France urges UN to impose humanitarian truce in Syria

France denounced on Tuesday a “serious violation of humanitarian law” in Eastern Ghouta after brutal Syrian regime attacks, in which 167 civilians were killed. In a Foreign Ministry statement, Paris urged its partners at the UN to act to impose a humanitarian truce. “These indiscriminate attacks deliberately target inhabited areas and civilian infrastructure, including medical. They constitute a serious violation of international humanitarian law,” read a statement by the French Foreign Ministry. The ministry added the bombings come as “the humanitarian situation is already critical in Eastern Ghouta. 400,000 civilians are besieged by Bashar al-Assad’s army, including 750 people waiting for emergency medical evacuation, which is being denied.” “These actions are the responsibility of the Syrian regime, but also of Russia and Iran […]

Gaza: We have not received a penny from PA since reconciliation

Gaza’s Ministry of Education said yesterday that it has not received any funds from the Palestinian Authority (PA) government since the signing of the reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas in October last year. Undersecretary of the Ministry Ziad Thabet said that the PA government has not paid a single penny to the Ministry of Education in Gaza since then. In statements to Quds Press Thabet denied allegations by the PA Minister of Education and Higher Education Sabri Saidam that $27 million had been paid to the ministry’s employees in Gaza after being collected from students and school canteens. Thabet pointed out that Gaza’s Ministry of Finance is only able to pay a small part of the Ministry of Education’s […]

Staff at a Tunisia autism centre investigated for abuse

The director and two employers at a centre for autistic children in Ariana in Tunisia have been placed in custody following a series of complaints of abuse taking place against children under their care. According to the assistant to the public prosecutor at the court of first instance of Ariana, Moez Ghribi, “several parents lodged a complaint with the public prosecutor at the Ariana Court of First Instance who referred them to the judicial police to be heard.” Yesterday, the prosecution ordered the opening of a judicial inquiry into the centre after video footage on social networks depicted “scenes of aggression and ill-treatment inflicted by a woman on one or more children” at an institution located in el Menzah 7, according […]

UNICEF: 7,000 newborns die every day

Some “2.6 million” babies die each year within one month of being born, the United Nations Children’s Fund warned today in a 44-page report. Each year, of the 2.6 million newborns, one million take their last breath on the day they are born, the report added. The fatal risk of dying as a newborn is “enormously dependent” on where the baby is born. “Babies born in Japan stand the best chance of surviving, with just 1 in 1,000 dying during the first 28 days,” UNICEF said. However babies in Pakistan are worst off with a mortality rate of 46 in every 1,000 “before the end of their first month”. “While we have more than halved the number of deaths among […]

Syria regime prepares for ground offensive on Eastern Ghouta

The Syrian regime is preparing for a ground offensive on the besieged Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta following days of heavy shelling, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. President Bashar Al-Assad has reportedly been sending reinforcements to the area since the start of the month ahead of a potential ground push against the last opposition stronghold near the capital. “The reinforcements are complete; the attack is just waiting for a green light,” said monitor head, Rami Abdel Rahman, on Sunday. Over 100 people in Ghouta were killed yesterday after an intensified assault by regime and Russian forces. Some 500 have been injured over the past three days with civilian neighbourhoods and hospitals being struck. The province was also […]

Egypt: Ex-presidential candidate Khaled Ali resigns from own party

Egyptian human rights lawyer, Khaled Ali announced his resignation from the Bread and Freedom Party which he co-founded in 2013. Ali also resigned from his position as advisor at the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR) following allegations of indecent conduct brought against him. A former colleague alleged that Ali sexually harassed her in 2015. In his first response to the claims, Ali wrote on Facebook: “I remained silent because I believe that we live a new world and have new tools to express our positions and opinions, the only way was to deal with this event with all seriousness and guidance.” Ali said he had asked the campaign in cooperation with the party to form an independent […]

Israel proposes bill to revoke residency status of Palestinians in East Jerusalem

The Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation has approved a proposed bill that makes it possible to revoke the residency status of persons in occupied East Jerusalem and Golan Heights if they are convicted of engaging in anti-Israel activities, Haaretz reported. The revocation of residency will make it possible for Israeli authorities to expel residents who are involved in the resistance against the occupation or who breach their loyalty to the State of Israel. Israel classifies Palestinians living in East Jerusalem and Druze in the Golan Heights as “residents” and not citizens. According to the Palestinian Ministry of the Interior, Israel has revoked the residency status of more than 14,500 Palestinians from East Jerusalem since 1967 under the pretext that they were […]

Saudi Arabia to host Arab Fashion Week for the first time

For the first time in its history, Saudi Arabia will be hosting Arab fashion week next month. The news was announced yesterday by Princess Noura Bint Faisal, the honorary president of the Arab Fashion Council (AFC). Speaking to a small group of industry insiders and journalists in London yesterday morning, Bint Faisal, reading from a letter from the General Entertainment Authority in Saudi Arabia, said: “Saudi Arabia’s artistic community has been growing in size and in confidence for a number of years and the General Entertainment Authority believes that such an event will allow a proper platform to showcase their fashion and arts talents as the vehicle for a comprehensive range of entertainment options in Saudi Arabia.” Bint Faisal went […]

South Africa to cut diplomatic ties with Israel

The South African government is intending to cut diplomatic ties with Israel in protest of its treatment of the Palestinian people, the country’s Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor announced yesterday. Pandor informed parliamentarians of the government’s resolution during a ten-hour joint debate on South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) that he delivered last week. “The majority party has agreed, that government must cut diplomatic ties with Israel, given the absence of genuine initiatives by Israel to secure lasting peace and a viable two-state solution that includes full freedom and democracy for the Palestinian people,” she said. The comments were made in response to opposition leader Kenneth Meshoe, who had argued that it was disappointing […]

Campaign targets Facebook over attacks on Palestinian content

Activists will launch a social media campaign against Facebook for its deliberate targeting of pages which support Palestinian rights. Social media users will use the hashtag #FBfightsPalestine to draw attention to their campaign. Coordinator of Sada Social Centre, Iyad Rifai, said the campaign is scheduled to begin tomorrow evening will be the first step against Facebook’s latest actions. He explained that the campaign aims to educate people about Facebook’s recent treatment of Palestinian content and the extent of its violations. “We are planning to take further steps, if Facebook does not clearly clarify its policies with regards to dealing with the Palestinian content,” Rifai added. He stressed that the group is mulling taking legal action against Facebook through international institutions […]