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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Saudi Arabia expresses ‘unwavering’ support for Palestine

Riyadh has said it will actively cooperate with regional actors in an effort to bring a “swift end” to the violence between Hamas and Israel

Saudi Arabia continues to support the “legitimate rights” of Palestinians, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a phone call on Monday, Saudi media reported.

The latest escalation in Gaza, which broke out after a surprise attack on Israel by the Hamas militant group over the weekend, poses a threat to security and stability in the entire Middle East, the crown prince said, according to the Saudi Gazette.

Read more: Saudi Arabia and Russia extend oil supply cuts

The kingdom plans to take “proactive efforts” and collaborate with international and regional powers to prevent the conflict between Israel and Hamas from spilling over to other parts of the Middle East, bin Salman said, adding that his nation is also seeking to bring a “swift end” to the hostilities.

He further emphasized the importance of humanitarian law and refraining from targeting civilians, while insisting that Saudi Arabia stands by the Palestinians in their pursuit of a “dignified life… [the] realization of their hopes and aspirations,” as well as a “lasting peace,” according to the Saudi Gazette.

Bin Salman also discussed the situation in Gaza with Jordanian King Abdullah bin Al-Hussein and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Both conversations were largely focused on preserving regional stability and preventing the conflict from spreading, the outlet reported.

Riyadh’s statements came amid the latest flareup of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, following a massive attack on Israel by the Gaza-based Hamas militant group. Militants fired thousands of rockets at Israel and launched a cross-border raid over the weekend. More than 900 Israelis, including over 100 military personnel, died in the initial attack and follow-up clashes, Israeli authorities said.

Read more: Israeli Minister’s Historic Visit to Saudi Arabia: Prayers and Progress

Israel responded with a massive bombing campaign against Gaza, also announcing a total blockade of the exclave, cutting it off from fuel, water, and food supplies. The Gaza Health Ministry said that at least 510 Palestinians had been killed and 2,751 injured in Israeli air raids as of Monday.

The UN said on Tuesday it would launch an investigation into war crimes committed during the latest escalation, adding that it was in possession of “clear evidence” of violations by both sides.

On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Israel and the Palestinian militants to refrain from further violence, and offered Ankara’s services as a mediator in any potential peace talks. He also said that his nation could facilitate a prisoner exchange if requested.