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Saudi Arabia calls for Western nations to sanction Israel over Gaza war crimes

July 7, 2024 at 9:54 am

Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia in Madrid, Spain on May 29, 2024. [Photo by Alberto Gardin/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images]

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister has called for sanctions to be imposed on Israel and its officials over the occupation’s war crimes in the Gaza Strip, in the kingdom’s most open opposition to the Israeli offensive so far.

Speaking on a panel at the European Council on Foreign Relations’ (ECFR) meeting in Spain’s capital Madrid this week, Saudi foreign minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, stressed that Israeli forces are violating the “basic principles” of international humanitarian law every day in Gaza and highlighted how Western nations could easily impose measures to prevent such crimes form further taking place.

“It would be very easy for Europe, in desire, to focus on humanitarian issues, to, at the very least, hold Israel accountable when it comes to whether or not it lives up to its responsibilities to allowing the civilian population of Gaza to have access to humanitarian needs”, said bin Farhan.

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“The majority of the international community agrees that the permanent and just solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is the two-state solution, yet they stand idle in the face of matters that could undermine the two-state solution, such as Israel’s continued expansion of settlement activities.”

The foreign minister’s comments represent the kingdom’s sternest condemnation of Israel’s bloody offensive on the besieged Palestinian territory after almost nine months of its continuation, as well as the strongest expression of opposition to Israeli war crimes so far.

Although Israel has not yet openly responded to the remarks, it is likely they will serve to only cause a wider rift between Riyadh and Tel Aviv, as well as to further disrupt efforts to negotiate and normalise diplomatic relations.

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