Arab leaders meet on Gaza as Israel presses offensive
www.chinaview.cn 2009-01-17 02:31:20   Print

Special report: Palestine-Israel Conflicts 

Arab leaders met in Qatar and foreign ministers in Kuwait to deal with the Israeli offensive in Gaza.
More than 1,100 people have been killed and more than 5,000 others wounded in 21 days.
Hamas exiled leader vowed the Islamist movement would not accept Israel's conditions for a ceasefire.

    DOHA/KUWAIT CITY, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Arab leaders met in Qatar and foreign ministers in Kuwait on Friday to deal with the Israeli offensive in Gaza that has killed more than 1,100 people and wounded more than 5,000 others in 21 days.

    In Doha, the Qatari capital, about 12 to 13 Arab leaders began an emergency summit as scheduled despite the fact that it did not achieve the quorum of two thirds of the 22-member Arab League to hold such a summit with regional heavyweights Egypt and Saudi Arabia refusing to attend.

Arab foreign ministers gathered in Kuwait on Friday for an emergency meeting on Gaza as Qatar pressed forward with its initiative hosting an urgent summit on Gaza despite a low turnout of Arab leaders.

Damascus-based Hamas exile top leader Khaled Meshaal (R) attends an emergency Arab summit in Doha Jan. 16, 2009. Meshaal vowed on Friday that his movement would not accept Israel's conditions for a ceasefire in Gaza.(Xinhua/Li Zhen)
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    Hamas exiled leader Khaled Meshaal vowed that the Islamist movement would not accept Israel's conditions for a ceasefire.

    "I assure you: despite all the destruction in Gaza, we will not accept Israel's conditions for a ceasefire," he said.

    Meshaal also called on Arab leaders to cut all ties with the Jewish state.

    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad also urged Arab nations to cutties with Israel.

    The Arab-Israel peace initiative is "dead," Assad told the meeting, calling for the Arabs to cease "all direct and indirect ties" with the Jewish country.

Arab leaders met in Qatar and foreign ministers in Kuwait on Friday to deal with the Israel ioffensive in Gaza that has killed more than 1,100 people and wounded more than 5,000 others in 21 days.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attends an emergency Arab summit in Doha Jan. 16, 2009. The summit on Friday was attended by about 12 to 13 Arab leaders despite it did not reach the quorum of two thirds of the 22-member Arab League to hold such a summit. (Xinhua/Li Zhiping)
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    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Muslim nations "need to cut relations with Israel and America."

    In Kuwait City, Arab foreign ministers met to address the Israeli offensive, adopting a proposal that called for a halt to the "Israeli aggression" in Gaza.

    The proposal called for lifting the Israeli blockade in the Palestinian territory and opening of all border crossings with Gaza.

    Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud bin al-Faisal urged the concerned parties to move effectively to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1860, which called for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip "leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces."

Arab foreign ministers gathered in Kuwait on Friday for an emergency meeting on Gaza as Qatar pressed forward with its initiative hosting an urgent summit on Gaza despite a low turnout of Arab leaders.

Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa (R) and Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud bin al-Faisal attend a press conference after the meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Kuwait City, Kuwait, on Jan. 16, 2009. Arab foreign ministers held an emergency meeting here on Friday, with the situation in the Gaza Strip under unprecedented Israeli attacks topping the agenda. (Xinhua/Noufal Ibrahim)
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    Prince al-Faisal said the current stage needed to carry out the first of several steps to support Egyptian efforts to provide mechanisms for the rapid implementation of the resolution.

    In the Egyptian capital Cairo, whirlwind diplomacy is on.

    Amos Gilad, head of the Diplomatic-Security Bureau of the Israeli Defense Ministry, left Cairo after a several-hour visit Friday without announcing any progress in talks with Egyptian mediators on a ceasefire deal with Hamas. It was his second visit to Egypt in two days.

    Israeli diplomatic-security cabinet was scheduled to meet Friday to vote on the Egyptian offer, but it has decided to put off the debate until Gilad returns from Cairo with the latest information.

