The Arab-Islamic summit hosted by Saudi Arabia held on Saturday unequivocally rejected the justification of Israel’s actions in Gaza as self-defense. The leaders, hailing from 57 mostly Muslim-majority states, condemned what they termed as “Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, war crimes, and barbaric and inhumane massacres.” The summit’s final communique, issued in Riyadh, called for an immediate end to the war, an end to the siege on Gaza, the supply of humanitarian aid, and a halt to arms exports to Israel.
The summit participants demanded a decisive and binding resolution from the UN Security Council to put an end to what they referred to as Israel’s “aggression” in Gaza. While the original expectation was for the 22 members of the Arab League to participate, the meeting expanded to include the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), showcasing a wider representation of Muslim-majority nations.
However, despite the strong stance taken by the summit, there are doubts about the effectiveness of its outcomes. The lack of consensus among the participants, suggesting that the summit’s resolutions might not have the necessary mechanisms to enforce a ceasefire and establish a humanitarian corridor.
As the conflict continues to escalate, with Israel showing no signs of relenting, the joint Arab League and OIC summit reflects the urgency felt by these nations to present a unified front in condemning Israel’s actions in Gaza. The international community now watches to see if these calls for a ceasefire and accountability will bring about meaningful change on the ground.
But as things stand, the resolutions are certain to make little redeeming difference to the plight of Palestinians in Gaza. Even collectively, Muslim world has little power to force or persuade the western world to stop supporting Israel’s monthlong invasion of Gaza which has so far resulted in the killing of 11,000 Palestinians, a majority of them children. The west is still justifying the brutal invasion as Israel’s right to self-defense, despite the disproportionate death toll and the leveling of the entire neighbourhoods in Gaza.
Though the US and Europe are rallying around some halt to the Israeli operations, they are not going farther than calling for four-hour ‘humanitarian pauses.’ But such pauses will serve little purpose considering for the rest of the day, Israel will continue to perpetuate its genocidal violence against Palestinians. So, it is not the time for just verbose resolutions which mean nothing in terms of any difference on the ground but a concrete action to force Israel to stop the invasion forthwith. Muslim world and the global south will need to go beyond statements and resolutions if the west keeps supporting Israel’s violation of the rules-based world order.
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