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Monday May 17 2021
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Situation in Palestine matter of grave concern: OIC ambassador to EU Ismat Jahan

Ambassador of OIC to European Union Ismat Jahan. Photo: File.

BRUSSELS: The Head of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to the European Union Ismat Jahan on Monday said that the current situation in Palestine is a matter of "grave concern."

"The ongoing violence and the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, is grave and a matter of deep concern to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. The OIC has remained seized with the matter since the very outset," said Jahan.

Speaking about the practical steps taken by the OIC to stop Israeli’s bombings on civilians in Palestine, particularly children, Jahan said that the body has discussed the ongoing situation, both at an ambassadorial level on May 11 as well as at a foreign ministerial level of the OIC Executive Committee on May 16 May.

"The OIC has condemned in strongest terms the repeated attacks by the Israeli occupation authorities against the Palestinian people in Al-Quds Al-Shareef and the entire occupied territories of the State of Palestine, especially the bombardment targeting and killing civilians in the blockaded Gaza strip, said Jahan.

The OIC has been consistent in its support for the Palestinian people for their resilience and historic stand in the face of Israeli aggression and occupation, she added. 

She said that during the virtual meeting of the foreign ministers of the OIC's Executive Committee, held upon the request of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia — the Chair of the Islamic Summit — on May 16, the mission reiterated its strong condemnation of the attacks launched by Israel against the Palestinian people and their land and holy sites. 

The ministers categorically deplored the forced eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem, the ongoing illegal Israeli settlement and the growing attack on Gaza, which has already killed and injured hundreds and caused widespread destruction of civilian properties, said Jahan.

"These acts are in clear flagrant violation of international human rights and humanitarian laws as well as the relevant UNSC resolutions. The OIC urges that these illegal measures must be challenged at all levels," she said.

Answering a question regarding how the European Union is blaming Palestinian organisations for violence, Jahan said that the OIC ministers have demanded a stop to all violations being carried out by Israel.

She said that in this regard, the ministers have called upon the international community to abide by its collective commitments and to take all measures to stop the deterioration on the ground and the ongoing Israeli aggression on the Palestinian people. 

"The ministers have also urged international legal action through specialised international courts and various United Nations agencies to compel Israel to pay the necessary material and moral reparations for the damages done to the Palestinian infrastructure as well as public and private properties."

The OIC was formed in 1969 in response to an Israeli arson attack on the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. It thus remains a historical, moral, and legal responsibility of the Islamic Ummah and the Organisation to uphold the noble cause of Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Shareef which is clearly stipulated in the OIC's Charter.