab Daher

With every anniversary of an uprising against oppression, a person recalls a glimpse of hope that the winds of change are blowing again.

Bahrain, the country of Shia-majority ruled by Sunni-minority, was a platform for peaceful popular demands back on February 14 of 2011. Today, there is nothing more honest than the words of those who lived the revolution, its early days, and the impressions they made as such time has passed over the first day since its birth.

In an exclusive interview with al-Ahed News, Sheikh Abo Yasser Abdullah al-Saleh, Deputy Chief of Bahrain’s Islamic Work Association (Amal), listed the many achievements of the revolution atop of which is the clear popular alignment against the oppressive and dictatorial authorities that is a major achievement in Bahrain.

 

“The opposition in Bahrain is deep-rooted, it is nothing new, but the current impression is that the opposition is something new.”

In the 1980s, before and after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, demanding to topple the Al Khalifah regime was a fantasy. Now, however, there is a sort of popular agreement that this family should be changed because it doesn’t deserve to rule the Bahraini people, and that the Bahraini people deserve more just government, that is finer, more aware of the demands of peoples and more independent, afar from any foreign and western alliances.

Additionally, in Bahrain, there became a clear orientation and understanding by all parties that it is necessary to establish a just democracy through inclusive elections that get rid of all kinds of tyranny and appropriation as well as ties to the foreign colonialism practiced by Al Khalifah.

The revolution was able over 8 years to draw attention that there is a major determination by the Bahraini people to reach their rightful and legitimate demands and that it is never possible to play the minds of people and deceive them just like what happened during the 1990s uprising.

“There is total agreement that this authority in untrustworthy and can’t be dealt with by any means, even if it still controls the country.”

Another achievement is uniting the local lines and tending to a true change which wasn’t clear in the past era. This revolution has serious tendency to change the country’s status and make a true shift that suits the Bahraini people.

The Al Khalifah authority treat the opposition as if it is a zero. It is oppressive and try to kill any activism before it is born.

“The glow of revolution didn’t change.”

It is true that the protests in which the majority of people used to participate are not happening now. The figures and major symbols who used to participate in the protests are not there, but the movement itself didn’t stop, even if the momentum has decreased. There are still protests and demands in some places. There are also detentions, since the beginning of the revolutions, detentions didn’t stop. If the authority claims that it has got rid of the revolution, then why it is still carrying out the non-stopping arbitrary detention campaigns.

There are some 930 people, including clerics, symbols, academics, youth and citizens, whose citizenships have been revoked. More than 7824 people are detained by the authority, and the number is still climbing. We sacrificed more than 200 martyrs, scores of victims and thousands of displaced people. But the Al Khalifah authority couldn’t, through all this, to prove that it has got rid of the February 14 revolution. The revolution is being renewed in different ways and remains with the same slogans and demands.

The most important among all is that the Bahraini people didn’t retreat any of its legitimate demands. And the latest statement made by His Eminence Sheikh Isa Qassim was a clear evidence that this people didn’t and will not compromise.

Why remaining peaceful?

The Bahraini people is not a violent one. The people of Bahrain are known for love, peace, mercy, generosity, containing others and coexisting with them.

The rightful demands the Bahraini people are asking for are not new for any people, they are rather part of their basic due rights whether by understanding or another mean. When the Al Khalifah denies the people their rights, it must expect that the people won’t remain silent. And now, they insist to fulfill their demands.

For our people, we would like to stress that the international situation in this particular anniversary is on our side and it is not on Al Khalifah’s and Al Saud’s. They were previously more arrogant and stronger, but the situation in the entire region now carries the promises of a near victory, by God’s willing. It carries the promises of a change in the regional map. The Bahraini people tolerated over many years, but the less has remained. The Al Khalifah authorities are in a bad situation while the morale, practices and rights of our people are way stronger than ever before. The legendary endurance presented by the Bahraini people over the past years is able to drive them towards fulfilling their demands. It is matter of a little patience and we will reach our goals.

We are demanding democracy and inclusive elections in which the source of authority and sovereignty should be the Bahraini people. We only need to be a free people in an independent state.

Normalization

Normalization is nothing new. It has existed since before, at least all Gulf states, most Arab and Muslim countries related to the west, whether the US or the UK, have sorts of ties with the “Israeli” entity. However, ties today became public. What has been under cover, became today public.

Exchanged visits weren’t born recently, they are since the 1950s but they were low. The King Saud’s condition for the UK was that ties with the Zionists should be secret. Today, however, the Zionists set their condition that any price should be paid in exchange of public relations. This is the reason why we notice today public relations whether with the Al Saud or the Al Khalifah governments or others. Zionists now insist on publicized ties, this is why we are witnessing them on the surface.

In the past, the colonial scheme tried to indirectly run its issues in the region. But now, it is being faced by the peoples of the region, which are looking for their interests and trying to build their future the way they want. This is why the government now cannot fulfill the task and this explains with the Americans and the British are coming to the region repeatedly, weighing more and intervening much than before in the country’s internal affairs which is exposing those governments’ betrayal.

To Al Khalifah, the Bahraini people would never accept dealing with Zionists and would never be part of any alliance against its Arab and Muslim state. You can do whatever you want because the decision is in your hands, but the Bahraini people will breach any agreement that would be made with the Zionist entity.

For his part, Bahraini Journalist Hussein Youssef recalled some painful and emotional spots from the time of the revolution’s first days:

Among the most significant of the scenes of the February 14 revolution I recall is the youths’ advance as they were topless against the Bahraini army’s tanks that were supposed to protect the protesters and civilians, however, they were directed towards them and killed martyr Abdul Rida Bou Hmayyed. This scene would never be erased from the Bahrainis’ memory.

Another scene that I could never forget over seven years of the revolution is that of revoking the citizenship of Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Ahmad Qassim and the Imam Hussein-inspired speech delivered by Sayyed Maji al-Mashaal.

In between the two scenes, there is the very important event when Sheikh Ali Salman addressed the Bahraini people as the ‘Peninsula Shield forces’ entered the country. He referred to their behavior as defeatist and called the Bahraini people for sticking to peaceful activism until achieving its fair demands.

“Regarding the presence of the Bahraini issue in media, the activism is actually peaceful, political and rightful. There is no direct presence on which media can feed as it wants.”

However, there are other media outlets that are trying to turn a blind eye to the reality of the Bahraini people for certain political goals and reasons. They want to blind what is happening in Bahrain, and most of them are pushed by Saudi and American motives. This is something constant for us. An evidence is that many political and rights events, major protests, political speeches and stances issued by the Bahraini opposition are blinded by such paid outlets.

I don’t believe the regime has succeeded in silencing the opposition. Now, everybody confesses that there is a political crisis in Bahrain. The important evidence on this is that the leader of the opposition His Eminence Sheikh Ali Salman is in prison and sentenced to life. This firstly means that the political crisis in Bahrain will remain as long as such symbols and figures, atop of them is Sheikh Ali Salman, stay in jail. Hence, the opposition movement is non-stopping in different forms and during different circumstances. It is sometimes in Australia, another time in Bahrain… the movement is represented by the rights and political conferences held by the opposition at home and abroad. In conclusion, even if the regime had security-wise tightened the grip on the opposition movement, this doesn’t mean that it will be able to cancel the presence of the opposition and the popular demands.

