| 5 December 2023, Tuesday |

Saudi Arabia demands immediate ceasefire in Gaza

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah said on Saturday that the “tragic events unfolding in Palestine demand that we act immediately to reach a ceasefire.”

He stressed that the Kingdom “categorically rejects attempts at forced displacement” of the people of Gaza by Israel.

He made his remarks at the International Peace Summit in Cairo.

The summit is being held in Egypt as Israel prepares a ground assault on Gaza following Hamas’ attack that killed 1,400 people.

More than 4,100 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s counteroffensive, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, amid a growing humanitarian crisis.

“The tragic events taking place in Palestine require us to take urgent action to put an immediate end to military operations, provide protection for civilians, and release hostages and prisoners, in compliance with international norms and laws, and common humanitarian principles,” said Prince Faisal.

He underlined the importance of finding a peaceful solution to the crisis that will spare the region the cycle of violence, save lives and establish just, comprehensive and sustainable peace.

He reiterated the Kingdom’s unequivocal rejection of violations of international humanitarian law, regardless of the party or pretext.

He expressed the Kingdom’s strong condemnation of the targeting of civilians, no matter their location. He called on the international community to take decisive action by urging Israel to adhere to international humanitarian law.

“We reject the duplicity and selectivity practiced by some in the international community. Here, words are not enough. Rather, there must be serious action. We call on the international community to put pressure on Israel to lift the siege and stop the military operations, which have claimed the lives of innocent people and threaten undesirable consequences for regional and international security and stability,” he continued.

Prince Faisal expressed disappointment in the UN Security Council’s lack of action regarding the current crisis, emphasizing the immediate need for the establishment of safe humanitarian corridors. These corridors would allow for the evacuation of the injured and the unimpeded delivery of relief aid and medical equipment to alleviate the humanitarian disaster and prevent its further escalation.

The FM underscored the Kingdom’s commitment to peace as a strategic option, standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people in their quest to regain their legitimate rights and establish an independent and sovereign state on the Palestinian territories based on the 1967 borders, as mandated by international resolutions.

He reiterated the Kingdom’s dedication to consult and cooperate with its international partners since the onset of this crisis.

He hoped that the summit would encourage swift and decisive action by the international community to find a solution that would bring an end to the crisis, alleviate the suffering, and pave the way for substantial dialogue on the future of the Palestinian cause.

Additionally, he emphasized the significance of international support for a just and enduring peace in the region that promotes security and prosperity for all. He assured that the Kingdom will continue its collaborative efforts with all relevant partners to achieve this objective.

“The Kingdom’s highest priority is to immediately stop the military escalation, to stop the bloodshed, and to provide relief to those affected, to create the appropriate conditions for working towards peace,” urged Prince Faisal.

Arab leaders at the summit condemned Israel’s two-week-old bombardment of Gaza and demanded renewed efforts to reach a Middle East peace settlement to end a decades-long cycle of violence between Israelis and Palestinians.


  • Asharq Al-Awsat