Saudi crown prince says Israel bears responsibility for ‘crimes’ against Palestinians in Gaza

Update Saudi crown prince says Israel bears responsibility for ‘crimes’ against Palestinians in Gaza
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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reiterated calls for ceasefire in Gaza during the Arab-Islamic Summit in Riyadh. (SPA)
Update Saudi crown prince says Israel bears responsibility for ‘crimes’ against Palestinians in Gaza
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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman led the Arab-Islamic Summit in Riyadh which brought together Arab and Asian leaders to discuss Gaza. (SPA)
Update Saudi crown prince says Israel bears responsibility for ‘crimes’ against Palestinians in Gaza
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in Riyadh for the Arab-Islamic Summit on Gaza. (SPA)
Update Saudi crown prince says Israel bears responsibility for ‘crimes’ against Palestinians in Gaza
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Syrian President Bashar Assad arrived in Riyadh for the Arab-Islamic Summit on Gaza. (SPA)
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Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mekkati arrived in Riyadh for the Arab-Islamic Summit on Gaza. (SPA)
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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi arrived in Riyadh for the Arab-Islamic Summit on Gaza. (SPA)
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Updated 12 November 2023
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Saudi crown prince says Israel bears responsibility for ‘crimes’ against Palestinians in Gaza

Saudi crown prince says Israel bears responsibility for ‘crimes’ against Palestinians in Gaza
  • Palestinian president holds US responsible for Israeli aggression
  • Iran urges Islamic states to impose sanctions on Israel
  • Qatar stresses its efforts to release hostages held in Gaza

RIYADH: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the US to “stop the Israeli aggression and end the occupation to protect our people” during the Joint Arab-Islamic Extraordinary Summit in Riyadh on Saturday.

Saudi Arabia hosted the summit, which brought together leaders from the Islamic and Arab worlds to discuss the worsening situation in Gaza.

In his opening remarks, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that “we are facing a humanitarian catastrophe that testifies to the failure of the (UN) Security Council and the international community to put an end to the flagrant Israeli violations of international laws and norms and international humanitarian law.”

The crown prince added that this poses a threat to international security and stability, and that all leaders must unite to take effective action to confront the situation.

During his speech, the crown prince renewed demands to “immediately cease military operations, provide humanitarian corridors for civilians, and enable international humanitarian organizations to perform their role.”

He also affirmed the Kingdom’s “condemnation and categorical rejection of the senseless war against our brothers in Palestine which has claimed the lives of thousands of unarmed civilians, including women, children and the elderly.”

Joint efforts by Saudi Arabia, the Arab League, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation brought world leaders together in Riyadh for the summit.

Senior figures who took part included Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, OIC Secretary-General Hissein Brahim Taha, and Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees Philippe Lazzarini.

Also in attendance were Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, Egypt President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, UAE Vice President Mansour bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Azmi Mikati, and Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

In his remarks, Taha said that the summit reaffirms absolute support for the Palestinian people. He highlighted the joint commitment to defending the Palestinian cause and the issue of Jerusalem, a key goal of the OIC.

Taha said that “everyone has witnessed the horrifying scenes and ethnic cleansing perpetrated by the Israeli occupation forces in Gaza,” and stressed the urgency of documenting and utilizing the available legal and international mechanisms to hold the occupying government accountable.

He also called for an immediate ceasefire and a halt to attacks on Gaza’s residents, the opening of safe passages for continuous aid delivery, and ensuring the safety of the Palestinian people.

Taha expressed his rejection of the forced displacement targeting the Palestinian people, and urged the “international community to take necessary actions against the measures undertaken by the occupying government of Israel.”

He called on the UN Security Council to “play its role, emphasizing the necessity for the Israeli occupation authorities to comply with human rights and implement all international norms.”

Aboul Gheit said that Israel’s assault on Gaza is not an isolated incident and expressed hope that it will be the last.

He said that since Israel began its occupation of the Gaza Strip, it has sought to eradicate or force the residents to leave. This was evident in statements by an Israeli minister suggesting the use of a nuclear bomb on Gaza, reflecting the deep-rooted Israeli animosity toward its inhabitants.

Aboul Gheit said that the Israeli assault has claimed the lives of more than 11,000 civilians, 70 percent of whom were women and children.

This “horrifying reality” showcases a campaign of ethnic cleansing, genocide, and systematic violence that is being carried out in full view of the world.