There are huge numbers over the 8 years of revolution. There has been more than 40.000 protests, in addition to more than 5000 prisoners in Bahraini jails. This number makes Bahrain the most crowded country with political prisoners in the Arab world as per comparison to its population. There are also violations against journalists. Over 8 years of revolution, there is more than 25 years of imprisonment sentences against activists and journalists and even politicians who expressed their opinions. The law is very ‘flexible’ since whoever express their opinion via Twitter are subject to ‘anti-terror’ crimes for opposing the authority.

The international community raises the slogans of human rights in the area of political abuse and not in the place where people do believe in it… the international community is disabled in front of the Saudi-American decision; hence, the political cover baking the Bahraini regime is due to weighing political interests and Gulf oil heavier than human rights and the people’s rights to self-determination.

“All what happened over the previous period (8 years) is a motive for Bahrain to continue.”

The words of Sheikh Ali Salman and Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Ahmad Qassem say there is no way for retreat, and it is necessary to continue with strength and determination to fulfill this people’s demand for reform.

“I do believe that what is waiting the Bahraini people is way better than what the authorities are practicing.”

There is no room for political settlement and fulfilling the national demands without democracy and respecting citizenship in Bahrain, he concluded.

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For the Bony Bodies of Yemeni Children… You’d Never Become Poor by Giving!

Zeinab Daher

In Yemen, people get up early in the morning because of war, death and famine…

Although Yemen occupies a large noticeable area on the world map, it can barely go noticed in the hearts and minds of the entire people.

{The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills} – Holy Quran, Surat al-Baqarah, verse 261

It is not only Save the Children, Islamic Relief and other few charitable organizations that are helping Yemen and its inhabitants. There is a humble association in Lebanon that drew the country’s people’s attention to the tragedy happening in the forgotten spot of the world.

The Beirut-based Seven Spikes (7 Sanabel) association was founded in 2012.

According to its chief, Ms. Zahra Badreddine, the association tends to serve poor and needy people.

“Since one of our goals is to help those in need, as the Yemen crisis broke out, one volunteer within the association suggested that we help them. We publicized an advertisement to start raising funds for Yemen, and we provided the text with the official phone numbers of the association. People were suspicious in the beginning, even the close ones… they wondered how could we deliver such aid to the blockaded country. But they were also happy that there is side capable of delivering their donations. Money is transferred through special channels to the safe areas, where the amounts are used to buy necessary foods such as rice, sugar, other nutrients, in addition to medicines to the deprived families,” she explained.

We have delivered three batches of aid, and now we are fundraising for the fourth one. People donated gold coins during the third batch. And we, as an association, demanded to document the aid delivery in a video to assure donors that the help is destined to its people. And indeed, there was a report that documented the process with a banner raised in the targeted area with a thank you message to the association, Badreddine told al-Ahed News.

“Many people thanked us for opening them a door to help. They said that they are feeling the pain and suffering but don’t know how to help.”

She further elaborated that

“Due to the blockade, we couldn’t deliver food from here, we just send the money there and they take charge of buying food to those in need. An amount of $7000 helped feed 180 families.”

“We stressed that the donations target the most needy areas; those who are starving,” Badreddine concluded.

She closed her words by urging other associations and campaigns to open their hands and make every effort to help the Yemeni people.

And for those wishing to give a helping hand, the (7 Sanabel) association’s hotlines are as follows:

00 961 71021536

00 961 76835300

00 961 70678100

00 961 70653690

It is worth mentioning that the aid group restricted gathering the donations to its representatives, and for those found outside the capital city or even outside the country, the group is open to receive them via Online Money Transfer service [OMT].

Hereby, it is an invitation for all schools, universities and any other sides to take the initiative in solidarity Yemen.

Although the association’s capabilities only cover small areas, its people in charge harbor hopes that their initiative help widen the scale of aid given to the starving people, and lift the suffering there are struggling to end in the face of the years-long brutal war imposed on them.

In this respect, the latest UNICEF estimates reported that the total people in need are 22.2 million, 11.3 million of them are children.

In further details, the UN agency warned that Yemen has become one of the world’s largest and most complex humanitarian crises. Almost 80 per cent of the population is in dire need of humanitarian assistance. The war has led to the internal displacement of 2 million people, left over 1 million public sector workers without pay for two years, and undermined access to ports and airports, obstructing essential humanitarian and commercial deliveries.

The crisis has led to many problems among the following:

  • Growing food insecurity, poor water and sanitation, and the spread of preventable diseases threaten millions more. The caseload of outbreaks of Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD)/cholera has reached over one million. The strain on an already weakened health system has been further compounded by the diphtheria outbreak in early 2018, with over 2,200 cases, so far
  • In addition, 16 million people lack access to safe water
  • Children are the primary victims: more than 6,000 have been verified as killed or maimed since the conflict began
  • Almost 394,000 children under 5 currently suffer from severe acute malnutrition [SAM] and require treatment
  • The damage and closure of schools and health facilities threaten children’s access to education and health services

Although the bony faces of Yemeni children can say it all, people should notice that famine is not caused by a shortage of food, it is rather caused by a shortage of sympathy and giving, and you cannot feel the hell they are suffering from unless you are in their shoes.

But if you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one. You would never become poor by giving a small amount of the entire blessings you enjoy.

And always remember that we can’t help everyone, but for sure everyone can help someone.

So, this platform is meant to open your eyes to the fact that any one of you can give a helping hand. Borders are not a barrier. When you want’ to make something happen, then you’ll definitely find a way to do.

Source: Al-Ahed News

HOUTHIS: AL-HUDAYDAH BATTLE SHOWS YEMEN IS ‘GRAVEYARD’ FOR SAUDI-LED FORCES

 

Houthis: Al-Hudaydah Battle Shows Yemen Is 'Graveyard' For Saudi-led Forces

Source

10.11.2018

On November 9, a senior Houthi official, Mohammed Abdulsalam, said Yemen will be a “graveyard” for aggressors as Saudi-led coalition forces are developing their advance on the port city of al-Hudayah.

Our people, with their full-scale defense of Hudaydah, once again have proved that Yemen will be a graveyard for the aggressors,” the official announced via Twitter.

Abdulsalam also claiemd that the “agressors” had failed to achieve any of their objectives due to the “exemplary steadfastness” of the Yemeni people. He also accused the Saudi-led coalition of cooperating with ISIS and al-Qaeda.

The American-British-Israeli coalition, along with domestic and foreign mercenaries and terrorists groups, including Daesh [ISIS] and al-Qaeda … have failed to achieve any of their objectives after four years of aggression, due to the exemplary steadfastness of the nation,” he said.

Earlier on the same day, coalition forces made another attempt to develop their advance on al-Hudaydah. Pro-coalition sources claimed tha over 100 Houthi fighters had been killed and  coalition forces had advanced towards the northern and the western flanks of the port city.

Pro-Houthi sources denied these claims. Furthermore, according to their version of the events, Saudi-backed forces had already lost over 500 fihters since the start of their new push on al-Hudaydah.

However, sources on the ground and videos released show that coalition forces had indeed achieved some gains. If the Houthis are not able to prevent the encirclement of al-Hudaydah by coalition forces, they will face a real threat of losing the battle of al-Hudaydah. On the other hand, coalition forces positions are overstretched east of the city and the Houthis may exploit this for counter-attacks.

The situation is developing.

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‘Why Were They Killed?’: Saudi-UAE Attack Hits Children In Yemen

At least two children were killed in raids on Saada province as UN special envoy arrives in Sanaa for peace talks.

