What Muslim leaders said at the Joint Arab-Islamic Extraordinary Summit in Riyadh

Leaders at the Joint Arab-Islamic Extraordinary Summit in Riyadh on Saturday reiterated calls for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas as the humanitarian situation in Gaza worsens.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is in the Saudi capital for the summit, marking the first trip by an Iranian leader to Saudi Arabia in 11 years, after the two countries restored diplomatic relations in March. Raisi said attendees had gathered there on behalf of the Islamic world to “save the Palestinians.” Meanwhile, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said “we categorically reject this brutal war” in opening remarks.

Here’s what others are saying:

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the United States, “which has the greatest influence on Israel, bears responsibility for the absence of a political solution.”

“We demand that they put a stop to the Israeli aggression and the Israeli occupation of our land,” he said.

He called on the United Nations Security Council to “immediately put an end to the brutal Israeli aggression on Palestinians,” and he repeated the need to secure the entry of aid supplies into Gaza.

“My mind cannot believe that this is happening under the eyes and ears of the world, without calling for an immediate halt to this brutal war,” he added.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the summit that “the world remaining silent in the face of this brutality shames us all.”

“Gaza has been almost completely destroyed, and Western countries aren’t even calling for a ceasefire. …There is no doubt that whoever remains silent about injustice is a partner in the practice of injustice,” Erdogan added.

The Turkish president said Israel is trying to seek revenge for Hamas’ attacks on October 7, adding that while nobody supports what happened that day, it is not an excuse for Israel to kill civilians.

“Words have become insufficient in describing what is happening in Gaza and Ramallah since October 7,” Erdogan said, claiming that Israel was targeting civilians, hospitals, ambulances, and places of worship in a “brutal and barbaric way that is unparalleled in history.”

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad criticized the normalization agreements between Arab countries and Israel, saying the policy does more harm than good.

“More hands extended by us equals more massacres against us … what we have to do to help Palestine is use actual political tools, not rhetorical tools, and that firstly is stopping any political process with the Zionist entity,” he said.

Assad said what’s happening in Gaza today should not be treated in isolation, but rather looked at as a “manifestation” of the Palestinian cause and a “blatant expression of the suffering” of Palestinians.

“If we continue to deal with the aggression against Gaza today with the same methodology, then we will pave the way for the completion of the massacre … and the death of the cause,” he said.

Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani slammed the international community for failing to “stop war crimes and massacres” in Gaza.

“We wonder how long will the international community continue to treat Israel as if it is above international law, and how long will it be condoned to flout all international laws in its brutal, never-ending war on the country’s indigenous population,” the Qatari ruler said.

The emir said Qatar continues to support all regional and international diplomatic efforts for “de-escalation, stemming the bloodshed and protecting civilians, including continuing efforts in humanitarian mediation to release hostages,” adding that “we hope to reach a humanitarian truce in the near future.”

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