Al Manara Square in Ramallah is the commercial and celebration center of the Palestinian capital. It is also historically the site of protests against Israel. If the fountain in Dizengoff Square in Tel-Aviv is decorated with photos of Hamas hostages, this other monument, also circular and of similar dimensions, is covered with images of the Israeli slaughter in Gaza. Dead bodies in bags, injured children, destroyed buildings and various slogans in English: "Gaza can't breathe", "Stop the slaughter in Gaza", "Stop the displacement of Palestinians". And a curious poster in Spanish, with the flag of Chile included, addressed to the president of this country: "Boric, end the agreements with Israel".
Now rebuilt with four lions and the central column, the monument had been dismantled in 1982 by the military commander of the city, occupied by Israel in 1967 during the Six Day War. That dispute, where Jordan, Syria, Egypt and Iraq were defeated by Israel, is one of the wars in which the Arab countries fought for the Palestinian cause. But this is history, Arab countries have long been unwilling to militarily defend the Palestinians.
The latest example is the war in Gaza, where Arab leaders limit themselves to criticizing the killing of Palestinians, but they do not even do so with the harshness of other countries such as Spain, or such as Bolivia, which has broken diplomatic relations with Israel . Of the Arab countries that have relations with Israel, the biggest gesture has been made by Jordan, calling its ambassador for consultations.
The summit held yesterday in Doha of the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council was another opportunity to make a little gesture against the Israeli bombings on Gaza, which have already caused more than 16,000 deaths. The Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, called for an investigation into Israel's war crimes for the "systematic and intentional killing of defenseless civilians, including women and children." He stated that "whole families were removed from the civil registry", but at the same time he assured that Qatar continues to act as a mediator between Israel and Hamas to achieve another ceasefire, confirming that the negotiation continues.
However, the leader of Hamas in Lebanon, Ossama Hamdan, said yesterday in a press conference that "there will be no negotiations or exchange of captives until the aggression stops".
Invited to the Doha summit, the president of Turkey (a Muslim but not Arab country), Recep Tayyip Erdogan, also did not miss the opportunity to continue questioning Israel with high caliber dialectical ammunition. "Killing the children and women and murdering 17,000 innocent Palestinians is a war crime and against humanity," he said. "Israel will have to be held accountable for these actions," Erdogan added.
However, the political statements in defense of the Palestinians made by all those attending the summit did not stop the bombings and the deaths of children. Every day, the death toll rises by the hundreds. Yesterday, at least 25 Gazans lost their lives despite taking refuge in a school in Khan Iunis, a city in the south of the strip that is the focus of fighting and bombs dropped by drones and from the sea.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, finally met yesterday with a group of relatives of the hostages – 138, after a new update – where some of the freed also participated. According to several sources, the meeting was very tense. "Hamas has demands that even you would not accept", Netanyahu went on to say, according to the Kan station.
On the other hand, the US announced yesterday that it will ban from entering the country settlers who have participated in murders and other violent acts against Palestinians in the West Bank, where the tension is increasing every day, with military incursions throughout the occupied territory that daily end some dead, wounded and many Palestinians arrested.