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Al Muallim's Concern for Gaza! - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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In a reply to statements linking his participation in the upcoming Arab League Summit (hosted by Damascus) with the Lebanese presidential elections, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al Muallim responded by asking, “What about the carnage in Gaza? What about this massacre taking place, is it not more serious?” Al Muallim stated that the conflict in Gaza will be at the top of the agenda in the imminent Arab summit.

However, the question remains: if Damascus was truly concerned with the events in Gaza today, then why wait until the end of March while the Israeli aggression destroys all the innocent people in Gaza – including women and children?

Why doesn’t al Muallim call for an emergency and immediate summit at the Arab League’s headquarters in Cairo so that all the Arab leaders may attend to discuss the Israeli aggression and the atrocious massacres that are committed against the innocent residents of Gaza? Why wait another 20 days while the unarmed civilians of Gaza are crushed by the Israeli military machine?

For the emergency Arab summit to be successful, the issues must be broached in their entirety in a clear and straightforward manner. The Israeli aggression must be condemned and an Arab committee must be activated to deal with this crime on an international level.

Furthermore, Syria and Iran must be held accountable, seriously and effectively, for the actions committed by their allies Hamas; those who are based in Damascus and others who are hiding in their trenches in Gaza.

Did the rocket launch operations help the unarmed Palestinians in any way, or have they been abandoned to confront death and destruction on their own while the Hamas leadership fled to secure hideouts under the pretext that the war with Israel in Gaza must be “rationally managed”, according to sources close to Hamas?

Has the Tehran-Damascus backing of the internal Palestinian division yielded any positive results with regards to the Palestinian issue? Or has it aggravated the division that has ravaged the whole Arab region – thanks to the Syrian-Iranian alliance and the distribution of roles between them; Hezbollah in Lebanon, Iraq’s militias and the targeting of Al-Sahwa [aka Awakening Protection Forces] who are combating Al-Qaeda in Iraq, in addition to the al Houthi support in Yemen and other interferences in Arab affairs?

Holding Syria and Iran accountable at the emergency Arab summit, which would supposedly be held in Cairo, is vital if Mr. Walid al Muallim is truly concerned about Gaza. How is it possible that the position of the Arab Damascus and Iran conforms to the US position, which has given the Turkish aggression its blessing at a time when the Turkish forces have penetrated deeper into northern Iraq, especially given that Iraq is an Arab country and a member of the Arab League?

If al Muallim was really concerned about Gaza and the disastrous events taking place there, and equally convinced of the necessity of the Arab summit, then an emergency summit must be held immediately in Cairo rather than waiting until the end of the month – even if only to save a drop of blood spilling from another Palestinian child.

In this case, waiting becomes a crime against the Palestinian people. These are the questions and issues that must be tackled at the emergency summit, instead of the futile denial and condemnation that are to no avail.

If Walid al Muallim’s aim is to pay lip service to the situation then we have become accustomed to his ineffectual antics.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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