SRINAGAR: With the Israeli attacks on Gaza enter the seventh day and the death toll reaching 192 (including 34 women and 58 children) the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) had a virtual meeting on Sunday that “strongly condemned” the attacks and warned against the “dangerous effects of such deliberate provocations” if they continue. The number of injured in the relentless attacks have reached 1235.
Reports said 16 foreign ministers and deputy foreign ministers, as well as representatives from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member countries, attended the open-ended meeting. There were interesting issues within the members and within the forum.
Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei issued a separate joint statement on Sunday, seeking a UN General Assembly meeting. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates called for a ceasefire.
However, some members of the OIC – Bahrain, Morocco, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates – were targets within the meeting for “recent normalisation deals” with Israel. “The massacre of Palestinian children today follows the purported normalisation,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said. “This criminal and genocidal regime has once again proven that friendly gestures only aggravate its atrocities.”
Interestingly, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu joined Zarif in criticising the normalisation, even though Turkey and Israel have full diplomatic relations. He actually barb was; “There are a few who have lost their moral compass and voiced support for Israel. If there are half-hearted statements within our own family, how could we criticise others? Who will take our words seriously?” He insisted that there should be “an international protection mechanism for Palestinian civilians” and Israel should be “held accountable for war crimes and that the International Criminal Court”.
“Israel’s crimes against humanity should not escape accountability,” Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmoud Qureshi was quoted saying. “There should be no impunity for Israel’s violation of international law, including the Fourth Geneva and the other human rights conventions.”
The meeting called by Saudi Arabia ended up adopting a resolution to discuss the aggression and asserting that Al Quds and Al Aqsa, Islam’s first qibla and third holiest mosque “are a red line for the ummah“. It regretted the UN Security Council’s role on the issue and asked the world community to respond to the situation.
Here is the text of the resolution adopted by the OIC executive committee comprising foreign ministers.
Proceeding from the principles and objectives of the charter of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation,
Pursuant to the resolutions adopted by the ordinary and extraordinary sessions of the Islamic Summit and the Council of Foreign Ministers,
Recalling all relevant United Nations resolutions, including resolutions No. 242 (1967); 252 (1968); 338 (1973); 465, 476, 478 (1980); 1073 (1996), and 2334 (2016), and the conferences of the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) and its additional protocols, on applicability of the provisions of the Convention to the land of the State of Palestine and the protection of civilians in times of war,
Driven by the historical, moral and legal responsibility of the Islamic ummah towards the cause of Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Shareef,
Having reviewed the latest developments in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem, in particular the escalating aggression by the occupation forces and the extremist Israeli settlers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Shareef, the forced eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem, the killing and maiming of civilians, the growing barbaric attack on the Gaza Strip, giving free rein to all means of lethal military aggression against defenceless Palestinian civilians, which has killed and injured hundreds and caused widespread destruction of civilian properties and extensive suffering, constituting direct threat to international peace and security,
Condemns in the strongest terms the barbaric attacks launched by Israel, the occupying authority, against the Palestinian people and their land and holy sites; demands complete and immediate stop of these attacks that have affected innocent civilians and their properties, in gross violation of international law and United Nations resolutions on the question of Palestine; and warns that the continuation of and incitement to these attacks and provocations, the threat on the lives of innocent civilians, causing severe suffering to them increase the risks of instability, with serious implications for security in and outside of the region;
Warns, in particular, against the dangerous effects of Israel’s continued and deliberate inflammation and provocation of the religious sensibilities and feelings of the Palestinian people and the entire Islamic ummah with its heightened attacks on worshippers, especially starting from the beginning of Ramadan, blocking worshippers’ access to the holy sites to perform their religious rites, including Muslims’ access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Christians’ access to the Church of Holy Sepulchre during the Easter celebrations, violent storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Shareef by the occupation forces, terrorising and attacking peaceful worshippers, in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law;
Demands a stop to all violations being carried out by Israel, the occupying authority, including disrespect for the holy sites, in particular, the sacredness of the Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Shareef, and not to undermine their historical and legal status; reiterates that Israel is an occupation force and does not possess any legitimate right whatsoever on occupied Palestinian land, including East Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Shareef, and that all measures undermining its status are null and void and of no legal effect;
Reaffirms the importance of the historical Hashemite custodianship of the Islamic and Christian holy sites in Al-Quds and its role in preserving them and the existing legal and historical status there, and in preserving the Arab, Islamic and Christian identity of the sanctuaries; and affirms that the Hashemite management of Al-Quds and Al-Aqsa Mosque waqfs is the only body authorized to manage all affairs of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Al-Quds Haram Al-Shareef;
Reiterates its rejection and condemnation of the ongoing Israeli settlement colonisation of occupied Palestinian land, including East Jerusalem and the establishment of racial segregation system there, in particular through the building of settlements, destruction of Palestinian properties and building of an expansion wall, confiscation of lands, homes and properties, forceful expulsion and eviction of Palestinians from their homes and land; and affirms that all these acts constitute gross violation of international law, attaining the level of war crimes and crimes against humanity for which the occupation must be held accountable and the colonial system boycotted and sanctioned;
Expresses particular concern at the rapid pace of the Israeli policy of colonisation of Palestinian lands, especially the threat to forcefully evict hundreds of Palestinian families from their homes in the occupied East Jerusalem, including families in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighbourhoods which face imminent evictions from extremist colonialist groups with the support and backing of the Israeli occupation authorities, in cooperation with the racial courts; demands immediate cessation of those illegal policies and practices that are at variance with the occupation’s obligations under the United Nations Charter, the Fourth Geneva Convention, international human rights law and United Nations resolutions, including Security Council resolution 2334 (2016); and calls for these illegal measures to be challenged at all levels and for urgent international measures to be taken to confront them;
