Arab FMs call for immediate cessation of Israel war on Gaza

Ahram Online , Wednesday 11 Oct 2023

Arab foreign ministers called for the immediate cessation of the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip and an end to its siege, according to an official statement by the Arab League (AL) on Wednesday.

The Arab League headquarter is lit with the colours of the Palestinian flag during an extraordinary
The Arab League headquarter is lit with the colours of the Palestinian flag during an extraordinary meeting in Cairo on October 11, 2023. AFP

The AL also "warned against any attempts to displace Palestinians from their land and exacerbate the issue of refugees, whose right to return and compensation must be met."  

Arab FMs condemned killing and targeting civilians "on both sides” and all acts contrary to international law and international humanitarian law.

“We emphasize the need to protect civilians in line with common humanitarian values and international law. We also stress the need to release all civilians and all prisoners and detainees,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, Egypt's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry said "the onus of Gaza's fate is on Israel" and its “collective punitive measures blatantly violate international law."

Shoukry added that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has"entered a new phase in recent days, one that will impact both peoples and potentially affect the entire region if the deteriorating situation and escalating violence are not contained in a timely manner".

He noted that the harsh scenes witnessed in recent days need no explanation.

"They are the inevitable result of neglecting to earnestly address the Palestinian issue and managing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict without actively working towards a comprehensive and just resolution that rectifies the decades-long injustices suffered by the Palestinian people. They are also a result of political stagnation and decreasing international attention".

Furthermore, Shoukry said one should not be deluded into thinking that security, stability, and coexistence in the Middle East can be achieved without ending one of the longest-lasting occupations in modern history, the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

He also accentuated the suffering of the people in Gaza who "suffer appalling tragedies, having to endure bombardment, blockade, and hunger, all of which contradict international humanitarian law.”

“With no electricity, food, or clean water, Gaza's residents are being forced to leave their homes. Some do so out of fear for their lives, and they often face bombings in their new locations," Shoukry stressed.

"Egypt will continue its communications with regional and international parties and with both sides of the conflict to end the ongoing escalation', he affirmed.

For his part, Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit expressed concern over the possibility that the situation could escalate further and the confrontations expand.

"At this critical time, everyone should exercise maximum restraint, and deeply consider the consequences', Aboul Gheit added.

The urgent meeting, which was headed by Morocco, the current president of the Arab League Council, was held in response to a Palestinian request to discuss the Israeli aggression on Gaza and the required political moves to end the ongoing Israeli attacks.

Mohannad Aklouk, Palestine's permanent representative at the Arab League, said his country requested the meeting to discuss ways of political action at the Arab and international levels to stop the Israeli aggression, hold its perpetrators accountable, and provide international protection for the Palestinian people.

The Israeli war on Gaza has killed more than 1,100 Palestinians. Children and senior citizens account for 60 percent of casualties, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

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