New Delhi: The conflict between Israel and Hamas, the militant group that controls the Gaza Strip, has escalated into a full-scale war that has claimed the lives of many innocent civilians on both sides. The violence erupted on October 7, when Hamas fighters infiltrated Israel and launched a surprise attack on several military and civilian targets. Israel responded by launching a massive aerial and ground assault on Gaza, targeting Hamas’s infrastructure, weapons, and leaders.
The international community has expressed grave concern over the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where more than two million people are living under siege and facing shortages of food, water, electricity, and medical supplies. Many countries have called for an immediate ceasefire and a peaceful resolution of the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In a show of solidarity with the Palestinian cause, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Arab League convened an emergency meeting in Saudi Arabia on Saturday (11 November). The meeting was attended by leaders of Muslim countries from all over the world, including Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Qatar, and Syria. Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Anwarul Haq Kakkar represented his country at the meeting, which was held in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh.
According to a statement issued by the Saudi Arabian Foreign Ministry late on Friday (November 10), the joint meeting was held to discuss the situation in the Palestinian territory Gaza Strip and to formulate a unified stance and a plan of action. The statement said that the meeting was necessary to address the grave violations of human rights and international law committed by Israel in Gaza.
The meeting was also attended by Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Qatar’s Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and Syrian President Bashar Al Assad. These leaders have been vocal in their support for Hamas and their criticism of Israel and its ally, the United States. They have accused Israel of committing war crimes and genocide in Gaza, and have urged the Muslim world to stand up for the oppressed Palestinians.
Before the meeting, Iranian President Raisi had indicated that his country was ready to intervene militarily in the conflict. He had said that the time for dialogue was over, and that the only solution was to take action against Israel. He had also warned that Israel would face a “crushing response” if it continued its aggression in Gaza.
On the other hand, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had strongly condemned the Israeli attack in Gaza and had called for an end to the bloodshed. He had said that Saudi Arabia was committed to the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and that it would continue to support the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination. He had also urged the international community to intervene and stop the escalation of violence in the region.