Arab-Islamic summit adopts resolution on Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people

Arab-Islamic summit adopts resolution on Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people
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Updated 12 November 2023

Arab-Islamic summit adopts resolution on Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people

Arab-Islamic summit adopts resolution on Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people

RIYADH: The Joint Arab Islamic Extraordinary Summit, which concluded in Riyadh on Saturday, adopted the following resolution:

 We, the leaders of the states and governments of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the League of Arab States, have decided to merge the two summits that the OIC and the Arab League had decided to hold. This came in response to the kind invitations of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (the chair of the two summits) and the State of Palestine. We express our joint stance in condemning the brutal Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank, including Al-Quds Al-Sharif. We affirm addressing together this aggression and the humanitarian catastrophe that it causes. We seek to stop and end all Israeli illegal practices that perpetuate the occupation and deprive the Palestinian people of their rights, especially their right to freedom and to have an independent sovereign State on all their national territory.
 We express our thanks to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, for their kind hospitality.
 We reaffirm all resolutions of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Arab League regarding the Palestinian cause and all occupied Arab territories.
 We recall all resolutions of the United Nations and other international organizations regarding the Palestinian cause, the crimes of the Israeli occupation and the right of the Palestinian people to freedom and independence in all its territories, which have been occupied since 1967 and constitute a sole geographical unit.
 We welcome the UN General Assembly Resolution A/ES-10/L.25 adopted by the tenth emergency session on 26 October 2023.
 We affirm the centrality of the Palestinian cause and our standing with all our powers and capabilities by the brotherly Palestinian people in their legitimate struggle to liberate all their occupied territories and to meet all their inalienable rights. This particularly includes their right to self-determination and to live in their independent and sovereign state on the borders of June 4th, 1967 with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.
 We reaffirm that a just, lasting and comprehensive peace, which is a strategic option, is the only way to establish security and stability for all peoples of the region and protect them from cycles of violence and wars. This, we stress, will not be achieved without ending the Israeli occupation and resolving the Palestinian cause on the basis of the two-state solution.
 We affirm that it is impossible to achieve regional peace while overlooking the Palestinian cause or attempting to ignore the rights of the Palestinian people. We stress that the Arab Peace Initiative, backed by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, is an essential reference to this end.
 We hold Israel, the occupying force, responsible for the continuation and aggravation of the conflict, which is the result of its violation of the rights of the Palestinian people, and of the Islamic and Christian sanctities. This is also the result of its systematic aggressive policies and practices, its illegal unilateral steps that perpetuate the occupation, violate international law, and prevent the realization of a just and comprehensive peace.
 We affirm that Israel, and all countries of the region, will not enjoy security and peace unless the Palestinians enjoy theirs and regain all their stolen rights. We stress that the continuation of the Israeli occupation is a threat to the security and stability of the region and to international security and peace.
 We condemn all forms of hatred and discrimination, and all acts that perpetuate hatred and extremism.
 We warn of the disastrous repercussions of the retaliatory aggression by Israel against the Gaza Strip, which amounts to a war crime, and the barbaric crimes committed also in the West Bank and Al-Quds Al-Sharif.
 We warn of the real danger of the expansion of the war as a result of Israel’s refusal to stop its aggression and of the inability of the Security Council to enforce international law to end this aggression.


