Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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    arab states amplify calls for Gaza cease-fire amid rising public ire

    Arab countries, grappling with domestic unrest, have intensified their calls for the United States to exert pressure on Israel for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza. The urgency of these appeals underscores a broader concern for regional stability as the conflict with Israel deepens.

    Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt have reached out to American officials, including Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, to advocate for a halt to Israel’s military operations. Jordan’s Foreign Minister, Ayman Safadi, at a recent news conference, emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating, “The whole region is sinking in a sea of hatred that will define generations to come.”

    The fear of Iran-backed militias becoming more directly involved in the conflict has heightened tensions, with Arab leaders expressing concerns for their own security. Elham Fakhro of Chatham House articulated the precarious situation, noting the potential for long-term resentment among the Arab public to fuel extremist groups.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has maintained a firm stance against a cease-fire, insisting on a continued military campaign to dismantle Hamas, the armed group in control of Gaza. This position has been met with criticism from Arab officials and scholars, who argue that the goal to eliminate Hamas is unattainable and may exacerbate violence.

    An upcoming summit in Riyadh and an extraordinary meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation are set to address the conflict. The participation of Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi in the Riyadh meeting, following the restoration of Saudi-Iranian diplomatic ties, marks a significant moment of unity across the Muslim world in support of the Palestinians.

    The United Arab Emirates, despite its 2020 initiative to normalize relations with Israel, has condemned the actions taken in the war. Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Noura al-Kaabi, highlighted the need to de-escalate regional tensions.

    The conflict has sparked widespread protests across the Middle East, with demonstrators voicing their solidarity with the Palestinians. The Israeli military campaign in Gaza has resulted in significant casualties and destruction, leading to international calls for a cease-fire.

    The U.S. has so far resisted these calls, with Mr. Blinken advocating for “humanitarian pauses” rather than a full cease-fire, a stance that has been met with skepticism in Arab nations.

    The war’s impact on the Middle East has been profound, with the potential to reshape the geopolitical landscape. As the conflict continues, the calls for a cease-fire grow louder, with Arab nations seeking a resolution that addresses both the immediate crisis and the long-term future of the region.

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