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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Qatar to chair emergency Arab League meeting on Israeli crimes against Palestinians


Israeli forces have been attacking Palestinians demonstrating against forced evictions in Sheikh Jarrah, while arresting protesters including children.

Qatar is set to chair an “extraordinary” Arab League Council meeting on Israel’s crimes in Jerusalem on Monday, state news agency [QNA] reported on Saturday.

The announcement was made by the Arab League’s Assistant Secretary-General Hossam Zaki, who said that the session will be held on Palestine’s request at the Arab League’s headquarters in Cairo.

Officials at the meeting will also be discussing the ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem’s Palestinian Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.

The meeting comes amid an urgent need for international action to bring to an end deliberate Israeli attacks on Palestinians protesting the forced evictions of the indigenous people of Sheikh Jarrah, a key point of entry in Jerusalem.

Israel has continued its crackdown on Palestinians outside the Old City of Jerusalem during Laylat Al-Qadr, one of the holiest nights of the fasting month of Ramadan, as tens of thousands of Muslims prayed at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said up to 90 people were injured on Saturday. This is in addition to 200 injuries reported on Friday after Israeli forces stormed the holy Al-Aqsa mosque and fired rubber bullets and stun grenades at Palestinians.

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

Read also: Qatar secures presidency for Arab League’s rights committee

As of now, up to 550 people are at risk of being forcibly evicted in Sheikh Jarrah, a neighbourhood that is home to 3,000 Palestinians, all of whom are refugees that were forced out of their homes in Palestine during the Nakba in 1948. The native population has resisted settlers since 1972.

The native population has resisted settlers since 1972.

Israeli authorities have been attempting to implement what it describes as a “demographic balance” in Jerusalem at a 70-30 ratio by illegally limiting the Palestinian population.

On Saturday, the amir held a phone call with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to express Qatar’s support to Palestinians.

“I assured him [Abbas] of Qatar’s firm and supportive stance for the brotherly Palestinian people to obtain their national rights, with our strong condemnation of the Israeli occupation forces’ repeated attacks on defenseless civilians and worshipers in the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque,” said Sheikh Tamim in a tweet.

Qatar’s foreign ministry also echoed the Gulf state’s firm position in supporting Palestinians, strongly condemning the latest attacks as a “provocation to the feelings of millions of Muslims around the world, and a severe violation of human rights and international accords”.

In contrast to some of its neighbours, Qatar has rejected plans to normalise relations with Israel until it stops its human rights violations against Palestinians, as per the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.

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