We decide to:
 Condemn the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip and the war crimes as well as the barbaric, inhumane and brutal massacres being committed by the colonial occupation government against the strip and the Palestinian people in the occupied West Bank, including East Al-Quds. We demand ceasing this aggression immediately.
 Reject describing this retaliatory war as self-defense or justifying it under any pretext.
 Break the siege on Gaza and impose the immediate entry of Arab, Islamic and international humanitarian aid convoys, including food, medicine and fuel into the Gaza Strip. We call on international organizations to participate in this process, stressing the need for their entry to the strip and for protecting their teams to enable them to fully fulfill their role. We affirm the necessity of supporting the United Nations Relief and Works for Palestine Refugees Agency (UNRWA).
 Support all steps taken by the Arab Republic of Egypt to confront the consequences of the brutal Israeli aggression on Gaza. We support its efforts to bring aid into the strip in an immediate, sustainable and adequate manner.
 Call on the UN Security Council to take a decisive and binding decision that imposes a cessation of aggression and curbs the colonial occupation authority that violates international law, international humanitarian law, and international legitimacy resolutions, the latest of which is United Nations General Assembly Resolution No. A/ES-10/L.25 dated 26/10/2023. Inaction is considered a complicity that allows Israel to continue its brutal aggression that kills innocent people, children, the elderly, and women, and turns Gaza into ruin.
 Call on all countries to stop exporting weapons and ammunition to the occupation authorities that are used by their army and terrorist settlers to kill the Palestinian people and destroy their homes, hospitals, schools, mosques, churches and all their capabilities.
 Call on the Security Council to promptly pass a resolution condemning Israel’s barbaric destruction of hospitals in the Gaza Strip, the obstruction of medicine, food and fuel and the severing of crucial services like electricity, water, communication and internet access. These acts of collective punishment amount to war crimes under international law. We emphasize the need to impose this resolution on Israel, the occupying power, to ensure compliance with international laws and to immediately cease these barbaric and inhumane measures. We stress the necessity of lifting the blockade that Israel has imposed on the Gaza Strip for years.
 Call on the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to complete the investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity being committed by Israel against the Palestinian people in all the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Al-Quds. We assign the General Secretariats of the OIC and the Arab League to follow up on the implementation of this investigation and establish two specialized legal monitoring units to document Israeli crimes committed in the Gaza Strip since October 7, 2023. The units will then prepare legal proceedings on all violations of international law and international humanitarian law committed by Israel, the occupying power, against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Al-Quds. Each unit shall submit its report 15 days after its formation to be presented to the Arab League Council at the level of foreign ministers and to the Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC. Subsequently, monthly reports should be submitted thereafter.
 Support legal and political initiatives for the State of Palestine to hold Israeli occupying authorities accountable for their crimes against the Palestinian people, including the advisory opinion process at the International Court of Justice, and allow the investigative committee established by the Human Rights Council resolution to investigate these crimes without obstruction.
 Assign the two secretariats of to establish two media monitoring units to document all the crimes committed by the occupying authorities against the Palestinian people, alongside digital media platforms to publish and expose their illegitimate and inhumane practices.
 Assign the Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in its capacity as the presidency of the 32nd Arab and Islamic Summit, along with counterparts from Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, Türkiye, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Palestine, and any other interested countries, and the Secretary-General of both organisations to initiate immediate international action on behalf of all member states of the OIC and the Arab League to formulate an international move to halt the war in Gaza and to pressure for a real and serious political process to achieve permanent and comprehensive peace in accordance with established international references.
 Call upon member states of the OIC and the Arab League to exert diplomatic, political, and legal pressures, and take any deterrent actions to halt the crimes committed by the colonial occupation authorities against humanity.
 Condemn the double standards in applying international law; warn that this duality seriously undermines both the credibility of countries shielding Israel from international law and placing it above the law, as well as the credibility of multilateral action, exposing the selectivity in applying the system of humanitarian values; and emphasize that the positions of Arab and Islamic countries will be affected by such double standards that lead to a rift between civilizations and cultures.
 Condemn the displacement of nearly one and a half million Palestinians from the northern to the southern areas of the Gaza Strip as a war crime under the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and its 1977 Protocol; call on the parties to the Convention to collectively denounce and reject this action; call on all United Nations organizations to confront the attempt of the colonial occupation authorities to perpetuate this miserable inhuman reality; and stress the immediate necessity for the return of these displaced individuals to their homes and regions.
 Fully and absolutely reject, along with collectively opposing, any attempts at individual or mass forced displacement, deportation, or exile of the Palestinian people whether within the Gaza Strip, the West Bank including Al-Quds (Jerusalem), or outside their territories to any destination, considering it a red line and a war crime.
 Condemn the killing and targeting of civilians, as a principled stance based on our humanitarian values and in line with international law and humanitarian principles, and emphasize the immediate and swift steps the international community must take to cease the killing and targeting of Palestinian civilians, in a way that confirms the absolute equivalence of every single life, rejecting any discrimination based on nationality, race, or religion.
 Emphasize the necessity of releasing all prisoners and civilians; condemn the heinous crimes committed by the colonial occupation authorities against thousands of Palestinian prisoners; and call on all concerned nations and international organizations to put pressure for the cessation of these crimes and the prosecution of those responsible.
