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Saturday, January 29, 2022

Muslim world leaders denounce ‘brutal’ Israeli attacks as death toll mounts


As ongoing Israeli brutality continues against Palestinians, Qatar’s foreign minister has contacted his Turkish counterpart to discuss ways to deescalate the situation.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani spoke on Sunday to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to discuss the alarming developments against Palestinians as the death toll continues to increase.

In a phone call, the diplomats addressed Israeli violence in Gaza and occupied territories, where more than 192 have been killed.

The call followed a meeting by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in which members of the committee, chaired by Saudi Arabia, discussed countless Israeli violations and violence against Palestinians.

Riyadh denounced Israel’s “flagrant violations” while the kingdom’s foreign minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan called on the international community to take “urgent action” to put an end to Israel’s attacks and “revive peace talks aimed at securing a two-state solution,” he said.

“Preserving Jerusalem is the responsibility for us all,” he added. 

The OIC meeting ended with an unanimous resolution to condemn in the strongest terms the barbaric attacks launched by Israel against the Palestinians.

It also demanded a complete and immediate halt of attacks that violate international laws and United Nations resolutions. This poses a threat to stability in the region, which could also lead to serious consequences in and outside the occupied territories. 

Read also: US Secretary of State, Qatari FM discuss Israeli escalations against Palestinians

The resolution also urged international legal action through specialised international courts and various United Nations agencies to force Israel to to pay for the damage inflicted on Palestinian infrastructure as well as public and private properties.

The Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told the meeting that “the massacre of Palestinian children today follows the purported normalisation,” referring to the controversial Abraham Accords.

“This criminal and genocidal regime has once again proven that friendly gestures only aggravate its atrocities,” he added.

Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar said “the plight of the Palestinian people is the bleeding wound of the Islamic world today.”

The meeting, held virtually, saw some delegates attack countries like Bahrain, Morocco, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates for normalising with Israel last year. 

Although Egypt and Jordan signed peace deals previously with Israel, protesters in both countries came out in their thousands to stand in solidarity with Palestine. 

Despite Turkish-Israeli diplomatic ties, Cavusoglu criticised the normalisation saying “there are a few who have lost their moral compass and voiced support for Israel.

“If there are half-hearted statements within our own family, how could we criticise others? Who will take our words seriously?”

Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates’ Minister of State for International Cooperation Reem Al Hashimy, also called for a halt to the violence.

Over the past week at least 192 Palestinians, including 55 children, have been killed as Israel escalated its aggression with an all-out, indiscriminate bombing campaign in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The alarming surge deaths prompted urgent diplomatic interference to broker a ceasefire between Israeli forces and Hamas, which governs Gaza. Qatar is thought to be engaged in mediation efforts.

Despite normalisation deals in the Gulf region, Qatar has maintained its position in support of Palestine in recent years and in recent weeks has echoed calls for the rights of Palestinians.

On Saturday, authorities in Doha approved a demonstration, attended by Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh, to allow thousands of its residents and citizens to express their support for Palestine.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Quds Force commander stressed Tehran’s support for Palestinians facing Israeli “crimes” in Jerusalem and Gaza in phone calls with Palestinian officials, state news agency IRNA reported on Sunday.

Brigadier General Ismail Qaani spoke to Haniyeh, and the secretary-general of the Islamic Jihad group, Ziyad al-Nakhalah.

Ongoing Protests around the world

Thousands of people around the world took to the streets last week to condemn Israel’s “barbaric” actions as the death toll continued to mount. 

In the past week alone days, dozens of protests have sprouted across the world, including in London, New York, Miami, Berlin, Amman and Doha, to denounce the worst Israeli violence in years.

The violence erupted after Israeli settlers violently dispersed a peaceful vigil by unarmed Palestinians at the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. The demonstrators were protesting the ethnic cleansing of the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.

Israeli forces then attacked worshippers praying inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque during the holy month of Ramadan, using rubber-coated steel rounds, stun grenades, and tear gas to attack Palestinians.

Harrowing videos that emerged online showed worshippers at the mosque facing tear gas inside the mosque.

Israel has justified its actions as a “response to violence”, pointing towards Palestinians who had reportedly hurled rocks and other objects at occupying forces.

The violence escalated on May 10 when Israel launched a deadly and brutal air campaign in the besieged strip.

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