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Maandelijks archief mei 2015

Palestinian detainees at Israeli Ofer jail sound distress signals

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The Prisoners’ Media Office on Saturday raised alarm bells over the dire conditions endured by Palestinian detainees  at the Israeli occupation Ofer jail.

The prisoner’s office said in a statement that Palestinian detainees at the over-crammed Ofer lock-up have launched distress signals over the tough penalties imposed by the Israeli prison authorities since mid-2014, including the prohibition/reduction of family visits and steep fines.

The office further spoke out against overcrowding in the Ofer prison, where the detainees do not even find enough beds to take a nap.

The Israeli prison administrative also trimmed down the time of prison visits from 45 minutes to 30 minutes only.

The statement sounded the alarm over the aggressive break-ins and search campaigns launched across prison cells and usually culminating in the misappropriation of the detainees’ personal belongings and electronic kit.

Palestinians locked-up at the Ofer jail called on the international human rights institutions to urgently step in and allot investigation committees to keep tabs on the tragic and non-humanitarian state of affairs in the occupation penitentiaries, where ethics and international conventions have reportedly been the least of Israel’s concerns.

(Source / 31.05.2015)

Occupation isolates prisoner after radio interview

Al-Barghouti spends 67 life terms inside Israeli prisons over claims he had killed Israelis

Israeli prison services put on Sunday Palestinian prisoner Abdulla al-Barghouti in solitary confinement after giving radio interview.

Al-Barghouthi has been arrested by the Israeli occupation forces since 2003. He is spending 67 life terms over claims that he had killed Israelis

Days of Palestine, West Bank –Israeli prison services put on Sunday Palestinian prisoner Abdulla al-Barghouti in solitary confinement after giving radio interview.

The Israeli occupation troops ordered by the Israeli prison services to storm Al-Barghouti’s cell in Rimon Prison after he had given a mobile interview for a Gaza-based radio.

Al-Barghouti, who is spending a 67 life terms, was sent to a solitary confinement and would face trial for conducting the interview, a spokeswoman of the Israeli army said.

Prison officers searched the prison cell to find the mobile, but they could not find it. Israeli officials were astonished to know that he had an interview without their knowledge.

In his interview, Al-Barghouti addressed Hamas leaders through the radio not to hasten their negotiations regarding a potential prisoner swap.

He called for a very good swap, telling them that he and the other prisoners are able to wait until such a swap ripens quietly.

“Do not hasten, because we are firm and perseverant,” he said. “We will not change and we shall remain firm regardless of whether we are released today or after a thousand years.”

Responding to his remarks, Abu-Obaida, the spokesman of Hamam military wing Al-Qassam Brigades, said: “Freeing you [Al-Barghouthi] and the other prisoners is a matter of time and the jailers are going to vanish soon.”

Al-Barghouthi has been arrested by the Israeli occupation forces since 2003. He is spending 67 life terms over claims that he had killed Israelis.

(Source / 31.05.2015)

A-Sawahrah a-Sharqiyah and a-Sheikh Sa’ed isolated from rest of East Jerusalem

A-Sheikh Sa’ed checkpoint. Photo: 'Amer 'Aruri, B'Tselem, 11 Feb. 2015
A-Sheikh Sa’ed checkpoint 

The villages of a-Sheikh Sa’ed and a-Sawahrah a-Sharqiyah have been artificially cut off from East Jerusalem by an eight-meter-high wall. Before this partition was built, the two villages formed a contiguous urban bloc with East Jerusalem and, in particular, with the villages of Jabal al-Mukabber and a-Sawahrah al-Gharbiyah to its south with which they shared extensive family, commercial and cultural ties. A-Sheikh Sa’ed is home to some 2,000 residents, and a-Sawahrah a-Sharqiyah, situated some two kilometers to its north, has a population of approximately 6,000.

