Iran urges Muslim nations to snap relations with Israel

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appealed to Muslim states with political ties with Israel to at least cut them for “a limited time”, state media reported on Sunday, weeks after he called for an Islamic oil and food embargo on Israel.

“Some Islamic governments have condemned Israeli crimes in assemblies while some have not. This is unacceptable,” Khamenei said before reiterating that the main task of Islamic governments should be to cut off Israel from energy and goods.

“Islamic governments should at least cut off political ties to Israel for a limited time,” Khamenei added.

During a joint summit between members of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation and the Arab League in Saudi Arabia’s capital on November 11, Muslim states did not agree to impose wide-ranging sanctions on Israel, as requested by Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi.

Khamenei made his latest comments while attending an exhibition showcasing the “latest achievements” of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Aerospace Force, including the Fattah 2, a new version of what is said to be Iran’s first hypersonic missile.

In Pakistan’s Lahore, tens of thousands of supporters rallied against Israel’s bombing of Palestinians in Gaza and what it said is the world’s failure to protect Gazans.

Amid anti-Israeli and anti-American slogans the emotionally charged crowd also called for jihad, or holy war. Earlier this month, Jamaat-e-Islami held massive rallies in the port city of Karachi and the capital, Islamabad.

In the West Bank, the Israeli army killed two Palestinians during incursions, the Palestinian news agency WAFA said.

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is embarking on a tour of the capitals of several permanent members of the UN Security Council.

The foreign ministers of a committee set up during the recent Arab Islamic Extraordinary Summit will join him on the trip.

Ahmed Abu Zeid, spokesperson for Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Shoukry’s tour sought to advance the process of stopping the war in the Gaza Strip and to deal with the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in besieged Palestinian territory.

He said the foreign ministers would meet political leaders and key ministers.

The ministry said the tour would promote the need for an immediate ceasefire and ensure the supply of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.

It highlighted the need to address the root causes of the crisis and establish an independent Palestinian state through a political process.

Meanwhile, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit this week met several Arab and foreign officials in Bahrain on the sidelines of the annual IISS Manama Dialogue security conference.

He discussed several matters with Bahrain Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al-Zayani, most notably the moves being made to stop the aggression against Gaza in light of the decisions of the Arab-Islamic summit held on Nov. 11, and the preparations for the next Arab summit, which Bahrain will host.

Aboul Gheit also met Lord Tariq Ahmad, the UK’s minister of state for the Middle East, to discuss the situation in Gaza.

He said the continuing war “was the result of the policies of some countries that were quick to give Israel a blank check to exercise revenge and that Israel exploited this license in a brutal way that became rejected by the entire world.”

Aboul Gheit also spoke to Josep Borrell, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy.

The secretary-general warned of the highly negative consequences of the spread of anger and hatred in the Middle East, especially in light of the biased positions of many Western countries and governments in supporting Israel in its “brutal, immoral and lawless aggression, which reflects a blatant pattern of double standards.”

He also briefed Borrell on the Arab approach to ending the conflict and working to find a permanent solution to the Palestinian issue in accordance with the vision of the two states.

Aboul Gheit highlighted the dangers of all forms of displacement, exile and deportation, which is a red line for Arab nations.

He also spoke to Armenia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ararat Mirzoyan about the latest developments in Gaza and the dangers of continuing the war.

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