NETHERLANDS APOLOGISES FOR SREBRENICA GENOCIDE 27 YEARS LATER
The Dutch government on July 11 issued “deepest apologies’ for the role played by Dutch peacekeepers in Bosnia when an estimated 8,000 Bosniak Muslims were massacred by Serb forces in July 1995. Offering the apology on the 27th commemoration of the genocide at the cemetery in Potocari in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dutch Defence Minister Kajsa Ollongren averred, “Only one party is to blame for the horrific genocide: the Bosnian Serb army,” and said, putting her hand to her heart, “But let me be clear. The international community failed to offer adequate protection to the people of Srebrenica and as part of that community the Dutch government shares responsibility for the situation in which that failure occurred. And for this we offer our deepest apologies.” In 2007, relatives of the victims filed a lawsuit to the Hague District Court against the Dutch government. The court found the Netherlands guilty of handing over 300 Bosniak civilians who took refuge with Dutch soldiers and the UN during the occupation of Srebrenica to the Serbs.
‘20 EGYPTIAN SOLDIERS BURNT ALIVE IN 1967 WAR’
A prominent Israeli journalist specialising in security affairs on July 8 revealed that at least 20 Egyptian soldiers were burnt alive by the Israeli army during the 1967 war. In a series of tweets, journalist Yossi Melman wrote: “After 55 years of heavy censorship, I can reveal that at least 20 Egyptian soldiers were burnt alive and buried by IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) in a mass grave, which wasn’t marked and without being identified contrary to war laws, in Latrun. It happened during the Six-Day War.” The website of the Israeli daily, Yedioth Ahronoth, has published similar details narrated by Melman. “Fire exchanges took place with the IDF troops and members of Kibbutz Nahshon. Some Egyptian troops fled, some were taken prisoners, and some bravely fought. At a certain point, IDF fired mortar shells and thousands of uncultivated dunams of wild bush in the dry summer were set on fire,” said Melman. At least 20 Egyptian soldiers died in the bushfire that spread quickly and they had no chance to escape, Melman quoted Zeen Bloch (now 90 years old), who was the military commander of Nahshon, a left-wing Kibbutz – agricultural community – as telling him.
IRAN UNVEILS 1ST NAVAL DRONE DIVISION AS BIDEN VISITS M-E
The Iranian army on July 15 unveiled the first drone-carrying naval division in the international waters of the Indian Ocean amid US President Joe Biden’s high-profile regional tour. The naval division, comprising surface and submarine units, was unveiled in a televised ceremony attended by top-ranking military officials. The first-of-its-kind division to join the army’s southern fleet, it is capable of carrying different types of combat, surveillance, and suicide drones, state media said. The development came amid Biden’s maiden Middle East tour, which took him to Israel and Saudi Arabia, two of Iran’s regional arch-foes, and a day after the US and Israel announced a joint declaration against Tehran. In the declaration, Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid reaffirmed their resolve to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, triggering angry reactions from Tehran.
YEMEN’S TOP MILITARY COMMANDER SHOT DEAD
Belkhir Banseb of the 2nd Military Zone came under fire from unidentified gunmen in the city of Hadhramaut on July 10. “Yemen has lost one of the most prominent cadres and heroes, who was distinguished by courage and determination,” Aidarus al-Zubaidi, the deputy head of the Southern Transitional Council, said in a statement. Yemen has been engulfed by violence and instability since September 2014, when Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including the capital Sanaa. A military coalition led by Saudi Arabia entered the war in early 2015. The eight-year conflict has created one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, with millions suffering from hunger.
B’DESH INVENTS BIODEGRADABLE CARRY BAG TO REPLACE PLASTIC
A Bangladeshi scientist has invented a low-cost biodegradable carry bag to replace polythene in daily use. Marking the World Paper Bag Day on July 12, Mubarak Ahmad Khan, chief scientific adviser at Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation, claimed that his biodegradable carry bag made of cellulose sheets popularly known as Sonali bags has the potential to transform the world. Khan, who was formally associated with the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission, said he had invented the biodegradable and eco-friendly bag from jute cellulose and polymer in 2017. It can be used in garment packaging and for food packaging for commodities such as rice and sugar and even for dairy milk. “Our jute bags now cost 10-15 Taka (11-16 cents). If we can avail of major funding, then the retail price could be reduced to less than 1 cents. Bangladesh can hold and lead a global market in the bioplastic bag,” Khan said.
TÜRKIYE MARKS 6TH ANNIVERSARY OF 2016 DEFEATED COUP
Turkish officials on July 15 marked the sixth anniversary of the July 15, 2016 defeated coup attempt by the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO), which left at least 251 dead and over 2,700 injured.
Parliament Speaker Mustafa Sentop twitted that the legend of the defeated coup “will be passed down from generation to generation” and will continue to illuminate Türkiye’s future. He commemorated those who lost their lives and praised the “bravery of the nation.” Communications Directorate head Fahrettin Altun called the legendary struggle of the Turkish people a “turning point” in the country’s political history. Saying that the resistance of the Turkish nation will not be forgotten, Altun twitted that Türkiye “will hold the invaders, putschists, terrorist groups, and their supporters to account before the judiciary, and we will completely eliminate them together with their sordid aims.” Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said the Turkish people’s “spirit of solidarity is strong enough to thwart the plans of any terrorist group.”
Image with caption: A labour court in Bonn ruled against Deutsche Welle on the dismissal of Palestinian journalist Maram Salim
DEUTSCHE WELLE LOSES CASE AGAINST PALESTINIAN JOURNALIST
A labour court in Bonn, Germany, ruled against Deutsche Welle (DW) on the dismissal of Palestinian journalist Maram Salim. The Bonn Labour Court on July 6 ruled that Salim’s termination of employment at Deutsche Welle was invalid, unlawful, and that her Facebook posts were not anti-Semitic. On Facebook, Salim said she has been an advocate of women’s rights, human rights, animal rights, and that Deutsche Welle’s accusations trembled her. She called on German broadcaster to publicly apologise and retract its accusations. Deutsche Welle has the right to appeal the decision within a month but it has to pay court costs of €36,000 ($36,133). Deutsche Welle has long been criticised for biased coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.