In 1967, immediately after Israel occupied the West Bank, it annexed extensive areas east of these villages to the municipal area of Jerusalem. Although the two villages were not included in the area annexed, during the first few decades after annexation this distinction had no impact on the residents’ lives. Passage between the annexed area and the remainder of the West Bank was routine and unremarkable. East Jerusalem served as the urban center for the residents of these two villages, with many of them working in the city. It also provided the residents’ health and education services. In addition, people who lived in the annexed area would sometimes move into these villages.

This reality changed in the mid-1990s, when Israel began to separate the villages from the area of East Jerusalem by means of obstructions and checkpoints. In 2003, a route for the Separation Barrier in the area was decided, and on 26 August 2003 work began or erecting a temporary barbed wire fence. The residents of Sheikh Sa’ed appealed the course fixed, and in March 2006 the Appellate Committee for the Separation Barrier accepted their appeal. The committee found that “in historical terms, Sheikh Sa’ed forms a part of Jabal al-Mukabber, which lies within the area of Jerusalem”, and the route of the barrier was disproportionate and violated the rights of Sheik Sa’ed’s residents to life, liberty and dignity. The Appellate Committee instructed the state to reexamine the course of the barrier in the area. However, the state appealed this decision to the High Court of Justice, arguing that the committee had ignored the security-related ramifications inherent in an alternative course that would annex the village to the area of Jerusalem. In 2010 the High Court of Justice accepted the state’s petition, thereby approving the course of the Separation Barrier in the area.

A-Sawahrah a-Sharqiyah checkpoint. Photo: 'Amer 'Aruri, B'Tselem, 11 Feb. 2015
A-Sawahrah a-Sharqiyah checkpoint

The construction of the Separation Barrier separated the two populations in one fell swoop, leaving Jerusalem residents east of the barrier and the residents of a-Sawahrah a-Sharqiyah and a-Sheikh Sa’ed to its west. Nearly a decade later, the residents of the villages remain isolated and disconnected from their families, places of work and service centers on the other side of the Separation Barrier.

After the construction of the Separation Barrier and checkpoints in the area, Israeli authorities imposed a series of arbitrary restrictions on the residents of the villages, exacerbating the forced isolation, classifying the residents into four separate categories:

  1. 1,300 residents of a-Sawahrah a-Sharqiyah who hold Israeli identity cards, live adjacent to the a-Sawahrah a-Sharqiyah Checkpoint, or work in international organizations: The names of these residents are on a list maintained at a-Sawahrah a-Sharqiyah Checkpoint. For the past year or so, they have been permitted to cross this checkpoint by car to go into East Jerusalem and return home. This arrangement is valid only from 6:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.
  2. Residents of a-Sawahrah a-Sharqiyah and a-Sheikh Sa’ed who hold Israeli identity cards (with a registered address in Jabal al-Mukabber): These residents are permitted to cross a-Sheikh Sa’ed Checkpoint as pedestrians (in both directions) as well as a-Sawahrah a-Sharqiyah Checkpoint (only in one direction – out of East Jerusalem). Alternatively, to travel by car, they must take a long, hour-long detour and cross at a-Za’ayem Checkpoint.
  3. Residents of a-Sawahrah a-Sharqiyah who hold West Bank identity cards and entry permits to Israel can enter the city solely through a-Zaytun or a-Za’ayem Checkpoints. They are prohibited to cross via a-Sawahrah a-Sharqiyah Checkpoint.
  4. Residents of a-Sheikh Sa’ed who hold West Bank identity cards and entry permits to Israel are permitted to cross only at a-Sheikh Sa’ed Checkpoint and only on foot.

Residents of East Jerusalem who live in the city and wish to visit a-Sawahrah a-Sharqiyah or a-Sheikh Sa’ed by car may do so solely via a-Za’ayem Checkpoint. Alternatively, on foot, they can leave Jerusalem via a-Sheikh Sa’ed Checkpoint; however, they cannot re-enter the city through this checkpoint.

