MBS says Israel bears responsibility for crimes against Palestinians in Gaza
RIYADH: (Web Desk) Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) said Israel bears responsibility for the “crimes committed against Palestinian people,” reiterating calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza during his opening remarks at the Arab-Islamic Summit on Saturday.
The Saudi crown prince stressed the Kingdom’s ‘unequivocal’ rejection of the continued Israeli aggression in Gaza and the forced displacement of residents, Arab News reported.
He pointed to the ‘double standards’ in applying international humanitarian law, condemning the international community’s silence towards the violations against Palestinian civilians.
He added: “We are facing a humanitarian catastrophe that testifies to the failure of the UN Security Council and the international community to put an end to the Israeli violations – a matter that demonstrates double standards.”
The crown prince reiterated calls for an immediate end to the military aggression in Gaza and the release of hostages to save lives.
He called for a coordinated, collective effort among Arab and Islamic states to take effective action to lift the siege and deliver humanitarian and relief aid into Gaza.
“The Kingdom has made tireless efforts since the beginning of the aggression in Gaza and has continued consultations to stop the war.”
He stressed that the only solution to achieve stability in the region is to end the occupation and the establishment of settlements.
“A Palestinian state must be established on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital,” said the crown prince.
Saudi Arabia hosted the emergency summit in response to the exceptional circumstances taking place in the Palestinian Gaza Strip as countries felt the need to unify efforts and come out with a unified collective position.
The summit brought together leaders from Arab and Asian nations, who called for an immediate end to the war on Gaza.
Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi and Arab leaders including Palestine’s President Mahmoud Abbas, Egypt’s Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, and Iraq’s Abdul Latif Rashid were among the leaders who attended the summit on Saturday.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and President of Libya’s Presidential Council Mohamed Al-Manfi were among the participating leaders.
The summit also saw the attendance of Asian leaders including Presidents of Indonesia Joko Widodo and Krygystan Sady Japarov.
Speaking during the summit, the Palestinian president said the Palestinians are facing an “unmatched genocidal war,” calling on the United States to pressure Israel into halting its offensive on Gaza.
Abbas also called for international protection for the Palestinians in the face of Israeli attacks.
He urged the UN Security Council to practice its responsibilities by stopping the aggression against the Palestinians and delivering aid in Gaza.
“We will not accept military and security solutions in the Gaza Strip,” he added.
Iran’s Raisi called on Muslim countries to impose oil and goods sanctions on Israel and designate the Israeli army “terrorist group.”
He accused Israel of using internationally banned weapons in the Gaza Strip and violating international humanitarian laws.
Raisi called the United States a major partner in Israel’s crimes against Gaza with its unconditional backing of the aggression and provision of weapons daily.
He urged Islamic countries to work together to pressure Israel and America to stop the war in Gaza.
“The top priority now is a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.” He added: “We must work to remove Israeli forces from Gaza.”
Raisi had earlier said that the time had come for action over the conflict rather than talk as he headed to Riyadh.
“Today, the unity of the Islamic countries is very important,” he noted.
During his speech at the summit, Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani stressed his country’s negotiation efforts to release the hostages held in Gaza, saying that the international community has failed to bear its responsibilities.
He questioned, “For how long will the international community treat Israel as if it is above international law?”
“Who would have imagined that hospitals would be openly bombed in the 21st century and that families would be wiped from the civil registry by indiscriminate bombing?”
Al-Thani called for a permanent opening of a humanitarian corridor to bring aid into Gaza.
In his remarks, Jordan’s King Abdullah II called for a serious peace process to begin in the Middle East.
He said the war on Gaza was an extension of an occupation that started more than seven decades ago, stressing that the two-state solution is the only way to bring peace to Palestine.
“The war waged by Israel on Gaza is hideous and has to stop,” he said. King Abdullah said Israel’s denial of food and medical supplies into Gaza constitutes a “war crime.”
Meanwhile, Egyptian President El-Sisi denounced Israel’s forced displacement of the Palestinians, calling for an international investigation to be conducted into Israel’s violations against the people of Gaza.
He urged for an immediate sustainable ceasefire in Gaza “without restrictions or conditions.”
“The policies of collective punishment of the people of Gaza…are unacceptable and cannot be justified by self-defense or any other claims. They must be stopped immediately,”
He warned that failure to end the war in Gaza could result in its expansion to the rest of the region.
“The international community must put pressure to stop the bloodshed and address the roots of the conflict,” said El-Sisi.
Saudi Arabia has consistently called for an end to the bloodshed in the occupied territories.
The kingdom was scheduled to host two extraordinary summits, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit and the Arab League summit, on Saturday and Sunday. The joint summit will replace the two separate gatherings in light of the Gaza situation, the Saudi foreign ministry said.
The joint meeting “will be held in response to the exceptional circumstances taking place in the Palestinian Gaza Strip as countries feel the need to unify efforts and come out with a unified collective position,” it said.
This week, the Israeli army advanced into Gaza City in the north of the enclave, resulting in a deluge of civilians flooding to the south, where Israel promised they would be safer.
Gaza’s Health Ministry said 11,000 people have been killed since the war began, and 27,000 have been injured. Israel has conducted a massive military operation into the occupied territory after Hamas militants killed 1,200 Israelis living near Gaza on Oct. 7.
The World Health Organization said on Friday that Gaza health services were at a breaking point. Hospitals are nearly out of crucial medical supplies and lack of water and electricity are hampering their work. Doctors are treating patients without anesthesia.
Israel has imposed a blockade as part of its campaign to limit the number of humanitarian supplies entering Gaza.