Latest: The head of the UN rights calls for a reduction in tensions in Gaza


BERLIN – Latest on the continuing violence between Israel and the militant rulers of Hamas in Gaza (all times locally):


BERLIN – The head of the United Nations for human rights calls on everything that developed in the battle between Israel and the militant rulers of Hamas in Hamza to reduce tensions and make mistakes in the actions of both sides.

Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a statement issued Saturday in Geneva that “instead of trying to calm tensions, the inflammatory rhetoric of leaders on all sides seems to be trying to fuel tensions, not calm them.”

Bachelet’s statement was released on Saturday, shortly before an Israeli airstrike destroyed a tall building in the city of Gaza that housed the offices of the Associated Press and other media outlets.

In a statement, Bachelet “warned that the firing of large numbers of indiscriminate missiles by Palestinian armed groups into Israel, including densely populated areas, with a clear violation of international humanitarian law, is a war crime.”

There are also concerns that some Israeli military attacks in Gaza “have targeted civilian facilities that, under international humanitarian law, do not meet the requirements to be considered military targets.”

He added that “non-compliance with the principles of discrimination, proportionality and precaution in conducting operations is a serious violation of international humanitarian law and may constitute a war crime.”


BERLIN – The Iranian Foreign Minister canceled a planned visit to his Austrian counterpart in Vienna. The decision came after the Austrian office and foreign ministry waved the Israeli flag as a signal of solidarity in the Israeli conflict with the militant Hamas group.

The Austrian daily Die Presse reported on Saturday that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was scheduled to meet with Austrian counterpart Alexander Schallenberg on Saturday morning. But he canceled the trip due to the decision of the Austrian leaders to fly the Israeli flag on Friday.

The Austrian news agency said Schallenberg spokeswoman Claudia Tuertscher had confirmed the report. She said, “We’re sorry about this.”

Vienna has hosted talks in recent weeks aimed at returning the United States to a 2015 nuclear deal aimed at easing concerns over Iran’s nuclear ambitions. France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China remain parties to the agreement.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi tweeted on Friday that Austria “has so far been a great host for negotiations”, but it was “shocking and painful to see the flag of the occupying regime, which brutally killed dozens of innocent civilians, including many children in just a few days, through the state offices in Vienna. “


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Saudi Arabia has invited the foreign ministers of the world’s largest body of Muslim states to hold a meeting Sunday. The gathering will discuss Israeli acts of violence against Palestinians and the use of Israeli police force against protesters at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

The kingdom will host a virtual summit, which will bring together the ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation with 57 countries “to discuss Israeli aggression on Palestinian territory”, especially the violent acts near the Al-Aqsa mosque, the body said on Saturday.

The OIC based in Saudi Arabia includes the countries of Iran, Turkey, Indonesia and a number of Muslim majority countries.

The sanctity of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, one of the holiest Islamic sites, is a sensitive and emotional issue for Muslims around the world. The OIC was formed 51 years ago in response to a Jewish extremist arson attack on the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem.

The top of the hill on which the mosque stands is also sacred to the Jews, who revere it as the Temple Mount because there were biblical temples on it. Some Jews and evangelical Christians support the construction of a new Jewish temple on the site, an idea that Muslims find alarming because they fear it could lead to the division or demolition of the mosque.


RAMALLAH, West Bank – Palestinians began gathering across the occupied West Bank to mark the anniversary of the displacement of hundreds of thousands of refugees from present-day Israel during the 1948 war over its creation.

Nakba Day, Arabic for “catastrophe,” comes amid widespread Jewish-Arab violence in Israel and fierce fighting between Israel and the Islamic militant group Hamas, which rules Gaza. The main event on Saturday was held in the West Bank city of Ramallah, home to the Palestinian Authority with international support.

On Friday, Palestinians in the occupied West Bank staged some of the largest protests in years and clashed with Israeli forces, who shot and killed 11 people, including a Palestinian who tried to stab a soldier in a military position.

About 700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled from their homes during the 1948 war. Today, there are about 5.7 million of them and their descendants, and they mostly live in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.


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