Watch

[Warning: Some viewers may find images in this video distressing]

https://players.brightcove.net/665003303001/4k5gFJHRe_default/index.html?videoId=5835661230001

September 17, 2018 Information Clearing House   It was what everyone dreaded – two dead children.

After sifting through a home turned to rubble, rescue workers finally found the bodies of three-year-old Nabil and new-born baby girl Sumood.

Just moments earlier on Saturday, a Saudi-UAE military alliance, which has been carrying out air attacks on Yemen since March 2015, bombed their home in Saada province’s Marran district, an impoverished area less than 40km from oil-rich Saudi Arabia, footage sent to Al Jazeera by Houthi rebels appeared to show.

“These were civilians, they were little kids,” said one of the rescuers, as their bodies lay strewn next to him on a rock.

“What was their guilt, why were they killed?” said another, who managed to rescue other members of their family after the devastating attack.

Local news channel Saada News reported that the children were from an internally displaced family who had recently relocated to Marran after their home was previously destroyed.

But in what has become the norm for millions of Yemenis, families have had to repeatedly resettle when the sounds of planes pass overhead and bombs dropping intensify.

Air raids intensify

Since 2015, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been carrying out air raids on Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, in an attempt to reinstate the internationally recognised government of President Abu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Hadi’s government was toppled by Houthi rebels in late 2014 after the rebels stormed south from their stronghold of Saada, and captured large parts of the north.

With logistical support from the US, the Saudi-UAE alliance has carried out more than 16,000 raids on Houthi-held areas in an attempt to reverse their gains.

These attacks have targeted weddings, hospitals as well as water and electricity plants, killing and wounding thousands.

According to the UN, at least 10,000 people have been killed in the war, but the death toll that has not been updated in years and is certain to be far higher.

In July, the last month where statistics of air raids were available, Saudi and UAE jets launched 277 raids, 43 percent of which targeted non-military sites.

The Yemen Data Project listed 108 air raids on Saada province, a region straddling the Saudi border that has been ravaged by violence since the start of the conflict.

Hodeidah, which has also been the scene of fierce fighting in recent weeks, was targeted at least 101 times, the monitoring group said.

Dire humanitarian situation

The UN special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, has been pushing the warring parties to restart peace talks and arrived in Sanaa on Sunday to meet the Houthis as fighting resumed in the port city.

Griffiths’ visit to the capital comes after his push for peace talks last week with representatives from Yemen’s internationally recognised government and the rebels fell apart before they could officially begin.

That meeting, which would have been the first in nearly two years, was scheduled to take place in the Swiss city of Geneva on September 6.

The Houthi delegation, however, did not show up, accusing the UN of failing to guarantee their safe return to Sanaa and secure the evacuation of wounded rebels to Oman.

Lise Grande, the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, and David Miliband, the president of the International Rescue Committee, are expected to hold a press conference in the town of Bajil on Monday to discuss the latest on the humanitarian situation.

On Saturday, the Houthis signed a memorandum of understanding with the UN to take critically ill patients abroad for treatment.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday that 12 health conditions had been identified, including patients with cancer, chronic diseases and congenital anomalies.

The UN has warned that continued conflict in Hodeidah, the entry point for the bulk of Yemen’s commercial imports and aid supplies, could trigger a famine.

An estimated 8.4 million people are at risk of starvation in Yemen, according to the UN.

The country’s three-year war has ensnared millions in what the European Union called the world’sworst humanitarian crisis, with more than 22 million in dire need of assistance.

No Place to Hide: KSA Massacres Displaced Families in Yemen Martyring at Least 31 Civilians

No Place to Hide: KSA Massacres Displaced Families in Yemen Martyring at Least 31 Civilians

Local Editor

Amid international silence and blatant blindness, the US-Saudi aerial aggression massacred four displaced families, mostly women and children, who were on a car, in Duraihimi district in Hodeidah.

Local sources in Hodeidah said that the aggression committed a new crime in which 22 children and four women were martyred, in Alkoui area in Duraihimi district.

The director of Duraihimi security said that all displaced families who were on the car were killed while the US-Saudi Aggression continued flying, preventing the ambulance teams from reaching the site of the burning victims.

For his part, Minister of Health Taha al-Mutawakil called on the people to rush into the blood donation centers and on the hospitals to be alerted, in Hodeidah.

He pointed out that there is no explanation for the escalation of crimes of US-Saudi aggression against children in the recent period from Dahyan to Duraihimi but brutality.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

 

Ansarullah: New Child Massacre in Yemen «Disgrace to Saudi, US»

Local Editor

Yemen’s Ansarullah movement said a recent deadly strike by the Saudi-led coalition on the northwestern Saada Province, which massacred dozens of children, is a disgrace to the Riyadh regime and the US, the main arms supplier to the kingdom.

In an interview on Wednesday with Yemen’s al-Masirah, Ansarullah spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam criticized the United Nations for its inaction on the Saudi regime’s new instance of child killing.

Yemen, he said, does not pin its hopes on the world body for any effort towards ending the Saudi-led war, but rather relies on its own nation and other freedom-seeking people to that end.

The August 9 Saudi air raid on Saada hit a school bus as it drove through a market in the town of Dhahyan, sparking outrage from international human rights groups and UN officials.

The assault martyred a total of 51 people, among them 40 children, and injured 79 others, mostly kids.

Over the past days, several Yemeni provinces have been witnessing protests against the Saudi regime and its Western partners.

On Wednesday, Yemeni demonstrators took to the streets in several provinces, including Saada and Hajjah, with the participants denouncing the West’s support for the bloody aggression against the impoverished state.

The protesters also called on the international community to punish the Saudi-led coalition for its crimes against Yemeni civilians.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Revolutionary Committee of Yemen expressed anger at international organizations for remaining silent on the criminal actions of the Saudi regime and the coalition it leads in the bloody military campaign against the most impoverished Arabian Peninsula country.

It also reaffirmed Yemen’s support for any effort to find a peaceful solution to the conflict gripping the country.

In a relevant development, United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen Lise Grande visited a hospital in Saada, where dozens of the wounded children were being treated.

She condemned the Saada strike, saying that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had ordered an immediate independent probe into the incident.

“What we are seeing today are the victims of the air strike, the terrible human cost of the air strike and of the war. The entire world condemns this. The secretary general of the United Nations has demanded an immediate, transparent, comprehensive, independent investigation into this,” said the official.

“This is a tragedy and there can never, never, never be a justification for it,” she added.

Saudi Arabia and its allies launched a brutal war, code-named Operation Decisive Storm, against Yemen in March 2015.

The offensive initially consisted of a bombing campaign, but was later coupled with a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces into Yemen.

The imposed war, however, has so far failed to achieve its goals, thanks to stiff resistance from Yemeni troops and allied Ansarullah revolutionaries.

Several Western countries have been supplying Saudi Arabia with advanced weapons and military equipment.

Yemen is now suffering from the worst humanitarian crisis in the world due to the Saudi aggression and siege.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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Israel an Enemy of Freedom-Loving People Everywhere

August 23, 2018

Israel an Enemy of Freedom-Loving People Everywhere

by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog

Israel is fighting constantly not only against Gazans, and against Palestinians generally; it is fighting constantly against freedom-loving people everywhere, who oppose dictatorship of any type, and in any country, on principle, irrespective of nationality.

