Istanbul (IINA) � The foreign ministers of the member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) reaffirmed the centrality of the Palestinian cause and the religious and spiritual character of Jerusalem for the entire Muslim Ummah and its determination to defend it from all threats caused by the Israeli occupation authorities.
This was stated in the final communique of the Open-Ended Extraordinary Meeting of the OIC Executive Committee at the Level of Foreign Ministers on Jerusalem and the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, held in Istanbul, Turkey, on Tuesday. The following is the full text of the meeting’s final communique.
Proceeding from the principles and objectives enshrined in the Charter of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and referring to the resolutions of the OIC on the cause of Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif (East Jerusalem), the Committee,
Emphasizes the exemplary religious tolerance established throughout centuries under Islamic rule in Al-Quds Al-Sharif,
Reiterates the fact that Al-Haram Al-Sharif, being the first Qibla of Islam and one of its three most sacred Masjids, is a sanctuary that belongs to Islam,
Welcomes UNESCO World Heritage Committee resolution on the Old City and City Walls of Al-Quds,
Welcomes the selection of Al-Quds Al-Sharif as the OIC Youth Capital for 2018;
Reaffirms the centrality of the Cause of Palestine and the religious and spiritual character of the City of Al Quds Al Sharif for the entire Muslim Ummah and its determination to defend it from all threats caused by the colonial Israeli occupation; emphasizes the Arab and Islamic character of Al Quds Al Sharif (East Jerusalem), capital of the State of Palestine; and affirms its rejection of any attempts susceptible to prejudice the Palestinian right to full sovereignty over the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif (East Jerusalem) as the Capital of the State of Palestine;
Strongly condemns Israel’s recent provocative actions, including the closure of the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound (Al-Haram Al-Sharif) and the banning of Palestinian Muslims and Christians from their natural right to worship in the holy sites in Al Quds Al Sharif, through employing collective punishment measures and the use of lethal and excessive force against peaceful Palestinian worshipers, which led to the killing and injuring of many Palestinians in Al-Quds Al-Sharif;
Also condemns the targeting of journalists and medical staff, by Israeli occupation forces, especially in Al Quds Al Sharif, as well as the brutal and heavy-handed measures against worshipers who entered Al Haram Al Sharif, and considers these assaults and incitement against these protected persons to be part of the regime of oppression the colonial occupation employs to maintain its occupation; urges the international community to hold Israel accountable for its crimes against the Palestinian people;
Unequivocally condemns recent premeditated Israeli attempts to alter the historic status quo in Al Quds Al Sharif, including the installation of metal detectors and cameras in and around Al Haram Al Sharif, and reiterates in this regard rejection of actions taken by occupying forces, including removing trees and digging in Bab Al-Asbat (Lions Gate); and warns that any similar steps in the future would be unacceptable and illegal and shall be confronted by the Organization;
Also unequivocally rejects the illegal and arbitrary colonial practices and measures in the City of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, including building illegal settlements, denying Muslim and Christian Palestinians access to holy places, prejudicing the sanctity and status of holy sites, including illegal digs and excavations under the Old City, including Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound (Al-Haram Al-Sharif), which threaten the structural integrity of homes and holy sites in the sacred City and cause the forcible displacement of its Palestinian inhabitants;
Rejects and condemns attempts by Israel to legislate altering the demographic composition in Al Quds Al Sharif, particularly a proposed law to change the boundaries of Al Quds Sharif by removing large Palestinian neighborhood and replacing them with illegal Israeli settlements, as well as a proposed law making ending the occupation of Al Quds Al Sharif practically impossible; and reiterates in this regard that any measure and/or legislation Israel adopts in relation to Al Quds Al Sharif are illegal, null and void under international law and several relevant United Nations resolutions, including Security Council resolutions;
Salutes the steadfastness and strength of Palestinian people in Jerusalem, who confronted the illegal Israeli measures with mass peaceful protests and prayers; reiterates its absolute support and admiration to the strength and perseverance of the Palestinian people, who are protecting Al Quds Al Sharif on behalf of the Ummah;
Salutes also, in this regard, the support and efforts exerted by the Palestinian people under the leadership of his Excellency President Mahmoud Abbas in the face of the recent illegal Israeli measures;
Thanks in this context, the Republic of Turkey, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kingdom of Morocco for their principled and longstanding and proactive support; also appreciates and commends the efforts being made by other leaders of Member States in supporting the Palestinian cause and in countering the illegal actions by Israel, the occupying power, in Al-Quds Al-Sharif;
Recognizes and commends the efforts of His Majesty King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, the Custodian of Muslim and Christian Holy Sites in Jerusalem, to protect Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif and to end all unilateral and unlawful Israeli measures that violate international law and purport to alter the historical and legal status quo in the Holy Sites.
Welcomes the statement made on 22 July 2017 by the President of Turkey, H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the Chair of the Islamic Summit and profoundly appreciates his invaluable efforts for the removal of the restrictions imposed on Al Aqsa Mosque;
Appreciates the efforts of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for the contacts with world leaders and for making tireless endeavors to ensure that Al-Aqsa Mosque is not closed to Muslims, that they are not prevented from offering their prayers in the Mosque and for the removal of the restrictions imposed on entering the Mosque, which thankfully succeeded in a manner that restored normalcy and tranquility for worshipers, thereby preserving their dignity and security;
Commends the efforts of the His Majesty King Mohamed VI, King of the Kingdom of Morocco, in his capacity as Chairman of Al-Quds Committee, particularly through the letter he addressed to the United Nations Secretary General, H.E. Mr. Antonio Guterres on the systematic aggression in Al-Quds Al-Sharif and the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and the need to return to the status quo.
