Muslim and Arab leaders demand halt to Israeli actions in Gaza, offer no resettlement plan
At the Riyadh summit, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other leaders discussed the situation. Notably absent was the response of nearby Arab countries, which have previously provided temporary shelter in regional conflicts, particularly in terms of housing Gaza refugees.
During a recent summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, attended by leaders from over 50 Arab and Muslim nations, Israel's military actions in Gaza were strongly criticized.
This followed the October 7 massacre by Hamas. However, the summit's concluding statement offered no immediate solutions for the 2.3 million Palestinian civilians in Gaza, over half of whom are now internally displaced after almost six weeks of conflict.
The summit's resolution demanded an immediate halt to "the brutal Israeli aggression on Gaza" and pledged humanitarian and financial support to Palestinians. Despite this, no country proposed a practical solution for the 1.5 million internally displaced civilians in the southern part of Gaza, as per the latest United Nations statistics.
As Gaza's death toll mounts, thousands continue to flee southward, where the Israeli military claims safety. Daily, food, water, and medicine are delivered to this area through the Rafah Crossing with Egypt. In the past week alone, about 250,000 people have fled.
At the Riyadh summit, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other leaders discussed the situation. The response of nearby Arab countries, which have previously provided temporary shelter in regional conflicts, was notably absent in terms of housing Gaza refugees.
Ahed Al-Hindi, a senior fellow at the Center for Peace Communications, spoke toFox News about the Arab stance on the Palestinian issue.
"Arab states have historically been divided with regard to their stance on the Palestinian people and numerous other significant issues," he said, adding that "Although these states project solidarity with the Palestinian people, they hold divergent views on the most effective course of action."
"Certain countries, including those in the Arab Gulf, Jordan, Morocco and Egypt advocate for a two-state solution, which they believe can be accomplished through diplomacy. Conversely, the Iranian axis espouses the ideology of obliterating Israel and establishing a Palestinian state extending from the river to the sea."
Al-Hindi explained that the key reason many moderate Arab states, most of whom maintain diplomatic relations with Israel, have refrained from taking concrete measures to support Gaza's civilians is their strong opposition to Hamas and its objectives.
As a result, many Arab countries are concerned that aiding the Gazans could inadvertently benefit Hamas, given that the organization has ruled in Gaza for nearly a generation.
Hamas is a network affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Muslim Brotherhood opposes every Arab monarch. This poses significant internal risks to the aforementioned states.
Ideologies of the Muslim Brotherhood advocate for the overthrow of Arab monarchies and the formation of a Sunni revolutionary Islamic republic, which would resemble Iran but operate under the banner of Sunni jihadism.
Since Hamas serves as an agent for Iran, which in turn presents an additional danger to Arab monarchs, the majority of these nations are worried that their assistance to Gaza may fall into the clutches of Hamas.
Egypt and Jordan, neighboring Israel, have both declined to shelter Palestinians from Gaza. Jordan, with a substantial Palestinian population, and Egypt, with its underpopulated Sinai Peninsula close to the Gaza relief efforts, have not offered refuge.
Egypt's Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly recently rejected proposals to resettle displaced Palestinians in Sinai, prioritizing national land and sovereignty protection. This stance followed the emergence of an Israeli intelligence report suggesting relocating Gaza residents to Sinai tent cities while actions against Hamas are underway.
In a recent address, Madbouly declared, "We are ready to sacrifice millions of lives to protect our territory from any encroachment."
He emphasized that a two-state solution involving Israel and the Palestinians is the sole thorough approach to ensuring lasting peace in the region.
Hussain Abdul-Hussain, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, conveyed to Fox News that the international community should have promoted such a solution from the beginning of the conflict.
"Washington should have made the humanitarian argument, helped fund a camp for Gaza refugees in Sinai and guaranteed their return after the end of the war," he said. "This would have convinced Egyptians to take them."
Abdul-Hussain also noted that domestic issues in both Jordan and Egypt are influencing their decision not to provide sanctuary to Palestinians currently displaced by the conflict.
He stated, "Jordan is not an option," explaining that it doesn't share a border with Gaza, and moving hundreds of thousands of Gazans there is logistically impractical.
Abdul-Hussain attributed Egypt's reluctance to President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi's perspective on Hamas, a group linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, against which El-Sisi has been actively combating since assuming power.
"Transplanting Gazans, with thousands of possible Hamas cadres or partisans, into his Sinai, where he battled ISIS, might scare the Egyptians a bit," he stated, pointing out that Egypt's financial instability made it impossible to house Gazan refugees.
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