 Stop the occupation forces’ killing crimes and the settlers’ terrorism and crimes in the Palestinian villages, cities and refugee camps in the occupied West Bank and all assaults on the Al Aqsa Mosque and all Islamic and Christian sanctities.
 Emphasize Israel's need to fulfil its obligations as the occupying power by ceasing all illegal actions that perpetuate the occupation, especially settlements' construction and expansion, land confiscation, and the forced displacement of Palestinians from their homes.
 Condemn the military operations launched by occupying forces against Palestinian cities and camps; denounce settler terrorism; and urge the international community to list these groups and organizations on global terrorism lists, so that the Palestinian people can enjoy all the rights afforded to other nations, including human rights, the right to security, self-determination, the realization of their state's independence on their land, and the provision of international protection for them.
 Condemn the Israeli assaults on Jerusalem’s Islamic and Christian holy sites and the Israeli illegitimate measures which violate freedom of worship; emphasize the importance of respecting the existing legal and historic status quo in the holy sites; emphasize that the Al Aqsa Mosque/ Al Haram Al Sharif, with its entire 144,000 square meters, is a place of worship solely for Muslims, with the Jordanian Awqaf and the Al-Aqsa Mosque Affairs Department being the exclusive sole legitimate authority responsible for managing, maintaining, and regulating access to Al Aqsa Mosque, within the framework of the historic Hashemite custodianship of Jerusalem’s Islamic and Christian holy sites; and support the roles of the Al-Quds Committee and its efforts in addressing the practices of the Israeli occupation authorities in the Holy City.
 Condemn the extremist and racist hate speech and actions by ministers within the Israeli occupying government, including one minister’s threat to use nuclear weapons against the Palestinian people in Gaza, and considering them a serious threat to international peace and security, necessitating support for the conference aimed at establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone and eliminating all other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, conducted within the framework of the United Nations and its goals to address this threat.
 Condemn the killing of journalists, children, and women, the targeting of medics, and the use of internationally banned white phosphorus in the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip and Lebanon; denounce the repeated Israeli statements and threats to return Lebanon to the “Stone Age”; emphasize the importance of preventing the expansion of the conflict; and call on the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to investigate Israel’s use of chemical weapons.
 Emphasize on that the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) is the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, and call on all Palestinian factions and parties to unite under its umbrella and shoulder their responsibilities under a PLO-led national partnership.
 Emphasize commitment to peace as a strategic choice, aiming to end Israeli occupation and resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict in accordance with international law and relevant legitimate decisions, including UN Security Council Resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 497 (1981), 1515 (2003), and 2334 (2016); emphasizing adherence to the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 in its entirety and priorities as the unified Arab consensus and the foundation for any peace revitalization efforts in the Middle East. The precondition for peace with Israel and the establishment of normal relations rests on ending its occupation of all Palestinian and Arab territories. It also includes establishing an independent, fully sovereign Palestinian state based on the June 4, 1967, borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, restoring the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination, return, and compensation for Palestinian refugees, resolving their issue justly per UN General Assembly Resolution 194 of 1948.
 Emphasize the immediate need for the international community to launch a serious peace process to establish a two-state solution that fulfils all legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, notably their right to realize an independent, sovereign state along the June 4, 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital to in security and peace alongside Israel, aligning with international legitimacy and the complete framework of the Arab Peace Initiative.
 Emphasize that the failure to resolve the Palestinian cause over more than 75 years, the lack of response to the Israeli colonial occupation's crimes, its deliberate policies undermining the two-state solution through settlement building and expansion, alongside unconditional support to Israel and shielding it from accountability, as well as disregarding continual warnings about the dangers of ignoring these crimes and their serious implications on international security and peace, has led to a severe deterioration of the situation.
 Reject any proposals that perpetuate the separation of Gaza from the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and emphasize that any future approach to Gaza must be within the framework of working towards a comprehensive solution ensuring the unity of Gaza and the West Bank as part of the Palestinian state, which must materialize as a free, independent, sovereign entity with its capital in East Jerusalem on the borders of June 4, 1967.
 Call for convening an international peace conference, as soon as possible, through which a credible peace process will be launched based on international law, legitimate resolutions, and the principle of land for peace, within a defined timeframe and international guarantees, ultimately leading to the end of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories since 1967, including East Jerusalem, the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, the Shebaa Farms, the Kfar Shuba Hills, and the outskirts of the Lebanese village of al-Mari, and the implementation of a two-state solution.
 Activate the Arab and Islamic Financial Safety Net in line with the decisions of the fourteenth session of the Islamic Summit Conference and the Arab Summit resolutions, to provide financial contributions and support — economic, financial, and humanitarian — to the government of the State of Palestine and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Emphasize the necessity of mobilizing international partners to reconstruct Gaza and alleviate the comprehensive destruction caused by the Israeli aggression immediately upon cessation.
 Assign both the Secretary-General of the Arab League and the OIC to closely oversee the implementation of the resolution and present a report on it at the upcoming sessions of their respective councils.

