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Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt call for ceasefire in Gaza amid Israeli aggression

May 5, 2024 at 9:47 am

The 15th session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held in Banjul, Gambia on May 04, 2024 [Murat Gök/Anadolu Agency]

Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Egypt on Saturday called for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip amid the ongoing Israeli onslaught in the besieged enclave, Anadolu news agency reported.

“The issue of Palestine remains a priority for the Islamic Ummah (Muslim community), reflecting the voice of the Islamic community in support of the brotherly people of Palestine to ensure that they access their rights,” Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah said at the 15th summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held in the Gambian capital Banjul.

“Since the launch of this aggression, the kingdom has been cooperating with brotherly people and countries to protect the people of Gaza,” he added.

“Israeli aggression remains ongoing and is even being escalated against civilians, hospitals, schools, and infrastructure, resulting in thousands upon thousands of victims,” the Saudi minister noted.

“The kingdom reiterates its demand for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,” he said, also renewing his country’s call for “the provision of safe passages and for the alleviation of the ordeal of the Palestinian people.”

Moroccan King Mohammed VI called for an immediate halt to the “unprecedented aggression on Gaza” and to allow the flow of humanitarian aid into all of Gaza.

“We urgently reiterate our demand for an immediate, sustainable, and comprehensive cessation of this unprecedented aggression and for allowing the flow of humanitarian aid throughout the Gaza Strip,” he said. “Our hearts bleed for the heinous aggression on Gaza, which has placed the resilient Palestinian people in extremely perilous conditions, constituting a shame on humanity.”

According to the king, “What exacerbates these conditions is the escalation of deliberate attacks by extremist settlers in the West Bank, under the auspices of Israeli government officials.”

He demanded “halting unilateral and illegitimate Israeli measures targeting the occupied Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem and the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, with the aim of changing the legal and cultural status of the city of Jerusalem.”

Mohammed VI reiterated his rejection of all forms of forced displacement, collective punishment and retaliatory actions against Palestinians.

READ: 15th Organisation of Islamic Cooperation summit kicks off in Gambia

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry warned that “the Israeli path of rejecting peace will drag the entire region into unprecedented threats.”

Shoukry urged the implementation of decisions of the UN Security Council and General Assembly related to an immediate ceasefire and the flow of aid to Gaza.

Egypt “strongly warns against Israel’s attempt to invade Rafah, the last refuge for nearly one and a half million Palestinian refugees,” he said.

The foreign minister demanded a “decisive stance against the illusions of settling the Palestinian issue through the forced displacement of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza.”

He stressed that “there is no alternative to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the lines of June 4, 1967, with its capital in East Jerusalem in accordance with international legitimacy resolutions to ensure the stability of the Middle East.”

Shoukry added: “Perhaps the widening scope of the current conflict in the Red Sea and the region is the best indication that the Israeli path of rejecting peace will drag the entire region into unprecedented threats.”

The OIC summit started on Saturday in the Gambian capital Banjul.

The two-day summit, with the theme “Enhancing unity and solidarity through dialogue for sustainable development,” will address global issues, notably the current situation in Palestine and the ongoing Israeli war in the Gaza Strip, which has so far killed over 34,600 people.

During the summit, three key documents – a draft Palestinian resolution, draft Banjul statement, and the draft final document – will be presented to the Council of Foreign Ministers and subsequently to the summit for discussion.

READ: OIC welcomes ICJ’s additional order to Israel to avert famine, humanitarian crisis in Gaza