Archive for ‘Middle East’

31/01/2023

Israel-Palestine: UNICEF Warns that Children Are Paying ‘the Highest Price’ as Violence Escalates

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — Alarmed by the recent killing and injury of many children in Israel and Palestine, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) voiced an appeal to parties on Monday [] to de-escalate tensions and refrain from violence.

A Palestinian boy inspects his home which was targeted by the Israeli warplanes in Gaza City. (May 2021)
© UNICEF/Eyad El Baba | A Palestinian boy inspects his home which was targeted by the Israeli warplanes in Gaza City. (May 2021)

“Children continue to pay the highest price of violence,” the statement declared.
“As the situation remains very volatile, UNICEF fears that an increasing number of children will suffer.”
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Just a few weeks into the new year, seven Palestinian children and one Israeli child had been killed and many more injured.
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Since 26 January alone, the terrorist attack outside a Jerusalem synagogue left at least seven Israelis dead and three injured, and the raid of a West Bank refugee camp resulted in the killing of nine Palestinians.

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27/01/2023

More than 20 Million Children across Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia Facing Threat of Severe Hunger, Thirst and Disease

Human Wrongs Watch

By UNICEF – UN Children Fund*

Millions of children are at risk from one of the worst climate-induced emergencies in decades.

Ethiopia. A baby rests in a stabilization centre at a hospital in the Afar region.
UNICEF/UN0639249/Sewunet
A baby rests in a stabilization centre at a hospital in the Afar region of Ethiopia.

Four consecutive seasons of poor rainfall, sharp increases in food prices, and conflict have pushed children and families in the Horn of Africa to the brink of climate change-induced catastrophe.

Exceptional drought across large swathes of Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Eritrea and Djibouti has unleashed hunger, thirst, displacement and death on already vulnerable communities as crops fail and livestock die.

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26/01/2023

Security Council: 12 Years of War, Leaves 70% of Syrians Needing Aid. Situation as Dire as Ever

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — Almost twelve years into Syria’s devastating civil war, the country remains tattered and deeply divided, facing massive economic hardships, limited political progress and the world’s largest displacement crisis, with 70 per cent of the population now in need of humanitarian aid, senior UN officials told the Security Council on Wednesday [].

A family living in an informal settlement in Raqqa city, northeast Syria.
© UNICEF/Delil Souleiman | A family living in an informal settlement in Raqqa city, northeast Syria.

“As we move into 2023, the Syrian people remain trapped in a profound humanitarian, political, military, security, economic and human rights crisis of great complexity and almost unimaginable scale,” said Geir Pedersen, UN Special Envoy for Syria.

Outlining recent developments, he reiterated his previous calls for calm on the ground, good faith engagement in Syria’s stalled Constitutional Committee process, and the Security Council’s critical humanitarian support.

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26/01/2023

Two-Thirds of Yemenis –Some 22 Million– Need Humanitarian Support and Protection

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — Some 21.6 million people in Yemen – that’s two-thirds of the population – are going to need some kind of humanitarian assistance and protection services during the course of 2023, according to the UN’s Humanitarian Response plan published on Wednesday [].

A young girl fled conflict in Al Hudaydah with her family and now lives in a displaced camp in Aden, Yemen.

© UNOCHA/Giles Clarke | A young girl fled conflict in Al Hudaydah with her family and now lives in a displaced camp in Aden, Yemen.

The UN humanitarian affairs office OCHA is calling for $4.3 billion to reach the 17.3 million most vulnerable people in need, whose lives have been turned upside down because of protracted war, displacement and economic collapse, compounded by recurrent natural disasters.

Yemen’s civil war began in 2014 when Houthi rebels took the capital, Sana’a, forcing the Government to leave, leading to the establishment of a Saudi-led coalition in support of the Government who launched airstrikes on the rebels in early 2015.

The total projected number in need this year has decreased slightly from 23.4 million people in 2022, to 21.6 million in 2023, while the “overall intersectoral target” is down from 17.9 to 17.3 million people.

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25/01/2023

How (Much) Are You Today?

Human Wrongs Watch

MADRID, Jan 25 2023 (IPS)* – Gone are those times when catastrophes were measured in terms of human suffering. Now, with an exception: Ukrainians victims of the Russian invasion, everything is calculated in just money.
 
Extreme wealth and extreme poverty have increased simultaneously for the first time in 25 years. The World Bank says we are likely seeing the biggest increase in global inequality and poverty since WW2

Billionaire wealth surged in 2022 with rapidly rising food and energy profits. The report shows that 95 food and energy corporations have more than doubled their profits in 2022. Credit: Clae

Following such a solid trend, major financial, business-oriented institutions, like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Central Bank, are now devoted to calculating if and how big the recession will be, ergo, how much money could be won or lost due, of course, to the Ukrainian proxy war.

