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Arab-Islamic Summit ends with statements devoid of real actions

The Muslim leaders not only failed the Palestinians once again but they also ignored Philippe Lazzarini, the head of UNRWA, who was present at the Summit pleading urgent action. Read More

Saturday November 11, 2023 11:02 PM, Team ummid.com

Arab-Islamic Summit ends with statements devoid of real actions

Riyadh: The Arab-Islamic Summit Saturday November 11, 2023 held in Saudi Capital Riyadh ended once again with statements condemning the “Israeli aggressions in Gaza and West Bank”, miserably failing to agree on any real action that could pressure the Zionist regime in the Occupied Palestine, or its supporter the United States.

The Arab and Islamic leaders present at the Riyadh Summit failed to feel the pain of the Palestinians, especially the women and children - and left them to mend for themselves, even as the Israeli Occupation Forces are meters away from Al Shifa, Al Quds, Indonesian and Al Qudra hospitals of Gaza.

According to Al Shifa admin, the hospital is fully cut-off and in the absence of electricity, patients on ventilator support and 39 babies needing medical care could die any moment even if they survive the Israeli bombings.

As many as 20 medical facilities have so far been closed because of the Israeli bombings on the besieged Palestinian territory. Israel is carrying a war against hospitals in Gaza claiming that they harbor Hamas militants. However, New York based rights group dismissed these claims whereas the Health Ministry of Gaza invited international observers to inspect the hospitals.

It appeared that even the Arab and Islamic leaders are not convinced, and possibly believe the claims by the Zionists regime illegally controlling the occupied Palestine. There were leaders of the countries who have diplomatic and trade ties with Israel present at Riyadh Gaza Summit. They are supplying oil and gas to the Zionists, some even drinking water. None, agreed to even cut these ties or call for economic or trade boycott of the apartheid state of Israel even as it has cut water, electricity, food, fuel supply and even medical aid in Gaza.

“Today’s emergency summit on Palestine in Riyadh paints a picture of a divided Muslim and Arab world”, Hashem Ahelbarra, Middle East correspondent for Al Jazeera English, wrote about the "extra-ordinary: Arab Islamic Summit held in Riyadh today.

“There was a notable lack of talk and planning when it came to what will happen to Gaza after the war from a security perspective, and disagreement on specifics when it came to Palestinian statehood”, he wrote.

“We have not reached a threshold moment in the Muslim world and Arab world where leaders will come together and say, “This is a turning point and we will have to take a strong stance on Israel”, they said.

Joint Arab-Islamic Summit Declaration

In the final declaration released after the Arab-Islamic Summit on Palestine, the Muslim leaders rejected to describe Israeli military offensive against the Palestinians as self-defence – something which Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was first to publicly and more strongly declare.

In the final declaration, the Muslims leaders also called for “ending the siege of Gaza” and “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza and West Bank - the demands continuously and repeatedly raised by different world leaders, including UN Secretary General, heads of 18 major UN agencies, peace activists and scholars, students, and even a vast majority of Jews living in Israel, United States and other parts of the world.

But, enjoying the strong and blind backing and support of the United States and Joe Biden administration, Israel is not ready to pay any heed to this demand. What value the Arab and Muslim leaders demand in the final declaration of the Gaza Summit in Riyadh would have for the Zionists and their supporters is anybody’s guess.

“Act before it is too late”

In the midst of the Riyadh Summit, Iyad al-Buzum, spokesman for the Interior Ministry in Gaza, issued another appeal to the leaders of the Arab and Islamic countries asking them to take “immediate action before it’s too late”.

“We call on leaders of the Arab and Islamic world … to take practical measures that would put pressure on the Israeli occupation and the American administration to stop the brutal Israeli aggression,” al-Buzum said in a statement.

“Our people are being subjected to genocide … in front of the eyes of this unjust world.”

“Stronger Arab League action urgently needed”

The Muslim leaders not only failed the Palestinians once again but they also ignored Philippe Lazzarini, the head of UNRWA, who was present at the Summit pleading urgent action.

“The Palestinians in Gaza have always relied on the solidarity of the Muslim brothers; today, they need you to turn this solidarity into further and stronger actions,” Lazzarini said.

He added he was in the Saudi capital to seek support for a ceasefire. “I am sure many of you can influence action on the ground – no effort should be spared.”

Lazzarini demanded Arab leaders exercise pressure to increase the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza, including through the opening of one additional border crossing.

The Riyadh Summit today was a joint meeting of 22-member Arab League and 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Besides Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who chaired the Summit on behalf of King Salman bin Abdel Aziz, other Muslim leaders who attended the Summit included Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, King Abdullah II of Jordan, President of Syria Bashar al-Assad, President of Iran Ebrahim Araisi, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Crown Prince of Kuwait Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, President of Indonesia Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Djibouti Ismail Omar Guelleh and others.

These Muslim leaders in their speeches at the Summit repeated the same empty words that they are repeating again and again, and there was nothing new that could bring in the ceasefire and end of the war in Gaza or a just solution for the Palestinians.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Ruler of Abu Dhabi, who is believed to be close to the Zionist leadership in Israel, was conspicuous by his absence.

[Team ummid.com with Al Jazeera inputs]


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