SHAHID NAYEEM, JEDDAH — Saudi Arabia led the Islamic world’s condemnation of Israeli attacks on Palestinian territories which are causing deaths and destruction –at an emergency meet of foreign ministers from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states.
Chairing the meeting to discuss Israeli attacks in Palestine, especially in Jerusalem, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan accused Israel of committing flagrant violations against the Palestinians, calling for an immediate end to the Israeli escalation in Palestine.
“Saudi Arabia announces its total rejection and strong condemnation of the provocative Israeli plans or measures aimed at forcibly evicting Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem and all military actions that have caused civilian deaths, including innocent children and women, he said.
The Saudi FM said Israeli actions undermine the prospects of resuming the peace process and the means for implementing the Arab Peace Initiative as well as all international efforts aimed at achieving security, safety and stability in the region.
“Saudi Arabia on behalf of the OIC, calls on the international community and all international human rights bodies and organizations to shoulder their responsibilities in addressing the issue,” said Prince Faisal stressing that the dangerous escalation violates all international norms and regulations, adding that “preserving the sanctity of Jerusalem and the lives of the innocent people are the responsibility of all of us.”
In this regard, “the Kingdom calls on the international community to take urgent action to immediately stop military operations, bring in aid and treat the wounded, and work to revive negotiations based on adherence to peace on the basis of the two-state solution”, the Saudi foreign minister added.
Prince Faisal also said Saudi Arabia supports all efforts aimed at a ceasefire, including those of Egypt and Jordan.
Prince Faisal added that Saudi Arabia wishes to confirm its continued support for the Palestinian people stemming from its deep belief in the importance of its just cause, and calls once again for the need for international efforts to join hands and intensify them to stop the dangerous escalation immediately.
Prince Faisal said: “We are meeting today in light of critical Palestinian circumstances to exchange opinion, advice and measures to confront the Israeli attacks in the Palestinian territories, especially in Jerusalem, and the aggressive acts carried out by Israel in the vicinity of the Al-Aqsa Mosque violating its sanctity.”
Speaking after the Saudi foreign minister, OIC Secretary-General Yousef Bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen denounced the Israeli actions.
He said that evicting the Palestinians from their homes and denying them their legitimate rights does not serve the peace process, but rather fuels sincere attempts to reach a just, comprehensive and lasting solution.
Al-Othaimeen affirmed the OIC’s solidarity with the Palestinian people, and backed the establishment of their state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, according to the outcomes of the Arab Peace Initiative and the UN resolutions based on the two-state solution.
Speaking at the meeting, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki called on the foreign ministers of the OIC to form an international front to deal vigorously with the Israeli crimes and escalation against the Palestinian people, including action in the UN Security Council, the United Nations General Assembly, and the Human Rights Council.
AL-Maliki termed the Israeli actions as an assault on Arabs, Muslims and international norms.
The Palestinian minister said: “We are open to working with you and the international community in order to support the steadfastness of our people, thwart a conspiracy to undermine their rights, and to activate UN decisions, decisions of the OIC and joint action through the organization’s ambassadors, in addition to the need for rapid action by proposed by Morocco.”
Meanwhile, Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmed Nasser A-Sabah said Israel’s crimes in East Jerusalem are a violation of all international humanitarian laws.
Israeli escalation threatens the security and stability of the region, he added.
Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi condemned Israel’s forced eviction of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem, saying it constitutes a “war crime.”