‘Mercy tables’ in Egypt suffer from economic crisis as Ramadan nears

‘Mercy tables’ in Egypt suffer from economic crisis as Ramadan nears
Updated 29 February 2024

‘Mercy tables’ in Egypt suffer from economic crisis as Ramadan nears

‘Mercy tables’ in Egypt suffer from economic crisis as Ramadan nears

CAIRO: Rising food prices and shortages may lead to fewer donations and less food for “tables of mercy” in Egypt during Ramadan.

Such tables are usually seen on Egypt’s streets to provide lower-income people with free iftar.

“There are many philanthropists in Egypt, but the high prices of food items constrain them,” said Kamal Khairy, a cook who worked at the tables in previous years.

A kilogram of meat is now priced at 450 Egyptian pounds ($14.56) in some areas, while a kilogram of rice costs 40 pounds. The price of vegetables has risen to unreasonable levels, Khairy told Arab News.

The meal cost has increased significantly, causing some philanthropists to withdraw from setting up tables this year.

“Before the COVID-19 outbreak, I used to cook at different tables upon request by philanthropists,” he said.

“In one year, I cooked for three tables — one in the morning, another in the afternoon, and the third before sunset. However, no one has asked me this year.”

A 50-year-old Egyptian, who declined to be named, told Arab News: “In previous years, I used to set up a free iftar table near my factory in Al-Azhar. However, I cannot afford the extra expense due to financial constraints this year.”

He said the factory was struggling financially, so he had been cutting expenses.

A car park attendant on Hoda Shaarawi Street in Cairo who gave his name as Uncle Ahmed told Arab News: “Due to the nature of my job, I cannot go home during Ramadan. Therefore, I rely on the ‘mercy table’ set up on the street, where I am a regular guest.”

The man, nearing 60, added: “I used to sit at a table alongside people from diverse social backgrounds, such as delivery workers, nurses, conscripts, and passersby.

“The table used to accommodate more than 500 people but now fits only 50.”

He said that in the past, a meal would typically consist of a meat dish (such as chicken or kofta), a vegetable dish, a salad and rice or pasta.

“There is only one dish that contains rice and vegetables this year, and the size of the chicken and meat has been reduced. Additionally, the salad portion has been reduced."

Ahmed added: “The crisis affects everyone, and we don’t expect more from the philanthropists. I excuse them.

“I pray that our crises in Egypt will be resolved.”

Farid Jamal, a worker at a charity hosting a table, said: “In previous years, people would arrive an hour before the Maghrib prayer, but now they come three hours earlier.