Here’s an example showing how much of a dictatorship and enemy of democrats it is:

Anna Dressler was a ship-hand on a flotilla of two small boats launched from Palermo Italy that were manned by 34 people from 12 countries in international waters and that were seized — stolen — by Israel’s military, on 29 July 2018. They became seized because these boats were carrying medical supplies in violation of Israel’s internationally illegal blockade against food and medicine reaching the residents of Gaza. She was on the boat “Al-Awda,” which was 42 miles from Gaza at the time of seizure-theft. Israel’s troops seizing it were masked, and were armed with machine-guns.

The first video of this incident was released on August 20th.

“Legal and Welfare Update and Appeal” dated August 14th by the Freedom Flotilla, stated that,

The two boats ‘Al Awda’ (The Return) and ‘Freedom’ were hijacked by the Israeli Occupation Forces in international waters 42 and 49 nautical miles respectively off the coast of Gaza. During their unlawful detention, crew, participants and journalists were subjected to a range of physical and emotional violence.

The captain of Al Awda was threatened with execution, 4 people were tasered, 3 people had ribs broken by the Israeli military and one person had his foot broken.

They were all taken against their will to Israel, unlawfully imprisoned and ultimately deported. The Israeli authorities have stolen the boats and the 13,000 Euros worth of medical supplies that we were carrying as gifts, as well as many of the participants’ personal belongings (including clothes, a Bible, credit cards, IDs and mobile phones). Incredibly, they have begun to take legal action to attempt to confiscate the boats.

These people had been in constant communication with their colleagues on land; so, if they’d been killed by the Israelis, it would immediately have become an international incident, enraging 12 countries. They had to be released, and thus they were. These people weren’t Palestinians; they had rights that were cared-about in other countries. Though a gangster-state, Israel recognized that these people couldn’t be simply discarded, like trash — as Palestinians are treated by Israel.

So, here’s how the journey got to that stage:Image result for anna dressler on flotilla

On June 27th, Ms. Dressler, writing in the third person as “she,” had posted, as “Deckhand on Freedom”, her personal background, and presented an explanation, written as impersonally as she could, as to why she was participating in this flotilla (which, though she didn’t note the fact, was manned entirely by volunteers who knew that they were placing themselves in severe jeopardy for doing this):

Anna was born in Germany and is now living in Sweden, but mostly she is out on travels and ‘projects’ around the globe. She is an activist and problem solver – a person with a diversity of professions. In 2012, she was the Project Leader for an anti-money laundering campaign. In 2015-2016, she participated in a private project working with refugees near the Macedonian border and along the Balkan route. She enjoys her freedom wholeheartedly and wants others to have the same opportunity.

On July 18th was posted, by the Freedom Flotilla, the following “Leaving For Gaza – Media Release”:

Four boats from the ‘Right to a Just Future for Palestine’ Freedom Flotilla Coalition are scheduled to leave Palermo, Sicily, to break the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza, and to assert the Palestinian people’s right to freedom of movement and their right to a just future. …

As always, our boats carry representatives from across the world and messages of love and solidarity for those living under the inhumane, decade-old blockade – the collective punishment on the civilian Palestinian population of Gaza. Given the dire situation in Palestinian hospitals, we are also transporting some urgently needed medical supplies (#Gauze4Gaza).

This need is even more critical given the thousands of people severely wounded by Israeli snipers and tear gas in the past few months during the Great March of Return protests (see 10 July UN report on serious injuries). …

It is also encouraging to see the local welcomes we are being given, including by the Mayor of Palermo who rightly connects our campaign with the Caravana Abriendo Fronteras, who have just arrived from Spain, and similar demands for the opening of borders and freedom of movement from the City Council of Cádiz (Spain) and Naples (Italy).

Spokesperson for the International Committee for Breaking the Siege of Gaza, James Godfrey said: “This Flotilla is necessary to highlight the international community’s failure and its ongoing complicity in the illegal blockade of over two million Palestinians in Gaza, more than half of them children.”

On July 23rd, was posted “Freedom Flotilla Coalition sets sail for a just future for Palestine”, and it reported:

Freedom Flotilla leaves Palermo to break the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza.

Three boats are sailing with boxes of medical supplies: Al Awda (The Return), a large converted fishing vessel; Freedom to Gaza, a large sailing vessel; and Falestine, a smaller sailing vessel. A fourth boat, Mairead, will not sail at this time. Another Sicilian port Messina, opened its open arms as usual with a series of wonderful community events, and we are grateful for their solidarity.

All three boats making their way to Gaza will be donated to the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, that includes a fisherman’s union that will use the boats to fish in order to feed their families.

Spokesperson for the Swedish Ship to Gaza campaign, Jeannette Escanilla, said the boats would provide important economic and training opportunities for Palestinians trapped in Gaza.

“The illegal Israeli naval blockade has devastated the Palestinian economy, and in particular has hurt the fishing industry in Gaza so these boats will provide important economic opportunities for Palestinians in Gaza, and also training opportunities in sailing, to enable them to gain better qualifications. Currently, the Israeli Occupying Force prevent Palestinians in Gaza from sailing more than a few nautical miles from shore, and routinely attack fishing and other boats from Gaza.”

On July 26th, Dressler posted “ON THE WAY TO GAZA WITH FREEDOM – ANNA DRESSLER (UNITED KINGDOM/GERMANY)”. She said:

Gaza is a zone in the world where human rights seem to be forgotten. I believe that every person can change the world, on their own way, wherever they are and in which way they can. Let’s start here, with a blockade that should never have existed, and continues, along with everyone else, man-made, disasters.

On August 4th was posted to youtube “ANNA DRESSLER – SOS”, in which, six days after the seizure, theft, and assault, by Israel, against these people and their vessels, Anna, speaking in Swedish, publicly demanded that her Government in Stockholm enforce her rights as a Swede, against the Government of Israel, and that the ships and their supplies be at least returned to their owners.

On that same date, August 4th, the Freedom Flotilla itself headlined “SOS – Just Future for Palestine”, and officially notified the foreign ministers of the 12 involved countries whose nationals’ rights had been violated by Israel in this incident. These 12 countries were: Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, UK, and U.S.

The following day, August 5th, Jeannette Escanilla wrote, for the Steering Committee, Ship to Gaza Sweden (her official title being “Spokesperson for the Swedish Ship to Gaza campaign”), addressed as follows:

To the Foreign Minister of Sweden; Margot Wallström

To the Prime Minister of Sweden; Stefan Löfven

Ship to Gaza’s sailing ketch “Freedom for Gaza” was approaching the coast of Gaza when it was boarded by Israeli militants on Friday 3 August on international waters, a gross violation of international law. The last reported position of the vessel before boarding was about 40 nautical miles from coast of Gaza at 20:06 (CET).

The Swedish flagged ship and its cargo of medical supplies were seized by Israel and the 12 persons onboard were abducted and led to Israel, a country they did not intend to visit.

Ship to Gaza demands that the captured crew, the ship and its and cargo will be returned to the position where they were boarded and allowed to continue their voyage on international and Palestinian waters without being interupted, in accordance with international law. In this way we can complete the purpose of the journey, which is to hand over “Freedom” as a gift to Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC)*, as well as 18 boxes of medical supplies, gauzes and sutures, to the organization My Care in Gaza. The lack of healthcare in the Gaza strip is appalling.

