Arab, Muslim countries condemn Israel's assault on Gaza

Arab, Muslim countries condemn Israel's assault on Gaza
Israel's overnight strikes on Gaza, which killed nine children, have drawn round condemnation from regional powers.
3 min read
11 May, 2021
Overnight strikes on Gaza by the IDF killed 24 Palestinians, including nine children [AFP]
Arab and Muslim-majority countries have condemned Israel for deadly air strikes on the besieged Gaza Strip Monday night, which killed at least 24 Palestinians, including nine children.

The deadly raids came after rockets fired by Hamas - the Palestinian Islamist movement which controls Gaza - into southern Israel. Those strikes injured six Israelis but caused no fatalities, although rocket fire on Tuesday killed two people.

Hamas have issued an ultimatum to Israel calling on its forces to cease its brutal crackdown at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israeli riot police at the compound in occupied East Jerusalem have fired tear gas and rubber bullets, injuring at least 500 over the past few days.

Tensions in the holy city have soared amid an eviction threat facing dozens of Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah to make way for Jewish settlers, something which Hamas has vowed to "avenge".

Regional countries, including some of those which have entered into normalisation agreements with Israel, have condemned the ongoing Israeli violence at Al-Aqsa and perpetuating the forced displacement Palestinians from their own homes.

Israel's military is expected to escalate its actions in Gaza. Several foreign ministries issued statements on Tuesday saying that Israel would be to blame if the situation deteriorates.

Israel has fought three wars against Hamas since 2008, killing thousands of Palestinians in largely indiscriminate airstrikes.

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz has mobilised some 5,000 Israeli soldiers to the Gaza border. An Israeli military spokesman told reporters that generals are prepared for a wide range of possibilities, including a ground operation.

The tiny territory is home to more than two million people. They collectively suffer from a crippling 13-year blockade, widespread poverty and unemployment, and severe water and power shortages.

Read also: Jerusalem Protests: Live coverage of the Israeli crackdown on Gaza, Al-Aqsa, Sheikh Jarrah

A chorus of condemnation

Some of strongest condemnation came from Turkey, a country known for its vocal rhetoric against Israel's assault on the Palestinians.

Fahrettin Altun, communications director for the Turkish presidency, said Ankara "will definitely call Israel to account for every atrocity, every massacre and every act of terrorism. We will continue our struggle for Israel to be prosecuted before international law".

Turkey's parliamentary speaker has also accused Israel of practicing "state terrorism".

The Saudi foreign ministry called on the international community to hold Israeli forces responsible for any escalation. In Jeddah, the 57-nation Organisation of Islamic Cooperation is holding an emergency meeting to discuss the tensions.

Riyadh's Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan also spoke with his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi on Tuesday. The two ministers "emphasised the necessity of crystallising an effective international effort to protect the Palestinians against Israeli attacks", Jordan's foreign ministry said in a statement reported by Anadolu Agency.

The ministers also warned that continued Israeli aggression against the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Gaza Strip will have consequences, without specifying what they would be.

Pakistan's Prime Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said his country condemned the attacks by "Israel's military forces on the people of Palestine", according to national newspaper The Tribune.

While Israel has claimed that its strikes targeted Hamas operatives, this does not measure up with Palestinian account on the ground.

In one incident, nine Palestinians, including three children, were killed when a strike hit a residential area near the Hamadeen Mosque, east of Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza strip.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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