Palestinian human rights organisations on Saturday urged the UN to “prevent the unfolding genocide in Gaza”.
Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani stressed the need for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza on Saturday during a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Doha, the Amiri Diwan said in a statement.
“The amir stressed the importance of continuing joint international efforts to ensure a return to calm and a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, protecting civilians and delivering humanitarian aid to the people of the Strip,” the statement said.
In a separate post on X, Sheikh Tamim said that the discussions in Doha were part of Qatar and France’s ongoing efforts to discuss a ceasefire and reduce the escalation in Gaza.
“We work in all aspects and with all partners to stop the bloodshed of our Palestinian brothers, and we hope that the international community will play its assigned role to achieve a just peace for the Palestinian cause,” the Qatari leader said.
Macron’s arrival in Doha on Saturday night came after Qatar and Egypt mediated a temporary truce in Gaza that expired on Friday, leading to intensified Israeli bombardment on the north, centre and south of the Strip.
At least 700 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli attacks since then.
Qatar had expressed “its deep regret at the resumption of the Israeli aggression” on Friday while calling for a permanent ceasefire.
Israel said on Saturday that it pulled out its negotiators from talks with Qatar, Egypt and the United States over a renewed pause, declaring an impasse in the negotiations.
The French president said ahead of his arrival in Doha that Paris was “very concerned” over the resumption of the war in Gaza, adding that his trip aimed to reach a new truce before a ceasefire, Reuters reported.
Speaking at a press conference on the sidelines of the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, Macron called on Israeli authorities to “precisely define their objectives and their final goal” in the war on Gaza.
He warned that the Israeli goal of eliminating Hamas risks the war to take place for a decade.
“The total destruction of Hamas, does anyone think it is possible? If this is the case, the war will last 10 years,” he said, as quoted by Reuters.
He added that “there is no lasting security for Israel in the region if its security is achieved at the cost of Palestinian lives and thus of the resentment of public opinions in the region.”
France has been defending Israel’s so-called “right to self-defence” since the start of the aggression on Gaza on October 7, a stance that Tel Aviv’s staunch Western allies have echoed. However, Paris also called on Israel to halt the war.
France had upheld a ban on pro-Palestine protests on October 28, citing “the serious risk of disturbing public order” in light of “heightened tensions linked to the events in the Gaza Strip with a rise in anti-Semitic acts in France”.
Protesters defied the ban at the time and French police arrested 21 people and issued more than 1,350 fines on the same day, according to an AFP report.
The crackdown on pro-Palestine protests across Europe since the start of the war on Gaza has been a matter of concern by activists and rights organisations including Amnesty International.
Israeli bombardments intensify
Israel has largely targeted residential buildings since the truce ended and launched a barrage of airstrikes across Gaza.
Gaza’s government media office said on Saturday that the Israeli occupation killed at least 200 people since the truce ended while carrying a total of 1,450 attacks since the start of the war.
Authorities in Gaza said that Israel killed more than 15,207 Palestinians since the beginning of the war, whereas Euro-Med reported a higher figure of 21,022, including 8,312 children.
The figure has remained disputed ever since Gaza’s collapsed health sector stopped keeping track of the total toll after the ground invasion of Al-Shifa Hospital on November 18.
The Israeli attacks have spread to the south of Gaza, pummeling entire densely-populated neighbourhoods. Israel has also been dropping leaflets with a QR code with a link to a map showing a divided Gaza.
Al Jazeera’s East Jerusalem correspondent Alan Fisher said on Sunday that Israel is expanding its ground invasion and is heading towards the south.
Meanwhile, Palestinian human rights organisations on Saturday urged the UN’s Special Advisers on the Prevention of Genocide and Responsibility to Protect, George Okoth-Obbo, “to prevent the unfolding genocide in Gaza.”
“Against this backdrop, your silence on the risk of genocide in Palestine[…]is deafening,” the joint letter said.
The letter added that “there has been an absence of decisive diplomatic measures to uphold international law and to end the genocide unfolding against the Palestinian people in Gaza.”
“Indeed, the deliberate failure of the international community to hold Israel responsible for its 75-year-long settler colonialism, 56-year illegal occupation of Palestinian territory, and 16-year-long closure of Gaza, and its impunity over decades for its international crimes, including apartheid, has culminated in the past weeks of horrific violence,” the rights agencies said.
Some of the organisations’ demands included publicly acknowledging “that Israel’s conduct in the Gaza Strip is tantamount to an unfolding genocide”.