These draconian, convoluted restrictions severely hamper daily life and maintaining relationships between the residents of the villages and their relatives on the other side of the Separation Barrier. Brothers and sisters, parents and children have been separated from each other. Due to the considerable difficulties in crossing, many of them meet only rarely, on religious holidays or for family celebrations or milestones. Moreover, many residents have lost their jobs and find it difficult to obtain the services they once received in Jerusalem.

The Separation Barrier has also created a problem concerning burial. The cemetery serving both villages is situated in Jabal al-Mukabber, on the other side of the Separation Barrier. In order to attend the funeral of a resident of a-Sawahrah a-Sharqiyah or a-Sheikh Sa’ed, village residents must enter East Jerusalem. Security forces at the checkpoint allow only fifty residents, including relatives of the deceased, to cross the checkpoint and take part in the funeral. After the funeral, relatives find it difficult to visit the grave due to the restrictions detailed above.

S.G., a married mother of five who lives in a-Sawahrah a-Sharqiyah, recounted the following to B’Tselem field researcher ‘Amer ‘Aruri:

I was born in Jabal al-Mukabber, East Jerusalem. In 1991 I married a man from a-Sawahrah a-Sharqiyah with a Palestinian identity card. At that time, a-Sawahrah a-Sharqiyah and Jabal al-Mukabber formed a single geographical area. There were no military checkpoints and no Separation Barrier dividing relatives and people. Residents in both areas belonged to the same families. I gave birth to my five daughters at hospitals in East Jerusalem…

Before military army checkpoints were put in place, I used to visit my family in Jabal al-Mukabber once a week. It took five minutes to get from y home to theirs… Today I visit my family once every three months. Naturally, every visit involves delays at the checkpoint and questions and answers about my identity card. Also my relatives, who used to visit me every week before there was a checkpoint, now come only on special occasions, such as religious holidays or during the month of Ramadan. My mom and dad are elderly and they can’t walk across the a-Sawahrah a-Sharqiyah Checkpoint to get to my home. They prefer to come by car, and that means they have to travel via a-Za’ayem Checkpoint, and that’s a long trip.

N.G. was also born in Jabal al-Mukabber and lives with her husband in a-Sawahrah a-Sharqiyah:

The checkpoint separates me from my family. My mom is elderly and she’s gone blind. She can’t come to visit me on her own by crossing the checkpoint on foot. It’s too hard for her. So usually one of my brothers drives her through a-Za’ayem Checkpoint – it takes them about an hour instead of being a five minute-drive. It’s become so visits are only on holidays, special occasions, and during Ramadan. Their most recent visit was on the holiday of ‘Id al-Adha – eight months ago. Before the checkpoint was put in place, I’d just call them and invite them to pop over because I’d made one of their favorite dishes, and they’d be here within five minutes.

The arbitrary restrictions imposed by the authorities on the residents’ movements disrupt almost every aspect of their lives. They keep families apart and make it difficult for residents to pursue their everyday lives. There is no justification for these restrictions, security or otherwise. It is also difficult to understand their underlying logic: Why was the number fifty fixed as the number of people allowed to attend a funeral? Why can someone use a particular checkpoint only in order to return home, but is prohibited from using the same checkpoint to go to work?

Israel must remove the barrier, which artificially severs an urban, historical, and cultural continuum and greatly disrupts the lives of tens of thousands of people. Until it does so, Israel must permit regular passage between these villages and East Jerusalem in such a way as to allow the residents of the isolated villages lead normal lives.

Qatari Ambassador: New batch of Gaza ruined homes to be rebuilt

GAZA, (PIC)– Head of the Qatari National Committee for the Reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, Ambassador Mohammed Al-Emadi, announced Saturday a number of new projects in the Strip, vowing 200 to 300 homes are to be rebuilt sometime soon.

Speaking to the press during his tour of Qatari projects in Gaza, the Qatari Ambassador said 200 to 300 families will receive building materials to rebuild their homes after they were destroyed during the Israeli offensive.

He added that talks between the Qatari committee and the Palestinian Ministry of Public Works and Housing have been underway so as to follow up on this stage of the reconstruction project.

