Finally the King has spoken. King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia criticised international inaction over Israel’s offensive in Gaza, which he described as involving mass laughter and “war crimes against humanity”, in a speech read out on his behalf on state television.
“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. Silence that has no justification,” he said in his speech.
He also slammed militants who he said were killing innocent people and mutilating their bodies in contravention of Islamic teachings and called on the region’s leaders and religious scholars to prevent Islam from being hijacked by militants.
King Abdullah named no groups but was apparently referring to violence in neighbouring countries, including Iraq and Syria, where the Islamic State has captured swathes of territory, killing scores of people and forcing Christians to flee.
Israel launched its offensive in Hamas-dominated Gaza on July 8, unleashing air and naval bombardments. Tanks and infantry pushed into the territory of 1.8 million on July 17.
Gaza officials say at least 1,499 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed and 7,000 wounded.