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Emergency Arab-Islamic summit on Gaza kicks off in Saudi capital

November 11, 2023 at 6:53 pm

Leaders pose for a family photo for a family photo during the Extraordinary Joint Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Arab League at King Abdulaziz International Conference Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on November 11, 2023. [Mustafa Kamacı – Anadolu Agency]

An emergency joint Arab-Islamic summit kicked off on Saturday in the Saudi capital Riyadh to discuss the “dangerous developments” taking place in the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian territories, Anadolu reports.

According to official Saudi media, leaders and representatives of the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation are participating in the summit which coincides with the ongoing Israeli bombardment in the Gaza Strip for the 36th day.

In the opening speech, Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman reiterated the kingdom’s demand for an immediate halt to the Israeli “military operations” in Gaza.

He demanded lifting the siege imposed on the enclave and providing safe humanitarian corridors.

The Saudi crown prince reiterated rejection of this “brutal war” against the Palestinian brethren and held the “occupation authorities” responsible for what is happening.

For his part, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas demanded the US and the UN Security Council to stop the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip.

Jordanian King Abdullah II stressed that Gaza is subjected to an “ugly” war that must stop immediately.

He went on to warn that the world “will pay the price of failure” in resolving the Palestinian issue and addressing the problem from its roots.

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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called for an immediate and unconditional cease-fire in Gaza, adding that forced displacement of Palestinians outside their lands must be stopped.

For his part, Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani hoped that a “humanitarian truce” in the Gaza Strip would be reached in the near future.

Before the start of the summit, foreign ministers of the Arab and Islamic countries held a preparatory meeting for the summit in Riyadh, with the aim of “consensus on the draft final statement of the summit on the unified collective Arab and Islamic position,” according to Egypt’s official Middle East News Agency.

Early Saturday, the Saudi Foreign Ministry said that after consultations, a joint Arab-Islamic summit would be held on Saturday regarding developments in the Gaza Strip, instead of two summits.

It pointed out that Gaza and the Palestinian territories are “witnessing dangerous and unprecedented developments that require Arab and Islamic unity to confront them and contain their repercussions.”

Israel has launched relentless air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip – including hospitals, residences, and houses of worship – since a cross-border attack by the Palestinian resistance group Hamas on Oct. 7.

At least 11,078 Palestinians have been killed, including 4,506 children and 3,027 women. The Israeli death toll, meanwhile, is around 1,200, according to official figures.

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