Saudi Arabia is convening a special summit uniting nations from the Islamic and Arab realms to address the deteriorating situation in Gaza. The announcement of the summit came late on Friday through Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry.
Originally slated to host separate summits for the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Arab League on Saturday, the decision to hold a joint summit emerged as an alternative following consultations with members from both significant organizations.
In his opening address, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) urged an immediate halt to military operations in Gaza and the liberation of all captives and prisoners. He stated that the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe demonstrates the international community and the UN Security Council’s failure to halt Israel’s severe violations of international humanitarian laws. Additionally, it highlights the world’s adoption of dual standards.
He further asserted that they are convinced the sole path to peace involves ending the Israeli occupation and illegal settlements, restoring the established rights of the Palestinian people, and establishing the state based on the borders of 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas emphasized that in addition to Gaza, the raids by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank have intensified. He called on the United States administration to bring an end to “Israel’s aggression, occupation, violations, and desecration of our holy sites.” Abbas added that no military and security solutions are acceptable, as they have all failed. He categorically rejected any efforts to displace their people from Gaza or the West Bank.
Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani expressed concern, stating, “The international world remains immune in front of all these scenes. Who could have imagined that hospitals could be publicly shelled in the 21st century?”
Despite escalating calls for an immediate ceasefire, particularly from the Arab and Islamic worlds, Israel has persisted in its attacks on the Gaza Strip. The continuous air strikes and ground assaults, initiated in response to the October 7 attack by Hamas that claimed 1,200 Israeli lives, have resulted in the death of at least 11,000 Palestinians, predominantly civilians.
In recent days, Israel has markedly increased its assaults on hospitals, and the United Nations has expressed concern, stating that the lives of one million children in Gaza are precariously hanging by a thread.