ISTANBUL: Concluding the Seventh Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Summit Conference, kings and Heads of State and Government of the Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) adopted a final communique in response to the latest developments in the occupied Palestinian territories. They urged dispatching an international fact-finding committee to the occupied Palestinian territories to investigate the recent Israeli massacres against the Palestinian people in Gaza Strip and providing international protection to the Palestinians. The gathering, held upon the invitation of the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Chair of the Thirteenth Session of the Islamic Summit, reviewed the brutal Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people and the illegal inauguration of the US Embassy in Jerusalem.
In their final communique, the OIC leader said: “Having reviewed the alarming situation and growing tensions in the occupied territory of the State of Palestine, “Expressing our profound appreciation to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for calling for the convening and hosting of this extraordinary Islamic Summit on an issue of such importance for Ummah (Muslim nation),–
“Proceeding from the historical, moral and legal responsibility placed on the Muslim Ummah and in full solidarity with Palestine and its people, We condemn in the strongest terms the criminal actions of Israeli forces against the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in the Gaza Strip, where unarmed Palestinian civilians are exercising their legitimate right of peaceful protest against this inhumane and absolutely illegal occupation; and hold Israel, the occupying Power, fully accountable for the grave atrocities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly the latest episode of willful murder of at least 60 civilians, and injuring of nearly 2700 others on 14 May.
“We declare that these acts constitute savage crimes committed by the Israeli forces with the backing of the US Administration, including through shielding the Israeli occupation in the UN Security Council from accountability; also note that these crimes have been committed against the backdrop of the illegal decision by the US Administration to officially move its embassy from Israel to the occupied City of Jerusalem, which has further emboldened the Israeli government in its reckless behavior towards civilian Palestinian population.
“We call on the international community, in particular the UN Security Council, to uphold its legal obligations to defend the international law and order as they relate to Palestine; to act in line with its legal and moral obligation to ensure accountability for these unchecked crimes that Israel, the occupying power, is carrying out with impunity; and to put an end to these atrocities, and to provide international protection for the Palestinian people.
“We call for the international protection of the Palestinian population including through dispatching of international protection force. We request the OIC General Secretariat to act immediately to establish an international independent Committee of Experts to investigate the crimes and massacres committed by the Israeli forces against the peaceful and unarmed demonstrators in the Gaza Strip, to determine the culpability of the Israeli officials and communicate the findings to relevant international bodies.
“We call upon the UN Security Council, the UN General Assembly, the UN Secretary General, UN Human Rights Council, the special rapporteurs and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to take necessary actions to form an international investigation committee into the recent atrocities in the Gaza Strip, and enable the committee to initiate field investigation, within a precise timeframe, and ensuring enacting a clear mechanism to determine the culpability of the Israeli officials with a view to ensuring justice for the victims and put an end to the impunity of the perpetrators.
“We call on the UN Security Council, the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council to uphold their responsibilities in this regard and invite all countries to mobilize their efforts to bring this issue to the agenda of the UN General Assembly, the UN Security Council, and the Human Rights Council urgently. We appreciate the role of the state of Kuwait as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and its immediate reaction to the bloody events in Gaza and its request to the Security Council for an emergency meeting on 15 May 2018, welcoming the Kuwaiti steps by proposing a draft resolution on the protection of civilians regretting the block from the United States for the press statement in response to those unfortunate events.
“We reaffirm the need to coordinate and work together with the international and regional organizations, including the Arab League, the European Union and the African Union on this issue. We reaffirm the centrality of the Palestinian cause and the status of Al-Quds Al-Sharif (Jerusalem) to the Muslim Ummah; renew our principled support for the Palestinian people in their pursuit to attain their inalienable national rights, including their right to self-determination and the establishment of their independent and sovereign Palestinian State on the borders of 4 June 1967, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital; and invite all countries to officially recognize the State of Palestine.
“We reaffirm our position that Al-Quds shall remain the eternal capital of Palestine and that the inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem neither alters the legal status of the occupied City, nor legitimizes its illegal annexation by Israel, the occupying power.
“We affirm support for the historical Hashemite Custodianship assumed by His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al-Hussain on Muslim and Christian holy sites in Al-Quds, which was reaffirmed by the agreement signed between His Majesty King Abdullah II and His Excellency Mahmud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine on 31 March 2013; and for the role of the Jordanian Department of Al-Quds and Al-Aqsa Mosque Islamic Waqf in preserving and defending Al-Haram Al-Quds Al-Sharif.”
The OIC leaders, according to the communique, praised the continuous efforts exerted by King Mohammad VI, of Morocco, the Chair of Al-Quds Committee, in defending the holy city and supporting the resilience of the Palestinian people. They applauded the efforts made by Bayt Mal Al-Quds Agency of Al-Quds Committee. They considers that any state that follows, accepts or acquiesces in the US Administration’s move or any similar step adopted by other countries is complicit in undermining international law and order.
They expressed determination to respond to these shameful actions with appropriate measures; and decided to take all necessary steps to prevent other countries from following the illegal US example by transferring their embassies to Jerusalem. In this regards, they condemned the relocation by Guatemala of its embassy to Jerusalem, and declared their determination to take the appropriate political, economic and other measures against countries which recognize the holy city as the capital of Israel or relocate their embassies thereto.
They mandated the OIC Secretariat to prepare recommendations on appropriate measures that can be implemented in this regard. They called on all OIC member states to openly condemn such action and to pursue all available legal and diplomatic avenues to defend Palestinian national rights from all hostile and illegal actions from the United States or any other party, and to support decisions adopted recently by the Palestinian leadership to advance the Palestinian rights.
They affirmed that countries running for international posts seeking the OIC’s support for their candidature will be assessed based on their positions regarding the Palestine question, in particular on Jerusalem. They called on the member states and the wider international community to ban imports from the illegal Israeli settlements and take measures against individuals and entities involved in or beneficiaries of the perpetuation of occupation and settlement regime. They also decided to take all possible measures and to pursue all possible political, legal and diplomatic avenues to defend the legitimate rights and aspirations of the Palestinian people against Israeli aggressions. – KUNA