He announced the upcoming launch a new batch of rebuilding projects as part of ongoing initiatives to restore the lodgings of thousands of homeless families in blockaded Gaza.

Al-Emadi also said final steps are being tied up to initiate the construction of 1,000 housing units as part of the one billion grant pledged by Qatar during the Cairo Conference for the Reconstruction of Gaza held last October.

He said efforts have been in progress to smooth the access of rebuilding materials into the blockaded coastal enclave.

A 51-day military offensive launched by the Israeli occupation on July 7 took away the lives of at least 2,324 Palestinians, mostly children and women, and turned thousands of civilian homes into mounds of rubble.

(Source / 31.05.2015)

Syria: Assad regime bombs claim 85 lives in Aleppo

Image by Anadolu Agency of today's barrel bomb attack in Al-Bab, Aleppo

Image by Anadolu Agency of today’s barrel bomb attack in Al-Bab, Aleppo

At least 85 people were killed in alleged barrel bomb attacks carried out by the Assad regime in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo on Saturday, a Syrian opposition coalition said.

According to the Syrian Revolution General Commission, at least 70 people were killed and 90 others were injured when regime helicopters dropped two barrel bombs on the al-Bab city in Aleppo province.

Elsewhere, regime helicopters dropped barrel bombs on the al-Sheaar neighbourhood in Aleppo city that left 15 people dead and 20 others injured, the sources added.

The Istanbul-based Syrian Revolution General Commission is a coalition of Syrian political and media groups opposed to the Bashar al-Assad regime.

The figures provided by the commission, however, could not be independently verified.

Meanwhile, Syrian opposition forces have reportedly seized control of Ariha town in the west of Idlib city on Thursday from regime forces.

Anadolu Agency sources on the ground reported they observed opposition forces in the main square of the town.

Ammar Abu Hassan, a commander of Jaish al-Fatah, a unified group of various opposition factions, told the agency that the regime forces had retreated without resistance after heavy shelling from his forces.

Opposition fighters had taken control of the town and captured a number of regime forces as well as members of Hezbollah, Abu Hassan claimed.

Syrian opposition factions under the joint military command Jaish al-Fatah had seized control of Idlib city on March 28.

The Syrian civil war, which is in its fifth year, has seen more than 211,000 people killed and millions displaced.

(Source / 31.05.2015)

‘Ship to Gaza’ activists stay firm to reach Gaza shores

Human rights activists from world over and generations are aboard the Marianne Boat as part of ‘The Ship to Gaza’ flotilla that seeks an end to Gaza seige

ABOARD THE MARIANNE BOAT 

Human rights activists from world over and generations are aboard the Marianne Boat as part of “The Ship to Gaza” Freedom Flotilla III that seeks an end to Israel’s stranglehold on Palestinians.

In interviews with Anadolu Agency aboard the Marianne Boat, which departed from the Swedish Gothenburg port on May 10, the activists said that they were not only unfazed to the dangers posed by the ruthless Israeli military machine, but they were in fact upbeat and determined to reach the shores of Gaza with their messages of peace and love for all.

Kevin Knish, a 58-year-old Canadian activist, is one of the survivors of the lethal Israeli attack on the Turkish Mavi Marmara ship in 2010 that left several people dead.

“You can say I’m here for the unfinished business. The job is not done. They might have succeeded once to stop us and kill 10 of my good fellow activists, but they couldn’t kill my determination. I’m here today to try it again,” Knish said.

According to him, The Mavi Marmara incident had succeeded in taking the mask off Israelis and showed the world “what they were really made off: a cruel, brutal and inhuman occupation”.

“That experience has put things in perspective for me. If they treat us [activists] like that, [then] what about Palestinians? What about the people in Gaza? I can’t even think about it,” he said.

Knish said that he would strive to fulfill his goal no matter what the dangers might be. “I’m going to repeat this until I fulfill my goal. We will keep knocking on the door until we reach Gaza,” he said.

He also said that Palestinians were an inspiration for the world.

