Arab League convenes emergency meeting to discuss Gaza war

An emergency meeting of the Arab League kicked off in the Egyptian capital Cairo on Wednesday to discuss Israel’s ongoing offensive in the Gaza Strip. Addressing the meeting, Palestinian delegate Mahend al-Aklouk warned against launching an Israeli ground attack on Rafah city, where more than 1.4 million people have taken refuge from Israel’s war, in the southern tip of the Gaza Strip. “The Israeli attack will have grave repercussions on more than one million displaced people in the city,” he said. Despite international opposition, Israel has announced plans to invade Rafah, one of the last significant communities spared from a ground invasion in the enclave. Aklouk said Israel has refused to implement a UN Security Council resolution for a cease-fire in Gaza during the Islamic month of Ramadan. “We call on the UN Security Council to compel Israel to halt fire in Gaza and impose sanctions on the occupation,” he added. The UN Security Council passed a resolution on March 25 demanding a cease-fire in Gaza during Ramadan. While Hamas welcomed the resolution, Israel vowed to continue its war in Gaza until destroying the Palestinian group. Wednesday’s meeting was called by Palestine to discuss Arab and international actions on halting Israel’s “genocide and policies of starvation and displacement” against the Palestinians. Israel has waged a deadly military offensive on the Gaza Strip since Oct. 7, 2023 cross-border attack by Hamas which killed some 1,200 people. At least 32,975 Palestinians have since been killed and nearly 75,577 others injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities. Israel has imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation. The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN. Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which last week asked Israel to do more to prevent famine in Gaza.