A Palestinian demonstrator uses a slingshot to throw stones during clashes with Israeli security forces following a protest on the Israel-Gaza border east of the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip Image Credit: AFP

Egypt’s Al Ahram wrote that the United Nations (UN) Security Council held an emergency meeting, following a request by Russia, to discuss allegations that the Syrian army used chemical weapons in Douma. The paper pointed out that Syria has turned into an arena of regional and international conflicts, through which each power is trying to spread their influence, prove that they are the most powerful and test their arms in a real battle. “Israel, the US and Turkey are fighting other Arab countries in Syria. Turkey is occupying parts of Syria, claiming that it is fighting the Kurds and the Iranian/Western influence in the country. Russia is fighting alongside the Assad regime to cement its influence, expand its bases in the country and thwart American and western influence in some parts of Syria. Syria is being torn apart, and its people are the victims of their regime’s tyranny, and the corruption of the international community, which the superpowers control to protect their interests.”

If the lives of thousands of Syrians have no value to those watching indifferently, the whole world will be in danger when these precedents become familiar acts, made acceptable by silence and failure to punish the criminals, warned the London-based pan-Arab paper Asharq Al Awsat. “Silence in the face of what the Syrian, Iranian and Russian regimes are doing in Syria will make all the region’s cities open to ‘murder by gas’ as a result of the broadening of wars and the cold global responses. Today, the real problem lies neither in the existence of evidence, which does exist and is significant, nor in the criminal systems; it lies in the international community and its institutions, which have been ignoring the situation. The audacity of the regimes of Syria, Iran and Russia in allowing and facilitating the use of chemical weapons against civilians, against international silence, encourages governments, as well as groups, to resort to them since they are a cheap, easy to use, efficient, and psychologically frightening weapon.”

On Friday, Israeli troops killed up to 10 Palestinian protesters and wounded at least 1,000 more. The casualty figures were not as high as that of last week, but are high enough, said the Saudi Gazette. The paper pointed out that what the Palestinians are currently doing with their demonstrations is refocusing international attention back on the Palestinian cause after years of the Arab Spring that took the focus away from the occupation. “They are delivering the message that Palestinians will never forget their right to their land, will never accept an alternative homeland, and are determined to regain the land they have lost regardless of the price they are forced to pay. A Gaza inquest into the extreme force used by the occupation authorities against peaceful Palestinian demonstrators is urgently needed. There cannot be a shooting gallery set up along the Gaza fence every Friday.”

The Jordan Times wrote that the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for a ‘transparent and independent’ investigation into the killings that occurred during the wave of violence against protesters. “What is there to investigate, one may ask, when it is crystal clear that the fallen Palestinians were obviously shot by Israeli gunfire and hundreds wounded gravely ... No kind of firearms, big or small, were used by the protesting Palestinians, so why call for an investigation?”