• Jordanian king terms Israeli aggression ‘ugly war against civilians’
• US official asks Tel Aviv to protect civilians

 Valencia (Spain): A protester shouts slogans as she holds a sign reading ‘Stop bombs’ during a demonstration in support of the Palestinian people, on Sunday.—AFP
Valencia (Spain): A protester shouts slogans as she holds a sign reading ‘Stop bombs’ during a demonstration in support of the Palestinian people, on Sunday.—AFP

DUBAI: 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.

In a speech at an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Cor­ps aerospace force centre in the capital Tehran, Khamenei said “the defeat of the Zionist regime (Israel) in Gaza is a fact.” “Advancing and entering hospitals or people’s homes is not a victory, because victory means defeating the other side,” he said.

Khamenei said Israel has “killed thousands of children without any remorse” because, as he claimed, “Zionists consider themselves to be a superior race.” During his visit, the Revolutionary Guard’s aerospace force unveiled new defence systems and drones, state media said, and Khamenei inspected a drone which carried the name “Gaza”.

Jordan’s King Abdullah said on Sunday the international community should push for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza to stop a humanitarian catastrophe caused by what he termed Israel’s “ugly war against civilians”.

In remarks made during a meeting with European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, the monarch said global powers should force Israel to comply with international law to protect civilians and ensure Israel heeds calls to allow uninterrupted flow of aid into the enclave.

But Abdullah said Israel was not acting in self-defence, as it maintains, by “indiscriminate stri­kes” that killed thousands of civilians.

A White House official said, Israel should not em­bark on combat operations against Hamas in the south of Gaza until military planners have taken into account the safety of fleeing Palestinian civilians.

“In the event that Israel is likely to embark on combat operations, including in the south, we believe … that they have the right to do that,” White House deputy national security adviser Jon Finer told CBS’ Face the Nation programme. Finer urged Israel to draw lessons from its military operations in the north of Gaza and provide enhanced protections for civilians by narrowing the area of active combat and by specifying where civilians can seek refuge.

Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2023

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