Our long term demands are also that the eleven-year illegal and destructive blockade of the Gaza Strip is finally lifted. The Swedish government has repeatedly backed the requirement of a lifting of the blockade. We now expect that the same government, whose flag is worn by the attacked ship, will also support our specific requirements regarding crew, cargo and ships. Ship to Gaza calls on Israel and Egypt to now meet the demands of large parts of the world community, that the illegitimate and destructive blockade of the Gaza Strip will be lifted after eleven years of isolation and aggression.

There is an obvious discrepancy between that “Friday 3 August” date, which she wrote on 5 August, versus the subsequent claim in the August 20th released video, of “29 July 2018,” as being the date on which their boats were stolen. An explanation is thus needed from them, regarding that discrepancy. However, in any case, the Swedish Ship to Gaza has made public that,

Ship to Gaza has now received an answer to the open letter that we, through our chairman Jeanette Escanilla, have sent to the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Margot Wallström on August 5th.

The Minister writes:

**

Thank you for your letter dated 5th of August 2018. 

The situation in Gaza is very critical. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has described the situation as a humanitarian crisis. Furthermore, as you wrote, the lack of medical supplies is disastrous, not least since so many people have been injured as Israeli military has been deployed in connection with demonstrations along Gaza’s border in recent months.

Sweden upholds the principle of freedom of the seas and freedom of navigation. The government has been in contact with the Israeli authorities regarding Ship to Gaza, and has expressed that the actions of the Israeli authorities in relation to the Swedish-flagged vessel Freedom and the persons onboard constitutes a breach of international law. The government has also demanded that the ship, its cargo and the persons who were aboard be released. The Swedish Embassy in Tel Aviv is monitoring the imprisoned Swedish citizens’ consular rights and visited all of them on Sunday, August the 5th. 

The Swedish government will continue to work towards an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and towards a fair and sustainable two-state solution in which the two states can co-exist, peacefully, side by side. Ending the isolation of Gaza and providing humanitarian aid to its people are two critical, urgent steps towards that end. 

(Translated by Ship to Gaza)

The Swedish Ship to Gaza commented on that statement:

Ship to Gaza wishes to emphasize that the wording … in principle corresponds with our own demands that the crew, cargo and boat should be returned to the place where they were boarded and be allowed to continue their journey to Gaza. We are now being notified that the activists and crew is being deported from Israel. This is not in agreement with our demands or with the requests of the Swedish government.

We also want to know what the Swedish government is doing now to enforce the demands regarding our ships, cargo and crew, but even more importantly, also with regards to the blockade of the Gaza Strip.

On August 8th, Ms. Dressler posted:

Anna arrived last night at Berlin airport. Read her preliminary report of the cruel and inhumane treatment that the Israeli authorities meted out to her despite having a German passport. “…Can you then imagine how few rights Palestinians have…”

Anna’s resolve is strengthened and she declared that “We will continue to fight for freedom…”.

Please continue to demand the release of all of the Political Prisoners.

On August 13th, the Freedom Flotilla posted “SECOND MEDIA RELEASE ON MEDICAL SUPPLIES NOT REACHING GAZA” and listed, and linked, to the international laws that Israel had violated in this incident.

On August 17th, UK’s Stuart Littlewood headlined at American Herald Tribune “The UK’s Prime Minister-in-Waiting Must Zap the Circling Sharks”, and he reported on the extreme pressure that the progressive UK politician Jeremy Corbyn was facing for his not clearly taking a stand favoring Israel against the Palestinians, and he reported Corbyn’s being accused by Israel of “anti-Semitism” for that (as if it were wrong to recognize that Israel is an enemy nation; as if to recognize this is somehow against Jews or Judaism, instead of being against racist fascism in any nation, and against apartheid in any nation, and against theocracy in any nation, and against the imposition by any nation, of dictatorship — all of which presumptions are clearly lies). Littlewood noted that,

While the mainstream, including the BBC, have been sticking the knife into Corbyn, none of them (as far as I’m aware) reported a much more serious outrage – the hijacking by Israeli Occupation Forces of two vessels heading for Gaza and the violent assault, abduction and imprisonment of the 34 people from 12 countries who were on board – one of them a British consultant from the famous ‘Barts’ Hospital in London.

That is basically where things currently stand on this matter. The other governments involved (among the 12, besides Sweden), have been silent. Only Dressler’s nation has not. But no indication exists that even Sweden is following up with any demand against Israel. The underlying assumption seems to be that governments in The West (including the Sauds and their friends — all also “Western”) will continue simply to side with Israel against the Palestinians, even when their own citizens’ rights have been violated by Israel’s illegal imposition and enforcement of this illegal blockade.

Among the Governments that refused to enforce its citizens’ rights in this matter is the United States. Refusing to enforce its citizens rights that have been illegally violated by Israel, is routine for the U.S. Government to do. Ever since 1967, Israel has been supported by America, though America’s enemy, at war against Americans, and Israel has stayed that way, but the U.S. Government itself (and its news-media) has been keeping that fact, of Israel’s war against Americans — Israel’s being an enemy — a bipartisan secret from the American people (who are required, furthermore, by their Government, to pay to Israel’s Government, $3.8 billion per year, so that it can buy U.S.-made weapons from Lockheed Martin and other politically top-connected American companies — Eisenhower’s “military-industrial complex” — which are the intended beneficiaries of this coercion, by America’s Government, against America’s citizens). It’s the proven and incontrovertible reality, of the U.S. Government’s tyranny, against its own people.

Without such lies as that Israel is America’s friend instead of America’s enemy, and without such hiding of crucial facts from the public (for ‘national-security’ purposes, of course — not for billionaires’ profits), none of this could happen, and could be even credibly called ‘democracy’. This is actually a ‘democracy’ based on lies. But is that really possible, or is it instead just another lie, one to cover-up all the others? If that’s the case, then the problem is, obviously, much deeper than merely Israel versus the Palestinians, and nothing that the mainstream press publishes in The West regarding international relations can be trusted, at all, for its keeping this secret throughout the decades.

Certainly, what you are now reading, on this site, isn’t mainstream in The West. So, you are here reading Western samizdat, forbidden truths — truths that are forbidden to be published in The West. Nonetheless, all of this article is documented to be true. Just click onto a link anywhere that you doubt it. You will find that it’s all true — not just “maybe true” (like mainstream ‘news’ often is) — it is all unequivocally true. And, yet, what politician can say it? What would they be implying if they did say it? Can they say it? Apparently not.

What you’ve read here is, therefore, exposing just the visible tip, of an iceberg, of lies.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

How the Media Keeps Americans in the Dark about the Slaughter in Yemen

By CJ Werleman

August 21, 2018 “Information Clearing House” –  A somewhat grainy video, presumably shot from a decade old cell phone, shows more than two dozen load Yemeni kids, aged 6 to 15, playing, laughing, and excitedly moving about their school bus, invoking warm childhood memories for anyone who has ever caught a bus to and from a school outing.

Moments later every single one of these kids were killed, vaporized by a Saudi fired missile.

This atrocity took place on 9 August, leaving 51 dead, 40 of whom were children, with most victims under the age of 10, while another 77 were seriously injured, according to the International Red Cross.

The US Department of Defense has tried to downplay the United States role in what must surely constitute a war crime and/or a crime against humanity by either arguing it’s still investigating the matter or by disingenuously minimizing its involvement.

