Creating new perspectives since 2009

GCC foreign ministers urge US to act on Israeli measures against Palestinians

March 26, 2023 at 5:59 pm

A general view of the 43rd Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit at King Abdul Aziz International Conference Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia [Royal Court of Saudi Arabia – Anadolu Agency]

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on Sunday called on the US to assume its responsibility towards responding to Israeli measures and statements against the Palestinians, Anadolu reports.

Last week, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich denied the existence of the Palestinian people during a speech in Paris.

The far-right minister also caused international outrage on March 1 when he called for wiping out the Palestinian town of Huwara in the West Bank following the death of two Israelis in a shooting attack. His call followed an Israeli settler attack on the town during which a Palestinian was killed and several homes and vehicles were vandalized.

In a letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the GCC foreign ministers called on Washington “to respond to all measures and statements that target the Palestinian people.”

READ: Palestine strongly condemns new Israeli settlement construction

GCC Secretary General Jasem Albudaiwi said the letter reiterated that the Palestinian cause remains the “foremost issue for Arabs and Muslims,” and urged Blinken to guarantee the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.

The letter also called on the US administration to “play its role in reaching a just, comprehensive and lasting solution to the conflict based on the principles of international law.”

The foreign ministers of the GCC, which comprises Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman, also condemned Israeli violations of the sanctity of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem.

On Saturday, Israeli forces raided the flashpoint site late Saturday and forced worshippers out of the complex, according to Palestinian news agency Wafa.

Tensions have been running high across the occupied West Bank in recent months amid repeated Israeli raids into Palestinian towns.

Nearly 90 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the start of this year, according to Palestinian figures. Fourteen Israelis have also been killed in separate attacks during the same period.

READ: Israel announces plans for hundreds of new settlement units