Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has condemned Israel’s bombardment on Gaza. He said this as diplomats met in Riyadh for a second day of diplomacy focused on forming a collective response to the war.
“We condemn the violations witnessed in the Gaza Strip by the Israeli occupation authorities and reiterate our position that the forced displacement of Palestinians from Gaza must be stopped,” Prince Mohammed said as he opened the Saudi-African Summit in Riyadh.
“We condemn what the Gaza Strip is facing from military assault, targeting of civilians, the violations of international law by the Israeli occupation authorities,” he said.
However, the Arab League summit, merged with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), faced division and deadlock over five crucial clauses proposed during discussions as four countries denied to vote for tough measures against Israel.
The merger, initially aimed at fostering unity among member states, revealed stark differences in opinions, leading to the rejection of important resolutions.
The clauses, endorsed by 11 Arab states but rejected by four others, included: prohibiting the use of American and other military bases in Arab countries to supply Israel with weapons and ammunition, freezing Arab diplomatic, economic, security, and military relations with Israel, threatening to leverage oil and Arab economic capabilities to apply pressure and halt the ongoing aggression, preventing Israeli civil aviation from accessing Arab airspace and establishing an Arab Ministerial Committee tasked with immediate travel to New York, Washington, Brussels, Geneva, London, and Paris to convey the Arab Summit’s plea to halt Israeli aggression against Gaza.
The 11 Arab countries that proposed and endorsed the plan are: Palestine, Syria, Algeria, Tunisia, Iraq, Lebanon, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Libya and Yemen.
However, the organisation has refrained from explicitly disclosing the identities of those who voted against or chose to abstain.
The rejection by four member states underscores the challenges in achieving a unified stance on critical issues. The divide highlights the complex dynamics within the Arab League and the OIC, particularly concerning strategies to address the ongoing conflict and Israeli genocide.
As tensions persist, finding common ground remains elusive, and the region faces the daunting task of reconciling these contrasting viewpoints for collective action.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry in Gaza today said that Palestinian death toll in the war has surpassed 11,000 people.
The ministry said that 11,078 people had been killed since Israel began bombardment on October 7 when Hamas had retaliated to decades long occupational crimes by Israel.
The deaths include 4,506 children, the ministry’s statement said, adding that 21 hospitals had gone out of service and 47 health centers were out of services.