Arab states 'strongly' condemn Israel's Jabalia massacre in Gaza

Arab states 'strongly' condemn Israel's Jabalia massacre in Gaza
Several Arab states have slammed Israel's massacre in one of the Gaza Strip's most densely populated refugee camps on Tuesday, calling for an immediate end to the violence and warning of escalation.
6 min read
01 November, 2023
Gaza authorities have not given a final death count, but said hundreds are believed to be dead and wounded [Getty]

Arab countries, some of which have ties with Israel, have condemned an Israeli massacre in the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday which is believed to have killed and wounded hundreds of people.

Israeli airstrikes on the Jabalia camp killed and wounded around 400 people, according to initial estimates by Gaza’s interior ministry. Another attack on Wednesday is believed to have killed more people and destroyed several houses.

It could be one of the worst attacks since the start of the war on 7 October.

Hamas on Wednesday claimed that seven of those killed in the Jabalia massacre were of the more than 200 Israeli hostages captured during a raid by fighters on 7 October.

Three of them, the group said, were dual nationals.

Bodies remained trapped under the rubble in Jabalia, most of the victims women and children, with two massive craters in the ground.

More than 8,800 people have died so far across the Gaza Strip, including over 3,000 children, according to the Palestinian enclave’s health ministry. Entire neighbourhoods have been levelled, and hundreds of thousands have been displaced.

Israel began its ground invasion earlier this week and has tried to push deeper into the Gaza Strip from the north, amid heavy fighting with Hamas and a continuation of intense air bombardment of the coastal territory.


Qatar strongly condemned the Israeli massacre, calling on the international community to end the killing and destruction in Gaza.

Doha’s foreign ministry warned of Israel expanding its attacks in the Gaza Strip, including hospitals, schools, crowded areas and shelters for the displaced, adding that it constitutes a dangerous escalation and would undermine mediation efforts to end the violence.

The ministry affirmed Qatar’s "firm position on…the Palestinian issue, the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, and the establishment of an independent [Palestinian] state based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital".

Saudi Arabia

A Saudi foreign ministry statement said that the kingdom "condemns in the strongest terms the inhumane targeting by the Israeli occupation forces of the Jabalia camp in the besieged Gaza Strip, which caused the death and injury of a large number of innocent civilians".

"The Kingdom expresses its condemnation and complete rejection of the Israeli occupation forces' repeated targeting of sites crowded with civilians, and their continued violation of international laws and international humanitarian law, in light of the failure of the international community to pressure the occupation government to accept an immediate ceasefire and a humanitarian truce, in accordance with the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly issued on Friday, October 27, which came with broad international consensus," the statement added.

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The Saudi foreign ministry said Gaza’s dangerous humanitarian conditions resulting from the ongoing escalation "cannot be justified at all".

Ending "bloodshed, protecting civilians, and stopping military operations are urgent priorities that cannot be procrastinated or disrupted, and a failure to immediately adhere to them will inevitably lead to a humanitarian catastrophe which Israel and the international community will be responsible for".

Before the war, the US was mediating normalisation talks between Saudi Arabia and Israel but Riyadh informed the US it was suspending negotiations when Israel unleashed its relentless bombing campaign on Gaza on 7 October.


Egypt also condemned the "inhumane" Israeli targeting of a residential quarter in the Jabalia camp, saying it was "a new and blatant violation by the Israeli forces of international law and international humanitarian law, which further increases the complexity of the current crisis and portends dire consequences that are difficult to remedy on all levels".

The Egyptian foreign ministry’s statement warned of "the consequences of [Israel’s] continued indiscriminate attacks targeting defenseless civilians in their places of shelter and in the vicinity of medical centres and hospitals to which they seek refuge…without any regard for the lives being lost, and in a way that exacerbates the crisis".

Egypt called on all countries and international parties to "unequivocally condemn these attacks, to immediately stop them, and for the international community to fulfill its responsibility to provide the necessary protection for Palestinian civilians".

It stressed the need to unite "all international efforts to ensure safe, complete and sustainable access to humanitarian and relief aid, to alleviate the burden of the humanitarian plight suffered by the Palestinian people in Gaza".

Aid has trickled into Gaza from the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing since Israel slightly eased restrictions, after imposing a full siege on the Palestinian enclave on 7 October.

But international rights and humanitarian groups have warned that the aid being sent was far from enough to cater for Gaza's 2.3 million population, amid a disastrous humanitarian situation in the enclave.


The UAE also condemned the Jabalia camp attack, stressing that "the continuation of [Israel’s] senseless bombing" will "lead the region to repercussions that are difficult to remedy".

The UAE foreign ministry's statement stressed the necessity of "an immediate ceasefire to prevent [further] bloodshed," stressing the importance of "civilians enjoying full protection under international humanitarian law and international treaties, and the necessity of not being the target of conflict."

The ministry stressed the importance of abiding by the UN General Assembly’s resolution calling for a humanitarian truce and cessation of hostilities as an important step to stopping the military escalation and protecting lives.

It also stressed the necessity of "allowing aid to be delivered to the Gaza Strip in a safe, urgent, sustainable and unhindered manner".


Jordan too condemned "in the strongest terms" Israel's targeting of Jabalia camp, holding Israel responsible "for the dangerous development".

Jordanian foreign ministry spokesman Sufyan Al-Qudah affirmed in a statement "Jordan’s strong rejection and condemnation of the act that contradicts all human and moral values ​​and the rules of international and humanitarian law, especially the Fourth Geneva Convention."

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Amman called on the international community to "bear its responsibility, deter Israel from committing more crimes against civilians, and stop its senseless war on the Gaza Strip."

Both Jordan and Egypt have become increasingly worried about an alleged Israel plan to forcefully expel Palestinians in Gaza to Egypt's Sinai peninsula, and those in the occupied West Bank to Jordan.

Morocco, the UAE, Bahrain normalised ties with Israel in 2020 as part of a highly controversial, US-mediated deal dubbed the Abraham Accords. Egypt and Jordan have shared ties with Israel since 1979 and 1994 respectively.

The Arab League is scheduled to meet on 11 November for an "emergency meeting", a month since the war started.