Daily Archives: June 11, 2016

Israel to Demolish Homes of Two Tel Aviv Attackers

Israeli occupation forces late Saturday notified to demolish the Hebron homes of two Palestinians whom Israel accuses of carrying out the fatal Tel Aviv attack almost three days ago, according to a local activist.

Coordinator of the national and popular committees against the apartheid wall and settlements, Rateb al-Jabour, informed WAFA Israeli army handed the families of two Palestinian suspects demolition orders for their homes in Hebron’s town of Yatta, which has been under a tight military blockade since Thursday.

This came after two Yatta locals reportedly carried out a fatal gun attack in Tel Aviv, Israel, killing four Israelis and injuring several others. The locals were identified as Mohammed Ahmad Makhamreh, and Khaled Mohammed Makhamreh.

In the aftermath of the fatal attack, Israeli forces sealed off the entire town of Yatta, blocking all of its entrances.

According to Reuters, “The Tel Aviv gunmen, cousins in their 20s who, security experts said, appeared to have entered Israel without permits, were quickly apprehended. One of them was shot and wounded.”

Israel resorts to punitively demolish the family homes of any Palestinians – as means of deterrence – accused of being involved in attacks against Israelis, a policy that Israel does not use against Israeli settlers who were involved in fatal attacks against Palestinians.

Al-Haq human rights group slammed the punitive home demolition of Palestinians suspected of being involved in attacks against Israelis, as a collective punishment and that in accordance with humanitarian law and human rights law; it is assessed as a war crime and a crime against humanity.

B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group, says: “The people who bear the brunt of the [punitive] demolitions are relatives – including women, the elderly, and children – whom Israel does not suspect of involvement in any offense.”

“In the vast majority of cases, the person whose actions prompted the demolition was not even living in the house at the time of the demolition,” adds the group.

“The official objective of the house demolition policy is deterrence … yet the deterrent effect of house demolitions has never been proven.”

It said that, “ Since this constitutes deliberate harm to innocents, it is clear that even if house demolition had the desired deterrent effect, it would, nevertheless, remain unlawful.”

In the meantime, Amnesty International, argued that, The Israeli authorities’ claim that such demolitions are effective in dissuading potential attackers is entirely irrelevant in the eyes of International humanitarian law, which places clear s on the actions which an occupying power may take in the name of security, and the absolute prohibition on collective punishment is one of the most important of these rules.

“Collective punishment is never permissible under any circumstances,” it said.

In November, 2016, the United Nations’ Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities in the occupied Palestinian Territory, Robert Riper, contended that Israel’s punitive home demolition policy taken against Palestinians suspected of carrying attacks against Israelis violates  international law, calling for its cessation.

“I am distressed by reports of punitive demolitions carried out by Israeli security forces of five homes in the Jerusalem, Nablus, and Ramallah governorates in the last few days,” said UN Riper.

“We recognize Israel’s serious security challenges today, but any law enforcement response must be consistent with international law,” maintaining that, “Punitive demolitions are inherently unjust, punishing innocent people for the acts of others.”

“Punitive demolitions are a form of collective penalty as they effectively punish not only the alleged perpetrators but also people (relatives, neighbors) for acts they have not individually committed,”  stressed the statement.

The policy of such punitive demolitions was suspended by the Government of Israel in 2005 after an Israeli military committee deemed it ineffective as a deterrent.

Such actions have restarted since mid-2014, with the exception of one case in 2009.

 Source: Wafa

South Africa: President Conveys Condolences to Families in Mitchell Plein

President Jacob Zuma has extended his condolences to the families and relatives of nine people, including children, who died this morning in Mitchell’s Plein after a house was burnt down.

“I am deeply saddened and shocked by this tragedy that has befallen the community of Mitchell’s Plein today.

“I wish to extend my condolences and those of the whole government to the families and relatives of the deceased during this difficult time,” President Zuma said on Saturday.

 Source: SAnews.gov.za.

UMLAZI IMBIZO TO ADDRESS FOSTER CARE ISSUES

The Minister of Social Development, Ms Bathabile Dlamini, will on Saturday, June 11, take Project Mikondzo to Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal Province.

Project Mikondzo is a Social Development service delivery initiative which seeks to increase the Social Development footprint in the most impoverished communities of South Africa.

Community dialogues held recently in the area by the Department revealed that there was a high number of foster care complaints resulting in many orphaned and vulnerable children not fully receiving child protection services. Community members were concerned about delays in obtaining foster care orders.

In 2014, Minister Dlamini established a foster care committee to investigate challenges experienced by children in foster care. The committee has finalised its preliminary report and some of its findings include that:

  1. a) Some foster parents are unsuitable to take care of fostered children due to ill-health and old age.
  2. b) There is a higher prevalence of children and families who do not know the whereabouts of biological fathers in most Provinces.

Foster care is an alternative care placement of a child who has been placed in the care of a person not the parent or guardian of the child as a result of an order issued by a Children’s Court. A fostered child may be placed in the care of a person who is a family member, a non-family member or someone who is in a registered cluster foster care scheme. By end of March this year, there were 470 682 fostered children who were receiving foster child grants.

 Source: Department of Social Development          

Government is attending to the matter of our firefighters in Canada

The President has requested the Minister of Environmental Affairs Ms Edna Molewa to intervene in resolving the matter of the 301 South African firefighters who went to assist in quelling fires in Canada.

The firefighters reportedly downed tools over a pay dispute.

The group was sent by the agency Working on Fire which is one of the projects of government’s flagship Expanded Public works programme. The programme is run by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA).

The DEA will be assisted by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation in finding a solution to the impasse.

South Africa warmly welcomes the opportunity provided to South African youth to work abroad.

The relations between South Africa and Canada have deepened each year since the dawn of democracy and find expression in social, economic and political cooperation among others.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa