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Arab League calls for peacekeepers in ‘occupied Palestinian territories’

Arab League calls for peacekeepers in 'occupied Palestinian territory'
Source: Nicepng

The Arab League on Thursday called for a United Nations peacekeeping force in the Palestinian territories at a summit dominated by the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip.

The meeting of Arab heads of state and government convened in Bahrain more than seven months into the conflict in Gaza that has convulsed the wider region.

The “Manama Declaration” issued by the 22-member bloc called for “international protection and peacekeeping forces of the United Nations in the occupied Palestinian territories” until a two-state solution is implemented.

The declaration also called on “all Palestinian factions to join under the umbrella of the Palestine Liberation Organization,” which is dominated by Hamas’s political rivals, the ruling Fatah movement.

The Arab League added that it considered the PLO “the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people”.

The Gaza war broke out after Hamas’s attack on southern Israel which resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

The militants also seized about 250 hostages, 128 of whom Israel estimates remain in Gaza, including 36 the military says are dead.

Israel’s military retaliation has killed at least 35,272 people, mostly civilians, according to the Hamas-run Gaza’s health ministry, and an Israeli siege has brought dire food shortages and the threat of famine.

In campaign they say is in solidarity with Palestinians amid the Gaza war, Yemen’s Iran-backed Huthis have launched a flurry of attacks on vital shipping lanes in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since November.

The summit in Bahrain “strongly condemned the attacks on commercial ships”, saying they “threaten freedom of navigation, international trade, and the interests of countries and peoples of the world”.

The declaration added the Arab nations’ commitment to “ensuring freedom of navigation in the Red Sea” and surrounding areas.

An Arab-Israeli war in 1967 saw Israel seize the Palestinian territories of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

Israel had annexed east Jerusalem, and successive Israeli governments have encouraged Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories.

Under international law, the Palestinian territories remain occupied, and Israeli settlements in east Jerusalem and the West Bank are considered illegal.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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