“We may never know if the munition [used] was one that the US sold to them,” Army Maj. Josh Jacques, a spokesperson for US Central Command, told Vox. “We don’t have a lot of people on the ground.”

Well, we do know who sold Saudi Arabia the missile, and there are plenty of Yemeni journalists and international aid agencies in Yemen “on the ground.”

Remnants of the missile, which were posted on Twitter by Hussein Albikaiti, a Sana’a-based journalist, show its CAGE code, serial number, and the wording, “FIN GUIDED BOMB.”

A search of the CAGE code shows the missile to be issued by US defense contractor Lockheed Martin, while the serial number shows it to be a MK-82 missile manufactured by General Dynamics in Fort Worth, Texas.

“A US made laser guided bomb did this 2 a bus full of school children,” tweeted Albikaiti. “The bus was directly hit by a Saudi-UAE jet, fueled by USA plane, coordinates by US and UK satellites. One bomb sent these happy children to the graves after burning them alive and cutting them to pieces.”

Worse – the British and US mainstream media is complicit in the cover-up of yet another atrocity in Yemen, like always!

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Maybe the most dangerous reality of the Trump presidency might be the media’s obsessive want to over analyze every tweet, off-hand remark, and gaff made by the current occupant of the White House, which, in turn, places television news networks at the centre of what has been a more than a 3-year long psychodrama if you count the 2016 election campaign.

The media’s obsession with this obviously unhinged and deranged US President comes at the cost of informing the American public of the horrors that are occurring in their name and with their tax dollars in countries many voters can’t even find on a map.

While CNN and a handful of other mainstream television networks carried news of the Saudi coalition missile attack on the school bus, there has been almost no follow up, leaving the public totally in the dark about the role the US played in this war crime, and in what has been described as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

According to FAIR, a media analysis service, the left-leaning cable news network MSNBC has not run a single segment related to the conflict in Yemen since early 2017 but ran with more than 1,300 broadcasts regarding Trump’s probable but still speculated collusion with Russia during the 2016 election.

The US media demonstrates a proclivity to report on Yemen only when an American serviceman is killed, according to FAIR, with networks devoting substantial coverage to a botched raid on January 29, which left one US soldier dead alongside dozens.

On the August 9th strike in Yemen, the British media has fared no better. The Guardian, for instance, widely considered a “bastion of liberal values and humanitarian concern,” failed to feature the killing of 40 Yemeni children among its 13 headline stories, while the Independent failed to include it among its top 8 headlines, according to Middle East Eye.

Coupled with a lack of media coverage is the near total silence that emanates from both US lawmakers and the Department of Defense, with the latter holding only a few public hearings on Yemen since the conflict began more than 3 years ago, one that has resulted in more than 23 million Yemenis being in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.

This is unconscionable and anti-democratic given the US provides the intelligence, guidance systems, warplanes, bombs, and missiles to the Saudi coalition.

Moreover, on the few occasions, Yemen is mentioned in the media, the extent of the human catastrophe is downplayed and underestimated. For instance, most media reports include a total death count of approximately 10,000 Yemenis, but aid agencies have estimated more than 150,000 died of disease and starvation in 2017 alone, with up to 130 children dying each and everyday.

According to the International Red Cross, 70% of the population needs aid to survive; 2.5 million have no access to clean drinking water; 1 in every 12 is severely malnourished; 940,000 are suspected of having cholera; while almost no medical supplies are getting into the country because of the Saudi blockade of Yemen’s ports, and the destruction of infrastructure throughout the country.

While this is a Saudi war of choice, it is planned and supported by the government of the United States, acting on behalf of the American taxpayer. It’s time the media report the full extent of the US role in prolonging the suffering in the Middle East’s poorest country so that voters can pressure their elected representatives into bringing an end to this senseless violence.

The lives of the next busload of Yemeni school kids depends on it.

CJ Werleman is a journalist, political commentator, and author of ‘The New Atheist Threat: the Dangerous Rise of Secular Extremists.

This article was originally published by “American Herald Tribune –

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

Yemen: Our Complicity Lies Bare

The Guardian’s Editorial

18-06-2018 | 12:50


Even if the UK warned against attacking the vital port of al-Hudaydah, we bear responsibility for the horrors of this war.
 
Yemen

The fig leaves covered little to start with, and withered long ago. Now the excuses for our role in Yemen’s misery have fallen away entirely. The assault on al-Hudaydah by the Saudi- and Emirati-led coalition can only deepen the world’s worst humanitarian crisis; 70% of the country’s imports pass through the port. Britain and France urged Saudi Arabia not to launch the attack, but the UK has now “said its piece”. The US rejected a UAE request for a minesweeper for the operation, but as an Emirati official observed: “Not giving us military assistance is not the same as telling us not to do it.”

So they are doing it. They are conducting this war with British-, American- and French-made arms. They are conducting it with western military training and advice; British and US officers have been in the command room for airstrikes, and this weekend Le Figaro alleged that there are French special forces on the ground in Yemen. They are conducting it with diplomatic shelter from the west. On Friday, the UK and US blocked a Swedish drive for a UN security council statement demanding a ceasefire: “Britain, as the ‘penholder’ on Yemen at the UN security council, nevertheless takes a nakedly pro-Saudi approach to the conflict,” the former international development secretary Andrew Mitchell notes. Arms sales and security interests dictate.

The war has already claimed tens of thousands of lives, the oft-cited toll of 10,000 being highly conservative when reached and now hopelessly out of date. Many more stand in peril. International law obliges the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian aid… Relief groups have had to flee al-Hudaydah. Twenty-two million Yemenis need aid. Eight million are at risk of starvation.

The assault appears to be an attempt to pre-empt the presentation of a peace plan by the UN envoy Martin Griffiths, who had previously warned that an attack on al-Hudaydah could “take peace off the table in a single stroke”. He is due to brief the Security Council on Monday, following emergency talks, and the UN’s humanitarian coordinator, Lise Grande, has said that talks on the UN taking over the port’s administration are at an advanced stage. But even if Griffiths can manage an agreement against the odds, the chances of it sticking are poor, given both sides’ record of acting in bad faith. The complexities of a handover are immense.

The coalition backs the internationally recognized president, Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, driven out by the Houthis [Ansarullah revolutionaries]. But the campaign appears largely driven by two forces. First, rivalry with Iran, and other strategic interests. Second, the prestige of its leaders – notably Mohammed bin Salman, who led the charge to war and is now Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader. The coalition has calculated that after a lengthy stalemate it may be in its best position since the war began more than three years ago; it hopes to change the facts on the ground and appears to have convinced itself that al-Hudaydah will be a relatively easy win, if far from painless for civilians. This is familiar stuff, as an International Crisis Group report pointed out this week: “The warring factions are overconfident in their military prospects, almost always press for military advantage when there is an opportunity for negotiation, and are all too often starkly indifferent to the humanitarian impact of their actions and the plight of ordinary citizens.”

Riyadh and Abu Dhabi may be of one mind in their loathing for Tehran, but the crowded and increasingly complex field is exposing divergence in their interests. A few months ago, Emirati-backed forces were fighting and killing Saudi-backed forces in Aden… The entrenchment of a war economy is another significant obstacle to peace.

So it goes on, the suffering mounting, further unsettling this unstable region and breeding cynicism and rage towards the west and its talk of human rights and international law. If the complicity ever looked deniable, events of recent days have laid it bare.
Source: The Guardian, Edited by website team

UN: Assault on Yemen’s Hodeidah Port could Cost 250,000 Lives

Source

 June 8, 2018

Hodeida strike

A long-feared assault on Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah by the Saudi-led coalition could cost up to 250,000 lives, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator in the country, Lise Grande, said in a statement on Friday.