They, likewise the establishment’s politicians and media, just talk about inflation, stagflation, economic (read financial) slowdown and commerce.

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25/01/2023

The Occident Is Now Militarising Itself to Death for a Second Time

Human Wrongs Watch

By Jan Oberg, Ph.D. – TRANSCEND Media Service*

May Others Learn to Avoid That Fate

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Jan Oberg

The first Cold War played out between the East and the Western Occident and the East lost with the demise of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact.

Both built – more or less faithfully – on Western mechanical thinking, one on Marx and other socialist/communist philosophers, the other on twisting moral philosopher Adam Smith into a God’s hand individualist utility market prophet and pair him with various types of liberal, parliamentary democracy thinking.

The Soviet and East European system had come to the end of its history, but what about the twin Occidental brother, the US-EU system? The latter had not only survived or ”won,” it had also forced the Soviet Union to spend an unsustainable proportion of its resources on the military.

And now the Second West is destined to follow suit.

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25/01/2023

Palestinian Refugees Face Hitting ‘Rock Bottom’

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) appealed on Tuesday [] for $1.6 billion to fund core operations this year, as the people it helps face hitting “rock bottom”.

Philippe Lazzarini, head of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), briefs journalists at a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
© UN Photo/Srdjan Slavkovic | Philippe Lazzarini, head of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), briefs journalists at a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

Head of UNRWA, Philippe Lazzarini, told journalists in Geneva that competing global crises, and skyrocketing levels of poverty and unemployment among Palestine refugees, have put immense strain on them – and the agency – which started the year some $70 million in arrears.

“On the one hand we are asked to deliver public-like services to one of the most under-privileged communities in the region. We obviously are a UN agency (and) abide by UN values, but in reality, we are funded like an NGO, meaning that we depend on voluntary funding from Member States.”

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21/01/2023

US Installs New Nukes in Europe: As Destructive as 83 Hiroshima Bombs

Human Wrongs Watch

MADRID, Jan 20 2023 (IPS)* – As if the 100 billion dollars that the United States has so far provided to Ukraine in both weapons and aid were not enough, the US has now started to install in Europe its brand new, more destructive nuclear warheads.
 

War damage in Borodianka, Kyiv Oblast. Photo: Oleksandr Ratushniak / UNDP Ukraine

The US 100 billion dollars are to be added to all the weapons and aid that 40 Washington’s ‘allies’ –Europe in particular– have been sending to Ukraine since it was invaded by Russia in February 2022.

The US spending on the Ukrainian war in less than a year amounts to the desperately needed funding that the United Nations require to partially alleviate some of the horrifying suffering of over one billion human beings over two long years.

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19/01/2023

Israeli Settler Colonialism and Apartheid: Poised for Victory or Defeat?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Richard Falk | Global Justice in the 21st Century – TRANSCEND Media Service*

“These are the basic lines of the national government headed by me: The Jewish people have an exclusive and unquestionable right to all areas of the Land of Israel. The government will promote and develop settlement in all parts of the Land of Israel–in the Galilee, the Negev, the Golan, Judea and Samaria.”

— Benjamin Netanyahu, 30 Dec 2022

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Richard Falk

Anyone with but half eye open during the last several decades should by now be aware of the existence of an undisclosed Zionist Long Game that preceded the establishment of Israel in 1948,  and remains currently very much alive. It aims at extending Israeli sovereignty over the whole of Occupied Palestine, with the probable exception of Gaza, excluded for demographic and biblical reasons.

The significance of Netanyahu’s public affirmation of this previously secretive long game is that it may be reaching its final phase, with him presiding over the far right governing coalition that is poised to pursue closure.

Should it matter that Netanyahu’s claim of exclusive Israel’s supremacy on behalf of the Jewish people over the whole of the promised land is in direct defiance of international law?

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19/01/2023

Number of Migrants Who Embarked on the Dangerous Darien Gap Route Nearly Doubled in 2022

Human Wrongs Watch

Geneva, 17 January 2022 (IOM)* The number of migrants irregularly crossing into Panama after embarking on the perilous Darien Gap route reached a record in 2022, nearly doubling the figures of the previous year. According to the Panamanian government, nearly 250,000 people crossed into the country compared to some 133,000 in 2021.

People who embark on this route are exposed to the danger of the jungle, weather and terrain, as well as people smugglers and organized crime.

People who embark on this route are exposed to the dangers of the jungle, the weather and the terrain, as well as people smugglers and organized crime. Photo: IOM

“The stories we have heard from those who have crossed the Darien Gap attest to the horrors of this journey,” said Giuseppe Loprete, Chief of Mission at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Panama. “Many have lost their lives or gone missing, while others come out of it with significant health issues, both physical and mental, to which we and our partners are responding.”

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