“The social composition has also changed. I see young men and men from good social levels wearing relatively elegant clothes and women who appear to be in a good situation, all reserving their places at the table to get an iftar meal.”

Volunteers brave Israeli air raids to feed Lebanon’s stranded pets

Volunteers brave Israeli air raids to feed Lebanon’s stranded pets
Updated 29 February 2024

Volunteers brave Israeli air raids to feed Lebanon’s stranded pets

Volunteers brave Israeli air raids to feed Lebanon’s stranded pets
  • Tyre resident recounts heartbreaking scenes in abandoned towns

BEIRUT: Volunteers in southern Lebanon are defying Israeli bombing to feed and care for dogs, cats, birds and other animals that have become victims of the conflict.

Linda Luku — a native of Bint Jbeil now residing in Tyre — is among a growing number of volunteers who have mobilized via social media to support animals amid the military escalation between Hezbollah and Israel.

Their efforts provide a lifeline to the forgotten victims of war as clashes continue to claim the lives of Hezbollah operatives and Lebanese civilians, including innocent children and women.

Amid the clashes between Hezbollah and the Israeli army, thousands of residents of the border region in southern Lebanon have abandoned their homes and villages in recent months.

In heartbreaking decisions, many families opted to leave their cherished pets behind, hoping that their displacement would be short-lived.

With military operations escalating and airstrikes pounding the region, villages have been transformed into desolate ghost towns, leaving animals abandoned and vulnerable to starvation and bombing.

Luku recounted the heartbreaking scenes she encountered during a visit to her hometown of Bint Jbeil.

Stray cats and dogs — emaciated and desperate — roamed the streets, their suffering palpable as their ribs protruded from hunger.

The sight was particularly harrowing for Luku, who, moved by compassion, set out with her brother on a mission to provide relief.

They managed to secure leftover chicken from a local slaughterhouse in Maaroub owned by a friend, and then journeyed to their hometown to distribute food to the starving animals.

“These animals are not strays. They belong to beautiful breeds commonly kept as household pets. They are now left to fend for themselves, searching for sustenance in towns abandoned by humans,” Luku said.

She added: “It is a poignant scene. As I navigate through these towns, I am confronted with the sight of starving animals, and the distressing images linger with me through the night.

“Amid the conflict, there is a heartbreaking lack of awareness. Residents remaining in villages under bombardment often withhold food from these animals.”

“Many times, I traverse villages devoid of human presence, with only Israeli warplanes hovering above, surveilling the area.”

Qassem Haidar, 28, from Shaqra in southern Lebanon, still lives in the area with his family despite facing constant bombardment.

“I have my own business, yet I sympathize with animals,” he said, adding: “I started feeding animals in my village after I was shocked to see a dog eating a cat in Beit Leif. It was so horrible. I could not stand it.

“I resorted to social media, asking anyone who had food leftovers to keep them, taking it upon myself to collect and distribute them to abandoned animals.

“I took photos of the hungry animals and posted them online. Many showed sympathy, and I started receiving donations, from dry food bags to gasoline costs, to move around between the villages.

“I also reached out to animal welfare organizations. I dedicate three hours of my time every day to going around the villages and posting stories on Instagram.

“I visited every village in the border area, from Ayta Al-Shaab to Kfarkela, spending a few minutes in some due to the bombardment and more than an hour in others.

Haidar said: “I used to leave food on the sides of the roads. Sometimes, if I come across a civilian still in his house, I leave bags of food at his place so that he can feed the animals.

“I also cooperate with the medics in the region to distribute food to animals. I have a town visit schedule, and I know when I should return and visit them to leave food for the animals.

“I don’t want to be late, so they do not starve to death or eat each other. I have seen cats and dogs that died of cardiac arrest due to the sound of exploding shells. Their heartbeats were so fast. They experienced absolute terror.

“They know when a shell is about to drop, and they disperse before it does. I followed their instincts and survived bombings more than once. Israelis bombed the sites I was at in many towns five minutes after I left them.

“I often used to be the only person on the road in towns in the line of fire. My mother is always worried about me. However, I am convinced these lives cannot be abandoned,” he added.