“A military attack or siege on Hodeidah will impact hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians,” she said.

“In a prolonged worst case, we fear that as many as 250,000 people may lose everything – even their lives.”

Yemen has been since March 25, 2015 under a brutal aggression by Saudi-led coalition, which also includes UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan and Kuwait, in a bid to restore power to fugitive former president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

Tens of thousands of Yemenis have been injured and martyred in Saudi-led strikes, with the vast majority of them are civilians.

SourceAgencies

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It’s Time to Stop US Involvement in Yemen War

By Kelly Choate

09-03-2018 | 11:45

Now entering its fourth year, Yemen’s horrific war has caused the world’s worst humanitarian crisis – and the United States is actively helping to fuel the fire. But legislation put forth by a bipartisan group of senators can put an end to the US role in this horrific war…

Yemen

The United Nations has stated that US-supported airstrikes carried out by the Saudi-led coalition are the leading cause of civilian casualties in Yemen. The ongoing war has killed more than 10,000 Yemenis and wounded more than 40,000. The majority of them are civilians and, as always in war, women and children are disproportionately affected.

In addition to these mass casualties, more than half of Yemen’s hospitals have been closed or damaged. Clean water is scarce, causing upward of 500,000 cases of cholera and leaving 2,000 dead from that alone. The UN’s Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan, which aims to raise $23 billion to help 12 million affected people, has only received 39.6 percent of its target amount.

The United States has been actively facilitating this crisis by selling arms to Saudi Arabia, providing military intelligence for airstrikes led by the Saudi military, and providing refueling support, which has actually increased in the past year.

The Trump administration has also increased the sale of US weapons to Saudi Arabia, introducing a new $10 billion arms deal and lifting a ban on the sale of extremely dangerous weapons such as precision-guided munitions. Upgraded weaponry like that which the United States is supplying the Saudi-led coalition makes it easier to target civilians.

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., has said, “There’s a US imprint on every civilian death inside Yemen that’s caused by the Saudi bombing campaign. The Saudis simply could not operate this bombing campaign without us. Their planes can’t fly without US refueling capacity. They are dropping munitions that we’ve sold them.”

He, along with Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, introduced S.J.Res. 54 on Feb. 28, invoking the 1973 War Powers Resolution in order to force a vote in the Senate on this unauthorized war and end US support for Saudi Arabia and its involvement in Yemen.

In the coming days, the Senate is expected to vote for the first time on withdrawing US armed forces from a war that Congress has never authorized, marking an important step forward in restoring congressional authority over war-making. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire should join this rare opportunity to protect civilians and restore congressional oversight by cosponsoring and voting in support of S.J.Res. 54.

Now is the time to end US complicity in this devastating war.

Source: Sentinel Source, Edited by website team

US Senators ask to end US support for Saudi war on Yemen

DAMASCUS, SYRIA (20:15 PM) ) – Independent senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and Republican senator Mike Lee have introduced a bill that asks Congress to put an end to US support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. This is reported by Yemen Press and the Washington Post.

The bill seeks to invoke the so-called War Powers Resolution, a federal law gives Congress the power to limit or end any acts of war or hostility ordered by the US president.

“Congress hereby directs the President to remove United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen, except United States Armed Forces engaged in operations directed at al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula or associated forces,” the bill reads.

Bernie Sanders, senator for the state of Vermont, introduced the bill, saying: “If you look at the War Powers Act, what America is currently involved in constitutes a military action… That’s pretty clear.”

Many members, both Democrats and Republicans, have voiced dissatisfaction with United States military and intelligence support for Riyadh’s conflict with Yemen, which has killed at least 13,600 people, most of them civilians, since March 2015. Whether the bill will be passed in Congress however, is unclear at this moment.

The United Nations says at least 22.2 million people in Yemen are in need of food aid, with 8.4 million under imminent risk of famine, making the Yemeni conflict the single biggest humanitarian disaster in the world.

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Britain’s Red Carpet for the Saudi Ruler Is Shameless

Emily Thornberry

07-03-2018 | 15:23

They call diphtheria the “strangling disease”. Parents have to watch helplessly as it slowly clogs the throat and chokes the life out of their children. Thankfully, vaccination has wiped it out in most parts of the world. But not in Yemen. Not this past year. Hundreds of children have been infected, and dozens have died that cruelest of deaths.

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They join the hundreds of other Yemeni children who have died from the worst cholera outbreak in modern history, the thousands who have succumbed to malnutrition, and the untold number of civilians killed by airstrikes on homes, streets, weddings and funerals. This has been the human price of the three-year war in Yemen, in which all parties have shown a callous disregard for life, but where the large majority of civilian deaths lies irrefutably at the door of Saudi Arabia.

Yet today the architect of that Saudi intervention in Yemen – crown prince Mohammad bin Salman – will visit Britain, and will receive the red carpet treatment from the Tory government, as if he were Nelson Mandela. This is the man behind the rolling blockade of Yemen’s ports, preventing the supply of essential food, medicine and fuel to Yemeni civilians, and – on all the available evidence – breaching international law by using starvation as a weapon of war.

The man who, in an equally flagrant breach of the Geneva convention, authorized the destruction of Yemen’s agricultural and food infrastructure in the early stages of the war, with systematic air strikes on farms, dairies, food factories and markets.

Prince Mohammed was rightly enraged at the Houthis’ attempted missile attack on Riyadh in December, but retaliated with a 10-day barrage of indiscriminate air strikes on civilian areas, killing and injuring hundreds, including dozens of children. And while the UK government publicly insists there can be no military solution in Yemen, he has just sacked his most senior generals in an effort to achieve exactly that, and even now plans his assaults on the capital Sanaa and the port of Hodeidah, both of which will drastically escalate the humanitarian crisis. And all that is before we even mention his disgraceful attempts to subvert Lebanon’s democracy, and his reported funding of groups in the Syrian war, both a part of his wider battle against Iran for hegemony in the Middle East.

If it was his regional rival, the supreme leader of Iran, visiting our capital – with his similar record of domestic human rights abuses, regional intervention and alleged support for terror organizations – the UK government would not dream of rolling out the red carpet. So why is it different for the crown prince?

Theresa May tells us it is about our mutual security and strategic interests. Or about Prince Mohammed’s moves to “liberalize” women’s rights, by which she means Saudi Arabia catching up with the rest of the world by promising to allow women to drive cars.

It is all nonsense. As so often, it is about nothing but filthy lucre, and this government’s desperation to plug the hole that will be left in Britain’s trade and growth prospects by May’s refusal to stay in a customs union with the EU after Brexit.

Most nakedly, it is about the shameless bidding war to persuade the crown prince to include the London Stock Exchange in any international listing of the Aramco oil company, billed as the biggest stock market flotation in history.

Most pertinently, it is about the huge increase in arms sold by Britain to Saudi Arabia since the start of the war in Yemen – a trade so shameful that the government now actively encourages applications for “open export licenses” by UK arms firms, precisely to hide what weaponry Riyadh is receiving, and its true value. It’s clear the government doesn’t care a jot about human rights or breaches of the Geneva Convention if there is a chance instead to boost its balance sheet.

