Saturday, June 22, 2024

Arab League’s Bahrain summit concludes amid Israel’s relentless assault on Rafah

The 33rd Arab Summit held in Bahrain concluded on Thursday.

The summit called for a UN peacekeeping force in the occupied Palestinian territories.

After Israel’s ongoing genocidal war began on October 7, this is the first time the Arab League is officially endorsing the internationalisation of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

In a meeting held at Manama, Bahrain, the 22-member group called for “international protection and peacekeeping forces of the United Nations in the occupied Palestinian territories” until a two-state solution is implemented.

Earlier, Bahrain had informed the US that it was open to deploying troops to Gaza as part of an Arab peacekeeping force, according to a Middle East Eye report.

Notably, Bahrain is a close ally and security partner of Saudi Arabia.

Though the US had urged Morocco, the UAE and Egypt to join the force, they rejected the proposal. Saudi Arabia also was not in favour of the idea to deploy their forces.

The US authorities envision a multinational force led by key players in the gulf region, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

According to their plan, Bahrain could serve as “the tip of the spear” to expedite the mission, Middle East Eye reported.

“We demand an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza, a halt to all attempts at forced displacement, an end to all forms of siege and allowing full and sustainable access to aid,” the Arab League stated, calling for an end to the brutal war.

Speaking at the summit, UN secretary general Antonio Guterres called for “the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages”.

He described the war in Gaza as “an open wound that threatens to infect the entire region.”

“The only permanent way to end the cycle of violence and instability is through a two-state solution,” Guterres said.

The Arab League reiterated its traditional diplomatic position that the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) is the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinians.

It is worth mentioning here that the PLO is dominated by the secular nationalist Palestinian party, Fatah.

The League also urged Hamas and Fatah to end their rivalry, and asked all resistance groups to join under the umbrella of the PLO.

In addition, the group condemned the Houthi attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea.

Israel continued its onslaught on Rafah throughout the week, with the total death toll crossing 35,000.

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