The Arab-Islamic Summit in Riyadh brought together leaders from Arab and Asian nations, who called for an immediate end to the war on Gaza. (SPA)

Despite international community and Security Council appeals to protect Palestinian civilians, all calls to restrict Israeli actions in response to the Oct. 7 operations have been unsuccessful, “as they unjustly justify their brutal actions as self-defense,” he said.

Aboul Gheit highlighted the urgent need for a comprehensive ceasefire, and said the international community must recognize that continued oppression by the Israeli military increases the risk of regional confrontation.

He reiterated the importance of halting and rejecting all forms of forced displacement in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem, saying such actions constitute international crimes and blatant violations of international humanitarian law.

The Arab League secretary-general also called for an end to discussions about the separation of Gaza from the West Bank and East Jerusalem, saying that these areas are integral to establishing a Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 borders.

Aboul Gheit acknowledged that the road to restoring normalcy in Gaza will be long and challenging, but said member states remain committed to providing support and assistance to the people of Gaza in their struggle against aggression.

In his speech, Abbas said: “The US who has the most effect on Israel is responsible and liable that there is no political solution. We ask the US to stop the Israeli aggression, and to stop the occupation and to end it to protect our people.”

Addressing the Saudi crown prince, the head of the Arab League, and the OIC, the Palestinian president said: “We are all in a historic turning point, and we must all rise up to the occasion in our responsibilities to achieve peace and stability for everyone in our region.”

Abbas cited five requests for Palestine.

First, he asked the Security Council to abide by its responsibilities to halt the aggression immediately, and allow medical and food supplies, as well as electricity into Gaza. He also called on the Security Council to stop the forced displacement of people in Gaza and the West Bank.

Second, the president said that they “will not accept any military or security solutions after all of them have all failed utterly, and after the occupation has hindered the two-state solution and increased their settlements and have increased their attempts to commit genocide and flagrant violations of international laws and their desecration of Islamic and Christian holy sites.”

Third, Abbas emphasized that Gaza is part of the state of Palestine, adding that there must be a comprehensive political solution for all Palestinian lands, including the West Bank and Gaza.

He said that since 2007 the Palestinian Authority had spent more than $20 billion on Gaza, adding that this is the PA's responsibility to their people.

Fourth, he called on the Security Council to protect the Palestinian state and people, adding that “we need the protection of the international community, we need a plan — (a) viable political solution to achieve sovereignty for our state.”

Abbas said: “We call for the Arab Peace Initiative to be implemented and for there to be a Palestinian state with Quds as its capital and to follow the UN resolution 149,” and requested a timeline for this to be implemented.

Fifth, he said: “We call for international support to help the Palestinian state agencies to support its people with includes rebuilding Gaza and implementing your resolutions regarding supporting the budget of the government and to provide final stability to the state.”




Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani stressed his country’s negotiation efforts to release the hostages held in Gaza. (SPA)

Abbas closed his remarks by thanking King Salman and the crown prince along with other leaders attending the summit.

Erdogan strongly condemned the Israeli occupation forces for their brutal targeting of hospitals, places of worship, schools, and refugee camps, as well as their indiscriminate killing of civilians and forced displacement in Gaza.

He said that those who remain silent in the face of such injustice are equal partners in these heinous acts.

The Turkish leader urged the US and Western nations to fulfill their responsibility in protecting human rights and not turn a blind eye to Israel’s actions.

“These painful and sad times reveal double standards, common sense failure, and inconsistency of humanitarian claims. Unfortunately, this revealing test resoundingly highlights these issues,” he said.

El-Sisi expressed the belief that every individual in the region deserves to live in peace and security, free from fear, intimidation, and the tragic loss of children. He called for a future of peace, where new generations can grow up without being surrounded by hatred and hostility.

Emomali Rahmon, the president of Tajikistan, demanded an immediate ceasefire, and urged all parties involved to come to the negotiating table.

He said that the crises, threats, and challenges that the Islamic world is witnessing demand unity, consensus, federation, and harmony more than ever before, adding that “today we are witnessing that these factors have led to serious destabilization in various regions of the Islamic world and have brought long-term negative economic and social consequences through the displacement of millions of people, mostly minors, as they were searching for a better and more secure life.”




Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi called on Saturday for an immediate sustainable ceasefire in Gaza. (SPA)

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, emir of Qatar, said that events in Gaza pose a danger at all levels, with a troubling precedent set even in terms of aggressive conflicts. He condemned the bombing of hospitals, initially denied and then justified by the existence of tunnels beneath medical facilities.

