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With the situation on the ground constantly evolving, we have decided to collect some information here that allows us to get an idea of the broader context through maps, factsheets and insights.
Yet another appeal is being made from Saudi Arabia for an immediate stop to Israeli military operations in Gaza, as well as the release of all prisoners (LIVE UPDATES). In Riyadh, where Arab leaders and the Iranian president met for an extraordinary summit between the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman called the war “a humanitarian catastrophe” that “demonstrates the failure of the international community” and the UN “to put an end to Israel’s serious violations of international humanitarian law”. Not only that: the conflict “demonstrates the double standards adopted by the world”. Palestinian President Abu Mazen – who speaks of a “war of extermination that has crossed all the red lines” – asks the US to “put an end to the aggression”. The words of the Iranian head of state Raisi were harsh. First he asked his followers interlocutors to consider the Israeli army “a terrorist organization”, then he invited Muslim countries “to arm the Palestinians” if “the attacks continue” in Gaza.
Bin Salam: “The only way to peace is to end the Israeli occupation”
Prince Bin Salam, at the opening of the summit, said he was “certain” that the only path to peace is “the end of the Israeli occupation and illegal settlements, the restoration of the acquired rights of the Palestinian people and the creation of the State of 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital”.
Today’s summit arises from the Arab world’s difficulty in finding a univocal position regarding the conflict. The Arab League and the OIC were initially supposed to meet separately, but the former’s delegations failed to reach agreement on a final statement. So it was decided to work together with the OIC. Some states, such as Lebanon and Algeria, had proposed cutting off oil supplies to Israel and its allies. More generally, League countries that have relations with Israel were asked to cut economic and diplomatic ties. However, it was not possible to find a solution: at least three countries – including the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which normalized ties with Israel in 2020 – would have rejected the proposal, according to diplomats who asked to remain anonymous.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad: “We expect nothing”
However, before the summit began, the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad said it did not “expect anything”, criticizing Arab leaders for the delay: “The fact that this conference is being held after 35 days of war is an indication of its results “.
Raisi: “USA fuels the Israeli war machine”
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, before leaving for Riyadh, once again attacked Washington for its role in the conflict: “The United States has provided fuel to the Israeli war machine of crime and genocide in Gaza.”