The Arab League Calls for UN Peacekeepers in the Occupied Palestinian Territories - Latest Global News

The Arab League Calls for UN Peacekeepers in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Arab leaders accuse Israel of obstructing efforts to reach a ceasefire in Gaza and call for an end to its war in Palestinian territory.

The Arab League called for a United Nations peacekeeping force in the occupied Palestinian territories at a summit dominated by Israel’s ongoing deadly assault on the Gaza Strip.

The meeting of Arab leaders took place in Bahrain on Tuesday, more than seven months after the start of Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip that has shaken the entire region.

The 22-member bloc’s “Manama Declaration” called for “United Nations international protection and peacekeeping forces in the occupied Palestinian territories” until a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is implemented.

She called for an immediate end to the fighting in the Gaza Strip and blamed Israeli “obstruction” for the failure of ceasefire negotiations.

“We emphasize the need to immediately stop Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip and withdraw Israeli occupation forces from all areas of the Strip [and] “Lift the siege imposed there,” the statement said.

The statement blamed Israel for continuing the war.

“We strongly condemn Israel’s obstruction of ceasefire efforts in the Gaza Strip and its continued military escalation by escalating its aggression against the Palestinian city of Rafah, despite international warnings of the catastrophic humanitarian consequences,” it said.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who mediates between Hamas and Israel as well as Qatar and the United States, also said Israel was withdrawing from ceasefire efforts.

“Those who believe that security and military solutions are capable of securing interests or achieving security [are] Delusions,” al-Sisi said before the summit.

A widely criticized Israeli ground operation is underway in the southern city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip. More than a million displaced Palestinians had sought refuge in the area after being forced to abandon their homes in other parts of the Gaza Strip, which have been under intense Israeli bombardment since October. According to the United Nations, about 600,000 people have fled the region since Israel launched its attack earlier this month.

The Arab League statement also reiterated longstanding calls for a two-state solution along Israel’s pre-1967 war borders, with East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.

The statement called on “all Palestinian factions to unite under the umbrella of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO),” which is dominated by Fatah, Hamas’ political rival.

The Arab League said it viewed the PLO as “the only legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.”

According to Gaza’s Health Ministry, Israel’s attack killed at least 35,272 people. Tight Israeli restrictions on food, water, fuel and humanitarian supplies have led to severe food shortages and the threat of famine spreading from north to south.

The Arab League also “strongly condemned the attacks on merchant ships,” citing dozens of attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels on key shipping lanes in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

The Iran-aligned Houthis say they are attacking ships linked to Israel in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza. The Arab League said the attacks “threaten freedom of navigation, international trade and the interests of countries and peoples of the world.”

The statement added Arab nations’ commitment to “ensure freedom of navigation in the Red Sea and surrounding areas.”

The Arab League was founded in 1945 to promote regional cooperation and resolve disputes. However, it is widely seen as toothless and has long struggled to help resolve conflicts in the region.

As part of an Arab-Israeli war in 1967, Israel captured the Palestinian territories in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

Israel annexed East Jerusalem and successive Israeli governments have promoted settlement construction in the Palestinian territories.

Under international law, the Palestinian territories remain occupied and Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank are considered illegal.

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