GCC, Arab Parliament Hail Spain, Norway, and Ireland for Recognizing State of Palestine

A man holds the Palestinian flag during a protest in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, in Mosul, Iraq, October 14, 2023. (Reuters)
A man holds the Palestinian flag during a protest in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, in Mosul, Iraq, October 14, 2023. (Reuters)
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GCC, Arab Parliament Hail Spain, Norway, and Ireland for Recognizing State of Palestine

A man holds the Palestinian flag during a protest in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, in Mosul, Iraq, October 14, 2023. (Reuters)
A man holds the Palestinian flag during a protest in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, in Mosul, Iraq, October 14, 2023. (Reuters)

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary-General Jasem Albudaiwi has endorsed the recent recognition of Palestine by Spain, Ireland, and Norway.
In a statement on Wednesday, Albudaiwi said this recognition is "a major turning point" for the two-state solution and "a powerful nudge" for other countries to follow suit. 
Recognition of Palestine, he argued, would be a key step towards Palestinians finally securing all their rights and living freely, with justice and independence. This recognition comes after years of what Albudaiwi described as "suffering under Israeli occupation, facing constant injustice and rights violations."
Albudaiwi called on the international community to play its role in supporting the Palestinian people to obtain the full right to establish their state.
He also reaffirmed the firm stance of the GCC in support of the Palestinian cause and reaching a solution based on ending the Israeli occupation and establishing an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.

Also, the Arab Parliament has expressed its appreciation for the new step.
In a statement, the parliament hailed this move as "a triumph for justice and a testament to the right of the Palestinian people to establish their independent state."
Emphasizing the growing global recognition of Palestine, the parliament asserted that such actions serve as a concrete response to "the failed endeavours of occupation forces aiming to eradicate the Palestinian cause—an objective that is destined to falter," SPA reported.
Reiterating its call, the Arab Parliament urged all nations that have yet to acknowledge the State of Palestine to take decisive steps towards recognition. Doing so, it emphasized, would constitute a vital stride towards rectifying the historical injustices endured by the Palestinian people throughout decades of occupation. The call aligns with the internationally recognized two-state solution, endorsed by numerous resolutions of international legitimacy.



Pilgrims Prepare to Depart Holy Sites after Completing Main Hajj Rituals

Pilgrims stone the three pillars representing the devil on the first day of Tashreeq. (SPA)
Pilgrims stone the three pillars representing the devil on the first day of Tashreeq. (SPA)
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Pilgrims Prepare to Depart Holy Sites after Completing Main Hajj Rituals

Pilgrims stone the three pillars representing the devil on the first day of Tashreeq. (SPA)
Pilgrims stone the three pillars representing the devil on the first day of Tashreeq. (SPA)

The majority of Hajj pilgrims are packing their belongings in preparation to leave the holy sites on Tuesday, known as the “Day of Hastening.”

This comes after they have completed the essential rites of Hajj, which include standing at Mount Arafat, the symbolic stoning of the devil at Jamarat, and performing the Tawaf al-Ifadah.

The Saudi Arabian government has provided a comprehensive range of services to ensure the smooth conduct of Hajj for all pilgrims.

This year’s pilgrimage has been marked by a well-coordinated system to facilitate the rituals for the millions of Muslims.

Pilgrims are arriving in Madinah as the city prepares itself to host them after the completion of their Hajj rituals.

The Madinah branch of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs has prepared major mosques, including Khandaq, Sayyid al-Shuhada, and Qiblatain, ensuring they are clean, well-maintained, and equipped with air conditioning and water coolers.

Crowd management systems are in place, and educational materials and Qurans are being distributed.

Sheikh Osama Madkhali, the ministry’s local director, stated that all preparations are complete.

Over 900,000 copies of the Quran, provided by the King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Quran, are ready to be given to pilgrims in Madinah and Yanbu airports as they depart.

Comprehensive health services

Saudi Arabia has deployed a comprehensive healthcare system to ensure the safety and well-being of the pilgrims.

Over 35,000 medical staff and 5,500 volunteers are on hand to provide around-the-clock care at 183 hospitals and health centers, as well as six mobile clinics equipped with the latest technology.

These facilities boast over 6,400 beds, including specialized units for intensive care, emergency treatment, and heat-related illnesses.

Virtual services are being offered through an online hospital and mobile app, providing medical consultations and information.

Additionally, the “937” call center secured urgent medical advice in seven languages for pilgrims.

Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aali, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, reported 2,764 cases of heat exhaustion on the first day of Eid, all promptly treated by healthcare teams.

The private health sector has also expanded its role, contributing over 62 facilities and emergency points, and providing services on the Holy Sites train at 18 locations.

Private providers operate two of the 25 Ministry of Health centers, marking a 400% increase in private sector involvement compared to last year.

The Ministry of Commerce has distributed over 37 million provisions to Hajj pilgrims in Mina on the first day of Tashreeq. The ministry’s field teams are actively monitoring the supply situation across the holy sites, ensuring that essential goods and products are readily available.

Moreover, the ministry oversees the supply chain according to its mandate, and its teams are also responsible for inspecting commercial establishments and sales outlets in the holy sites and Makkah.

These inspections ensure compliance with consumer protection regulations and identify any commercial violations.

The Saudi Water Authority announced the distribution of over 3 billion liters of fresh water in Makkah and the holy sites of Mina, and Arafat.

This effort is part of its operational plan to ensure seamless supply across production, transportation, storage, and distribution components of the system, catering to the comfort and service of pilgrims and all beneficiaries during pilgrimage.

Through coordinated efforts and meticulous planning, the authority and its operational arm, the National Water Company and its private sector partners, achieved this exceptional milestone.

The water production capacity was significantly increased, facilitated by the desalination arm of the Saudi Water Authority, enhancing the integrated efforts of the water system to deliver and distribute the water to Makkah and the holy sites.