UNITED NATIONS, May 11 (APP):Ambassadors of member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Monday unequivocally condemned the recent use of “brutal” force by the Israeli forces against Palestinians in East Jerusalem, and vowed to draw world community’s attention to the atrocities.
At the an urgent meeting, held in New York following the attacks against worshippers around the Al-Aqsa Mosque as also the escalation of clashes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood and Gaza, the OIC ambassadors called the assaults against Palestinians against all humanitarian norms and human rights laws, especially in the holy month of Ramadan.
Alarms were particularly raised that residents of Sheikh Jarrah who lived in that neighborhood for decades were facing the threat of forced eviction, diplomats said.
Tensions in East Jerusalem have soared recently, with Palestinians complaining about oppressive Israeli restrictions during Ramadan.
The violence on last Friday, described as some of the worst seen in Jerusalem for many years, saw some 300 Palestinians injured in clashes following Israeli assault in the Haram Al-Sharif compound. On Saturday and Sunday clashes continued in East Jerusalem, ahead of a planned march by an Israeli group through the Old City.
The OIC envoys prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured, and reiterated steadfast support to the Palestinian cause, and once again urged the international community to take prompt action to protect the Palestinian people.
In this regard, Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Munir Akram’s proposal for issuing a joint statement deploring the Israeli actions against Palestinians was unanimously endorsed by the OIC meeting.
Also approved was a proposal from Ambassadors of Turkey and Saudi Arabia for mobilizing international support to convene a special session of the General Assembly on the situation.
A core group of member states, which includes Pakistan, has been established to take lead on this issue at the UN.
In his remarks, Ambassador Akram underscored the need for “unequivocal and strong” solidarity with all Palestinians.
He also underscored the need for focusing international community’s attention to the Israeli violations of the historic and legal status quo at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and to stop these crimes against the Palestinian people and Muslim holy sites and to ensure the protection they need under international law
Ambassador Akram reiterated Pakistan’s unwavering commitment to a two-state solution in accordance with the relevant United Nations and OIC resolutions, with the pre-1967 borders and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as the capital of a viable, independent and contiguous Palestinian State.
On Sunday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres and other senior UN officials expressed their deep concern over confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in East Jerusalem.
The spokesperson Guterres, Stephane Dujarric, said in a statement Sunday evening that Israeli authorities must exercise maximum restraint and respect the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.
“All leaders have a responsibility to act against extremists and to speak out against all acts of violence and incitement”, the statement said.
“The Secretary-General reiterates his commitment, including through the Middle East Quartet, to supporting Palestinians and Israelis to resolve the conflict on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions, international law and bilateral agreements”
On Monday in New York, the Security Council meet behind closed doors to receive a briefing from the UN Special Coordinator for the region, Tor Wennesland.