Int’l pressure must be put on Israel to end Gaza aggression: Arab League
Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi - YOUM7 (Archive)
By GHADA ATEF

CAIRO: The permanent delegates of The Arab League Council met Monday in Cairo in an emergency meeting to discuss the Israeli-Gaza conflict.

The council called on the Egyptian government to keep up its efforts to reach an everlasting cease-fire agreement between both sides, according to a statement published on the official website of the Arab League Monday.

Saeb Erekat, a Palestinian Liberation Organization Executive Committee member and head of the Negotiations Affairs Department at the meeting called on the Arab League for “an Arab and international mobilization to open aid channels to help relieve Gaza.”

The official meeting statement said that the head of the Algerian delegation, Nazir al-Arabawy, said that his country will provide $26.4 million to help relieve the Gaza budget deficit. Arabawy delivered the check of $26.4 million to Arab League Secretary-General Nabil el-Araby.

Araby for his part said the Arab League supports the ongoing Egyptian efforts to implement the cease-fire.

Moroccan delegate Said Alhady said that the international community bears responsibility to put pressure on Israel to respect international humanitarian law and the cease-fire in Gaza.

He called on the international community to press Israel to lift its blockade on Gaza and provide urgent humanitarian relief for the Palestinian people.

Despite this show of goodwill, there are those in Egypt critical of the Arab League’s ability to implement change in Gaza.

“Although the Arab League calls on the international community to press the Israeli side, all it can do is chatter away meaninglessly,” said Yasser Tantawy, Israeli-Palestinian affairs expert at Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, in comments to The Cairo Post Monday.

Tantawy said the Arab League should act strongly and call on the Arab countries to boycott Israeli products, or the products of countries like the U.S. that support Israel, if it truly wants to have an impact.

He also said that both sides—including Hamas—must accept the negotiations to have a permanent cease-fire agreement.

“After what the Middle East has suffered through during the last four years in unrest and disturbances—especially in Iraq, Syria and Egypt—the Arab armies are not in a strong state and are not expected to offer the supposed help,” Tantawy said.

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