'Gaza Contact Group' panel discussion stress need for permanent solution in Gaza


The "Gaza Contact Group" panel at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum deliberated on the escalating instability and proliferation risk in Gaza, alongside ongoing efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the region.

At the forum, where Anadolu served as the "Global Communication Partner," held at the NEST Congress Center in the Belek Tourism District, Egyptian Foreign Minister Samih Shukri and Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki participated in the panel, moderated by Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan.

In his opening remarks at the panel, Fidan asserted that Israel's actions constitute war crimes, destabilizing the international order. He said that the Islamic world has been waiting for others to solve its problems for many years, and he condemned this situation once again.

Stating that the dominant forces created this problem, he also said: "Now we are taking this problem into our own hands. We are really taking this job with a regional responsibility. In fact, as a result of this kind of thinking, the Gaza Contact Group was commissioned at the joint OIC-Arab League Summit and is working to take responsibility for the ongoing war in Palestine."

Fidan, a member of the Contact Group, recalled that he met with key leaders, decision-makers, and officials from various countries and international platforms, discussing issues "collectively" and in "business departments," demonstrating ‘’solidarity between the Muslim and Islamic world regarding Palestine and public enlightenment."

The Contact Group is continuously pressuring countries supporting Israel and its attacks, aiming to increase humanitarian aid and cease-fire support from a few Western countries, he added.

Fidan also pointed out that the "yes" vote in the UN sessions on the humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza increased from 121 votes in October to 153 after that.

‘The current war does not provide security for Israel’

Fidan opposed the hegemony narrative, stating that the current war does not provide security for Israel, emphasizing Palestinians' need for security and self-defense.

He noted that there is another obstacle, saying international calls for a cease-fire and calls for a two-state solution have no impact on Israel.

Fidan drew attention to the fact that Israel, which receives the support of the US, does not face sanctions

"If another country had committed such a crime, it would definitely have faced all kinds of sanctions."

He argued that preventing bloodshed in Gaza alone is impossible due to political systems' reluctance to open their eyes, and some countries' past burdens on Jews, which hinder progress.

Underlining that Israel will not be safe unless it declares that it does not want to acquire the Palestinian territories, Fidan said: "It is important to go to the 1967 borders. Only then will the people of Israel truly achieve sustainable security."

Noting that Egypt has always been at the heart of the Gaza issue and its role in international humanitarian assistance has been admirable, he posed the following question to Shukri, "Questions about welfare and the border are rising. What will be your opinion on this issue? The current international system cannot find solutions to these crises."

‘(Israel's attacks) have made our region completely sick’

Egyptian Foreign Minister Shukri stated that the Antalya Forum was being held at an important time and that they hoped to work in cooperation with the members of the Gaza Contact Group.

Shukri emphasized the need for a permanent solution to Israel's Gaza attacks, stating that they have caused "severe instability and insecurity in the region."

He noted that there were difficulties in the passage of aid from Rafah due to Israeli attacks, they tried to keep the crossing open from the first stage.

Shukri added that the passage of aid from Rafah faced challenges due to Israeli attacks, and efforts were made to maintain the crossing from the initial stage.

He also noted that Cairo was working to convince the Israeli government to provide support to the Gazans.

"Our efforts have always been blocked. There have been manipulative and restrictive studies, especially related to the amount of aid that can be distributed. There is a very heavy pressure on our brothers in Gaza."

He expressed frustration with limited support and limitations in fulfilling their role, but pledges to continue working with the UN and partners to address the difficulties faced by the people.

Meanwhile Fidan emphasized cooperation and solidarity with Palestinians, addressing issues not only in Gaza but also in the West Bank.

"The situation is at a very serious stage of terrorism, in the West Bank and elsewhere. The Israeli authorities are making irresponsible statements related to the restriction of access to the al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan," he said and asked Maliki what should be done in these conditions in the coming weeks.

‘(Israel) has some unspoken, secret goals as well’

Palestinian Foreign Minister Maliki stressed Israel's clear intent to continue its attacks, recalling its goals to "destroy Hamas and return prisoners."

Despite this, Maliki stated that Israel has come nowhere near achieving these two aims.

"Why does Israel insist on continuing this war? (Israel) also has some unspoken, secret goals. These unspecified and hidden goals may be goals that are within reach. One of them is the total destruction of Gaza, that is, the destruction of everything in Gaza."

Stressing that even if a cease-fire is reached, people have nowhere left to go and villages and towns have been destroyed, Maliki said: "(Netanyahu) does not want to leave a stone on a stone."

‘Netanyahu has a personal interest in continuing the war in Gaza’

Maliki claimed that Israel's second goal, which he did not explicitly state, was to direct Gazans towards the south.

"There are 1.5 million Palestinians here (in Rafah), in a small city where 150,000 people used to live. Netanyahu will also attack Rafah. He said it very clearly. 'The military plans are ready,' he said. He doesn't listen to anyone. What will happen when you attack Rafah? 1.5 million people will either be killed; there is no other place to hide, no shelter, or they will look 500 meters south and they will see a door that they can break open and they will find themselves in Egypt."

"Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has a personal interest in continuing the war in Gaza," Maliki said, adding that Netanyahu knows that four corruption cases are waiting for him.

"He will have to take responsibility when the war is over."

He also expressed gratitude for Türkiye’s "brotherhood, solidarity, commitment, and assistance."

"Not only in this war, but also before. We always feel indebted to Türkiye because of the contribution they have made to us."

Fidan also asked his counterpart Maliki how countries in the region, including Türkiye, can play a role in solving the problem with the risk of increasing regional violence and the possibility of war.

Maliki stated that Netanyahu's attacks in Gaza "have the purpose of spreading."

"(Netanyahu) believes, however, that it is also important to prolong the war, to expand its scope. He wants this to spread to the West Bank. Every day, military attacks, terrorist attacks are carried out in refugee camps in Palestinian cities, interventions are taking place at the al-Aqsa Mosque. At the moment, there is an intention to open a front in the south of Lebanon as well. If the front is opened here, the front will also be opened in Syria, Iraq and Iran. Which means this. (Netanyahu) has the goal of turning the war on Gaza into a territorial war, and he is trying to get the Americans involved in this war."

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