Ankara – The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) strongly condemned on Tuesday recent provocative acts by the Israeli occupation authorities at the al-Aqsa Mosque.
The OIC executive committee, in a statement issued at the conclusion of its extraordinary meeting at the level of foreign ministers in Istanbul, called on the international community to address the Israeli violations and urged Islamic countries and various institutions, organizations and individuals to support the Jerusalemites in the face of the occupation.
In a press conference following the meeting, OIC Secretary General Yousef Al-Othaimeen thanked countries that have provided support to Palestinians during al-Aqsa crisis, which erupted last month.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said, in a speech at the opening session, that the Kingdom “puts the Palestinian issue at the forefront of its concerns and its stance will always be based on the principles of comprehensive peace and on the basis of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.”
He stressed that the Palestinians have the right to establish their own independent state, with Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with all the relevant international laws and the Arab Peace Initiative, which was welcomed by the international community.
Al-Jubeir reiterated that Israel’s closure of the al-Aqsa Mosque Compound constituted a flagrant violation against Muslims around the world and represented a dangerous development that would lead to further complications in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Al-Othaimeen called on OIC member states and financial and private institutions to provide all kinds of assistance to the people of Israeli-occupied Jerusalem.
He noted that the Organization, through the Islamic Development Bank Group, was implementing projects covering all aspects of social and economic development in Palestine.
Speaking at the meeting, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called on Israel to respect the rights of Muslims at al Aqsa.
“Israel took a step in the right direction. Our hope is that Israel will adopt an attitude that will fully take into account the sensitivities of Muslims towards al-Aqsa from now on,” he stated.
Cavusoglu added it was time that Muslim world united in supporting Palestinians.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki asked OIC members to demand the freedom of the Palestinian people and the building of its economic and social system on its territories.
He also said that Israel’s move to remove metal detectors at the entrance of the al-Aqsa Compound was a “small victory in the long battle for freedom”.
The installation of the detectors last month sparked a wave of violence across Palestinian territories in protest against what was perceived as an insult to Muslims and their right to access the holy site. They were removed within days, but tensions remain high.
“[Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu will try again to impose his status quo and we should prepare for the next round which could come very soon,” Malki added.