Accessibility links

Arab League Urges Protection for Palestinians - 2001-09-09

Against a backdrop of increased Palestinian-Israeli violence, the Arab league has opened a two-day meeting in Cairo. The Middle East crisis is at the top of their agenda, and one member is warning the situation is threatening to become much worse.

There is an urgent plea to the international community to step in and provide protection for Palestinians living on the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheik Hamd Bin Gassim el Than made the plea as the meeting of Arab League states got under way in Cairo.

Sheik Hamad said the failure of the U.N. Security Council to send international observers to the occupied territories has sent a message to Israel that its policy of aggression and terrorism was acceptable.

Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa said the United States, Russia, and Europe have a moral obligation to exert pressure on Israel to conform to international legal resolutions and to provide international protection for Palestinians.

The secretary warned the Israeli-Palestinian situation is deteriorating so rapidly it is threatening to "explode" and negatively affect all of the countries in the Middle East.