Depriving Palestinians of aid tantamount to death sentence: Arab League chief

Ahram Online , Sunday 3 Mar 2024

Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, emphasised on Sunday that withholding essential life-saving aid from the Palestinians is equivalent to a death sentence.

Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, receives Sigrid Kaag, the UN Chief Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs and Reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, in Cairo, 3 March 2024. Photo: League of Arab States


Aboul Gheit's remarks came during a meeting on Sunday with Sigrid Kaag, the UN Chief Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs and Reconstruction of the Gaza Strip.

The Secretary-General's Spokesperson, Gamal Roshdy said in a statement that the discussion focused on the severe deterioration observed in the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip over recent weeks.

It also touched upon proposed plans for aid delivery and various ideas related to directing aid, highlighting the associated difficulties due to Israeli intransigence.

Aboul Gheit emphasized that the international community bears responsibility for this tragedy, attributing it to the approval granted by some world powers to Israel.

He reiterated that the priority is to achieve an immediate ceasefire, halt the bloodshed, and prevent starvation of the Palestinians in Gaza, read the text.

Aboul Gheit and Kaag also agreed that the urgent return of the Palestinian Authority to the Gaza Strip is necessary for reconstruction. 

Early on Sunday, the Arab League warned of the dangerous repercussions of the brutal war led by Israel in the Gaza Strip, stressing that the Israeli occupation is implementing a long-term plan to plunder surface and groundwater resources and use them as a means of blackmail against the Palestinians.

In a statement on the occasion of Arab Water Day, the Arab League renewed its call for an immediate halt to this attack to allow humanitarian relief workers to provide drinking water and implement urgent interventions in the areas of sanitation.

The statement noted that Arab Water Day comes at a time when the Arab region is facing a crisis in the Gaza Strip caused by the ongoing Israeli aggression and its targeting of Gaza's water and sanitation sector to spread epidemics among the displaced Palestinian population there.

Furthermore, the statement accused Israel of deliberately polluting Gaza's water sources to make life there impossible.

It added that the occupation is fully aware of the close connection between preserving water and preserving life and that it seeks to use water deprivation as a weapon in Gaza and the rest of the occupied territories.

Moreover, the statement pointed out that these actions by Israel constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity according to international law and humanitarian norms and that Israel has deliberately destroyed the majority of facilities and infrastructure in Gaza.

The Arab League further revealed that the percentage of potable water available today to the population does not exceed more than 15 percent of the water available before the aggression.

It called on all international actors and international institutions to pressure the Israeli occupation to stop these crimes immediately.

Short link: