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arab league calls for un peacekeepers in palestinian territories
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Arab League calls for UN peacekeepers in Palestinian territories

The Arab League on Thursday called for the deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. At a summit meeting of the 22-member organization, the group also called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and strongly condemned the advance of the Israeli army into the city of Rafah in the south of the coastal region, which is overcrowded with refugees. Irreversible steps towards a two-state solution in Israel and the Palestinian territories must be taken, it said in the summit’s final declaration. The annual meeting took place for the first time this year in Manama, the capital of Bahrain. The Saudi crown prince and de facto ruler of the kingdom, Mohammed bin Salman, emphasized that the “fierce aggression” against the Palestinian brothers must be stopped. It was necessary for the international community to fulfil this responsibility, he said. In his speech, Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa called for an international peace conference for the Middle East. The summit had taken place under extraordinary circumstances, said the Secretary General of the Arab League, Ahmed Abul Gheit, an Egyptian diplomat. The Israeli aggression against the people of Gaza represented an historic turning point, he said, adding that the Arab people would not forget the blind violence of the Israeli occupation. UN Secretary-General António Guterres was also present at the summit. He once again called on the parties in the Gaza war to agree on a ceasefire, and described the conflict as “an open wound” that threatened to infect the whole region.

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