OIC Calls Emergency Meet on Al Aqsa and Palestine

SHAHID NAYEEM: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday May 11 comprising the Permanent Representatives of its 57 member states –49 of its member states are Muslim-majority countries with a collective population of 2 billion.

The meet called at the request of the State of Palestine, will discuss the escalating Israeli aggression in Al-Quds, including plans by the Israeli occupation authorities to forcefully evict scores of Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem.

Last week more than 68 families were evicted from Sheikh Jarrah, and their homes forcibly occupied.

On the wee hours of Monday, Israeli police stormed the Al Aqsa’s compound with heavy tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets firing at worshipers in the complex and inside Mosque spaces, the Middle East Eye reported.

At least 50 people have been hospitalized as the latest events in Jerusalem and the Al Aqsa mosque during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan make headlines and posts on social media.

The meeting will also discuss the ongoing attacks against Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, particularly at the Al-Aqsa Mosque. It will also discuss attacks against worshipers in the Mosque compound and denial of the compound access to the worshipers –as part of attempts to change the legal, historical and demographic status of the occupied city and isolate it from its Palestinian neighborhood.

“Palestine is outright theft. Illegal settlers have poured in from around the globe and killed and occupied with the total indirect encouragement of the US and other powers,” said a Gulf analyst.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan who was on a 3-day visit to Saudi Arabia, has asked the international community to take notice of Israel’s attack on Palestine during Ramadan.

Khan met with the OIC’s Secretary General in Jeddah and discussed the Muslim world situation including OIC-Pakistan cooperation. Earlier this week, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia signed several agreements including common understanding of geoeconomy and geopolitics in the region.

The two countries have historical ties bound by faith and bilateral strategic stances over several decades.

“Their latest togetherness amid the flux in the region is a welcome sign,” said a Saudi professional.

Both the countries do not recognize Israel until the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian issue, which some consider a flashpoint in the region.

In a joint statement, they reaffirmed their full support for all the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, especially their right to self determination and establishment of their independent state with pre-1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative and relevant UN resolutions, Al Bilad English Daily reported.