Haidar’s mission goes beyond feeding dogs, cats, and birds. He also takes sick or wounded animals to local vets.

Firas Faraj, a founder of the Strays Welfare Association in Tyre, said that many of the pets left behind are waiting for their owners to return.

He added: “We do not have an accurate number of abandoned animals, yet we are dealing with the problem case by case.

“The issue has gained some sympathy, but the need is still greater than what is provided. UNIFIL forces previously sympathized with us since the unit commanders love animals and provided us access to a field hospital.

“However, with the opening of the southern battlefront, all aid was suspended, and we rely on individual initiatives.”

El-Sisi, Al-Burhan discuss developments in Sudan

El-Sisi, Al-Burhan discuss developments in Sudan
Updated 29 February 2024

El-Sisi, Al-Burhan discuss developments in Sudan

El-Sisi, Al-Burhan discuss developments in Sudan
  • Al-Burhan said that Egypt’s role in hosting Sudanese citizens and mitigating the crisis provided evidence of its continued friendship
  • El-Sisi and Al-Burhan agreed on the necessity of an immediate ceasefire in Gaza

CAIRO: Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on Thursday received Gen. Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, president of the Transitional Sovereignty Council of Sudan, at Cairo International Airport.

An official reception ceremony took place at Al-Ittihadiya Palace, at which the national anthems were played and guards of honor inspected.

The meeting focused on recent developments in Sudan and efforts to resolve its crisis.

The main goal is to restore stability while ensuring sovereignty, unity, and cohesion of the Sudanese state and its institutions.

The meeting was an attempt to meet the Sudanese people’s desire for safety and stability.

Ahmed Fahmy, the presidential spokesman, said that El-Sisi focused on the solid historic relations between the two countries, emphasizing Egypt’s support in enhancing cooperation.

The president stressed Egypt’s commitment to Sudan’s security and offered full support to achieve political, security, and economic stability.

He affirmed Egypt’s commitment to supporting Sudan’s unity and resolving ongoing conflicts.

He added that the two countries shared a close relationship, which made it necessary to ensure national security.

The president spoke of Egypt’s ongoing role in helping to alleviate the humanitarian impact of the current crisis within Sudan.

Al-Burhan expressed his country’s appreciation for Egypt’s support. He highlighted the long-standing ties between the two countries, while saying that Egypt’s role in hosting Sudanese citizens and mitigating the crisis provided evidence of its continued friendship.

The parties also discussed the situation in Gaza and regional issues of mutual concern.

El-Sisi and Al-Burhan agreed on the necessity of an immediate ceasefire and the urgent need to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

They also agreed to continue consultations and coordination to help benefit the populations of Egypt and Sudan.

The Sudanese leader made an official visit to Egypt in August last year, his first following the start of his country’s conflict in April. Al-Burhan and El-Sisi met in the city of Alamein in northern Egypt.

Palestinian president issues ‘categorical rejection’ of Israeli PM’s post-war plan

Palestinian president issues ‘categorical rejection’ of Israeli PM’s post-war plan
Updated 29 February 2024

Palestinian president issues ‘categorical rejection’ of Israeli PM’s post-war plan

Palestinian president issues ‘categorical rejection’ of Israeli PM’s post-war plan
  • Netanyahu wants Israel to retain security control over Palestinian areas and make reconstruction dependent on demilitarization
  • Abbas charged that the plan confirmed the Israeli government’s intentions to recolonize the Gaza Strip

CAIRO: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has stressed “categorical Palestinian rejection” of the principles announced in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s so-called post-war plan for Gaza.

Netanyahu wants Israel to retain security control over Palestinian areas and make reconstruction dependent on demilitarization.

His plan, which brings together a range of well-established Israeli positions, underlines Netanyahu’s resistance to the creation of a Palestinian state which he sees as a security threat.

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit has received a written message from Abbas which calls for a global conference to adopt a comprehensive peace plan with international guarantees and a timeline for implementation of the ending of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

Abbas has called on the league to support Palestine in obtaining full membership of the UN.

