Saudi king condemns Gaza conflict, but not Israel

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah on Friday broke his silence on the Gaza conflict, which started in early July, by condemning the conflict and the inaction of the international community.

“This [international] community, which has observed silently what is happening in the whole region, was indifferent to what is happening as if what is happening is not its concern,” Abdullah said in a statement on Saudi state-run television. 

Despite describing the situation in Gaza as “war crimes against humanity,” the Saudi monarch stopped short of calling for action against Israel. 

The Gaza conflict has highlighted a growing rift in the Arab world, pitting Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia against Turkey and Qatar, who both support the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. 

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, whose government proposed a cease-fire that was rejected by Hamas, has been similarly quiet on the Israel-Hamas conflict and has largely kept Egypt’s border with Gaza shut, despite the ongoing humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Additionally, in an apparent reference to the bloodshed in Iraq and Syria, King Abdullah slammed the killing of innocent people and the mutilation of bodies, which he deemed contrary to Islamic values, and called on Middle East leaders and religious scholars to prevent Islam from being hijacked by extremists. 

Egypt and Saudi Arabia view the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, as well as other Islamic extremist groups like Hezbollah and the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), as threats to the stability of the region.

Posted on August 1, 2014 .