Gaza massacre: Where Arab countries stand

Gaza massacre: Where Arab countries stand
4 min read
15 May, 2018
Arab states condemned Monday's Gaza massacre, but some choose not to comment on the controversial opening of the US embassy in the contested city of Jerusalem.
Gaza protests ended in bloodshed when Israeli troops fired on crowds [AFP]

The opening of the US embassy to Israel in Jerusalem on Monday sparked worldwide condemnation, with protests on the Gaza murder against the move led to a massacre with 61 Palestinians shot dead and hundreds injured.

During a rare moment of unity, Arab states also issued protests against Israeli violence, although some chose weaker words in their statements.

Some Arab states chose not to comment on the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem, a move that has been condemned across the world.


Jordan's King Abdullah condemned "the blatant acts of aggression and violence perpetrated by Israel" against Palestinian protesters in Gaza.

"His Majesty issues directives to the General Command of the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army to ensure that the Royal Medical Services' field hospital in Gaza is fully supplied and equipped to provide medical attention to Palestinians injured by Israeli aggression," the Royal Hashemite Court tweeted.

King Abdullah also condemned the opening of the US embassy to Israel in the contested city of Gaza, which sparked Monday's demonstrations.


"Qatar has expressed in the strongest terms its condemnation of the brutal massacre and systematic killing committed by the Israeli occupation forces against unarmed Palestinians," Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lolwah al-Khater said.

"Qatar calls on all international and regional powers that have a voice in Israel to act immediately to stop the brutal killing machine."

Doha noted that the US embassy to Jerusalem "contradicts all relevant UN resolutions".

Saudi Arabia

"Saudi Arabia strongly condemns the Israeli occupation forces' gunfire against unarmed Palestinian civilians which has left dozens of dead and wounded," a Saudi foreign ministry spokesperson said.

Riyadh also spoke against the US embassy move to Jerusalem.

"The kingdom rejects the American administration's decision to transfer its embassy to Jerusalem," the council of ministers said, according to Saudi Press Agency.

"This step represents a significant prejudice against the rights of the Palestinian people which have been guaranteed by international resolutions."


Parliament speaker Marzouq al-Ghanim said that recent developments had put "the status of Jerusalem and Palestine's future in great jeopardy", according to Kuwait's state news agency. He added that Jerusalem "will remain the capital of Palestine no matter what occurs on the ground.

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Kuwait also called for a UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday to address the killings in Gaza.


Egypt condemned "the use of force against peaceful marches" and warned of the "negative repercussion of such serious escalation in the Palestinian occupied territories".

Imam of Egypt's al-Azhar Mosque - the eminent seat of Sunni Islam - Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb said that the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem was "defying the feelings of 1.5 billion Muslims around the world".

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri said that the embassy move " violates the international agreements between Israel and Palestine on the peace process".


"The UAE absolutely rejects the use of force to confront peaceful demonstrations, which mark the 70th anniversary of Nakba, and demand their just rights,'' the UAE ministry of foreign affairs said.

Abu Dhabi does not appear to have to have commented on the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem on Monday.


Bahrain said it "strongly condemned the targeting of unarmed Palestinian civilians by the Israeli occupation forces, which resulted in the death and injury of dozens of victims".

Manama also acknowledged East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, formed along 1967 boundaries.


Oman's ministry of foreign affairs called for political solution and for Palestine and Israel to work towards a two state solution.

"The Sultanate expressed its solidarity and support for the just rights of the Palestinians to establish their independent state on the borders of the 4 June 1967 with al-Quds [Jerusalem] as its capital."

It did not comment directly on the Gaza violence or the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem.


Syria's foreign ministry said it "condemns in the strongest terms the brutal massacre committed by the Israeli occupation authorities against unarmed Palestinian civilians".

Damascus also said that Palestinians have a right to "return to their land and to build their independent state with al-Quds (Jerusalem) as its capital".


Prime Minister Saad Hariri described the US embassy opening as "provocative" and allowed "Israelis to spill more blood of innocent Palestinians and increases the intensity of extremism that threatens the world community".