Where does Arab League stand in the Israel-Gaza conflict?

The worsening Israel-Gaza conflict has sparked a new tension in the region. Israel, which had been showing exemplary restraint towards attacks from Gaza ever since 2009, launched an air attack on November 14 that killed Hamas’ military wing commander. Thereafter, it has conducted several air strikes on Gaza; though, it has not yet initiated a ground war. Meanwhile, Muhammad Morsi, Egypt’s new president, is working towards mediating a truce between Israel and Hamas.

The Arab League has been supporting Egypt’s efforts. The head of the Arab League, Nabil el-Aribi, along with other league officials visited the affected Gaza strip during the week-long conflict between the two. The fight between Hamas, the militant group, and Israel has received public disapproval, and been termed as an unfair and brutal attack on the Palestinians residing in the Gaza strip. Condemning this aggressive operation by Israel against Palestinians, the league has vowed to bring the siege to an end and also eradicate the economic blockade imposed by Israel on Gaza since 2007.

Diplomats from the Arab League met in Cairo and sanctioned Egypt’s efforts. The truce that took place on the 21st of November had agreed upon certain conditions laid down by the conflicting parties, all of which were not met or addressed. An official of the Arab League said that the organisation denounced the aggressive stand of Israel in rather strong words and has even warned of withdrawing their offer of recognising Israel they made almost a decade ago.

The league is now reconsidering its initiatives and even their relationship with Israel is under scrutiny by the diplomats. There are reports that the Arab League may even deploy the sympathy this aggression has garnered for Palestine in building support for its bid to upgrade its status in the United Nations General Assembly. Israel is opposed to this move. An Arab League diplomat said that some nations would abstain and some might vote against it. H also stated that the attacks would help these parties recheck their position.

The Palestinian Commissioner for International relations, Nabil Shaath, requested the league for a “firm and urgent” action in order to end the violence in Gaza and also said that they will take up the issue of the killing of civilians by the Israel armed forces with the UN Human Rights Council.

Both the Israelis and Hamas had laid down certain conditions before agreeing for ceasefire and the Arab leaders are striving hard to meet these demands. The Arab league officials along with European foreign ministers have stated that an immediate termination of this hostility is in the best interest of everyone due to their incorrigible impact on the civilians. Moreover, at a time when there’s profound instability in the entire region, the situation only gets worse from here.