Sheikh Tamim said that during the ongoing war and the previous siege of Gaza, there has been a notable rise in voices from certain countries claiming to uphold international law and the global system.

These voices have been vocal in their condemnation of the indiscriminate killing of Palestinian civilians, including children and women, as well as the bombing of hospitals and shelters. The severity of the situation reached a point where the lifeless bodies of innocent individuals were left untouched, witnessing a heartbreaking disregard for human life.

He reiterated Qatar’s support for the Palestinian people and their just cause, as well as its commitment, along with its regional and international partners, to provide humanitarian aid despite Israeli obstruction.

Sheikh Tamim also called for the permanent opening of safe humanitarian crossings to allow aid to reach affected people without any obstacles or conditions.

He concluded his speech by saying that the only sustainable solution to the issue lies in establishing justice based on international legitimacy, the Arab Peace Initiative, and the principles advocated by the international community. This solution upholds the right of the Palestinian people to enjoy prosperity, security, and the right to determine their destiny in an independent state.


Saudi, Yemeni attorneys general sign MoU to enhance judicial cooperation

Saudi, Yemeni attorneys general sign MoU to enhance judicial cooperation
Updated 05 March 2024
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Saudi, Yemeni attorneys general sign MoU to enhance judicial cooperation

Saudi, Yemeni attorneys general sign MoU to enhance judicial cooperation

RIYADH: Attorney General Saud bin Abdullah Al-Mujab welcomed his Yemeni counterpart, Judge Qaher Mustafa Ali, before the two signed a Memorandum of Understanding to bolster judicial cooperation between their countries.

The signing, at the Public Prosecution headquarters in Riyadh on Monday, affirmed a joint Saudi-Yemeni commitment to justice and crime prevention.

During the meeting, Al-Mujab discussed the longstanding ties between the two countries. He underlined the Saudi leadership’s dedication to strengthening judicial collaboration, aiming to bolster Yemen’s security and stability.

The attorneys general talked about opportunities for cooperation across various legal domains, with an emphasis on criminal law. They also explored avenues for sharing expertise and adopting modern judicial practices to advance their mutual objectives.


Saudi Arabia launches project to help citizens find jobs in top global organizations

Saudi Arabia launches project to help citizens find jobs in top global organizations
Updated 05 March 2024
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Saudi Arabia launches project to help citizens find jobs in top global organizations

Saudi Arabia launches project to help citizens find jobs in top global organizations

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has launched a recruitment platform aimed at helping citizens find jobs in top organizations worldwide.

 

The Dawli platform was launched on Monday during the LEAP 2024 technology conference in Riyadh, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

 

Announcing the platform, government official Abdulhadi Al-Mansouri said the aim was to ensure citizens gain international experience.

 

Al-Mansouri thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for initiating and supporting the project.


Saudi Interior Minister meets with Korean Minister of Interior and Safety

Saudi Interior Minister meets with Korean Minister of Interior and Safety
Updated 05 March 2024
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Saudi Interior Minister meets with Korean Minister of Interior and Safety

Saudi Interior Minister meets with Korean Minister of Interior and Safety

RIYADH: Saudi Minister of Interior Abdulaziz bin Abdulaziz received the Korean Minister of Interior and Safety Lee Sang-min in Riyadh on Monday.

The ministers discussed ways to enhance existing security cooperation between the nations, in addition to addressing a number of issues of common interest.


Saudi Shura Council Foreign Affairs Committee meets with British politicians

Saudi Shura Council Foreign Affairs Committee meets with British politicians
Updated 05 March 2024
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Saudi Shura Council Foreign Affairs Committee meets with British politicians

Saudi Shura Council Foreign Affairs Committee meets with British politicians

RIYADH: Shura Council's Foreign Affairs Committee met with a delegation from the Foreign Affairs Select Committee at the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament in Riyadh on Monday.

The committee was chaired by council member Wael Al-Idrisi and the British delegation was headed by select committee chairman Alicia Kearns.

During the meeting, Al-Idrisi reviewed the historical relations between the Kingdom and the UK and stressed the importance of strengthening relations in all fields to achieve common interests.


