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IEA condemns ongoing military attacks by Israel against Palestine

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(Last Updated On: February 12, 2024)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) on Monday condemned the ongoing attacks by Israel on Gaza and occupied Palestine and called for an end to the ongoing “genocide”.

In a statement issued by the IEA’s foreign ministry on Monday morning, the Islamic Emirate said it “strongly condemns the ongoing atrocities of the Zionists and calls for an immediate end to them.

“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan calls upon international and regional effective governments, Islamic countries and human rights organizations to stop the ongoing genocide in Gaza and occupied Palestine and lead to a fundamental solution to this case.

“continuation of genocide in Gaza has brought serious questions to the ruling international order and its values, and this genocide of the century will further destroy the weak credibility of international organizations and humanitarian conventions,” the foreign ministry said.

The IEA’s statement came after Israel freed two Israeli-Argentinian hostages in Rafah on Monday under the cover of airstrikes which local health officials said killed 67 Palestinians and wounded dozens in the southern Gaza city that is the last refuge of about a million displaced civilians, Reuters reported.

A joint operation by the Israeli military, the domestic Shin Bet security service and the Special Police Unit in Rafah freed Fernando Simon Marman, 60, and Louis Hare, 70, the military said.

The two men were kidnapped by Hamas on Oct. 7, the military said, among some 250 people who Israel says were seized during the militant raid that triggered its war on Gaza.

Israel’s military said its air strikes had coincided with the raid to allow its forces to be extracted.

The Gaza health ministry said 67 people had been killed and the number could rise as rescue operations were under way. A photograph from the scene showed a vast area of rubble where buildings had been destroyed.

Palestinians in Rafah said two mosques and several houses were hit in more than an hour of strikes by Israeli warplanes, tanks and ships, causing widespread panic among people who had been asleep.

“It was the worst night since we arrived in Rafah last month. Death was so near as shells and missiles landed 200 meters from our tent camp,” Emad, a father of six, told Reuters.

Some feared Israel had begun a long-feared ground offensive in the city, where more than a million people displaced by Israel’s war on Hamas are sheltering with nowhere else to go.

Hamas said the attack on Rafah was a continuation of a “genocidal war” and forced displacement attempts Israel has waged against the Palestinian people.

Hamas militants killed 1,200 people in southern Israel and abducted at least 250 in their Oct. 7 incursion, according to Israeli tallies. Israel has responded with a military assault on the Gaza Strip that has killed more than 28,000 Palestinians, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in the enclave.

The IEA meanwhile said the attacks on Rafah city “will cause another big disaster and deepen the current crisis.

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UN reports $402.9 million needed for Herat earthquake recovery support

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(Last Updated On: February 22, 2024)

The United Nations said in a report released Thursday that $402.9 million is needed to support critical recovery and reconstruction efforts in Herat province following last year’s devastating earthquakes.

According to the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) report, issued by the UN, the World Bank, the European Union, and the Asian Development Bank, the scale of October’s was staggering.

Housing, the most severely affected sector, represents 41 percent ($164.4 million) of the total recovery needs.

The earthquakes damaged 49,578 houses, with 13,516 being completely destroyed.

Education is second most impacted sector, with 180,000 students and 4,390 teachers currently facing disruptions. The agriculture sector, accounting for the majority of jobs and income in the affected areas, has also suffered considerable setbacks.

The series of earthquakes on October 7, 11, and 15 killed over 1,500 people and injured more than 2,600 people.

The assessment, with UNDP as the technical lead, covered nine districts with roughly 2.2 million people.

It revealed that over 275,000 individuals were affected. Among these were 17,358 pregnant women, 17,146 infants, 3,976 people with severe disabilities, 3,207 elderly families, 6,806 women-led households, 3,176 individuals with chronic illnesses, and 147,000 children under 18.

Herat, Injil, and Zindajan districts were the hardest hit, with rural and vulnerable communities suffering the most.

The assessment also evaluated broader macro-economic and human impacts and proposed principles for a comprehensive recovery and reconstruction framework.

It cautioned about persistent widespread poverty, slow economic recovery, job scarcity, banking sector instability, adverse impact on mental health and wellbeing, and climate vulnerability, exacerbating Afghanistan’s ongoing economic challenges.

Way forward

The PDNA emphasizes the critical need to transition from immediate humanitarian aid to long-term recovery.

Recovery strategies should prioritize building community resilience, service restoration, earthquake-safe housing, livelihood options, social protection, and access to basic services, especially for the most affected families, the report stated.

“As the United Nations and partners, we stand in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan in these challenging times. The findings of the PDNA highlight the profound impacts of the earthquakes on the Herat region.

“We are committed to not only addressing the immediate needs but ensuring a sustainable and resilient recovery for those affected by the earthquakes. This tragedy presents an opportunity to rebuild stronger, more inclusive, and more resilient communities. The PDNA provides a blueprint for recovery and reconstruction aimed at forging a better future for those most affected in Afghanistan,” stated Indrika Ratwatte, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator.

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Two convicts scheduled for public execution in Ghazni province

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(Last Updated On: February 22, 2024)

The Directorate of Information and Culture of the Islamic Emirate in Ghazni province said in a statement that two convicted prisoners have been given the “retribution order” and will be publicly executed.

The announcement states that the two people will be executed at the football stadium of Ali Lala village in Ghazni city at around 09:00 on Thursday morning.

Based on this announcement, these two verdicts will be implemented in Ghazni city after the decision of three courts and approval by the leader of the Islamic Emirate, the statement read.

This directorate has asked the residents of Ghazni to make their way to the stadium and watch the execution.

People have been asked not to bring cameras and mobile phones with them.

The statement did not say how the convicts would be executed nor did they give the gender or other details about the convicts.

The Supreme Court of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan imposed a sentence of ‘divine retribution’ on two convicted murderers in Ghazni province Thursday morning. Both were executed in public.

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Azizi says investing in Afghanistan made easy for Iranians

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(Last Updated On: February 21, 2024)

The Acting Minister of Industry and Commerce Nooruddin Azizi said in a meeting with an Iranian delegation, led by the Deputy Coordinator of Economic Affairs of Razavi in Khorasan province, that Iranians can invest in Afghanistan “as if they were Afghans”.

Azizi said the paperwork needed for Iranians has been simplified and that traders can now pursue opportunities as they wish.

MoIC spokesman Abdul Salam Jawad Akhundzada quoted Azizi as saying: “The Acting Minister of Industry and Commerce of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan asked the delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran that now the process of documents is easier than in the past and they can invest like an Afghan and use this opportunity the way they want.”

Abolfazl Chamandi, deputy economic affairs coordinator of Razavi, said that they were ready for joint investments in various sectors with Afghanistan and that relations between the two countries were strengthening.

“We are ready to provide information on the progress of the activities regarding the agreements that were made between the two countries during the recent visit of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the economic deputy of the prime minister, and we are moving to implement the agreements step by step,” Chamandi said.

Meanwhile, some experts said that due to security and stability in Afghanistan, investors from neighboring countries, especially Iran, can invest in Afghanistan and Tehran can expand its business relations with Kabul.

Currently, Iran is considered Afghanistan’s largest trading partner, and once Afghan traders start using Chabahar port more, trade relations between the two countries will strengthen.

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