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i NEWS INTERNATIONAL

Saudi calls out Israel attacks on Gaza, displacementBreaking

October 14, 2023

Saudi Arabia has strongly criticized Israel for the displacement of Palestinians from Gaza and the attacks on defenceless civilians, in the kingdommost scathing condemnation since the outbreak of the recent conflict. Riyadh affirms its categorical rejection of calls for the forced displacement of the Palestinian people from Gaza, and its condemnation of the continued targeting of defenceless civilians there, the kingdom foreign ministry said in a statement. Thousands of Palestinians sought refuge in southern Gaza following Israelcall for over a million to evacuate the northern part of the besieged enclave in anticipation of an imminent ground offensive. The Saudi statement, denouncing the actions in Gaza, coincided with the arrival of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Riyadh as part of his six-nation tour of Arab countries. The visit comes amid continued Israeli strikes on Gaza in retaliation for a surprise weekend attack by Hamas, which has been deemed the deadliest in Israel history. The ongoing war has complicated efforts by the Biden administration to foster normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia, a significant player in the region and the home of Islam two holiest sites.

Saudi Arabia, historically not recognizing Israel, has issued multiple statements in the past week reaffirming its support for the Palestinian cause. In a notable development, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman engaged in a discussion with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on the current military situation in Gaza and its environs". This conversation follows a surprise China-brokered rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran in March, marking the first call between the two leaders since the diplomatic breakthrough. Friday Saudi foreign ministry statement also included a call for the international community to quickly move to stop all forms of military escalation against civilians, prevent a humanitarian catastrophe, and provide the necessary relief and medical needs for the residents of Gaza. Depriving them of these basic requirements for a decent life is a violation of international humanitarian law and will exacerbate the depth of the crisis and suffering that this region is witnessing, it added. At the Grand Mosque in Makkah on Friday, Sheikh Osama bin Abdullah Khayyat, the imam, visibly moved, led prayers, expressing concern for the well-being of Muslims in Palestine: "May God protect
the Muslims in Palestine.

Credit: Independent News Pakistan (INP)