UK sanctions settlers in the West Bank

The Foreign Secretary has announced sanctions on 4 extremist Israeli settlers who have committed human rights abuses against Palestinian communities in the West Bank. There have been unprecedented levels of violence by extremist settlers in the West Bank over the past year. Some residents of illegal Israeli settlements and outposts have used harassment, intimidation and violence to put pressure on Palestinian communities to leave their land. The government notice said that the most recent sanctions will target extremist Israeli settlers who have “violently attacked Palestinians” in the...

Prime Ministers in Canada, Australia and New Zealand call for immediate ceasefire in Gaza

In a joint statement published on Wednesday, the leaders of Canada, New Zealand, and Australia call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza in response to Israel's planned military operation in Rafah. The statement emphasizes that Rafah is currently providing refuge for 1.5 million Palestinians and that an expanded military operation would be catastrophic. "An immediate humanitarian ceasefire is urgently needed. Hostages must be released. The need for humanitarian assistance in Gaza has never been greater. Rapid, safe, and unimpeded humanitarian relief must be provided to civilians,"...

Dozens of civilians killed by Ethiopian troops

Ethiopia’s federal security forces killed at least 45 civilians in a massacre in Amhara state in late January, the independent state-affiliated Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said on Tuesday. It is one of the worst episodes of violence in the Amhara region since last August, when powerful local Fano militias began a rebellion against the government's plans to disarm them . A statement said the EHRC had confirmed “the identity of at least 45 civilians who were extrajudicially killed by government security forces for allegedly ‘supporting [ethnic Amhara armed group] Fano’.” The...

Dutch court orders halt to export of F-35 jet parts to Israel

On Monday a Dutch appeals court ordered the Netherlands to block all exports of F-35 jet parts to Israel due to concerns they are being used to violate international law in Gaza. The court has stated that the government has seven days to comply with the order. The lawsuit against the Dutch government over F-35 jet exports to Israel was brought on by various rights groups including the Dutch arm of Oxfam. Siding with human rights groups the court said, "It is undeniable that there is a clear risk the exported F-35 parts are used in serious violations of international humanitarian law." The...

Conflict in DR Congo intensifies

Thousands of people are fleeing violence in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo as fighting intensifies between the Congolese army and the M23 armed group. Fighters reportedly surrounded the strategic town of Sake on Wednesday, a crucial step before reaching Goma, the capital of North Kivu. Capturing Sake would deal a logistical blow to Congolese soldiers. It is the latest episode in a resurgence of fighting that has seen tens of thousands added to the nearly seven million who have been forced from their homes in the country because of multiple conflicts. Rebels from the ethnic Tutsi-led...

UNICEF Executive Director warns against escalation of Israeli attacks into Rafah

On 8 February, UNICEF issued a statement warning that an escalation of Israel's attacks in Rafah "will mark another devastating turn in a war that has reportedly killed over 27,000 people - most of them women and children." Israeli Prime Minister has stated that he ordered the military to develop a plan to both evacuate civilians from Rafah and defeat remaining Hamas battalions. There are approximately 1.5 million Palestinians in Rafah seeking refuge from Israel's military invasions in the rest of Gaza. UNICEF's Executive Director, Catherine Russell, emphasizes that "thousands more could die...

UN appeals for $4.1bn to meet humanitarian needs in Sudan

On Wednesday the United Nations appealed for $4.1bn to meet the humanitarian needs of Sudan after ten months of armed conflict have led to the world's largest displacement crisis with half of the population facing hunger. The UN has characterized the situation in Sudan as one of "epic suffering". The appeal for more aid comes as the UN World Food Programme has warned that people in Sudan are starving to death in areas that have been cut off due to fighting. Médecins Sans Frontières has described the situation as "absolutely catastrophic". The organization has stated that a child is dying of...

Sinn Féin says united Ireland 'within touching distance'

Sinn Féin says united Ireland 'within touching distance' as the party claim the post of Northern Ireland first minister for the first time. Northern Ireland’s devolved government has reconvened and appointed Michelle O’Neill as first minister in a historic moment for Sinn Féin and Irish nationalism. Mary Lou McDonald said last week that the expected restoration of power sharing in the wake of a deal between the Democratic Unionist party and the UK government came amid a “historical turning of the wheel” that would unite the island. “In historic terms, it is within touching distance and I...

Three years after coup, Myanmar demands greater attention - UN rights chief

Earlier this week the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, appealed for increased attention on Myanmar from the international community citing the rapidly deteriorating human rights situation in the country. Ahead of the third anniversary of the military coup, Türk stated “Amid all of the crises around the world, it is important no one is forgotten. The people of Myanmar have been suffering for too long." The High Commissioner highlights that fighting between the military and opposition groups has resulted in mass civilian casualties and displacement. In 2023 the number of...

UK considering recognising Palestinian state

Britain will consider recognising a Palestinian state as part of concerted efforts to bring about an “irreversible” peace settlement, the foreign secretary, David Cameron, has said. Palestinians must have “a political horizon so that they can see that there is going to be irreversible progress to a two-state solution”, Lord Cameron said in a speech on Monday night at a reception in London. he foreign secretary had pushed Netanyahu over a two-state solution to bring about peace for both Israeli and Palestinian people last week during a meeting in Jerusalem. Netanyahu has rebuffed efforts from...

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