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“Gaza on ‘knife edge,” Ban Ki-moon

Posted in World

Published on July 11, 2014 with No Comments

·         Hundreds of Palestinians carried bodies through the streets in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday evening as they buried those killed in Israeli airstrikes. On the other side of the border Israelis braced for more rocket fire and soldiers massed on the border. Palestinian medics say a total of 49 people have been killed in Gaza, including 22 on Wednesday. Of the total dead, medical officials have confirmed at least 15 are civilians and 10 militants, with the remainder uncertain.

·      Israel mulls charging policeman who beat Palestinian teen

Israel is considering charges of “severe violent crimes” against a policeman who harshly beat a Palestinian youth in Jerusalem, the justice ministry said. Last week a video showed that the policeman was badly beating 15-year-old Palestinian-American Abu Khdeir, while another police officer was holding the teen down.

“Apparent evidence was found supporting the guilt of the police officer suspected of severe violent crimes, committed after the minor was arrested and handcuffed,” media from US quoted the ministry as saying.  As reports, Israel’s Police Investigations Department has decided to consider bringing criminal charges against the police officer, and instructed that he be summoned to a hearing at the department. “The suspect has been banned from his police duties for 15 days,” it added.  Abu Khdeir was arrested last week when clashes in East Jerusalem erupted after his second cousin, 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir, was murdered by Jewish far-right activists.  Abu Khdeir was arrested after allegedly being identified by the police as taking “an active part in riots, while masked and carrying a slingshot”.  The court ordered the police to release him and send him to house arrest.  The case has stirred a wide international attention, incurring a condemnation from the US State Department that demanded Israel to conduct “a speedy, transparent and credible investigation and full accountability for any excessive use of force”.

Gaza is on “a knife edge” and the Middle East faces one of its most serious challenges in years, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said in unusually forthright remarks.
Ban said he had spent the day talking with world leaders including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, as well as US Secretary of State John Kerry.
It came as Israeli warplanes pounded Gaza, killing dozens in a major new confrontation with Palestinian militants, as Hamas flexed its firepower and sent thousands running for shelters across the country.  “I am alarmed by the new wave of violence that has engulfed Gaza, southern Israel and the West Bank – including East Jerusalem. This is one of the most critical tests the region has faced in recent years,” said Ban.
“Gaza is on a knife edge. The deteriorating situation is leading to a downward spiral which could quickly get beyond anyone’s control.  The risk of violence expanding further still is real. Gaza, and the region as a whole, cannot afford another full-blown war,” he added.  Ban condemned the rocket attacks launched from Gaza on Israel, saying: “Such attacks are unacceptable and must stop.”  He said he had also urged Netanyahu to exercise maximum restraint and to respect international obligations to protect civilians




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