Photo: AP
Secretary-General Moussa
Photo: AP

Arab ministers condemn Israeli 'crimes of war'

During Arab League meeting in Cairo Wednesday, Secretary-General Amr Moussa says that 'Israeli policy against the Palestinian people is based on genocide and ethnic cleansing." League also threatens to leave Nonproliferation Treaty if Israel admits it has nuclear weapons

The Arab League condemned Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip as "crimes against humanity" on Wednesday.


Arab foreign ministers said they "strongly condemn the barbaric crimes that the Israeli occupation forces committed in Gaza and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories".


Meeting to prepare for an Arab summit in Syria this month that is expected to focus on Gaza and Lebanon, the ministers said in a statement they were "recording these Israeli crimes as crimes of war and crimes against humanity".


Israel ended a five-day Gaza military offensive on Monday in which more than 120 Palestinians and two Israeli soldiers were killed. It has threatened to send troops back to the Hamas-run coastal territory if cross-border rocket attacks continue.


Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa said: "The criminal aggression against Gaza shows that Israeli policy against the Palestinian people is based on genocide and ethnic cleansing."


In Cairo, the Arab ministers called on Palestinians to end internal divisions.


The March 29-30 Arab summit in Damascus is expected also to deal with the political deadlock in Lebanon, which has been without a president since November due to a power struggle between the Western-backed government and pro-Syria opposition.


Threatening to leave Nonproliferation Treaty

During the meeting, the Arab League also announced that Arab countries will walk away from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty if Israel ever officially acknowledges it has nuclear weapons.


"As soon as Israel announces it has nuclear weapons, the Arab will announce their withdrawal from the Nonproliferation Treaty," the League said in a statement.


Arab countries, all of which are signatories to the treaty, have long called for a nuclear-free Middle East and expressed their concern over Israel's apparent possession of nuclear weapons.


They said that if Israel admitted to having the weapons, they would call on the UN Security Council to pressure Israel to destroy its nuclear arsenal and bring its other atomic installation under international inspection.


If this did not happen, Arab countries would leave the treaty and not sign any new one until Israel itself joined. While no Arab country is known to be actively seeking nuclear weapons, several countries in the region have expressed interest in starting civilian nuclear programs with foreign cooperation.


פרסום ראשון: 03.05.08, 18:23
 new comment
This will delete your current comment