Have you missed the most important political stories of this week on the GCC crisis? Scroll all the way down to get the updates on the latest developments in the ongoing Gulf crisis.
And here's what happened two weeks before: GCC Crisis Updates Week 165. (there were no GCC Crisis Updates for the last two weeks).
Qatar on Wednesday accused the United Arab Emirates at the UN's top court of inflicting "maximum suffering" on Qataris as part of the Gulf diplomatic crisis, according to a Qatar Tribune report.
Doha alleges that measures taken by Abu Dhabi after several Middle Eastern states severed ties with Qatar in 2017 breached a UN treaty against racial discrimination.
The two energy-rich states are arguing this week before the International Court of Justice in The Hague about whether the tribunal has the jurisdiction to deal with the case.
"The UAE seeks to avoid the jurisdiction of this court because it seeks to avoid the truth," Mohammed Abdulaziz Al-Khulaifi, representing Qatar, told the court.
"This dispute is about the UAE's punitive discriminatory measures, which are intended to bend the state of Qatar to the UAE's political will by inflicting maximum suffering on the Qatari people."
"The UAE's actions go to the very core of the evil the convention was designed to eradicate," said Al-Khulaifi.
The ICJ, set up in 1946 to rule in disputes between UN member states, is expected to decide in coming months whether the case can go ahead.
A final judgement could however take years, and while the ICJ's rulings are final, it has no means of enforcing them.
The case has gone Qatar's way so far, with the ICJ in 2018 ordering the UAE to take emergency measures to protect the rights of Qatari citizens.
Doha has also won a separate but related case at the ICJ in July that is specifically about the air blockade.
US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker expressed hope that there will be a solution to the Gulf crisis which should lead to a unified Gulf position towards all challenges, praising the mediation of Kuwait under the leadership of Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, based on a report in the Gulf Times.
In a press video-conference he held with Kuwaiti media on the occasion of his current visit to Kuwait, Schenker pointed to the negative impact of the Gulf dispute on the ability to confront threats facing the region, noting that his country’s efforts were not far from Kuwait’s efforts in terms of co-ordination, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported. On the other hand, the US official praised the strong and strategic relations between the United States and Kuwait, expressing appreciation for Kuwait’s stance on regional and global issues and the continuous coordination between the two friendly countries.
Ghada Oueiss believes that someone from Saudi Arabia photoshopped her picture with her colleague Mahmoud Murad, and placed an image of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the place where Mahmoud Murad was standing, making it look like Ghada was with Netanyahu.
هذه الصورة التي عدّلها ذباب ولي العهد السعودي فوضع صورة نتنياهو بدل الزميل محمود مراد تثبت حجم الهراء والغباء والكذب والفبركة الذي تسبح فيه دول الحصار 🤮👎 pic.twitter.com/aIh2SfdNXi— Ghada Oueiss غادة عويس (@ghadaoueiss) August 31, 2020
This is not the first time Ghada has been harassed like this and subjected to cyberbullying and a coordinated campaign against her on social media. Just recently, someone stole her personal pictures from her phone, photoshopped them and posted them on Twitter with offensive, misogynistic and false claims that the photos were taken at the private residence of Al Jazeera Media Network’s Qatari chairman, Sheikh Hamad Bin Thamer Al-Thani. The photoshopped pictures were tweeted more than 40,000 times, according to an opinion article by Ghada in the Washington Post.
One Saudi Saoud Bin Abdulaziz Algharibi has been active on the site since 2013, and like almost all of the Saudi accounts attacking Ghada, the majority of Algharibi’s Twitter timeline is filled with tweets praising Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Almost all of the accounts abusing Ghada display the Saudi flag, a picture of MBS, as the Saudi crown prince is often known, or a photograph of Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. Saudi and Emirati public figures, including Dhahi Khalfan, former head of Dubai Police; Naif Al-Asaker, a mufti at the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs and a close ally to MBS; and Hamad Al-Mazroui, a close associate of the UAE crown prince, amplified these posts, which led to ordinary Saudis and Emiratis joining the assault.
Qatar to start its one-week pleadings before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the case against the United Arab Emirates related to the UAE's violation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, according to QNA.
Qatar is officially represented before the court by a team of legal experts led by Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Al Khulaifi, head of the legal team, and the Dean of the College of Law at Qatar University.
The Qatari pleading sessions come in response to the initial objections made by the UAE regarding the court's lack of jurisdiction to consider the Qatari request.
On 29 April 2019, the UAE raised initial objections claiming that the court has no jurisdiction in the case and that Qatar's request is unacceptable to consider its case and that the UAE has not violated its international obligations.
It should be noted that the case was filed by Qatar as a result of the discriminatory measures imposed by the UAE in June 2017 in a joint decision with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Arab Republic of Egypt, and the four countries imposed an illegal land, sea and air blockade on Qatar within the framework of a campaign of political and economic coercion.
On 11 June 2018, Qatar had filed a lawsuit against the UAE before the ICJ. On the same day, Qatar also asked the court, as a matter of urgency, to indicate temporary measures to protect Qatar and Qatari citizens from the racial discrimination imposed by the UAE, specifically on families, students, and property owners in the UAE. This is what prompted Qatar to initiate trial procedures because it firmly believes that violations of human rights arising from the behaviour of the UAE fall under the provisions of the International Convention against All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
On 23 July 23 , the ICJ issued an urgent ruling in favour of Qatar, approving several temporary measures requiring the UAE to guarantee family reunification for Qatari - Emirati families, the right to education, and access to courts.
On 22 March 2019, the UAE submitted a similar and urgent request for the court to approve a set of interim measures to preserve what it called its procedural rights until the court issues its final decision on the issue of the case. On 14 June 2019, the court overwhelmingly rejected the UAE's request.
Furthermore, Qatar is also pursuing its complaint before the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in Geneva against both Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which had been rejected on 29 August 2019, unanimously, the initial objections to its jurisdiction filed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and it formed two committees to look into the subject and examining all evidence in preparation for issuing their final report on the Qatari complaint.
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