OIC reaffirms full solidarity with Palestine

Istanbul communique condemns in strongest terms criminal actions of Israeli occupation forces against Palestinians

19.05.2018 - Update : 19.05.2018
OIC reaffirms full solidarity with Palestine

By Burcu Arik and Ali Abo Rezeg


Member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Friday issued a final declaration following an extraordinary Islamic summit conference in Istanbul in response to "the grave developments" in Palestine.

According to the final communique, the leaders from Islamic countries reviewed the alarming situation and growing tensions in the occupied territory of the state of Palestine and expressed their profound appreciation of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for calling for convening and hosting "this extraordinary Islamic Summit on an issue of such importance for Ummah".

Commending the resolutions on the cause of Palestine and al-Quds Al-Sharif, the capital of the state of Palestine, adopted by the 45th Session of Council of Foreign Ministers on 5-6 May 2018 in Dhaka, the OIC declaration also welcomed resolutions adopted on Palestine and Al-Quds al-Sharif by the 29th Arab League Summit in Dhahran and appreciated by naming it as “Al-Quds Summit” by the Custodian of Islam’s two holy mosques King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.

The declaration emphasized that "the central mission and raison d'etre of the OIC is protecting the City of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, its historic and legal status, its spiritual place, and to take all necessary measures to put an end to the violations committed by Israel and any party that supports this regime and its colonial and racist policies."

Proceeding from the historical, moral and legal responsibility placed on the Muslim Ummah and in full solidarity with Palestine and its people, the declaration also condemned in the strongest terms the criminal actions of Israeli forces against the Palestinian people.

The OIC states also held "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 2,700 others on 14 May."

In the declaration, the OIC said:

- Declare that these acts constitute savage crimes committed by Israeli forces with the backing of the U.S. 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 U.S. 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.

- 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.

- Call for the international protection of the Palestinian population, including through dispatching of international protection force.

- 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.

- 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.

- 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.

- 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 May 15, 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.

- 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.

- Reaffirm the centrality of the Palestinian cause and the status of Al-Quds Al-Sharif 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 June 4, 1967, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital; and invite all countries to officially recognize the State of Palestine.

- Reiterate our rejection of the illegal decision of the president of the United States to recognize Al-Quds as the so-called capital of Israel, the occupying power; reject it as legally null and void and violation of international legitimacy resolutions; consider it an assault on the historical, legal, natural and national rights of the Palestinian people and a deliberate attempt to undermine all peace prospects, threatening international peace and security.

- Condemn the inauguration of the U.S. Embassy in Al-Quds and consider it an act of provocation and hostility against the Muslim Ummah, Palestinian national rights and flagrant violations of international law as well as an assault on the international order, including the UN, that further emboldens Israel, the occupying power, to step up its illegal and criminal actions against the Palestinian people.

- Reaffirm our position that Al-Quds shall remain the eternal capital of Palestine and that the inauguration of the U.S. Embassy in Al Quds neither alters the legal status of the occupied City, nor legitimizes its illegal annexation by Israel, the occupying power.

- 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 March 31, 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.

- Praise the continuous efforts exerted by his Majesty King Mohammad VI King of Morocco, Chair of al-Quds Committee, in defending the holy city and supporting the resilience of the Palestinian people, and applaud efforts made by Bayt Mal al-Quds Agency of al-Quds Committee.

- Consider that any state that follows, accepts or acquiesces in the U.S. Administration’s move or any similar step adopted by other countries is complicit in undermining international law and order; express our determination to respond to these shameful actions with appropriate measures; and decide to take all necessary steps to prevent other countries from following the illegal U.S. example by transferring their embassies to Al-Quds; and in this regards condemns the relocation by Guatemala of its embassy to Al-Quds, and declare our determination to take the appropriate political, economic and other measures against countries which recognize Al-Quds as the capital of Israel or relocate their embassies thereto.

- Mandate the General Secretariat to prepare recommendations on appropriate measures that can be implemented in this regard.

- Call upon all 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.

- Affirm 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.

- Insist on the OIC member states to be responsive to OIC resolutions on the Palestinian cause and to commit to voting for our common cause, and to taking actions that would contribute to defending this just cause, and call for necessary action to be taken against those failing to comply.

