UAE to host emergency meeting with Arab leaders over Jerusalem
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UAE to host emergency meeting with Arab leaders over Jerusalem

UAE to host emergency meeting with Arab leaders over Jerusalem

The latest bout of fighting appeared to be the most serious escalation since a 2014 war in Gaza

The UAE will host an emergency meeting of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union on Wednesday to discuss the situation in Jerusalem, it was announced.

The meeting will include speeches by speakers and representatives of Arab parliaments and a closing statement, official news agency WAM reported on Tuesday.

Israel stepped up its attacks on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip overnight into Wednesday, drawing a heavy barrage over the country’s commercial heartland as the death toll rises and the two sides edged closer to all-out war.

Rocket squads in Gaza fired a new barrage at central Israel on early Wednesday as Israeli jets pummeled the Gaza strip with dozens of airstrikes. The death toll in Gaza climbed to 35 while five civilians were killed in Israel, according to officials and local media.

The latest bout of fighting appeared to be the most serious escalation since a 2014 war in Gaza.

Jerusalem Unrest

The latest unrest began at the beginning of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in April. Israeli restrictions on gathering at a traditional Ramadan meeting place outside the Old City touched off the tensions, but after they were lifted, protests were rekindled by the threatened evictions of Palestinians from longtime homes in the eastern sector of the city that Israel captured in 1967. The Palestinians and much of the international community considers it occupied territory.

The tensions spilled over into towns with mixed Jewish-Arab populations, sparking major riots and chaos in places like Jaffa and Lod.

The escalation set off a flurry of diplomatic efforts to defuse the violence involving Egypt, the US and United Nations. The UN Security Council said it will hold a second emergency session on Wednesday to address the crisis. US President Joe Biden directed National Security advisor Jake Sullivan and secretary of State Antony Blinken to reach out to their Israeli counterparts in a bid to defuse tensions.

“The secretary emphasised the need for Israelis and Palestinians to be able to live in safety and security, as well as enjoy equal measures of freedom, security, prosperity, and democracy,” according to a statement from State Department spokesman Ned Price.

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres said the organisation was “working with all relevant parties to de-escalate the situation urgently.”

With inputs from Bloomberg

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