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Arab States, Turkey Condemn Israeli Action in Jerusalem, Gaza

Arab States, Turkey Condemn Israeli Action in Jerusalem, Gaza

Tuesday, 11 May, 2021 - 11:15
A Palestinian man gestures as he inspects a damaged building following an Israeli air strike, amid a flare-up of Israeli-Palestinian violence, in Gaza City May 11, 2021. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

The head of the Arab League and the Muslim World League (MWL) both condemned on Tuesday the deadly Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip.

Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit slammed the Israeli aggression as “indiscriminate and irresponsible”, saying Israel had provoked an earlier escalation in violence by its actions in Jerusalem.

“Israeli violations in Jerusalem, and the government’s tolerance of Jewish extremists hostile to Palestinians and Arabs, is what led to the ignition of the situation in this dangerous way,” Aboul Gheit said in a statement.

The attacks in Gaza were a “miserable show of force at the expense of children’s blood”, he added.

Aboul Gheit called on the international community to act immediately to stop the violence, saying continuing “Israeli provocations” were an affront to Muslims on the eve of the Eid holiday at the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Meanwhile, the MWL has strongly condemned the attacks at Al-Aqsa Mosque, stressing in a statement that it rejected this "dangerous" escalation.

MWL Secretary-General Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa denounced what he described as "all acts of violence" that undermined the dignity and rights of the Palestinian people, as well as provoking the feelings of Muslims around the world.

He also called on the International community to put an end to the violence, preserve the right of the Palestinian people, provide the necessary protection of civilians, guarantee their right to practice their religion, and stop all violations and attacks.

Reaffirming solidarity with the Palestinian people, Al-Issa noted that he also supports all peace efforts to reach a just and comprehensive solution that allows Palestinians to establish their independent state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as their capital.

Arab League foreign ministers held a virtual emergency meeting on Tuesday to discuss the situation in Jerusalem.

In a statement, the foreign ministers said they held Israel "fully responsible for whatever follows due to its crimes, which constitute glaring violations of UN decrees, international law and human rights law."

They called on international organizations including the UN Security Council to "immediately stop the Israeli aggression and provide the necessary protection for the Palestinian people and uphold their right to worship freely and safely".

The United Nations is working urgently to defuse tensions between Israel and the Palestinians, a UN spokesman said. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, he said, was saddened by the increasing numbers of casualties on both sides.

In light of events in Jerusalem, Egypt declared its "total rejection and condemnation of these oppressive Israeli practices," Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told the League.

The head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which held an emergency meeting in Jeddah, "praised the steadfastness of the Palestinian people stationed in the occupied city of Jerusalem and their response to the Israeli attacks on the holy sites", Saudi state agency SPA reported.

Turkey also condemned the Israeli air strikes.

"The Israeli government must finally understand that it will not be able to suppress the Palestinian people's legitimate rights and demands by using indiscriminate and disproportionate power," the Turkish foreign ministry said.

The Gaza health ministry said at least 28 Palestinians, including 10 children, had been killed. Israel disputed that account, saying it had killed at least 20 Hamas fighters and that a third of the hundreds of rockets launched by militants had fallen short, causing Palestinian civilian casualties.

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