In a remarkable assembly, a ministerial committee shaped by the Joint Arab Islamic Extraordinary Summit convened at the UN headquarters in New York. The meeting was chaired by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, and attended by representatives from China, Qatar, Jordan, Egypt, Palestine, Turkiye, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the UAE. The focus of the gathering was the recent tumultuous events in Gaza.
Humanitarian Truce: A Beacon of Hope?
Key talking points involved the outcomes of the humanitarian truce for Palestinian prisoners, efforts to secure a ceasefire, and the enforcement of international humanitarian laws to protect civilians. The ministers called for lasting peace through the adoption of resolutions supporting a two-state solution, envisioning an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. The meeting highlighted the urgent need for secure channels to provide immediate humanitarian aid to Gaza.
Gaza: A Moonscape Amid Destruction
Separately, the aftermath of over 50 days of relentless Israeli shelling in northern Gaza has been described as catastrophic. With the region likened to a moonscape, the destruction has displaced over one million Palestinians. UK-based conflict monitor Airwars has labeled the Israeli air campaign as the most intense since World War II. Despite the ravage, many Palestinians are reluctant to leave their homes, fearing it could be misconstrued as endorsing the notion that Israel aims to ethnically cleanse Gaza.
International Humanitarian Law: A Breach?
Oxfam's policy lead, Bushra Khalidi, emphasized that the calls for civilians to relocate without safety guarantees or assurance of return could be viewed as a serious breach of international humanitarian law. The humanitarian crisis has catalyzed worldwide concern, with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warning that the Gaza Strip was in the midst of an 'epic humanitarian catastrophe.' He emphasized the need for a true humanitarian ceasefire and a comprehensive and lasting ceasefire with the utmost urgency.
In conclusion, the Joint Arab Islamic Extraordinary Summit aims to address the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza and push for a two-state solution. With the world watching, the ministers are calling for lasting peace, the protection of civilians, and the enforcement of international humanitarian laws. Whether their voices will be heard and lead to significant changes remains to be seen.