“For Palestinians, I want to tell them that I’m amazed at their tenacity, strength and unbreakable will. They are an inspiration for the world,” he added.

Kerstin Eklund, 21, is the youngest activist on board. She is a student of Middle Eastern studies, who became aware of the “inhuman” Israeli occupation and its tremendous effects on the Palestinian people, when she was 13.

“It all started when I had a discussion with my teacher about the Berlin wall. I thought it’s really weird and surprising that this took place in a European country and [that too] during a recent era,” Eklund said.

The Swedish activist said that her surprise turned to shock when her teacher told her that such terrible incidents were in fact still happening in the world today.

“My teacher told me that Israel was building a separation wall in Palestine… That was a turning point in my life,” she said.

“I’ve heard about the 2006 war, it was just photos and videos that I will see on news on TV. I’ve never reflected on it and thought about the bigger picture…My parents were already boycotting Israeli products, yet I didn’t analyze,” she continued.

The activist said she lived on a small Island in Sweden where the Palestinian cause was not a popular issue among locals.

But, Eklund said that ever since she had that discussion with her teacher, she started researching on the Palestinian issue and began calling up nongovernmental organizations.

“In October 2014, I made my first visit to Palestine. I wanted to see it [the occupation] with my own eyes,” she said.

About her reaction to the plight of Palestinians, she said that she was shocked. “Everyone I met there was happy or trying to be, but they all had a sad story to tell,” Eklund said.

“I’m taking part on this convoy because I think we should shed light on the rights of Palestinian people to move as they wish… I could’ve done it the easy way and travel by plane there, yet I’m doing this so that people of Gaza can have the same right as me,” the young activist said.

“They deserve the right to have freedom on their own land. It is like a big prison for them now,” she added.

She urged people like her to put pressure on politicians in their country and boycott Israel in order to put an end to the occupation.

“I’m no one special, I m a normal simple person like others, but I think that I have a responsibility to do something to break this siege,” she said.

The first “Gaza Freedom Flotilla” expedition in May 2010 ended in tragedy after Israeli commandos killed nine Turkish nationals and an American of Turkish origin in a raid on the flotilla ship, Mavi Marmara. Another person died in a Turkish hospital in 2014 after being in coma for almost four years.

The second “Gaza Freedom Flotilla” took place in 2012, which too was turned back.

The Marianne Boat is set to join other ships en route and plans to reach Gaza by mid-June. Boats from the Canadian Boat to Gaza, Greece Ship to Gaza, Freedom Flotilla Italia, Norway Ship to Gaza, South Africa Palestine Solidarity Alliance, Spain Rumbo a Gaza and Turkey’s Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) are part of the third attempt.

Israel has maintained a tight blockade of the Gaza Strip since 2007, when Palestinian group Hamas took over control of the territory, a move which has ravaged its economy and shaved off around 50 percent off its Gross Domestic Product.

(Source / 31.05.2015)

