Jeddah: The Islamic-Arab summit, which brought together 57 Muslim countries in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, ended on Saturday with no consensus on concrete action against Israel amid the ongoing war in Gaza. The summit, which was convened by Saudi Arabia as a joint meeting of the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), was meant to unify the efforts of the Islamic and Arab nations in response to the Israeli aggression in Gaza, which has killed more than 12,000 Palestinians and displaced 1.5 million since October 7.
However, the summit was marred by divisions and disagreements among the participants, who failed to adopt any binding resolution or take any collective measures to pressure Israel to stop its attacks or to support the Palestinian resistance. Some countries, such as Pakistan and Turkey, called for an immediate ceasefire and humanitarian aid to Gaza, while others, such as Algeria and Lebanon, proposed to cut off oil supplies to Israel and sever economic and diplomatic ties with it. However, these proposals were rejected by countries that have normalized relations with Israel, such as Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), who argued that such actions would harm their own interests and undermine the Abraham Accords, which they signed with Israel in 2020.
The final communique of the summit condemned Israel’s attacks on Gaza as “unjustifiable” and “in violation of international humanitarian law” and rejected Israel’s claim that it was acting in self-defense. The communique also expressed solidarity with the Palestinian people and their legitimate rights, including the establishment of an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital, and called on the UN Security Council to intervene and adopt a decisive resolution to end the Israeli aggression. However, the communique did not specify any concrete steps or mechanisms to implement these demands or to hold Israel accountable for its actions.
Some leaders also voiced their frustration and disappointment with the outcome of the summit, which they saw as a sign of the weakness and irrelevance of the Islamic and Arab organizations. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said that he had proposed to declare the Israeli army as a terrorist organization, but his proposal was not supported by the majority of the summit. He accused some countries of being complicit with Israel and betraying the Palestinian cause. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that the summit was a “waste of time” and that it did not produce any concrete proposal or action plan. He said that the only way to confront Israel was through resistance and not through dialogue or diplomacy.