Israel kills more children as it strikes residential building in south Gaza

News Network
November 18, 2023

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An Israeli strike on Khan Younis in Gaza has killed dozens of Palestinians, mostly children, Palestinian news agency Wafa has reported.

The attack on Saturday morning (November 18) marked a dramatic escalation of airstrikes on southern Gaza by Israel.

The director of the Nasser hospital was quoted as saying that the facility had received 26 dead bodies and 23 people with serious injuries after a strike on a residential building in the city of Hamad.

For the past 42 days, the Israeli military has been pounding northern Gaza, telling residents to flee to south.

The attack on Khan Youni came just after Israel issued warnings to Palestinians in the southern city to relocate west, indicating an attack was imminent.

With the conflict entering its 43rd day, the death toll in Gaza has now surpassed 12,000 Palestinians, with the majority of those killed being women and children.

Israeli troops on Saturday ordered the evacuation of al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City "in the next hour" over loudspeakers as troops combed the facility, news agencies reported.

Al-Shifa Hospital -- Gaza's biggest -- has become the focus of Israeli attacks in its ruthless invasion of the city.

The United Nations estimated 2,300 patients, staff and displaced Palestinians were sheltering at al-Shifa before Israeli troops moved in on Wednesday.

The health ministry in Gaza has announced dozens of deaths there as a result of power cuts caused by fuel shortages amid intense combat.

Israel has made repeated calls for the hospital to be evacuated to the south, however medical professionals say the patients cannot be moved.

Hospital director Mohammed Abu Salmiya told AFP Israeli troops instructed him to ensure "the evacuation of patients, wounded, the displaced and medical staff, and that they should move on foot towards the seafront".

Forty patients at al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza have died since November 11 due to a lack of electricity, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.

In an interview with Al Jazeera Arabic, the general manager for the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Munir al-Barsh, said Israeli forces removed more than 100 bodies from al-Shifa Hospital.

Barsh said that Israeli forces removed 15 bodies from a mass grave, with a total of around 130 bodies taken from the hospital.  

The remaining functioning hospitals in Gaza are on the brink of collapse, even as more and more wounded and dead arrive on their doorsteps.

In the West Bank city of Nablus, at least five Palestinians were killed and several more sustained injuries when an Israeli air strike targeted a building at a refugee camp.

Wafa said the aerial strike targeted the local headquarters of the Palestinian Fatah resistance movement at Balata refugee camp early on Saturday.

Witnesses said the strike appeared to have come from a drone, though there was no immediate confirmation.

Local sources indicated that a number of young men were present in the building, including a number of those persecuted by the Israeli military.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) announced in a statement that its medics were dealing with five serious injuries from the attack, all of them men ranging from 19 to 25 years in age.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that four of those killed were affiliated with al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, the armed wing of the Fatah faction.

Elsewhere in the northeastern West Bank city of Tubas, an 18-year-old Palestinian, identified as Omar al-Shahrouri, was killed and two others injured as clashes broke out after Israeli forces stormed the area in large numbers.

Palestinian medics said three young men suffered from gunshot injuries during the clashes. One of them was pronounced dead upon his arrival at hospital. 

Earlier on Friday, Israeli forces shot and killed two young Palestinian men over an alleged shooting attempt in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli military alleged in a statement that the pair arrived in a car at the Zaytoun Junction near the city of al-Khalil, located 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of al-Quds, and opened fire on Israeli troops stationed there. The soldiers then fatally shot both of them.

Israeli forces have escalated raids on Palestinian towns and villages and carried out a sweeping campaign of arrests in the occupied West Bank, where Palestinians have held protests in solidarity with their compatriots in the Gaza Strip.

At least 186 Palestinians, including 51 children, have been killed by Israeli troops in the West Bank since the Gaza war erupted in early October. An additional eight have been killed by extremist Jewish settlers, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry figures.

Israel has launched relentless air and ground attacks on the coastal enclave, including hospitals, residences, and houses of worship, since Palestinian resistance movements launched their surprise attack, dubbed Operation Al-Aqsa Storm, against the regime on October 7.

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News Network
July 10,2024

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The Supreme Court today (July 10, 2024) held that a Muslim woman is entitled to file a petition for maintenance against her husband under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The Bench of Justices BV Nagarathna and Augustine George Masih dismissed a petition filed by a Muslim man's plea against the direction to pay interim maintenance to his divorced wife under Section 125 CrPC. The Court held that the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act 1986 will not prevail over the secular law.

Justices Nagarathna and Masih delivered separate but concurring judgments.

"We are dismissing the criminal appeal with the conclusion that Section 125 CrPC would be applicable to all women and not just married women," Justice Nagarathna stated.

The bench clarified that if during the pendency of a petition under Section 125 of the CrPC a Muslim woman is divorced, then she can take recourse to the Muslim Women(Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act 2019. The bench stated that the remedy under the 2019 Act is in addition to the remedy under Section 125 CrPC.