Activists mark 5 years since Israeli flotilla attack

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Activists in Gaza City on Sunday marked five years since Israel’s deadly attack on the first Freedom Flotilla in 2010, a day after the ship leading Freedom Flotilla III arrived in the port of Bueu in Spain en route to Gaza.Israeli naval forces killed nine activists On May 31, 2010 after they stormed six ships intending to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza.The incident took place in international waters and sparked international outcry.Sunday’s commemoration ceremony was organized by Miles of Smiles, an international Gaza aid campaign, and was attended by dozens of activists.The participants held up photos of the victims of the first flotilla and chanted slogans demanding freedom for Gaza and Palestine.They then sailed a short distance off the coast and threw roses into the water in honor of the victims, also raising the flags of the countries participating in the current flotilla.In a press conference in Gaza port, a spokesperson for Miles of Smiles, Ali al-Nazli, said the commemoration was part of ongoing efforts to end the blockade of Gaza.”We are here to say to Marmara martyrs,” he said, referring to the Turkish ship aboard which the activists were killed, “we won’t forget you…and history won’t forget you.”He also applauded the president of Miles of Smiles, Issam Yousuf, “who has been touring the capitals of the world to recruit support for Gaza and Palestine.”A trawler leading the third Freedom Flotilla arrived in Spain on Saturday after setting sail from Sweden earlier this month.The ship, called the Marianne, will join other ships heading to Gaza in “a peaceful, nonviolent action to break the illegal and inhumane blockade of the Gaza Strip,” according to the Freedom Flotilla Coalition.The Marianne is carrying a limited cargo of solar cell panels and medical equipment for the devastated Gaza Strip.It will carry a crew of five people as well as “up to eight delegates as passengers in each section of the route,” the FFC said, with these delegates to be announced along the way.European MEP Ana Maria Miranda Paz will be one of the passengers when the boat leaves Bueu for Portugal, with a range of other public figures expected to participate in the flotilla, including former Tunisian President and human rights activist Muncef al-Marzouk.Gaza has been under a crippling Israeli-administered military blockade since 2007.

(Source / 31.05.2015)

Israeli cops, settlers harass Palestinian children, attack family in O. J’lem

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– A horde of Israeli fanatic settlers, escorted by border cops, on Saturday evening attacked and injured a Palestinian family living in Jerusalem’s Old city after the latter protested the abuse of their children.

Family member Ahmad Jaber said in a press statement clashes burst out after Israeli border police, who have seized the second floor of the family’s multi-story apartment in al-Sa’diya neighborhood, harassed a group of Palestinian children.

The heavily-armed Israeli soldiers attacked the Jaber family and the other natives of al-Sa’diya quarter with randomly-shot barrages of rubber bullets and pepper gas.

The family members had also been heavily beaten by the Israeli officers and vandals as they voiced their protest over the abuse of their children.

45-year-old Tawfiq Jaber and his elderly mother, reportedly in her 60’s of age, along with his wife and two sons, sustained injuries and bruises in the assault.

(Source / 31.05.2015)

Prominent Egyptian female activist jailed for 15 months

In February, Mahienour El-Massry (pictured) winner of France’s 2014 Ludovic Trarieux International Human Rights Prize, was sentenced with two other defendants to two years in jail

An Egyptian appeals court sentenced a lawyer and award-winning activist to 15 months in jail for breaking into a police station and assaulting officers in 2013, a court official said.

In February, Mahienour El-Massry, winner of France’s 2014 Ludovic Trarieux International Human Rights Prize, was sentenced with two other defendants to two years in jail by a lower court in the same case.

She appealed the verdict and on Sunday an appeals court in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria reduced the sentence to 15 months.

When the judge read the verdict, Massry chanted “Down with military rule”.

Defence lawyer Mohamed Ramadan said the defendants were charged when they had gone to a police station in Alexandria in March 2013 to check about a fellow lawyer who had been detained.

He dismissed the verdict — which is final — as a “political” ruling.

Since the July 2013 ouster by the army of Islamist president Mohammad Mursi, authorities have cracked down on his supporters and secular activists as well.

The crackdown has left hundreds of Mursi supporters dead and thousands jailed, while dozens have also been sentenced to death in mass and speedy trials.

The sweeping crackdown has also seen several top secular activists jailed.

Massry was also sentenced to two years in jail last January for violating a protest law that bans all but police-sanctioned demonstrations.

An appeals court later suspended that jail term.

(Source / 31.05.2015)

HRW: New evidence Saudi-led coalition uses cluster bombs in Yemen

Remnants of an air-dropped cluster munition and unexploded BLU-97 submunitions found in the al-Nushoor and al-Maqash areas of Yemen’s northern Saada governorate on May 23, 2015. (image from www.hrw.org)

Remnants of an air-dropped cluster munition and unexploded BLU-97 submunitions found in the al-Nushoor and al-Maqash areas of Yemen’s northern Saada governorate on May 23, 2015

Human Rights Watch has published new evidence alleging the Saudi Arabian-led coalition in Yemen has been using internationally-outlawed cluster bombs. The organization says innocent civilians have been targeted in the raids.

