OIC calls Palestine its central concern

OIC calls Palestine its central concern
Tue Dec 10, 2013 17:06:32

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has described the issue of Palestine as its “central” concern, calling on the international community to back the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

"It is incumbent upon us to continue our advocacy for the creation of a Palestinian state," said OIC chairman Mahmoud Ali Youssouf on Monday at the opening of a three-day conference of the Council of OIC Foreign Ministers in the capital of Guinea, Conakry.

“To this end,” he added, “it is for the international community to take measures to put an end to the Israeli occupation, the continuation of settlements on Palestinian land and abuses committed against the Palestinian people."

Established in 1969, the OIC is the second-largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations and has 57 member states spread over four continents. The body also has a permanent delegation to the UN.

The OIC works to "safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony."

Much of the international community regards the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in a war in 1967 and are thus subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied land.

On November 29, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Israel to stop the settlement activities on the occupied Palestinian territories, saying, “Settlements are in violation of international law and constitute obstacles to peace.”

On the same day, a report said the Israeli regime has increased the settlement construction by 130 percent so far this year in comparison to last year.

“At least 32,000 settler units have been built since the beginning of 2013, with seven percent of them built in the Jerusalem (al-Quds) settlements,” the Middle East Monitor publication quoted Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics as saying.

According to the report, Israeli Minister of Housing Uri Ariel has said that the illegal construction “will continue to rise at a rapid pace,” adding that the majority of Israeli ministers support it.


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