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At Arab-Islamic summit, Iran’s Raisi calls for boycotting, prosecuting Israel over Gaza war

November 12, 2023 at 11:11 am

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi hold a joint press conference following their meetin in Tehran, Iran on November 06, 2023 [Iranian Presidency/Anadolu Agency]

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi on Saturday said that Israel must be tried in international courts for its attacks against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, reports Anadolu Agency.

In his first official visit to Saudi Arabia, and the first by an Iranian president in more than a decade, Raisi, speaking at the Arab-Islamic summit, said the first and most urgent measure is to stop the killing of the people of Gaza.

Sporting the Palestinian keffiyeh, he dismissed the idea of “humanitarian pauses” and called for a complete halt to Israeli attacks, including on hospitals, schools and refugee camps in the territory.

The second measure, Iran’s president stressed, is to “completely lift the siege” of the strip and reopen the Rafah border crossing with the help of the Egyptian government and other Arab countries.

The third measure, he added, should be the “immediate withdrawal” of Israeli troops from Gaza.

He also called on the Islamic countries to “cut off political and trade ties” with Israel and boycott its goods, echoing the call made by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei last week.

Raisi further urged the Islamic leaders present at the summit to declare the Israeli army a “terrorist organisation” and introduce Tel Aviv and Washington to a “fair court” for “prosecution for crimes.”

Iran’s president also proposed the establishment of a fund for the reconstruction of the besieged coastal territory and sending humanitarian convoys to the Palestinian people there.

READ: Israel carried out its biggest massacre of Palestinians since the Nakba

The final solution to the ongoing crisis, Raisi emphasised, is “the formation of a Palestinian state,” reiterating his country’s stand against the two-nation theory.

He said the crimes committed by Israel in recent weeks have “brought shame on a historical scale to morality, law and humanity”, accusing the US of being the “mastermind and main accomplice” in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7.

“Now that the international organisations under the influence of the United States are suffering from indecisiveness and lack of character and identity, we must take the field,” he told the attendees.

Iran’s president also denounced the killing of women, children and journalists and the bombing of hospitals.

On Iran’s position on the Israel-Palestine conflict, Raisi said his country has always considered Israel “a fake and illegitimate occupier” and added that the only solution is “resistance.”

“Experience shows that there is no solution other than resistance to push back the invaders,” he said.

He also held the US responsible for the crimes against Palestinians and said Washington encouraged Tel Aviv to attack Gaza, calling Israel an “illegitimate child of America.”

“I would like to clearly emphasise that Iran considers the Palestinian resistance a liberation movement, considers the displacement and forced migration of Gaza residents a continuation of aggression and a war crime, and considers the protection of Al-Aqsa Mosque a fundamental goal,” Raisi said.

Meanwhile, on the sidelines of the Saturday summit, the Iranian president met Mohammad Bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, in what was the first high-level meeting between the two countries since they normalised their relations in a deal brokered by China in March.

Mohammad Jamshidi, Raisi’s deputy chief of staff, said the two leaders had “important talks.”

“In the first meeting between Dr. Raisi and HM Mohammad bin Salman … the 2 had important talks about the situation in Palestine. The Saudi crown prince stressed his intention to strengthen ties with Iran,” he said in a statement posted on X.

The two leaders also had a phone call last month, in which they discussed the Gaza war.

Raisi also met his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on the margins of the summit on Saturday.

Raisi: Israel has crossed ‘red lines’ that ‘may force everyone’ to act