Arab League head calls for int'l community to act against Israel

Ahram Online, Monday 11 Aug 2014

Head of the Arab League Nabil El-Arabi says he has taken diplomatic efforts to end Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip

Arab League
Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat (L) talks with Arab League Chief Nabil el-Araby during their meeting at the Arab League in Cairo 11 August 2014. (Photo:Reuters)

Secretary-General of the Arab League Nabil El-Arabi has called on the international community to act against Israel in order to immediately stop the bloodshed in the besieged Gaza Strip, according to Al-Ahram's Arabic news website.

In a meeting at the Arab League headquarters in downtown Cairo on Monday, El-Arabi said he has recently contacted the Palestinian Authority and several EU officials to put an end to the Israeli occupation and support the Palestinian national unity government.

He said he has also sent a letter to Arab foreign ministers to pave the way for a visit to Gaza along with an aid convoy as soon as possible as a show of solidarity for Palestinians. 

His comments came on the same day that top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat directly called on him to contact concerned international organisations to deliver aid to Palestinians – whether through land, air or sea.

Erekat also requested that El-Arabi push Israeli and Palestinian sides to continue efforts towards a ceasefire, according to Al-Ahram.

Egypt, currently mediating a new Gaza truce, called on the warring parties to begin observing a 72-hour ceasefire effective from 11:01pm local time (9:01 GMT) Sunday.

As of Sunday afternoon, the death toll in Gaza has reached 1,917, including 449 children, since Israel launched its offensive on 8 July. According to the UN, about 73 percent of the people killed have been civilians.

On the Israeli side, a total of 64 soldiers and three civilians have died in the fighting.

An Israeli delegation arrived in Cairo on Monday for indirect negotiations with Palestinians on a durable truce in Gaza, officials at the airport and the Israeli defence ministry said.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian delegation was already locked in talks with Egyptian intelligence mediators, who will relay their demands to Israeli negotiators, a Palestinian official said.

On Monday, Erakat described Israel's stance to the talks as "bargaining behaviour".

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