Israeli law will hinder peace efforts, says Saudi Shoura council speaker

Saudi Shoura Council Speaker Abdullah Al-Asheikh attends the 28th session of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union. (SPA)
Updated 22 July 2018
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Israeli law will hinder peace efforts, says Saudi Shoura council speaker

  • Saudi Arabia has provided the Palestinian people with more than $6 billion in aid since 2000
  • Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, including Jerusalem, and the inevitability of the withdrawal of Israel from all the occupied Arab territories

JEDDAH: The Israeli Knesset’s approval of the so-called “Jewish nation-state law” will disrupt international efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Abdullah Al-Asheikh, speaker of the Shoura Council, said.

Al-Asheikh called on the international community to assume its responsibilities and “reject this law or any other Israeli attempts aimed at devoting racial discrimination against the Palestinian people and the attempt to obliterate their national identity and their legitimate rights.”
In a speech during the opening session of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union at its 28th special session — held at the House of Representatives in Egypt — Al-Asheikh said that the emergency meeting was convened because of recent Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, the declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem.
The conference reflects the sense of gravity of the situation and its importance to the Palestinian cause, he said.
“Arabic, Islamic and peace-loving peoples hope that the solidarity with the Palestinian people translates into reality, providing Palestinians in general and Jerusalemites in particular safety, freedom and peace,” he said.
Al-Asheikh said that Saudi Arabia reaffirms the centrality of the Palestinian cause, the Arab identity of Jerusalem, the right of the state of Palestine to sovereignty over all the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, including Jerusalem, and the inevitability of the withdrawal of Israel from all the occupied Arab territories, including the occupied Syrian Arab Golan.
He stressed the adherence to peace as a strategic option to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict in accordance with the Arab peace initiative adopted by the Beirut Arab Summit in 2002 as a unified Arab project that guarantees the legitimate rights of Palestinians.
Al-Asheikh said that the Kingdom ranks first in the list of countries supporting Palestine, including humanitarian and development support. The Kingdom has provided the Palestinian people with more than $6 billion in aid since 2000.
The Jewish nation-state law “represents a serious turning point, a major decline in the efforts to push the peace process, and a violation of the US historical neutrality on the issue of Jerusalem, which will add to the complexity of the situation in the Palestinian territories.”
Heads of the Arab parliaments and councils lauded the role played by Saudi Arabia in the Palestinian cause as the current president of the Arab Summit, the outcome of the Jerusalem conference, the Dhahran Declaration, and the financial support for Jerusalem and the United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees.


Investigation into alleged mistakes in Yemen find coalition forces acted properly

Updated 17 January 2019
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Investigation into alleged mistakes in Yemen find coalition forces acted properly

JEDDAH: The Joint Incident Assessment Team in Yemen (JIAT) has investigated four allegations made by international governmental and non-governmental organizations and media about mistakes made by coalition forces while carrying out military operations inside Yemen.
JIAT spokesman Mansour Al-Mansour said that the team concluded that the procedures followed by the coalition forces were proper and safe, taking into consideration the rules of engagement, international humanitarian law and the coalition’s own rules.
Team members visited a number of cities in Yemen, including Aden, Lahj and Khor Maksar, during the investigation and spoke to witnesses, victims and their families to gather evidence and establish the facts.
In one of the incidents that was investigated, coalition warship fired on and destroyed a craft in the waters off the Yemeni port of Al-Khokha in September. Al-Mansour said that after examining documents and evidence JIAT had concluded that an alliance ship was escorting and protecting a flotilla of three Saudi merchant ships when, in an area off the port of Al-Khokha, a boat was spotted approaching the convoy at a high speed from the direction of the Yemeni coast.
The escort ship followed the accepted rules of engagement by repeatedly warning the unidentified vessel, using loudspeakers, not to come any closer. When these went unheeded, warning shots were fired but the boat continued to approach.
“On reaching an area that represented a threat to the convoy, the protection ship tackled the boat according to the rules of engagement and targeted it, resulting in an explosion on the boat,” said Al-Mansour. “The protection ship continued escorting the convoy. After the escort task was completed, the protection ship returned to the site of the targeted boat to carry out a search-and-rescue operation for the crew of the target boat but no one was found.”