    The Israeli air and ground offensive on Gaza continued Friday, with at least eight Palestinians killed in fresh attacks. That brought the death toll to more than 1,140 since the assault on Gaza began on Dec. 27, and some 5150 others were wounded, local Palestinian medical sources and witnesses said.

    Meanwhile, Israeli tanks are advancing toward the south of Netzarim, approaching the newly-built city of Alzahra, witnesses said.

    Palestinian National Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas said Friday in the West Bank city of Ramallah that at this moment the main goal is to end bloodshed and destruction in Gaza.

    "We should exert efforts on achieving the ceasefire" as soon as possible, otherwise, more casualties and destruction are unavoidable, Abbas said.

    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said during a visit to Ramallah Friday that casualties and the humanitarian situation in Gaza are "unbearable" and called on for an immediate halt to the fighting.

    The UN chief said there was "no time to lose" for an immediate halt to the military operations in Gaza.

    Ban arrived in Turkey later in the day and is scheduled to meet with Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss the ongoing Israeli offensive against Gaza, a UN information official told Xinhua.



Doha emergency summit deepens Arab differences over Gaza issue

    DOHA, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- About 12 to 13 Arab leaders opened an emergency summit on Friday afternoon as scheduled in the Qatari capital Doha, despite it did not reach the quorum of two thirds of the 22-member Arab League to hold such a summit with regional heavyweights Egypt and Saudi Arabia refusing to attend.

    A joint communique issued at the end of the summit meeting, hastily proposed by Qatar on Monday, called on all Arab countries to stop all peace negotiations and cut ties with Israel in response to the latter's ongoing offensive against the Gaza Strip. Full story


Doha emergency summit deepens Arab differences over Gaza issue

    DOHA, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- About 12 to 13 Arab leaders opened an emergency summit on Friday afternoon as scheduled in the Qatari capital Doha, despite it did not reach the quorum of two thirds of the 22-member Arab League to hold such a summit with regional heavyweights Egypt and Saudi Arabia refusing to attend.

    A joint communique issued at the end of the summit meeting, hastily proposed by Qatar on Monday, called on all Arab countries to stop all peace negotiations and cut ties with Israel in response to the latter's ongoing offensive against the Gaza Strip. Full story

Arabs meet on Gaza in Kuwait, Qatar, rifts in the spotlight

    KUWAIT CITY, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Arab foreign ministers gathered in Kuwait on Friday for an emergency meeting on Gaza as Qatar pressed forward with its initiative hosting an urgent summit on Gaza despite a low turnout of Arab leaders.

    An official source involved in the Kuwait meeting told Kuwait's state news agency KUNA that the foreign ministers consulted on the steps that should be carried out after Israel's refusal to abide by UN Security Council resolution 1860. Full story

Doha emergency summit calls on Arabs to freeze ties with Israel

   DOHA, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Doha emergency summit on Gaza on Friday called on all Arab countries to stop all peace negotiations and cut ties with Israel in response to the latter's ongoing offensive against the Gaza Strip.

    "We called on all Arab countries to stop the Arab Peace Initiative (with Israel) launched in 2002," a joint communique said after the summit meeting, adding that the Arabs should freeze ties with the Jewish country. Full story

Syria's Assad says Arabs should cease all ties with Israel

     DOHA, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad urged at an emergency summit here Friday that Arab nations should cut ties with Israel which has been pounding the Palestinian enclave of Gaza since Dec. 27.

    The Arab-Israel peace initiative is "dead", Assad told the meeting, calling for the Arabs to cease "all direct and indirect ties" with the Jewish country. Full story

Saudi FM urges to effectively implement UN resolution on Gaza crisis

   KUWAIT CITY, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud bin al-Faisal here Friday urged the concerned sides to move effectively to implement the UN Security Council Resolution 1860 calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

    Prince al-Faisal told an Arab foreign ministers' emergency meeting opened here Friday that the current stage needed to carry out the first of several steps to support the Egyptian efforts to provide mechanisms for the rapid implementation of the resolution. Full story 

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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