Reiterates that these illegal and provocative Israeli measures and all other restrictions imposed by Israel, the occupying power, violate the legal and historical status quo and international law, constitute a blatant aggression against holy sites in Al Quds Al Sharif and the Palestinian people’s national and natural rights and reflect the occupying Power’s intent to divide Al Haram Al Sharif temporally and spatially;
Expresses grave concern over the persistent public statements by senior members of the Israeli government that incite religious sensitivities, feed tension, and incite violence, and the possible catastrophic effects of these irresponsible policies;
Determines that the rapidly deteriorating situation on the ground was provoked and is sustained by calculated and premeditated actions by the occupying Power, which implemented additional illegal policies and practices that are part of its colonial occupation of the State of Palestine, which aim to make this occupation irreversible, while ensuring the violent subjugation of the Palestinian people with impunity;
Condemns all illegal policies and practices and colonial activities by Israel, the occupying Power, particularly settlement in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem as well as the illegal and inhuman blockade on Gaza, and regrets that the current Israeli government is neither committed to peace nor interested in the two-state solution, making its policies and actions the most dangerous threat to the prospects of peace, which must be confronted;
Supports the steps announced by H. E. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine in response to this premeditated and calculated Israeli escalation, including the suspension of all official contacts with the Israeli government until it reverses its illegal steps and acts responsibly;
Welcomes the resolution adopted by the extraordinary meeting of the Ministerial Council of the League of Arab States, which was held on the 27th of July, upon the request of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Chair of the League of Arab States Summit;
Urges the International Community to undertake necessary efforts to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting peace, in accordance with the internationally recognized basis of the two-state solution, including international law, the relevant United Nation resolutions and the Arab Peace initiative achieving without delay an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967;
Calls on member states to uphold their responsibilities towards the Cause of Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif, including by:
1. Working with the international community at all levels, including the UN Security Council, in order to ensure protection for the Palestinian people, especially in Al-Quds Al-Sharif, and put an end to all illegal practices of the occupation, which must be made to scrupulously abide by its obligations under international law;
2. Supporting the request of H.E. Mahmoud Abbas, the President of Palestine to the UN Secretary General on 2014 to put Palestine under the international protection system, in particular the area of Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, while respecting its historical and legal status quo;
3. Extending all possible forms of support that would help hold Israel accountable for its crimes and protect the Palestinian people, their territory and property;
4. Opposing and responding to attempts by some states to legislate recognition and/or support of Israel’s illegal occupation of Al-Quds Al-Sharif;
5. Providing urgent assistance to the Palestinian people in order to alleviate their suffering and support their steadfastness;
6. Taking practical and effective measures to ensure a complete ban of all settlement products from their markets as well as measures to ensure that companies profiteering from the illegal occupation of Palestine are denied access to OIC Member States;
7. Referring to Jakarta Declaration adopted at the 2016 OIC Extraordinary Summit on Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif, and in this regard requesting the OIC Secretariat to produce an updated and credible list of products of illegal Israeli settlements as a common reference for the OIC Member States in implementing relevant Resolutions of the Council of Foreign Ministers;
8. Responding to cynical and illegitimate attempts to adopt legislation that criminalize freedom of expression in relation to opposing and confronting the illegal Israeli occupation.
9. Calling on relevant UN Organs including the United Nations Human Rights Council to address the recent crisis in Al-Aqsa Compound;
Calls on the international community to uphold their individual and collective legal responsibilities, including by:
1. Adopting a clear and firm position, in conformity with international law and United Nations resolutions, rejecting the illegal and irresponsible Israeli measures to alter the historical and legal status quo in occupied East Jerusalem as well as the demographic and cultural composition of the city through its illegal colonial settlement construction;
2. Desisting from any activities or statements that might support or encourage Israel, the occupying power, to continue its violations and pursue its illegal colonization and annexation of Al-Quds Al-Sharif (East Jerusalem), including any such encouragement through the transfer of their diplomatic missions to the city or the holding of any official meetings there;
3. Assuming their standing legal and moral obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, to confront and stop the belligerent Israeli violations of international law;
4. Taking practical and effective measures to ensure that companies and persons contributing to the continuation of the settlement regime on the territory of the State of Palestine are held accountable for their actions in accordance with international law.
5. Taking all necessary steps, at the state and international levels, to hold Israel accountable for its gross violations against Palestinian rights and lives as well as international law, including international humanitarian law;
Decides to stay seized of the matter.
The meeting condemned in the strongest terms the Houthi and Saleh militias and those who support and provide them with arms, ammunition and missiles to target Makkah al Mukarramah for the second time on 27 July 2017 as an aggression against the sacredness of holy places in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a provocation of the sensibilities of Muslims all over the world, and an evidence of their rejection to abide by the will and decisions of the international community. This heinous aggression attempt against Makkah, once again, after the first attempt in October last year proves without doubt the insistence of the Houthi and Saleh militias on targeting holy sites in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in implementation of conspiratorial plans against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its citizens and residents and a futile attempt to jeopardize the Hajj season. The meeting considers it an aggression against all Muslims everywhere in the world, in view of the holiness of the sacred city being the cradle of revelation and the Qibla of Muslims.
Expresses gratitude and appreciation to the Government of the Republic of Turkey for hosting the open-ended Extraordinary Meeting of the Executive Committee of the OIC.
Source: International Islamic News Agency