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July 2023 Report: Monthly Briefing on Countries of Operation

Monday 31st July 2023


20th July 2023: 19-Year-old Palestinian Boy Shot by Israeli Occupation Forces in Nablus 

On the 20th of July, Bader Al-Misri (19) was fatally shot by the Israeli occupation during their bombardment of the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, to aid the settler’s raid into Yusuf AS tomb.1   

July 3rd 2023: Israeli Occupation Launch Largest Military Offensive in Decades in Occupied West Bank City of Jenin  

On the 3rd of July 2023, Israeli forces attacked Jenin refugee camp with air and ground operations that included missiles and at least 10 airstrikes.2 This has been the largest Israeli offensive in the West Bank in nearly two decades, killing at least 12 Palestinians, injuring hundreds, and forcing 3000 people to flee the refugee camp.3 An official at the Jenin Governmental Hospital said the attack was one of the worst in years, adding: "We have not received this number of serious injuries since 2002”  

Our team on the ground who are assisting with the rebuilding of homes reported that hundreds of housing units are destroyed, and at least 40 families (173 people), including 64 children remain internally displaced. Essential infrastructures have been severely damaged including that of water and electricity networks. The UN has failed to uphold international law which states in their clause that countries should not destroy essential civilian infrastructure. It is estimated that US$5.2 million is required to respond to immediate humanitarian needs in Jenin. 



July 2023: Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Successfully Put an End to Poppy Cultivation 

The Afghan government issued a decree forbidding poppy farming throughout Afghanistan in April of last year. Experts regard the ban as "the most successful counter-narcotics effort in human history" more than a year after it was implemented. 

The effect has been very noticeable on the ground. As Taliban enforcers roam from field to farm burning crops and punishing violators, it is claimed that Afghan poppy production has decreased by 80% in the past year. 

According to estimates based on satellite data, cultivation in Helmand province, which formerly generated almost four-fifths of Afghanistan's poppy crop and served as the focal point of British operations in the nation from 2006 to 2014, decreased to just 2,500 acres this year from 320,000 the year before.4 

July 2023: British MP Tobias Ellwood Praises Afghanistan’s Development Under New Government

Conservative MP Ellwood went under scrutiny from his conservative peers after posting a tweet and a video describing Afghanistan as ‘country transformed’ and praised the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) for successfully improving security, corruption, and putting a complete end to opium trade.5 He also described the country to have a sense of calm yet needed support from the international community to protect the ‘vulnerable community’.  

After 20 years of invading and inflicting an unjust war in Afghanistan, it seemed he was encouraging the UK to reclaim their relevance in a now thriving and stable Afghanistan, which enjoys its sovereignty. It might now be of interest for NATO to engage and work to ensure Afghanistan is rebuilt after the ruins they left, and refrain from the propaganda war which will no longer aid their motives for Afghanistan. There is no doubt that it's time that all nations work to support the rebuilding efforts in Afghanistan. 



20th July 2023: US Congress Members Propose New Bill Seeking Accountability for the Assad Regime’s War Crimes in Syria   

On the 20th of July 2023, members of US congress introduced a bill which could hold the President of Syria Bashar al-Assad to account for his war crimes. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib was amongst those pushing this bill forwarded, she stated “Assad’s regime committed some of the worst atrocities of the 21st century during the country’s civil war that began in 2011…. These include, but are not limited to, the use of sarin gas and other chemical weapons against civilians, the widespread use of torture and the deliberate targeting of civilians with conventional weapons”.6 Since the beginning of the war, over half a million Syrians have been killed, 6.9 million people are internally displaced, and more than 5.4 million Syrians have sought refuge in neighbouring countries.7  

Simultaneously, Assad was welcomed by regional leaders at the Arab league summit in Jeddah after 11 years of diplomatic isolation and suspension from organisation. This signalled a shift in attitudes towards Assad and his oppressive regime over the Syrian people. Notably, it is in line with Saudi Arabia’s efforts to normalise relations with other previously opposing governments such as Iran.8   



 24th July 2023: The US Places Sanctions on Three Malian Officials  

On Monday 24th July, US secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the US has placed sanctions against Mali’s defence minister and two military officials for their involvement in aiding the Russian mercenary groups crimes in Mali.9 Blinken explained the sanctions were due to the officials' efforts to “facilitate and expand Wagner’s presence in Mali since December 2021...many deaths were the result of operations conducted by the Malian Armed Forces alongside members of the Wagner group”.10 The Wagner group are notorious for advancing Russia’s military presence and influence in parts of Africa and the middle east. 

9th July 2023: Thousands of Children and Women Flee Massacre in Meneka Region 

On the 9th of July an independent journalist on Mali and Niger reported that thousands of majority children and women have taken refuge in the Tinzaouatine border between Mali and Algeria. It was reported they were fleeing a massacre by the Islamic State in the Meneka region.11  


Uyghur (East Turkestan) 

18th July 2023: US Government Introduce a New Bill to Strengthen Sanctions on Businesses Linked to Uyghur Forced Labour  

A bill was re-introduced to Congress by two lawmakers on Tuesday 18th July which would allow US sanctions to be placed on foreign companies or individuals that do business with sanctioned entities who are known to exploit Uyghur labour and contribute to human rights violations against the Muslim Uyghur community, for example the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC).12 If the bill passes the US government would be able to ban any non-US company that works with sanctioned entities from working with American companies, and their assets in a US bank account would be frozen.  

