Middle East

UN expert on protecting human rights in war on terrorism invited to visit Israel

An independent United Nations expert on safeguarding human rights while fighting terrorism is to visit Israel at the invitation of its Government, possibly during the first half of next year.

UN and partners launch their largest ever appeal for emergency aid for Palestinians

The United Nations and its partners today launched their largest ever appeal for emergency aid to the occupied Palestinian territory – more than $453 million to help address a rapidly deteriorating situation after donors cut off funds to the Government when Hamas, which rejects Israel’s right to exist, won elections earlier this year.

Half Iraq’s ‘Garden of Eden’ marshes begin to recover, thanks to UN-backed plan

Fifteen years after nearly being annihilated by Saddam Hussein, almost half of Iraq’s fabled marshlands of Mesopotamia, considered by some to be the original Garden of Eden, have regained their 1970s extent, thanks to a multi-million dollar programme managed by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Annan calls for new 6-month extension of force monitoring Israeli-Syrian ceasefire

Warning that the situation in the Middle East is likely to remain tense “unless and until a comprehensive settlement” can be reached, Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called for another six-month extension of the United Nations force that for the past 32 years has monitored the ceasefire between Israel and Syria on the Golan Heights.

British professor joins UN fact-finding mission on Israeli killing of Palestinian civilians

The United Nations Human Rights Council announced today that it has appointed a second member of its high-level fact-finding mission to Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, where an Israeli military attack last month killed 19 Palestinian civilians.

Welcoming Gaza ceasefire, Security Council urges end to all terrorism and violence

Welcoming the recent ceasefire in Gaza, members of the United Nations Security Council today called for an end to all aspects of violence and terrorism throughout the region, the President of the 15-member body said.

Donors pledge $100 million for UN agency caring for Palestinian refugees; more needed

Nearly two dozen international donors have pledged around $100 million for the United Nations agency that provides humanitarian relief to millions of Palestine refugees, although funding for 2007 is still inadequate and the Gaza Strip is an “economy on life support,” the agency’s deputy has warned.

Lebanon: UN Rights Council report condemns flagrant Israeli violations in summer war

Israel’s use of weapons such as cluster bombs during this summer’s war with Hizbollah in Lebanon was a flagrant violation of the right to life and property, excessive, not justified by military necessity and went beyond the arguments of proportionality, according to a report mandated by the Human Rights Council.

UNESCO chief pays tribute to Iraqi journalists after murder of two more media workers

Following the murder of yet two more Iraqi media workers, the head of the United Nations body mandated to protect freedom of expression today paid tribute to the courage of journalists willing to face such dangers in the war-torn country.

General Assembly urges Middle East sides to extend truce to West Bank

Under the terms of one of a series of resolutions on the Middle East passed by large majorities today, the United Nations General Assembly welcomed the recent Palestinian truce initiative and its acceptance by Israel, and urged both sides to maintain and extend it to the West Bank.