Britain is the official pen-holder for the United Nations Security Council on matters relating to Yemen. In October 2016, our government floated a draft resolution calling for a permanent ceasefire in the country to allow for immediate humanitarian relief and talks on a political solution. Prince Mohammed’s acolytes immediately objected, and 17 months on that draft resolution has still not been formally presented to the council. And so his brutal, murderous war continues, without anyone in our government lifting a pen to stop him. Instead, today they fete the crown prince. But millions of us will be saying: not in my name.

Source: The Guardian, Edited by website team

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UN Slams Stupid Saudi War on Yemen: Save the Children

Local Editor

17-11-2017 | 08:42

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is “very much disappointed” that the Saudi-led coalition is refusing to lift its blockade of Yemen and has written directly to Riyadh’s representative, his spokesman said Thursday.

Yemen

After repeated appeals by UN officials were ignored, Guterres wrote to the Saudi ambassador on Thursday to ask for an end to the blockade which he said “is already reversing the impact of humanitarian efforts.”

“The secretary-general is very much disappointed that we have not seen a lifting of the blockade,” said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

Guterres and his top aid officials are “heartbroken at the scenes we are seeing from Yemen and the risk of continued suffering of the Yemeni people,” Dujarric added.

“This is a man-made crisis,” continued the UN spokesman, adding that Guterres had called it a “stupid war.”

The United Nations has listed Yemen as the world’s number one humanitarian crisis, with 17 million people in need of food, seven million of whom are at risk of famine.

Yemen is also battling one of the world’s worst outbreaks of cholera, that has left nearly one million people ill and killed 2,200 people.

In the letter to Saudi Ambassador Abdallah al-Mouallimi, Guterres called on the coalition to allow UN flights to Sanaa and Aden, and to reopen the key ports of Hodeida and Saleef.

The direct appeal to Saudi Arabia’s ambassador from the UN chief highlighted growing frustration and alarm over Yemen’s humanitarian crisis and Saudi’s refusal to open up access to aid.

In the letter, Guterres offered to send a UN team to Riyadh for talks on tightening up inspections at Hodeida port, once the aid shipments have resumed.

Earlier, the heads of three UN agencies warned that without deliveries of vital supplies such as food and medicine “untold thousands of innocent victims, among them many children, will die.”

The joint appeal came from the World Health Organization, the UN children’s agency UNICEF and the World Food Program.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

Save the Children: 130 Yemeni children die each day due to Saudi blockade

A Yemeni child receives treatment at a hospital in the coastal city of Hudaydah on November 11, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

DAMASCUS, SYRIA (8:30 PM) – According to prominent humanitarian organisation Save the Children, no less than 130 children die every single day in Yemen due to malnutrition and preventable disease caused by the Saudi-led near total blockade of the country. The organisation furthermore warned that the situation will deteriorate even further if the lockdown of Yemen isn’t immediately lifted.

“Without urgent, unhindered access for humanitarian organizations and an increase in funding, Save the Children is warning half of these children will most likely go without treatment,” warned the UK-based group on Thursday, adding that “if left untreated, approximately 20-30 percent of children with severe acute malnutrition will die each year.”

The warning comes less than two weeks after Saudi Arabia announced that it would further restrict all access to Yemen by sea, air and land. The increased lockdown comes after a Yemeni missile was fired at Riyadh in retaliation for the two-year long military campaign the Saudi kingdom has been waging on its southern neighbour.

“The decision to block access entirely to the key entry points of Sana’a Airport and the ports of Hudaydah and Salif puts thousands more children at risk,” Save the Children clarified in the statement. A staggering 10,000 children are expected to die of starvation and disease in the provinces of Hudaydah and Ta’izz alone by the end of the year.

“hese deaths are as senseless as they are preventable. They mean more than a hundred mothers grieving for the death of a child, day after day,” said Tamer Kirolos, Save the Children’s Yemen Country Director.

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Along with humanitarian organisations, three UN agencies, the World Food Programme, UNICEF and the WHO, have also made an official plea to Saudi Arabia to lift its blockade of Yemen, stating that unless Riyadh complies,
“untold thousands of innocent victims, among them many children, will die.”
The trio of organisations furthermore pointed out that 3.2 million people are in acute risk of famine, and an additional one million children are being threatened by an outbreak of diphtheria.

In March 2015, Yemen was invaded by a coalition led by Saudi Arabia, in an attempt to destroy the Ansarullah movement, also known as the Houthis after its leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, and to return Riyadh ally Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi to power in the country. Despite over two years of constant bombardments, the Saudis have failed to meet their strategic goals.

An alliance of Ansarullah fighters, Republican Guard troops and forces loyal to the General People’s Congress fraction of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh are still in control of much of Yemen, including the capital of Sana’a. This alliance has also formed a union government in Sana’a, named the Supreme Political Council, which has been running state affairs for the past two years.

Latest figures show that the war has so far killed over 12,000 Yemenis, and has destroyed many of the impoverished country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories. After nearly three years war, Yemen currently has seven million people on the verge of famine, and a further 900,000 suspected cholera cases in the past six months alone.

الأمم المتحدة: اليمن على شفا أسوأ مجاعة في العالم!

طالب مجلس الأمن الدولي، ليل الأربعاء ــ الخميس، «التحالف العربي»، بوضع حد للحصار الذي يفرضه، منذ الاثنين، على البلد المهدد بـ«أسوأ مجاعة» منذ عقود. وقال السفير الإيطالي، سيباستيانو كاردي، إن الدول الـ15 الأعضاء في المجلس عبّرت، خلال اجتماع مغلق، عن «القلق إزاء الوضع الإنساني الكارثي في اليمن»، مشددة على «أهمية إبقاء كل الموانئ والمطارات اليمنية مفتوحة».
سبق ذلك إعلان مساعد الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة للشؤون الإنسانية، مارك لوكوك، أنه حذر أمام أعضاء المجلس من خطر وقوع «أسوأ مجاعة» في العقود الأخيرة، يمكن أن تذهب بـ«ملايين الضحايا» ما لم يُرفَع الحظر. وأشار إلى أنه طالب، في مداخلته، بأن «يتم فوراً استئناف» نقل المساعدات الإنسانية إلى هذا البلد، وألا يعرقل «التحالف» بعد اليوم وصول المساعدات.

ويوم أمس، رأى المتحدث باسم مكتب تنسيق الشؤون الإنسانية للأمم المتحدة، ينس لايركي، أن فتح ميناء عدن أمام السفن التجارية والإغاثية «ليس كافياً»، مطالباً بفتح ميناء الحديدة والمطارات بشكل عاجل. وكان «تحالف العدوان» قد أعلن، في وقت سابق، إعادة فتح ميناء عدن ومنفذ الوديعة (الحدودي بين اليمن والسعودية)، بشكل استثنائي، أمام السفن والبضائع، لكن لايركي نبّه إلى أن «الملايين في اليمن يتمسكون بالحياة عبر المساعدات القادمة من ميناء الحديدة، وينبغي فتح هذا الميناء قبل أن تصل الأزمة الإنسانية هناك إلى أبعاد خطيرة».

وجاء تصريح لايركي بعدما حذرت 15 منظمة إنسانية، بينها «أوكسفام»، من أن «أي تأخير في استئناف المساعدات الإنسانية يمكن أن يودي بحياة نساء ورجال وفتيات وفتيان في كل أنحاء اليمن».

(الأخبار)

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