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Euro-Med documents mass killings of civilians in Yemen

Geneva - The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor expressed deep concern about the increased intensity of military confrontations in the southern governorate of Ad Dali’, resulting in the death and injury of dozens of civilians amid large waves of displacement of people in extremely complex humanitarian conditions.

The Geneva-based nonprofit group called for a halt to the ongoing military confrontations, especially in the north and west of Qa'tabah village, north of Ad Dali’ governorate, between the Saudi-led coalition and the Ansar Allah (Houthi) group, further calling for a lift to the siege affecting the civilian population.

Testimonies collected by Euro-Med’s team reveal the unprecedented intensity of the military confrontations that took place a few days ago in the areas of al-Hajar and northern Qa'tabah in Qardah as well as Naqil al Shim villages, using all kinds of weaponry.

A family of four children and their father were killed in an airstrike that targeted their house on Monday in the al-Wabh village. Two other children (Hamed al-Dukh, 13, and Ahmad al-Dukh, a year and a half) were also killed in a similar attack on a vehicle in al-Hazm district in al-Jawf governorate in northern Yemen.

An elderly woman named Zahra Hamed Ali, 70, was reportedly shot by gunmen from the Rabat district of the Azraq governorate on Sunday, killing her instantly. A day earlier, a person named Saleh Said al-Harbi was shot dead in Qardah district by a sniper, while he was returning to his home.

On 11 May 2019, Qa'tabah witnessed indiscriminate bombardment, resulting in the killing of two families, including four children (named Ishraq, Anas and Saqr and Yamamah, al-Hubeishi), when their house was bombed.

Saudi fighter jets targeted a house in Shalil village, killing a man and two women and leaving 13 others injured, mostly children with critical wounds.

Cases of enforced disappearance and kidnappings of civilians have also been documented, including the abduction of six children from al-Huzaifi family on 27 April last year, whose fate remains unknown.

Large waves of displacement ensued after the military operations started, while local residents say that many are still trapped inside their homes and they have not been able to access basic needs.

Displaced people are also suffering from extremely difficult humanitarian conditions in several areas of Ad Dali’ governorate and in the areas of confrontation, and their situation is exacerbated by the lack of aid and inability to provide health care to patients.

Qa'tabah has become a disaster area, where there are more than 1,000 displaced people facing their fate under the bombing of the Saudi-led coalition aircrafts and the targeting of al-Houthis.

The military confrontations in Ad Dali’ governorate are part of a series of violations committed by the parties to the conflict in Yemen, including by the targeting of civilians, in a flagrant violation of the right to life and disregard of the rules of international humanitarian law and international conventions.

Targeting civilians, including children, constitutes a serious violation of international humanitarian law, which could amount to a war crime under the Fourth Geneva Convention regarding the protection of civilians, article 3 of which prohibits attacks on life and physical integrity, in particular murder in all its forms.

According to statistics from the World Health Organization, more than 10,000 Yemenis have been killed since the beginning of the Saudi-led Coalition against Yemen on March 26, 2015, while activists confirm that the ever increasing death toll is much higher.

Euro-Med Monitor calls on all parties to the conflict in Yemen to shoulder their humanitarian and legal responsibility and put an end to the war that has devastated the country, stressing the need for a stronger UN intervention to hold the perpetrators to account and to stop the continuous bloodshed in Yemen that has lasted for more than four years and to rescue millions of people at the brink of famine.

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