11th July 2023: Canada Investigates Allegations of Uyghur Forced Labour against Nike and Gold Corporation: 

On the 11th of July, the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE) human rights watchdog launched an investigation into the use of Uyghur forced labour in the supply chains of two Canadian companies; Nike Canada Corp and Dynasty Gold Corporation. The allegations made were across the garment, mining, oil and gas industries. The watchdog reached out to both companies and were concerned with the responses which did not explicitly deny the claims, nor give details to prove the allegations were incorrect. Over the last few years, large companies in the US And Canada have been accused of using Uyghur forced labour in their supply chains which has prompted sanctions on any imports linked to forced labour in the Uyghur region currently occupied by China. 

5th July 2023: Remembering the Urumqi Massacre (2009): 

On the 5th of July, Human Aid & Advocacy remembered the Urumqi massacre, a dark day in East Turkestan’s history when hundreds of Uyghur Muslims were massacred, and thousands detained by the Chinese military. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) initiated a crackdown on Uyghurs who protested their suppressive policies and occupation of East Turkestan. Uyghurs all over the world mark this day as a reminder of China’s suppression and abuse against the Turkic Muslim community in Chinese occupied East Turkestan. 

24th June 2023: Three Uyghur Brothers Detained by Indian Government at Risk of Deportation 

Three siblings were arrested by the Indian government in occupied Jammu & Kashmir which borders Chinese occupied East Turkestan. They have been in detention for a decade and were recently transferred from a prison in Jammu to an overpopulated one in Haryana where the brothers are unable to adapt to the hot weather conditions. US-based Uyghur lawyer and human rights activist stated Three young men have been subjected to nearly a decade of wrongful imprisonment in what is a total miscarriage of injustice. When these boys demanded liveable conditions and requested to be moved from their overcrowded prison that was made even more intolerable by the scorching summer conditions”.13 



July 2023: Yemen’s Prospects of Peace Uncertain Following Halt in War 

In an effort to restore peace in Yemen and move away from a lingering position between war and seize fire, there has been a strong focus on diplomatic efforts to reach an agreement between Saudi Arabia and the Iran-backed Houthi rebels. The Chinese-brokered agreement signed by Saudi Arabia and Iran earlier to restore diplomatic relations and reduce tensions between the Saudis and Houthis is still in progress. The negotiations between Saudi Arabia and the Houthis have been divided into three phases: addressing humanitarian issues, making military arrangements, and facilitating talks among various Yemeni factions.14 

The involvement of the United Arab Emirates, which supports the Southern Transitional Council (STC), is significant. However, the absence of Abu Dhabi from the Saudi-Houthi talks raises concerns about its commitment to achieving national peace in Yemen. The Emiratis may not favour a peace agreement that allows the expansion of Houthi influence in the southern region which has soured their relationship with Saudi Arabia. 

Improvements in Famine Levels in Yemen  

The UN’s World Food Program (WFP) reported a significant improvement, witnessing the number of people living in famine-like conditions decrease from 161,000 to zero within the past year. Nevertheless, the WFP issued a warning, cautioning that the hard-won progress could be jeopardised by “donor fatigue” which denotes the redirection of humanitarian aid towards the Russian-Ukrainian war while overlooking other ongoing crises.15 



20th July 2023: Bangladesh To Run ‘Repatriation Project’ for Rohingyas to Return to Myanmar Where They Face Genocidal Attacks 

UN reporter Tom Andrews suggests there were reports of Bangladeshi authorities using ‘deceptive and coercive’ measures to persuade Rohingya refugees to return to Myanmar where they are subjected to genocidal attacks.16  

“Conditions in Myanmar are anything but conducive for the safe, dignified, sustainable, and voluntary return of Rohingya refugees,” Andrews said. “Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, who commanded the forces that launched the genocidal attacks against the Rohingya, now leads a brutal military junta that is attacking civilian populations while denying the Rohingya citizenship and other basic rights,” said Andrews. 

Saying this, with the condition of camps being severely poor, Rohingya’s are also desperate to leave the camps. However, if they return to Myanmar they have no rights, citizenship or protection. The international community must do more to fight for the rights of the Rohingya people who are currently an exiled and stateless community. 


19th July 2023: Massive Cuts to Food Assistance for Rohingya Refugees Leave Thousands in State of Hunger  

On the 19th of July, the UNHCR reported that funding cuts to the World Food Programme (WFP) have forced agencies to ration food in camps for Rohingya refugees, leaving many stealing foods for survival.17 Food rations have been reported to decrease to 26 cents a day, moreover, due to constraints, the WFP had to reduce the value of food vouchers from $12 per month to $8 in June. 

Current refugee camps have been deemed as unsafe as they lack proper shelter for refugees from the increasing climate issues, but no effort has been made to correct this by Bangladesh. The UNHCR reports that nearly one million Rohingya remain stranded in ‘extremely overcrowded, and sometimes dangerous conditions.’  

Today, there are 980,000 refugees and asylum-seekers from Myanmar in neighbouring countries. Approximately 919,000 Rohingya refugees are living at the Kutupalong and Nayapara refugee camps in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar region (July 13th Update).18  

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