Leaders of Arab and Muslim countries have condemned Israel’s brutal attack on the Palestinian Gaza Strip. At the same time, they called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. However, they could not reach a consensus on taking any punitive economic or political measures against Israel.
The leaders of the Arab League (22 member states) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member countries (57) held an emergency conference in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, on the ongoing conflict between the Palestinian independence armed group Hamas and Israel.
The emergency conference was called amid global outrage over Israel’s indiscriminate attack on Gaza.
On October 7, Hamas attacked Israel. Since that day, Israeli forces have been continuously attacking Gaza. More than 11,800 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza in the 36 days until Saturday. Most of them are women and children.
Israel claims they are attacking Gaza in ‘self-defense’. However, this demand of Israel was rejected in the final declaration at the end of the conference on Saturday.
The conference called for the unfettered delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza. There were also demands for a ‘binding’ resolution in the Security Council to end Israeli aggression.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman criticized Israel at the conference and said that he believes the occupying (Israeli) authorities are responsible for the crimes committed against the Palestinian people.
At that time, Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi said that Muslim countries should call the Israeli forces a terrorist organization for the attack on Gaza.
At the conference, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said, “Genocide is being carried out on Palestinians.” He called for them to be protected internationally.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad believes that the conference will have no meaning if punitive measures are not taken against Israel. He said, “If we don’t have anything to put pressure on Israel, then whatever steps we take or whatever we say will be of no use.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized Western countries at the conference for taking Israel’s side. He said, “It is a shame that Western countries, which always speak for human rights and freedom, are silent today about the ongoing genocide in Palestine.”
Meanwhile, some Arab diplomats, on the condition of not revealing their identity, said that in the conference, some countries including Algeria and Lebanon offered to threaten Israel and its allies with stopping the supply of fuel oil.
At the same time, they proposed to sever the diplomatic relations of Arab League countries with Israel. However, at least three countries, including the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, voted against the proposal, so it was canceled.