Middle East

Facing grim situation in Palestinian territories, UN raises aid appeal by 80 per cent

With the humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territory looking extremely bleak and predicted to worsen in the coming months, the United Nations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been compelled to revise their appeal for aid to Palestinians upwards by 80 per cent from $215 million to $385 million.

UNESCO chief condemns murder of Iraqi educator, CBS crew members

The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today condemned the assassination of a senior Iraqi Education Ministry official and denounced the growing number of attacks against educators in the country while also deploring the killing two CBS television crew members, the latest media professionals to die while covering the war.

UN brokers cessation of hostilities after clashes at Israel-Lebanon withdrawal line

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today commended the Governments of Israel and Lebanon for avoiding a further escalation along the withdrawal line between their countries after the United Nations brokered a cessation of hostilities following serious clashes there.

Poverty, unemployment worsen in Israeli-occupied Arab territories – UN report

Poverty and unemployment continued to worsen in Palestinian and Syrian territories occupied by Israel despite a moderate economic upturn last year, according to a new United Nations report issued today covering the period before a new deterioration stemming from a suspension of aid after Hamas took over the Palestinian Government.

Security Council welcomes new Iraqi Government, hopes for completion

The United Nations Security Council has welcomed the recent formation in Iraq of a new Government while voicing hope that the process would soon be completed.

New challenges in Middle East underscore need for negotiated settlement – UN official

Hamas’ takeover of the Palestinian Authority, inter-factional tensions in Gaza and the new Israeli Government have produced a fresh set of challenges and opportunities for the international community, a senior United Nations official has told the Security Council, stressing the need for negotiations to achieve the goal of a two-State solution.

Palestinians fleeing Baghdad remain stranded on Iraqi-Syrian border, UN says

Nearly 190 Palestinians, including four pregnant women and 29 children, are still stranded in no-man's-land on the Iraqi-Syrian border two weeks after they said threats and harassment forced them to flee Baghdad, despite efforts by the United Nations refugee agency to gain them entry into Syria.

Violence continues to undermine human rights in Iraq, UN mission says

The ongoing insurgency, terrorist attacks and revenge killings by armed groups in Iraq are increasingly targeting women, children and professionals, including academics, judges and their relatives, while military operations have also severely affected the enjoyment of human rights, resulting in civilian deaths, the United Nations Assistance Mission for the country (UNAMI) says in a report released today.

B’nai B’rith has role in promoting solution to Middle East conflict – Annan

In facing global challenges including the Middle East conflict, the world needs B’nai B’rith and groups like it to be engaged across the international agenda, Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said in a message to the organization.

UN relief agency set to further its role in Occupied Palestinian Territory

As the situation in Gaza and other parts of the Occupied Territories continues to deteriorate, the main United Nations humanitarian agency operating in the area is considering taking enhanced measures to assist refugees and other vulnerable sections of the affected population, its representative told a meeting in New York today.