Middle East

Probe into Israeli killing of UN monitors unable to determine why appeals were ignored

A board of inquiry into an Israeli attack in Lebanon that killed four United Nations military observers in July had no access to the commanders involved and was therefore unable to determine why the attacks were not halted despite repeated appeals from UN personnel, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s spokesman said today.

UN probe into murder of former Lebanese leader points to young male suicide bomber

Evidence suggests that a young, male suicide bomber, probably non-Lebanese, detonated up to 1,800 kilograms of explosives inside a van to assassinate former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in Beirut last year, the head of the United Nations investigation into the killing told the Security Council today.

UN human rights chief to visit Occupied Palestinian territories, Israel

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour briefed the Human Rights Council today on the worldwide work of her Office, voicing concern at the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and announcing that she would soon visit Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Lebanon is recovering quickly from recent conflict between Israel and Hizbollah – UN

Lebanon is making speedy progress towards recovery after the destructive conflict between Israel and Hizbollah this summer and humanitarian agencies are preparing to close down or transfer their activities to relevant Government authorities or development agencies, the United Nations officials reported today.

Lebanon: UN force tends to humanitarian needs following Israeli-Hizbollah conflict

The newly reinforced United Nations peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon has taken on a humanitarian dimension, clearing roads, treating the sick and distributing water although this in not its primary function, with individual contributing battalions often bearing the additional cost themselves.

UN relief agency makes school grants to Palestinian refugee children in Gaza

A United Nations relief agency has distributed 100 shekels (about $25) apiece to Palestinian refugee children to cover the costs of school bags, uniforms and shoes in the Gaza Strip, infusing noticeable economic activity into a region that has reached an unprecedented level of unemployment following the suspension of much foreign aid.

Israel could complete Lebanese withdrawal by Saturday – UN Force Commander

The commander of United Nations peacekeepers in Lebanon held talks with senior Lebanese and Israeli military officers today with a view to completing by Saturday Israel’s withdrawal from all the positions it occupied in its northern neighbour during last month’s fighting with Hizbollah.

Washington out of touch with anger of Arab world, Syrian minister tells UN

United States officials are interpreting the actions of the people of the Middle East in a distorted manner in a bid to justify their policies to the detriment of all concerned, the Foreign Minister of Syria told the General Assembly today.

UN human rights expert reports on ‘appalling’ conditions for ordinary Palestinians

Describing a ‘tragic’ human rights situation for ordinary Palestinians living in the occupied territory, an independent United Nations expert today presented his report to the newly established Human Rights Council, sparking criticism from the Israeli representative that the work was one-sided and imbalanced.

Italian ship off coast of Lebanon rescues Syrian lost at sea for two days – UN

Italians serving with an international maritime task force off the Lebanese coast over the weekend rescued a Syrian who had been swimming for two days after apparently falling from a passing ship, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) reported today.