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Saudi king: World silence on Israel 'war crimes' 'inexcusable'

Aug. 1, 2014 6:57 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 2, 2014 3:31 P.M.)
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AFP) -- Saudi King Abdullah said Friday that world silence over Israeli "war crimes" in the Gaza Strip was "inexcusable" and would only breed more violence in the future.

"We see the blood of out brothers in Palestine being shed in collective massacres that have spared nobody, and in war crimes against humanity," the king said in a speech carried by state news agency SPA.

He said it was "all taking place under the eyes and ears of the international community ... that has stood indifferently watching events in the whole region."

"This silence is inexcusable" and will "result in a generation that rejects peace and believes only in violence," he said.

The conflict that broke out on July 8 has killed nearly 1,500 on the Palestinian side, mostly civilians, and 63 Israeli soldiers, two Israeli civilians, and a foreign national.

Abdullah also lashed out at religious extremism, urging "Muslim leaders and scholars to ... stand up to those trying to hijack Islam and portray it as a religion of hatred, extremism, and terrorism."

"It is a shame and a disgrace that these terrorists kill, mutilate (dead bodies), and proudly spread (pictures) in the name of religion," he said.

His remarks were an apparent reference to Islamic State Wahhabi militants operating in Iraq and Syria.

ISIL has declared a "caliphate" in areas it controls in the two Arab states, with their lightning advance in Iraq in June seen as also posing a threat to Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

Saudi Arabia, an ultra-conservative Sunni kingdom and home to Islam's holiest sites in Mecca and Medina, shares an 814-kilometer (505-mile) border with Iraq.
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