Background

For a comprehensive understanding of the facts of the case and the issue involved, click here.

Senior Advocate S Wasim A Qadri, appearing for the petitioner-husband, raised the following contentions:

(A) The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986 Act ("Act") is a special law in the nature of beneficial legislation, which provides way more than what Section 125 CrPC contemplates. Besides maintenance, Section 3 of the Act also deals with mehr, dower and return of property. Under the Act, a "reasonable and fair" provision is also made for the divorced woman's entire life, but the same is not contemplated under Section 125 CrPC. Moreover, if the divorced woman has sufficient means, she cannot file for maintenance under Section 125 CrPC, however, that is the case with Section 3 of the Act.

(B) To the legal position flowing from Mohd Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum, factum of divorce was not relevant and every Muslim woman was entitled to maintain a Section 125 CrPC petition. To upset this ruling, the Act was enacted and it codified the Supreme Court judgment. The Act is a complete code in itself and a reading of its provisions would show that it was intended to have an overriding effect over Section 125 CrPC. While it makes provisions for "divorced" Muslim women, deserted or neglected Muslim women may resort to Section 125 CrPC.

(C) It is a settled position of law that special law (the Act) shall prevail over general law (CrPC). Language of the Act being clear, there is no reason for the Court to go beyond. It must simply give effect to what is stated in the Act.

(D) Section 5 gives an option to the divorced couple to not be governed by the Act. This shows that a Muslim wife cannot resort to both remedies.

(E) As per Section 7 of the Act, a Section 125 CrPC petition pending at the time of commencement of the Act was to be disposed of by the Magistrate in terms of Section 3 of the Act. This shows that the ambit of Section 125 CrPC in these petitions was to be interpreted in light of provisions of the Act, read with Section 5 CrPC (which excludes applicability of CrPC provisions when there is a special provision).

(F) Under doctrine of implied repeal, the Parliament is presumed to know pre-existing law and won't intend to create any confusion by retaining conflicting provisions. In applying this doctrine, Court must give effect to legislative intent of the two enactments (CrPC and the Act).

Amicus and Senior Advocate Gaurav Agarwal, on the other hand, put forth the following submissions:

(A) The Act only concretizes Muslim personal law. It broadens a divorced Muslim woman's entitlement to maintenance beyond the iddat period, but does not take away the relief available to her under Section 125 CrPC because the purpose behind the latter is different.

(B) The petitioner's reliance on Section 5 of the Act is misplaced, as that provision comes into play when an application has been filed under Section 3 of the Act. In the present case, the respondent-wife had approached the Court under Section 125 CrPC.

(C) Section 7 of the Act is only a transitional provision. If an application was pending under Section 125 CrPC on the date of commencement of the Act, it was to be subsequently governed by Section 3. However, that does not mean that Section 125 CrPC petitions could no longer be filed.

(D) In Danial Latifi & Anr v. Union Of India, Supreme Court only dealt with validity of the Act. Though the validity of provisions of the Act was upheld, the Bench questioned in the said case as to how it could deprive Muslim divorced women the same right which is available to other women in the country.

(E) As per Section 127(3)(b) CrPC, if some provision has been made under personal law, a husband may avoid liability for maintenance under Section 125 CrPC. It would be for Courts to record a fact-finding in this regard.

(F) Different High Courts have taken different views, so clarity on the issue has become necessary. Judgments that are no longer good law may be declared as such. Kerala High Court has taken a view both Section 125 (CrPC) petition and Section 3 (1986 Act) petition are maintainable, but a woman has to choose between one of the two. But this position is not correct.

Before conclusion of arguments, the Amicus also pointed to a scenario where a divorced Muslim woman may accept provision made under personal law for her entire life, but later realize that it was not sufficient. In that case, she can only approach under Section 125 CrPC and not under Section 3 of the Act. As such, she should not have to choose between the two remedies and must be entitled to both.

Court Observations during the hearing

During the hearing, the Bench remarked that Section 3 of the Act begins with a non-obstante clause. As such, it is not in derogation to what is already provided under Section 125 CrPC, but an additional remedy.

Justice Masih said : "this Act does not bar...it is the choice of the person who had applied or moved an application under 125...there is no statutory provision provided under the Act of 1986 which says that 125 is not maintainable". Concurring, Justice Nagarathna said that there was nothing in the 1986 law which barred one remedy in favor of the other.

When the Bench enquired as to whether the present petitioner had paid anything to the respondent-wife during the iddat period, answer was given in the negative. The Amicus clarified that a draft of Rs.15,000 was tendered by the petitioner during the iddat period, but the same was not claimed by the respondent-wife. Taking into account the same, the Bench said that it would still have been understandable if the petitioner had made provision for the wife during the iddat period, as in that case, Section 127(3)(b) CrPC may have come into play.