- Request member states, the OIC General Secretariat and the OIC subsidiary organs and specialized and affiliated institutions to take the necessary measures to apply the economic restriction to countries, officials, parliaments, companies or individuals who recognize the annexation of Al-Quds by Israel, the occupying power, and follow the decision of the U.S. Administration to move its embassy to Al-Quds al-Sharif, or deal with any measures related to the consecration of Israeli colonization of the occupied Palestinian.

- Call on member states and the wider international community to ban the products of the illegal Israeli settlements from entering their markets, take measures against individuals and entities involved in or beneficiaries of the perpetuation of occupation and settlement regime.

- Decide to take all available measures and to pursue all possible political, legal and diplomatic avenues to defend the legitimate rights and aspirations of the Palestinian people from Israel’s entrenched regime of colonization and aggression as well as states that defend and sponsor this regime of oppression;

- Demand that the United States to adhere to the international legitimacy resolutions of the city of al Quds which represents an integral part of the Palestinian Territory occupied in 1967, and invite it to urge Israel, the occupying power, to stop its colonial plans and serious violations that constitute a threat to peace and security in the region and the entire world.

- Urge the U.S to stand against the Israeli colonial occupation and to be impartial in achieving the comprehensive peace based on relevant UN resolutions, the international law, the peace process terms of reference, the Arab Peace Initiative and the principle of two-state solution, at all times as part of collective multilateral efforts.

- Reaffirm our adherence to all resolutions adopted by the regular and extraordinary sessions of the Islamic Summit on the Cause of Palestine and the City of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, in particular the Fifth Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Summit Conference held in Jakarta on 6 March 2016 and the Extraordinary Islamic Summit Conference on Al-Quds Al-Sharif held in Istanbul on 13 December 2017, and call on the Member States to ensure respect to these resolutions in their daily discourses and foreign policy agenda, especially in their dealing with counterparts in other parts of the world and at the international organizations.

- Reiterate that we will continue to act in line with international law and cooperate with states that share our values to defend the international law and international system, and reaffirm our unwavering commitment to the two-state solution, which is the only acceptable international solution in the context of self-determination, and international law and existing UN resolutions-in accordance with the international terms of reference and the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative endorsed by the Islamic Extraordinary Summit in 2005 in Makkah; support in this regard the Palestinian political initiative as presented by H.E. Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine, before the Security Council on the 20 February 2018.

- Stress our determination to allocate all necessary resources to resist any attempt to change the Islamic and Christian identity – or falsify the history of –the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, including by working together with UNESCO which has designated The Old City of Jerusalem and Its Walls as a World Heritage, and condemn in this regard the continuing Israeli occupation aimed at changing the historical status quo of Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound as well as other religious and holy sites in the city of Al-Quds, including, through the continuing raids by Israeli occupation forces and permitting Israeli terrorist settler groups to desecrate the holy Mosque Compound on daily basis.

- Call for the implementation of previous OIC resolutions regarding financing the multi-sectoral strategic plan on Al-Quds, as a framework for determining the priorities of Islamic financing for the City of Al-Quds Al-Sharif; call also on Member States to support the needs of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, its institutions and people in line with the revised strategic plan 2018-2022 and to support the projects included therein, including in particular supporting the educational sector, and mandate the General Secretariat to follow up on the implementation of this plan in coordination with the State of Palestine.

- Underline the special importance of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which provides vital services to more than 5.3 million Palestinian refugees, and urge the Member States to increase their support to UNRWA’s initiatives to maintain its sustainable budget.

- Welcome the establishment of a Developmental Waqf Fund, as concluded in the preliminary study submitted by the Islamic Development Bank, as a means of further supporting the Palestinian refugees and host countries, enhancing the collective support of the Member States and ensuring the consistent and sustainable funding of the UNRWA operations in the field of humanitarian relief, development and social protection and urge the Member States to expedite the operationalization of the Developmental Waqf Fund.

- Reiterate our support for the inalienable right of the Palestine refugees to return to their homes, in line with UN General Assembly resolution 194; reaffirm also the need to recognize the crimes of ethnic cleansing and murder against the Palestinian people during the NAKBA, which took place seventy years ago, as a necessary first step to achieving justice and peace.

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