what to remember from Monday March 4

Tensions rose further on Monday March 4 between the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), which reported “torture” against its employees, and Israel which accused this agency of using “more than 450 terrorists” in Gaza, where the mediating countries are trying to impose a truce after almost five months of war. The UN at the same time published a report according to which there are “good reasons to believe” that sexual violence, including rape, was committed during the unprecedented attack carried out by Hamas on October 7 on Israeli soil. Franceinfo summarizes what you need to remember from this day.

Israel accuses UNRWA of employing “more than 450 terrorists” in Gaza

The Israeli army on Monday accused the UN agency for Palestinian refugees of using “more than 450 terrorists” of the Islamist movement Hamas and other organizations in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli military also released what it says is a recording “of a terrorist working as an Arabic teacher in an UNRWA school” Who “describes his entry into Israeli territory and says he is holding Israeli women hostage” during the attack on October 7. AFP was unable to independently verify these accusations.

UNRWA accuses Israel of ‘torture’ against arrested employees

UNRWA accused the Israeli authorities of committing acts of “torture” against some of its employees arrested in the Gaza Strip since October 7.“Our employees told us atrocious things during their detention and interrogation by the Israeli authorities” like the “torture, ill-treatment, abuse and sexual exploitation”said the agency in a press release sent to AFP.

“Some of our employees reported to UNRWA teams that they had been forced to make confessions under torture” when they were “questioned about relations between UNRWA and Hamas and involvement in the October 7 attack on Israel”she added. The AFP was unable to independently confirm the accusations by the Israeli army and UNRWA.

There are ‘good reasons to believe’ that rapes were committed during Hamas attack, UN says

There are “good reasons to believe” that victims of the Hamas attack on October 7 were raped, as were certain hostages held in Gaza, according to a UN report published Monday which cannot specify the number of these sexual violence.

While the United Nations has been criticized for reacting too slowly to the rapes and sexual violence that Israel accuses Hamas of having committed on October 7, the UN special representative on sexual violence in conflict Pramila Patten, accompanied by experts, visited Israel and the West Bank for two and a half weeks at the beginning of February.

Based on information collected “There is strong reason to believe from multiple, independent sources that conflict-related sexual violence took place during the October 7 attack in several locations on the outskirts of Gaza, including rape and rape in meeting, in at least three places”including the Nova festival website, the report indicates.

Israel accuses UN of passivity towards Hamas, UN chief denies

Israel announced the recall on Monday of its ambassador to the United Nations for consultations, accusing the organization of passivity towards Hamas before the publication of the report on sexual violence committed by the Palestinian Islamist movement on October 7. “It took the United Nations five months to finally recognize sex crimes”commented Gilad Erdan, referring to the “shame of the UN exposed for all to see”.

The UN Secretary-General refuted this accusation, ensuring that the report “was done thoroughly and diligently”. “In no case has the Secretary General done anything to keep this report silent”assured Stéphane Dujarric, responding to accusations from the Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Dismantling UNRWA would sacrifice “an entire generation of children”, insists its leader

The dismantling of the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees demanded by Israel would lead to the sacrifice of“an entire generation of children” and to “sow the seeds” future conflicts, his boss warned Monday before the United Nations General Assembly.

“Dismantling UNRWA is reckless. In doing so, we will sacrifice an entire generation of children, planting the seeds of hatred, resentment and future conflict”declared Philippe Lazzarini, estimating “naive” to think that the demise of the Agency could occur without threatening world peace and security.

This statement comes as sixteen donor countries, including the United States, have suspended their funding to the agency since the Hamas attack on Palestinian soil. And this because UNRWA is accused of having employed people involved in the October 7 attack. Follow our live stream.

The US vice-president expresses her “deep concern” about the humanitarian situation in Gaza

US Vice President Kamala Harris said her “deep concern” about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza during a meeting Monday with Benny Gantz, a member of the Israeli war cabinet, according to a statement released by the White House.

She has “urged Israel to take action” to increase the entry of aid into the territory threatened by famine, but also “welcomed the constructive approach” Israeli authorities in the ongoing negotiations on a six-week truce, and “called on Hamas to accept the conditions that are on the table” to achieve this temporary cessation of hostilities.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights worries war is getting bigger

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed fear Monday that the war in Gaza could lead to “to a much wider conflagration”before the Human Rights Council in Geneva. “I am deeply concerned that any spark in this powder keg could lead to a much wider conflagration”said Volker Türk, adding that “This would have implications for all countries in the Middle East, and many beyond”.

Foreign worker killed by missile in northern Israel, near Lebanon

Israeli rescuers reported Monday the death of a foreign worker, killed by a missile, in northern Israel, near the border with Lebanon. An anti-tank missile hit “foreign workers on a plantation”killing one of them and injuring at least seven others, announced Magen David Adom, the Israeli equivalent of the Red Cross, in a statement.

Two of the injured are in serious condition, according to rescuers, who did not specify the nationality of the victims. The origin of the shooting was not immediately known. “The United States is convinced that a diplomatic solution is the only way to end hostilities (…)”, declared Amos Hochstein, American envoy, in Beirut. He also estimated that a “temporary ceasefire was not enough”.

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