The message urged countries that have not yet recognized Palestine to do so.

Aboul Gheit received Ambassador Muhannad Al-Aklouk, representative of Palestine to the bloc, at the headquarters of the general secretariat, and Al-Aklouk had brought a message from Abbas.

Jamal Rushdi, a spokesperson for the Arab League chief, said that the president’s message included a categorical Palestinian rejection of the principles announced by the Israeli prime minister for the so-called “day after of the war.”

The message included a warning of the danger of those principles — especially the denial of the existence of the Palestinian people, and insisting on imposing Israeli sovereignty on the land extending from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.

Abbas charged that the plan confirmed the Israeli government’s intentions to recolonize the Gaza Strip and perpetuate the occupation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem through plans to build thousands of settlement units.

Rushdi said that the message warned that the goal of the Israeli government was not only to undermine the chances of peace based on the two-state solution, but also to intensify ethnic cleansing and displacement of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem.

The president’s message included the affirmation that the Gaza Strip is an integral part of the State of Palestine.

The Palestinian Authority is ready to assume the responsibilities of governance in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem, and is prepared to work toward establishing security and peace, as well as stability, in the region within the framework of a comprehensive peace plan.

The message called on the Arab League’s chief to continue working for a ceasefire; the provision of humanitarian aid; the return of displaced people to their homes in the north; the prevention of their displacement; and a halt to Israel’s expansionist plans and practices in the Gaza Strip.

Aboul Gheit confirmed to Al-Aklouk that he would continue to work to achieve all the goals highlighted in the president’s message — most notably an immediate ceasefire, working to bring aid in urgently and sustainably, and standing with full force against the displacement plan.

Aboul Gheit stressed that stopping the war remained a fundamental priority for the Arab League and its member states.

He reiterated that the Palestinians, Arabs, and the world always rejected the displacement plan.

Aboul Gheit pointed out that addressing the humanitarian catastrophe caused by Israeli aggression could not be achieved in isolation from a settlement aiming at the emergence of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.

He emphasized that the Palestinians were capable of governing themselves.

Aboul Gheit added that the continuation of the occupation was no longer possible and that the two-state solution remained the only formula capable of achieving security, peace, and stability between Palestinians and Israelis in the region and the world.

Israel says it’s still reviewing access to Al Aqsa mosque during Ramadan

Israel says it’s still reviewing access to Al Aqsa mosque during Ramadan
Updated 29 February 2024

Israel says it’s still reviewing access to Al Aqsa mosque during Ramadan

Israel says it’s still reviewing access to Al Aqsa mosque during Ramadan
  • Al Aqsa, Israel’s third-holiest shrine, is a focus of Palestinian statehood hopes
  • Israeli controls on access have often stoked political friction, especially during Ramadan

JERUSALEM: Israel is reviewing possible curbs on access to Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem over the upcoming Ramadan fasting month, a government spokesperson said after media reports that the far-right minister for police might be overruled on the issue.
Al Aqsa, Israel’s third-holiest shrine, is a focus of Palestinian statehood hopes. The site is also revered by Jews as vestige of their two ancient temples. Israeli controls on access have often stoked political friction, especially during Ramadan.
National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said last week there would be a quota for members of Israel’s 18 percent Muslim minority who wish to take part in peace prayers at Al Aqsa.
That would compound the clampdown Israel has already placed on Palestinians since the Hamas’ cross-border rampage from the Gaza Strip on Oct. 7, codenamed “Al Aqsa Flood,” which triggered the ongoing Gaza war.
But Israel’s top-rated Channel 12 TV reported on Wednesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would overrule Ben-Gvir.
“The specific issue of prayer on the Temple Mount, in Al Aqsa, is currently still under discussion by the cabinet,” government spokesperson Avi Hyman said in a briefing on Thursday.
He added that a final decision would take security and public health, as well as the freedom of worship, into account.
A Ben-Gvir spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment. On Wednesday, Ben-Gvir posted on X that any attempt to override his authority would amount to a “capitulation to terror,” and urged Netanyahu to deny the Channel 12 report.