Reading marathon promotes library culture, greener future

Reading marathon promotes library culture, greener future
Updated 04 March 2024
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Reading marathon promotes library culture, greener future

Reading marathon promotes library culture, greener future
  • Bookworms’ efforts over three days concluded with pledge to plant over 2,500 trees in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Morocco

DHAHRAN: A reading marathon to promote library culture and environmental awareness was recently organized in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Morocco, with over a quarter of a million pages read.

The Arab libraries that participated in the three-day event were King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, also known as Ithra, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt and the National Library of Morocco.

The goal of the marathon was to plant one tree for every 100 pages read, which Ithra estimates would take an average reader one hour. The center said that 326,250 pages were read during the reading marathon, equivalent to 2,504 trees.

The largest reading marathon in Arab libraries was organized ‘to inspire the society to read in public libraries, believing in the library’s role in enriching the scientific and cultural life.’ (Supplied/AN photos)

The printing of physical books consumes a large percentage of trees, so the planting of new ones directly arrests some of that loss.

Upon arrival at the designated library during operating hours, participants registered at the reception and received a QR code which they used throughout the experience. They were gifted a bookmark and a notebook to log their details. Upon completing their reading for the day, they returned to the reception area to declare the number of pages they read, which were then logged.

HIGHLIGHTS

• According to Ithra, 326,250 pages were read during the reading marathon, equivalent to 2,504 trees.

• Ithra will plant the trees on the readers’ behalf in collaboration with the National Center for Vegetation Cover Development and Combating Desertification in Saudi Arabia.

• A token of appreciation was awarded to those who read 100 pages, 200 pages, 500 pages and 1,000 pages.

In an effort to encourage reading in public spaces, all had to read books in-person in order for it to count, participating on one, two or all three days depending on availability.

The largest reading marathon in Arab libraries was organized ‘to inspire the society to read in public libraries, believing in the library’s role in enriching the scientific and cultural life.’ (Supplied/AN photos)

A token of appreciation was awarded to those who read 100 pages, 200 pages, 500 pages and 1,000 pages.

At Ithra, a large screen updated the number of pages completed in real time, as well as showing the updated numbers from Morocco and Egypt.

“This is the largest reading marathon in Arab libraries, held for three days from Feb. 29 to March 2. It seeks to inspire the society to read in public libraries, believing in the library’s role in enriching the scientific and cultural life,” an official statement by Ithra said.

The largest reading marathon in Arab libraries was organized ‘to inspire the society to read in public libraries, believing in the library’s role in enriching the scientific and cultural life.’ (Supplied/AN photos)

Abdulrhman Al-Qahtani was one of the participants at Ithra. An avid reader, he drove a short distance to the center to join in the fun after coming across a post about it on social media. With his cup of black coffee situated on a small round table, he found a comfortable spot in a plush seat in the middle of the plaza and was immediately immersed in a book written by the late, great Egyptian author Taha Hussein.

Speaking to Arab News, Al-Qahtani said: “I have a ritual of reading every afternoon during the weekend, but this time, it’s with an even greater purpose. Normally, people read for their own personal pleasure or growth but this was an opportunity to do what I already do — and the world would also benefit.

Planting trees is going to help make the world more beautiful, but the lasting impact on our planet will be immense.

Abdulrhman Al-Qahtani, Reading marathon participant, Ithra

“Planting trees is going to help make the world more beautiful, but the lasting impact on our planet will be immense. I’m happy to do my part.”

Talking about the experience, he added: “Usually, I read on my own at various places with the sounds of laughter swirling around me. Here, I’m amongst other readers. Ithra did a great job in making this a suitable environment for reading. Instead of reading 100 pages, you’ll read 200.

“This is my first time participating and it has been such a great experience. I brought my own book but once I’m done, I’ll browse the books available here and I’m sure I’ll read pages from those, too,” he concluded.

The largest reading marathon in Arab libraries was organized ‘to inspire the society to read in public libraries, believing in the library’s role in enriching the scientific and cultural life.’ (Supplied/AN photos)

While many of the books on the shelves at Ithra were in Arabic, readers were encouraged to read any book in any language. They could bring their own, like Al-Qahtani, or borrow some from the shelves. The pages could also be from the same book or from multiple books.

The space directly beneath the iconic Ithra library also had seats for people to sit and read on. Ithra added temporary booths with books in the middle of the plaza for easy access.

Ithra will plant the trees on the readers’ behalf at a later date, in collaboration with the National Center for Vegetation Cover Development and Combating Desertification in Saudi Arabia. The other participating countries will also plant trees in their local communities.