Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (EFE) –
Ending the war in Gaza, increasing humanitarian access to the enclave and ensuring that Israel is held accountable were the demands of the heads of state of 57 Arab and Muslim countries at the emergency summit held in Riyadh on Saturday.
“We condemn the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip, the war crimes and the barbaric, brutal and inhumane massacres committed by the colonial occupation government against the Palestinian people, including in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. We demand that they be stopped immediately,” the resolution said.
Participants also denounced the “silence” and “double standards” of Western countries in condemning Israel’s “collective punishment” campaign against Gaza, which has already left more than 11,000 dead and plunged the enclave into a humanitarian catastrophe.
Arab and Muslim leaders agreed to call on the UN Security Council to urgently adopt a “firm and binding resolution” to stop Israel’s “aggression.
Israel must be held accountable
In the statement, the countries rejected claims that Israel was acting in “self-defense” after the Oct. 7 attacks by the Islamist group Hamas that left 1,200 dead and some 240 hostages in Israel.
They also called on the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to investigate what they described as “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity” committed by Israel in Gaza and “throughout the occupied territories.”
They also demanded that the West “stop exporting arms” to Israel, and called for an investigation into the use of white phosphorus in Gaza and southern Lebanon, as well as an investigation into Israel’s nuclear facilities following recent comments by an Israeli minister suggesting the possibility of a nuclear attack on Gaza.
An Independent Palestinian State
The final declaration states that the only way to peace is the creation of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, the solution most agreed upon by the international community but abandoned over the years.
“We affirm that neither Israel nor any country in the region will enjoy security and peace without the Palestinians enjoying it and recovering all their stolen rights,” the countries warned in the final declaration.
To that end, the document also calls for the convening of an international peace conference “as soon as possible” to launch a “credible process based on international law” to end “the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.”
And another of the common points that these countries shared was holding Israel responsible for “the continuation of the conflict and its deterioration,” while they considered the occupation of the Palestinian territories “a threat to regional and international security and stability.
The summit was attended by some of the region’s most prominent leaders, including Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, as well as a number of leaders from Muslim-majority Asian countries. EFE sa-se-cgs/mcd