Holds Israel, the occupying authority, fully responsible for the deterioration of the situation caused by its systematic crimes against the Palestinian people across the entire Occupied Palestinian Territory, in particular, the extensive barbaric military attack on the besieged Gaza Strip, with rising number of victims and large scale destruction of properties and basic infrastructure; calls for the importance of protecting medical and first-aid crews and of allowing them to do their work without hindrance, in line with the provisions of international law in this regard; and stresses the need to provide international protection for the Palestinian people, in conformity with international humanitarian law standards as has been repeatedly advocated by the United Nations General Assembly, including in resolution ES-10/20 of 13 June 2018 and in line with the Final Communique of the 7th Extraordinary Islamic Summit, by dispatching an international protection force to save innocent lives from ongoing attacks and terrorism by the occupation forces and the extremist colonialist militias;
Underscores the responsibility of the Security Council to act swiftly to end the Israeli occupation’s barbaric attacks on the Palestinian people, in line with its Charter mandate to preserve international peace and security; expresses its denouncement of the Security Council’s inertia in dealing with the Palestinian question, the oldest on its agenda; and invites it to assume its responsibility towards the Palestinian people and to respond to the calls of states and peoples around the world to rise to its responsibilities to stop these violations, save innocent lives, act without delay to stop the deterioration on the ground and the ongoing Israeli aggression on the Palestinian people, implement its own resolutions and ensure that they are fully respected, being the foundation and key to a just and lasting solution supported by the prevailing international consensus;
Reiterates that failure of the Security Council to assume its responsibility to deal with this crisis will necessitate approaching the United Nations General Assembly to assume its responsibility, including resumption of the proceedings of the Tenth Emergency Special Session to stop Israeli aggression in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Al-Quds Al-Shareef, to ensure provision of international protection for the Palestinian people, to take measures to hold Israel, the occupying power, accountable for its crimes and gross violations of the rules of international law and human rights, and to blockade its colonial system;
Calls upon the international community as a whole, including the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, to abide by its collective commitments and take measures and steps to compel Israel, the occupying authority, to fulfil its obligation as occupying authority, including ensuring protection for the Palestinian population; and affirms that the time has come to take serious measures to hold Israel accountable for its gross violations and to stop exempting it from the same rule that are binding on the rest of the world;
Reiterates its readiness for engagement in all efforts to support the just Palestinian cause and guarantee the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to self-determination and subsequent just and comprehensive solution on the basis of the two-state solution, in accordance with the internationally agreed principles on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative leading to the establishment of the independent State of Palestine with Al-Quds Al-Shareef as its capital, and to continue to work with the international community to achieve that end;
Notes that the extensive Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people coincides with the 73rd anniversary of the catastrophe, the 1948 tragedy during which widespread ethnic cleansing operation was conducted leading to the forceful removal of 800,000 from their homes and land, after the barbaric massacre carried out in more than 400 Palestinian towns and images by Zionist terrorist groups in Palestine; recalls the historical responsibility of the British mandate authority for the catastrophe and the permanent responsibility of the United Nations for the Palestinian question until all its aspects are resolved; and reiterates on this painful anniversary the right of the Palestinians to return as a fundamental collective and individual right, in conformity with international law and United Nations resolutions, in particular resolution 194 (III), which cannot be diminished with the passage of time, and that respecting it is essential for a just and lasting solution;
Reiterates that Al-Quds Al-Shareef and the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s first qibla and third holiest sanctuary, is a red line for the Islamic ummah, that only with its full liberation from occupation and its return to the Palestinian people and the Islamic ummah will there be security and stability; invites Member States to make concerted and individual efforts, to rally round and defend Al-Quds and its holy sites, face up to Israel’s crimes, provide the Palestinian people with support and the wherewithal for steadfastness to confront the Israeli barbaric attacks; and requests them to respect the OIC resolutions on the Palestinian cause and work to implement them as the central issue of the Islamic ummah and the raison d’etre of the OIC;
Appreciates the role played by the Chair of the Al-Quds Committee in protecting the sanctuaries in Al-Quds Al-Shareef and standing up to the measures taken by the Israeli occupation authorities to Judaize the holy city;
Salutes the steadfastness of the Palestinian people on their land and for their historic stand in the face of aggression and occupation, and epic defence of their legitimate rights, standing up to the obliteration, eviction and revocation attempts by the Israeli racist, colonial regime; and reiterates its support and backing for the Palestinian leadership;
Invites Member States to provide all forms of support and backing for the Palestinian people to strengthen their resilience on their land and to stress the importance of activating the financial safety network, in accordance with the resolution of the 14th Islamic Summit, particularly for the reconstruction of destroyed infrastructure, properties and homes sheltering hundreds of Palestinian families who have been rendered homeless because of the heavy destruction carried out by the Israeli occupation forces;
Calls for international legal action through specialized international courts and various United Nations agencies to compel Israel, the occupying power, to pay the necessary material and moral reparations for the damages done to the Palestinian infrastructure as well as public and private properties;
Decides to move urgently and carry out the necessary contacts to implement this resolution and convey its contents to all relevant bodies, to mandate the Secretary General to contact the President of the European Commission, the United Nations Secretary General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights and other representatives of relevant international organizations and groups to convey the contents of this resolution, and to invite the councils of ambassadors of the OIC group in countries of the world and at international organizations to act urgently to convey the contents of this resolution to the states and organizations of their accreditation