THE Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates yesterday welcomed the initiative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, in calling for a session of the Security Council for it to assume its responsibilities in calling for an immediate ceasefire against the backdrop of the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip based on Article 99 of the United Nations Charter.
In a statement, the Foreign Ministry considered this initiative a ‘very necessary step’, consistent with the tasks assigned to the Security Council and international legitimacy institutions, and consistent with international warnings about the repercussions of the humanitarian catastrophe that befell Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip as a result of the genocidal war launched by Israel.
It also strongly condemned the attack and incitement by the occupying state and its officials against the UN Secretary-General and considered them ‘political terrorism’ to discourage the Secretary-General from performing his role and carrying out his duties under the Charter of the United Nations, international law, and human rights principles.
The Ministry called on world leaders and countries to support Guterres’ initiative and to rally around it to push the Security Council to fulfil its obligations and decide on a ceasefire.
- The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in New York welcomed yesterday’s release of reports by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse (AFP) into the deadly October 13th strike on journalists in southern Lebanon, and reiterated its call for an immediate, independent, and transparent investigation that holds the perpetrators to account.
The investigations by the two human rights groups and the two international wire services found that the attack, which killed Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah and injured six others, was likely a deliberate assault by the Israel occupation forces on civilians, which constitutes a war crime, said CPJ.
The extensively researched reports include witness testimony and analysis of videos, audio, munition remnants, and satellite imagery.
‘Their findings echo some of those in CPJ’s May 2023 report, which showed a pattern of lethal force by the Israel Defence Forces that left 20 journalists dead over the last 22 years.
‘No one was ever held accountable. CPJ’s report, Deadly Pattern, found that the majority of the 20 journalists killed – at least 13 – were clearly identified as members of the media or were inside vehicles with press insignia at the time of their deaths,’ said the statement.
Since October 7, CPJ has documented the deaths of at least 63 journalists and media workers, making the Israel-Gaza war the deadliest period for journalists covering conflict since CPJ began documenting fatalities in 1992.
CPJ has repeatedly noted that, according to international law, journalists are civilians who must be respected and protected by all warring parties and that deliberately targeting journalists or media infrastructure constitute a war crime.
In addition to the killing of Issam Abdallah, two journalists from Al Mayadeen TV – reporter Farah Oar and cameraman Rabih Maamari – as well as their local guide Hussein Akil, were killed by Israeli gunfire on 21 November in the village of Teir Harfa in the governorate of Tyre while covering events in the southern Lebanon borders with Israel.