Palestinian FM calls for urgent OIC meet on Jerusalem

Al-Maliki said that the recent closure of the Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israel was also unprecedented, referring to a spate of recent violations by extremist Jewish settlers against the iconic house of worship

Palestinian FM calls for urgent OIC meet on Jerusalem

World Bulletin/News Desk

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki on Wednesday called for an emergency summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to discuss recent "dangerous" developments in Jerusalem and continued Israeli violations against the Al-Aqsa Mosque

"The situation in Jerusalem is unprecedentedly dangerous," al-Maliki said at an OIC meeting in Moroccan capital Rabat.

He said the recent closure of the Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israel was also unprecedented, referring to a spate of recent violations by extremist Jewish settlers against the iconic house of worship.

Al-Maliki said such developments invited intervention by Arab and Islamic countries and the international community with a view to protecting Jerusalem and stop violations against the city's holy sites.

He said Israel's current policies regarding the flashpoint city would only serve to encourage more violence and tension.

Al-Maliki said the recent spate of violations were part of a larger plan to "Judaize" Jerusalem and take over the precincts of the Al-Aqsa Mosque to allow Jewish worshippers to pray in the mosque complex.

Moroccan Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar, for his part, called on the international community to intervene to stop what he called "Israeli provocations" against Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.

He said that repeated Israeli violations in Jerusalem's Old City had left Muslims around the world with a feeling of injustice.

Earlier Wednesday, OIC chief Iyad Madani called on the UN Security Council to take urgent action to stop Israeli "aggression" in occupied East Jerusalem.

"The UN Security Council should… issue a resolution to end the Israeli occupation [of Palestinian land] in accordance with a specific timeframe," Madani said in Rabat, where the OIC's Jerusalem committee is currently convening.

"The [security] council's five permanent member states bear political and legal responsibility for standing up to Israeli arrogance," he added.

Madani also criticized the U.S. for vetoing any resolution deemed unfavorable to Israel.

"The United States cannot be a party [to the conflict] and a mediator at the same time," he asserted.

Madani went on to say that the OIC was considering an emergency Islamic summit to express support for the Palestinian people and discuss means of protecting the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Jerusalem Committee was created by the Jeddah-based OIC in 1975 with the aim of protecting the historic city's Islamic and Arab character from Israel's ongoing "Judaization" campaign.

The committee convened in Rabat on Wednesday to discuss recent Israeli "escalations" in the city and means of assisting the city's Palestinian residents.

Tension has run high in the region since late last month, when Israeli authorities temporarily closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex after an extremist Jewish rabbi was injured in a drive-by shooting in West Jerusalem.

Unrest mounted further after Israeli forces killed a young Palestinian man suspected of shooting the rabbi in a raid on his East Jerusalem home.

Further aggravating the situation, several Israeli MPs have forced their way into the Al-Aqsa complex in recent weeks, drawing the ire of Muslim worshippers and official condemnation from Arab and Muslim countries.

At least two Israelis – one police officer and one settler – have been killed and several others injured within the past week in attacks by Palestinians.

For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move never recognized by the international community.

In September 2000, a visit to Al-Aqsa by controversial Israeli politician Ariel Sharon sparked what later became known as the "Second Intifada," a popular uprising against Israel's decades-long occupation in which thousands of Palestinians were killed.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Kasım 2014, 09:56

Muhammed Öylek