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Arab-Islamic Summit: Mohammed VI calls for comprehensive action to stop civilian deaths in Gaza

King Mohammed VI has called, at the Extraordinary Arab-Islamic Summit held Saturday in Riyadh, for an awakening of the conscience of the international community and for a joint action to stop the killing of human beings in the Gaza Strip.

“In keeping with my commitment to peace and in my capacity as Chairman of the Al-Quds Committee, I have called for an awakening of the conscience of the international community in order to stop the killing of human beings, whom Almighty God has honored, and for working together, each from our respective positions, to achieve four urgent priorities”, the Sovereign said in an address, read out at the summit by Head of Government, Aziz Akhannouch.

The first priority is to bring about urgent, tangible de-escalation and stop military attacks to pave the way for a permanent, verifiable ceasefire, and the second is to ensure the protection of civilians and prevent their targeting, in accordance with international law and international humanitarian law, he said.

The third priority, according to the Sovereign, is to allow for the steady delivery of humanitarian aid, in sufficient quantities, to the inhabitants of Gaza, while the fourth priority lies in paving the way for a political settlement of the Palestinian issue – one that can revive the two-state solution agreed by the international community.

“We are facing an unprecedented crisis, which is made even more complex by Israel’s blatant and continuing aggression against helpless civilians. Further compounding the crisis is the silence of the international community, and the fact that the influential powers are ignoring the humanitarian catastrophe befalling the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip,” the King said, adding that “it is incumbent on the international community and on all of us to make sure the future of the region and its people is not left in the hands of those engaging in outbidding tactics.”

The Sovereign noted that when it comes to the future of the region, there can be no room for those tactics, nor for self-serving agendas. This crucial moment must be dealt with in a manner which is consistent with historical responsibility, based on four self-evident facts.

The first fact is that “there is no alternative to genuine peace in the region – peace which guarantees the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people on the basis of the two-State solution”, while the second is that “there is no alternative to an independent Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital,” the King stressed.

The third fact, the Sovereign pointed out, “is that there is no alternative to strengthening the Palestinian Authority, under the leadership of my brother President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen”, while the fourth is that “there is no alternative to establishing mechanisms for sustainable regional security, based on respect for international law and the agreed international resolutions”.

King Mohammed VI also recalled that this extraordinary session of the Arab and Islamic Summit is being held in a context fraught with tension and with continuing armed conflict in the Gaza Strip, in which thousands of people among defenseless civilians were killed or injured. It has also caused mass destruction, devastation, and a full-fledged siege, in blatant violation of international law and human values.

“Although a number of wise voices have been calling for de-escalation and restraint, Israeli artillery and missiles are still targeting defenseless civilians, including children, women and the elderly, and all places of worship, hospitals and camps have been either partially or completely destroyed”, the Sovereign deplored.

“Resolving this crisis and making sure it does not happen again will be achieved only by stopping the aggression against Al-Quds Al-Sharif and ending the provocations that hurt the feelings of more than a billion Muslims,” the King stated further.

“I have always keenly sought, in my capacity as Chairman of the Al-Quds Committee, to draw attention to the seriousness of these Israeli practices and provocations, and to the dire consequences they have for security and stability in the entire region,” the Sovereign added, noting that in parallel, ground efforts were made, through the Bayt Mal Al-Quds Al-Sharif Agency, to protect the Holy City, and preserve its historical and legal status as well as the holy, religious sites therein.

In this regard, the King said that as indicated in the “Jerusalem Call,” signed by the Sovereign and His Holiness Pope Francis, it is the duty of everyone to preserve the Holy City of Jerusalem as a shared heritage of humankind and, above all, as a symbol of values of mutual respect.

“Whoever thinks that the logic of force can change this reality and this deeply-rooted identity is wrong. As Chairman of the Al-Quds Committee, I shall always rise against such attempts, in coordination with my brother, King Abdullah II, the custodian of the Islamic and Christian holy places in Jerusalem,” the King said.

“We stand at a turning point. It requires each one of us to be resolute and responsible in order to stop the Israeli attacks and make the logic of reason and wisdom prevail so as to achieve a just and lasting peace in that part of the world, for the sake of the security and stability of all peoples in the region,” the Sovereign went on to say.



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