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Qatar emir condemns ‘genocide’ in Gaza, urges ceasefire at GCC summit

Leaders of six Gulf countries and Turkey meet in Qatar, with Israel’s war on Gaza at the top of the agenda.


Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani [Mohamed Al Hammadi/UAE Presidential Court/Handout via reuters]

Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has accused the international community of “turning their back” on the Palestinian people amid Israel’s bombardment of Gaza while calling for a permanent ceasefire in the besieged enclave.


In his opening remarks at the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in Doha on Tuesday, the emir accused Israel of committing a “genocide” in Gaza, noting that the “crimes” of Israeli forces help “deepen the sentiment of injustice and an absence of international legitimacy”.


“It is a disgrace on the international community to allow this heinous crime to continue for more than two months – where the systematic and purposeful killing of innocent civilians continue, including women and children,” he said.


“Why is the international community turning their back on Palestinian children and adopting dual standards?”


Truce

A weeklong truce between Israel and Hamas, which collapsed on Friday, had been brokered by Qatar and other mediators to allow the release of captives taken by Hamas in October, in exchange for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, often without charge.


Sheikh Tamim said that while his country was still working to renew a truce, it was not an “alternative to a permanent ceasefire”.


“We will continue to make effort with other regional and global players to have a permanent ceasefire established and all the aggression against the Palestinian people come to a halt,” he said.


Leaders of six Gulf countries – including Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait – and Turkey are attending the summit in Doha.


The war on Gaza is expected to take centre stage at the talks.


Al Jazeera’s diplomatic editor James Bays, reporting from Doha, said discussions will likely feature the prospect of Qatar-brokered negotiations leading to a potential resumption of a truce in Gaza.

The prospect of reconstruction and the future governance of post-war Gaza will also be another topic of discussion, Bays added.


‘National struggle’

Speaking at the summit, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said “Israel’s war crimes and its crimes against humanity in Gaza should not be left unanswered”.


He added that Turkey’s priority is to “ensure that a permanent ceasefire is implemented in Gaza and humanitarian aid is delivered without any interruption”.


Qatar’s emir added that the struggle in Palestine was not a religious one, nor was it a war on terror.

“It is a national struggle between the Israeli occupation and the Palestinian people reeling under this occupation,” he said.


“The solution lies in ending the occupation, and resolving the cause of the Palestinian people,” he added, urging the United Nations Security Council, especially the permanent members, to stand up to their “legal responsibilities” to help and end the war and force Israel to come back to the negotiation table to reach a “just solution”.


To date, at least 15,899 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since October 7. In Israel, the official death toll stands at about 1,100.

 

2023, Al Jazeera

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

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