Responding to the petitioner's submission that none of the judgments cited by either side had dealt with Section 7 of the Act, Nagarathna J said that the provision was only with regard to pending cases (and thus, transitory). Countering the contention, the Amicus drew attention of the Court to a Kerala High Court judgment which considered Section 7 and held that it could not be interpreted as extinguishing the right of divorced Muslim women to file petitions under Section 125 CrPC.

Notably, the Kerala High Court (in the judgment cited by the Amicus) was of the view that the transitory provision was intended to do away with the necessity of Muslim women, who had Section 125 CrPC petitions pending at the time of commencement of the Act, having to file fresh claims under Section 3 of the special law. To quote the Bench,

"If the Parliament had the intention to extinguish such rights of the Muslim woman, it would only be reasonable to expect the Parliament to speak in definite and specific language about such extinguishment. Parliament must have been aware that when 1986 Act was enacted, number of orders must have passed in favor of divorced Muslim women under Section 125...Message appears to us to be loud and clear...Both rights, under Section 125 of the Code and Section 3 were conferred on the divorced women. She has the right to choose."

As against the petitioner's submission that the provisions of the Act indicate Parliament's intent to bar entitlement of Muslim women to file maintenance claims under Section 125 CrPC, the Court expressed an opinion that the same would be unconstitutional.

If the Parliament intended for divorced Muslim women to no longer be entitled to file petitions under Section 125 CrPC from the date of commencement of the Act, it could have explicitly given an overriding effect to the Act, the Bench remarked. To quote Nagarathna J, "In the absence of such a thing, can we add a restriction to the Act? That is the point".

After hearing the submissions of both the Senior Advocates, the judgment was reserved on February 19.

Counsels for petitioner-husband: Senior Advocate S Wasim A Qadri; Advocates Saeed Qadri, Saahil Gupta, Deepak Bhati and Shivendra Singh; AOR Udita Singh

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coastaldigest.com news network
June 29,2024

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The UN agency for Palestinian refugees says over 625,000 children in Gaza have not attended school for more than eight months as the Israeli regime continues its brutal war on the densely-populated territory.

In a social post, the UN agency said there were 300,000 UNRWA students before the war.

"Play and learning activities provided by UNRWA teams are critical in preparing children to get back to school and restore their right to education," the UN agency said, posting photos of UNRWA staff training Gazan kids.

The regime has been attacking the densely-populated region non-stop for nearly nine months now, killing at least 15 thousand children, in defiance of a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire.

The regime has also imposed a total blockade on the strip that has cut the flow of food, clean water, and medicine to the region.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, whose latest ruling ordered the regime to halt its offensive in Rafah immediately.

Last Saturday, the Gaza Government’s Media Office said in a statement that at least 800,000 students of various educational levels have been deprived of their right to education in the region.

It said about 40,000 high school students will not be able to take this year’s exams, which endangers their opportunities in local and international higher education.

“40,000 high school students from various branches will not be able to participate in this year’s session of the high school exams, representing an unprecedented violation that threatens their future and undermines their chances of enrolling in local and international universities and colleges,” the media office added.

The media office said, “85 percent of educational facilities are out of service due to direct and deliberate targeting, posing a significant challenge to efforts to resume the educational process after the war ends."

It said plans have been implemented to make up for the academic year for students to ensure that the academic year is not lost and that they possess the essential concepts and skills necessary for their continued learning.

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News Network
July 6,2024

Mangaluru: An unsuspecting woman, who fell prey to online fraud, lost Rs 18.1 lakh. The complainant, who works from home, received a call on July 1 from an unknown person claiming to be from FedEx, informing her that a parcel had been registered in her name. 

Eager to find out more, she was instructed to press 1. After doing so, a person identifying himself as Anurag Tomar, with an employee ID, briefly introduced himself before ending the call.

Anurag Tomar called her back and alleged that the parcel contained contraband items, including a passport, four credit cards, 25 strips of LSD, and some clothes.

He told her she would be connected to the Mumbai Crime Branch and instructed her to download the Skype app for a video call.

Following these instructions, she spoke with an individual claiming to be an officer from the Mumbai Crime Branch. This person obtained her Aadhaar card and bank account details, and instructed her to add a beneficiary to her account. 

Over the course of the conversation, Rs 15 lakh was transferred from her account, followed by an additional Rs 3.1 lakh, after adding another beneficiary. The scammers stayed in touch with her until about 7.30 pm.

When the complainant attempted to reconnect with the same number, she was unable to reach anyone. She informed her family and realised that she had been defrauded. From 1.30 pm to 7.30 pm, the scammers made her believe they were from the Mumbai Crime Branch, threatening her with a case involving the alleged LSD found in the parcel. In total, she was cheated out of Rs 18.1 lakh, she alleged.

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