The New York-based organization visited the Saada province in the north of Yemen this month in order to compile its report. Human Rights Watch says it managed to document the use of three types of cluster munitions in the country.

‘Three types of cluster bombs used against civilians in Yemen’ - Human Rights Watch https://soundcloud.com/rttv/bombs-yemen

“The Saudi-led coalition and other warring parties in Yemen need to recognize that using banned cluster munitions is very likely to harm civilians,” said HRW’s senior emergencies researcher Ole Solvang.

“These weapons can’t distinguish military targets from civilians, and their unexploded submunitions threaten civilians, especially children, even long after the fighting,” he added.

Kluster munitie gebruikt in Yemen

Human Rights Watch added at least two people injured in one air attack were likely to have been civilians. They have pinned the blame on the Saudi-led coalition because it’s the only party in the conflict using air power.

In a second attack, four civilians were wounded, including a child. Both assaults took place in the northern strongholds, controlled by the Shiite Houthi anti-government forces.

HRW has called on the 10-member coalition not to use cluster bombs in the conflict. It has also urged nations backing the Saudis, such as the US, to denounce the use of the illegal munitions.

Five ZP-39 submunitions delivered by an unknown type of ground-fired cluster munition photographed in Baqim village in Yemen’s northern Saada governorate, April 29, 2015. (image from www.hrw.org)

Five ZP-39 submunitions delivered by an unknown type of ground-fired cluster munition photographed in Baqim village in Yemen’s northern Saada governorate, April 29, 2015

Saudi Arabia and the nine other Arab nations, who make up the coalition, have not signed up to the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, which prohibits their use.

Cluster munitions contain hundreds of smaller explosive submunitions that are spread over a wide area. This type of weapon is dangerous because some submunitions aren’t immediately detonated and can lie dormant for decades before exploding. Civilians and particularly children have traditionally been the primary victims of such lethal traps.

This is not the first time Human Rights Watch has alleged the Saudi-led coalition’s use of cluster bombs during the conflict. The organization also alleges the US has been supplying the munitions used to bomb Houthi positions in Yemen.

READ MORE: S. Arabia bombs Yemen with US-supplied cluster bombs – HRW

“These weapons should never be used under any circumstances. Saudi Arabia and other coalition members – and the supplier, the US – are flouting the global standard that rejects cluster munitions because of their long-term threat to civilians,” said Steve Goose, arms director at Human Rights Watch.

‘New airstrikes each hour’ – Yemen based analyst on situation in the country https://soundcloud.com/rttv/airstrikes-yemen

According to the World Health Organization, the Yemen conflict, which started in March, has killed almost 2,000 people and wounded 8,000, with hundreds of women and children among the casualties.

Belkis Wille, Yemen and Kuwait Researcher at Human Rights Watch, explained that HRW has just published a second report on the use of cluster munitions in the ongoing war in Yemen.

“This is the second time we’ve found that coalition forces are using cluster munitions. In the reports that are published we document the use of three different types of cluster munitions all in the northern governante of Sadaa in five different incidents. And all of these cluster munition incidents have happened in areas that are near civilian centers, and therefore pose a real risk to civilians who might come across unexploded cluster munitions,” she told RT.

Willie said that several weeks ago a Saudi spokesman for the coalition has denied that they have used cluster bombs.

“They did not say that they would not be using cluster munitions just that they were not at that time. We have not since heard from any member of the coalition or another of the nine countries also participating in the air strikes whether they have been using cluster munitions,” she said.

She said that those countries tacitly supporting the collation such as the US and the UK should do more to stop them using the weapons.

Willie also voiced concerns that the coalition appeared to be targeting non-military targets.

“The problem is the choice of target. We’ve seen multiple instances in which the target that was selected by the coalition is potentially a violation of the laws of war and really calls into question what process the coalition has for selecting its targets,” she said.

(Source / 31.05.2015)