The Foreign Minister warns Israel against a military operation on Rafah: Do not risk the foundations of peace

Written by Ahmed Juma

Wednesday, March 6, 2024 07:32 PM

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry confirmed, on Wednesday, that the Palestinian issue and the developments in the extremely bloody Israeli war on the brothers in the Gaza Strip impose themselves on the agenda of the Arab League Council meetings, not only because this issue occupies a fundamental political, historical, and emotional position for us, or because it was and still is. The central issue of the Arab world, but also because it now entails a huge and ceaseless human tragedy that bleeds the hearts of people of humanity and conscience.

This came during the Foreign Minister’s speech before the 161st session of the Arab League Council at the ministerial level.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs confirmed that the number of victims of the Israeli military machine exceeded 30,000 among the Palestinian people, two-thirds of whom were women and children, and that more than 2.3 million people were forcibly transferred and displaced from their homes to the open air and tents, in service of a revenge trend whose goals have become more ambiguous than ever before. Pointing to the imposition of collective punishment and starvation on the Palestinian people, and they and their children were deprived of milk, food, and medicine, adding, “In the twenty-first century, we now see news of children dying from hunger and lack of medicine. We have even reached the point of killing children and civilians while trying to get a meal or food.” A dose of the scarce aid that reaches them by air due to the deliberate Israeli obstinacy in procedures for the passage of humanitarian aid, which has led to its continued decline.”

The Minister of Foreign Affairs indicated that it has become clear that Israeli policies in the Gaza Strip aim to make the Strip unlivable, and then expel its residents, which is taking place in parallel with practices in the West Bank of settlement, house demolition, and military incursions, which reflects a systematic policy aimed at liquidating the Palestinian cause. Through forced displacement, in violation of international law and international humanitarian law, a policy that we reject in its entirety, and we call on the international community to confront it by taking serious positions and measures to confront it.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs strongly warned of Israeli intentions to carry out large-scale military operations in the Palestinian city of Rafah, which has become a refuge for more than a million and a half displaced Palestinians, and the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that such a step would entail, adding, “No one should risk the foundations of peace in the region, those foundations.” Which we have sought to establish over the past many decades.”

The Minister of Foreign Affairs added in his speech: The Arab League and its member states did not spare any effort from the first moment of the crisis to exert all their effort, energy, ability and communications in order to stop the wheel of war. Rather, we pushed from the first moment – and we are still doing so – to reach an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire. In Gaza, and to adequately facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid into the Strip, we went to the Security Council, and it issued Resolution 2720, which we demand that it be quickly implemented by establishing a mechanism inside the Gaza Strip to facilitate the entry of aid under the auspices of the United Nations to avoid any obstacles in this regard.

He continued: The efforts of the Arab League and its members were not launched only out of Arab responsibility, which is a real and solid responsibility, but also out of moral and humanitarian responsibility, as free voices from various parts of the world joined us. However, the persistent Egyptian and Arab efforts collided with a shameful inability of international will, and the predominance of political biases and double standards. , at the expense of the simplest concepts of justice, human rights rules, or the application of international law and international humanitarian law. Indeed, we found some countries of the world intent on punishing the defenseless Palestinian people, and participating in the injustice they face by refraining from funding UNRWA, which deepens the suffering of the Palestinian people. This is a step that Egypt calls on the countries that took it to withdraw, and it also calls on the Arab countries to increase their contributions and support. For UNRWA.

He continued: I fear, if this inability and bias continues, that this crisis will become a turning point in judging the seriousness of the concepts of international justice and human conscience, and that we will be facing a frightening return to the concepts of power and dominance at the expense of the rules of law and justice and the spread of peace. I also fear that the extremely dangerous political, security and humanitarian consequences that may result from the continuation of this Israeli war will not be limited to the Palestinian cause and the brotherly Palestinian people only, but will continue to extend to the region as a whole, and cast a shadow on international peace and security, as we observed in the Red Sea and in Iraq and Syria, and we are watching it with great concern in Lebanon.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs renewed the call for the international community to support Egyptian and Arab efforts to implement an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire in Gaza, stop the bloodshed and gratuitous killing of defenseless people and children in Palestine, resume funding for UNRWA, and put pressure on Israel to bring aid to the people of the Gaza Strip, in preparation for moving to the path of a serious political solution. for the Palestinian issue and begin implementing the two-state solution by embodying a viable Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and along the lines of June 4, 1967, as the only path to achieving peace, security and stability in the region and the entire world.

He stressed that the tragedy of Palestine comes in light of the worsening and worrying crises in Sudan, Libya, Syria, and Somalia, whose sovereignty and territorial integrity are under real threat due to Ethiopia’s signing of an agreement regarding access to the Red Sea with the Somaliland region, in a blatant attack on the sovereignty of an Arab state, the state of Somalia. Sister federalism, and a continuation of Ethiopia’s policies that do not take into account the minimum principles of good neighborliness and only pay attention to its individual interests, which was clearly evident to Egypt during the negotiations regarding the Renaissance Dam, and prompted us to take the decision to stop our participation in those negotiations that will not lead to any tangible results, as long as they continue. Ethiopia in its current approach.

He pointed out that the multiplicity of crises and challenges, and the multiple threats they carry that affect all our countries and peoples without exception, require us to work hard and intensively in order to enhance joint Arab coordination and integration, with the aim of enhancing our collective ability to preserve our security and the capabilities of our peoples, now and in the future, appreciating the efforts of the General Secretariat and the countries. Members.

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