OIC Group at UN issues statement on Occupied State of Palestine

NEW YORK: The OIC Group at the United Nations in New York has expressed its strong condemnation of the continuing grave breaches and violations of international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, by Israel.

The group, which met in New York on Tuesday at Ambassadorial level, issued a statement after considering the situation in the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem.

In its statement, the group condemned in particular the large-scale offensive assault launched by Israel against the Palestinian people following the incident in which three Israeli settlers went missing while they were hitchhiking from the illegal settlement of Kfar Etzion, which is located between Jerusalem and Al-Khalil (Hebron), on June 13th.

The group also condemned the measures of collective punishment, such as the detention of over 450 Palestinians, including elected Members of the Palestinian Legislative Council and Palestinians who were previously released in a prisoner agreement swap in 2011. It also condemned Israel s ban on travel for the 800,000 Palestinians residing in Al-Khalil, the largest Palestinian Governorate.

The OIC Group called for the immediate cessation of all acts of aggression and collective punishment against the Palestinian people by the Israeli Authorities. It also called upon Israel to respect its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention, in particular its responsibility to protect the Palestinian people under its occupation. In absence of this protection, the group demanded that the international community should undertake appropriate measures to ensure the protection of the Palestinian civilian population.

The group, in particular, called on the UN Security Council to shoulder its responsibility in maintaining international peace and security and to take all necessary measures to bring Israel s onslaught against the Palestinian people to an end and to ensure compliance if Israel remains defiant of international law.

The OIC Group called on the international community to force the occupying power to comply with all of its legal obligations regarding its treatment of all Palestinian prisoners and detainees, including children. It further called for their immediate release along with all other Palestinians being unlawfully and arbitrarily imprisoned and detained.

The group expressed its strong condemnation of continued Israeli provocations and violations in Occupied East Jerusalem, and particularly at Al-Haram Al-Sharif, which houses the Holy Mosque of Al-Aqsa. In this regard, Israeli extremists, among them Government officials, have recently escalated their incitement regarding Al-Haram Al-Sharif and repeatedly breached the sanctity of the compound, including repeated violent storming of the compound by occupying forces, heightening tensions and stirring religious sentiments.

The group said that it considered all such acts of aggression and incitement, which constitute a direct provocation of Muslims worldwide, a flagrant violation of relevant United Nations resolutions and international covenants, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, and an affront to the international community s repeated calls for a cessation of illegal Israeli policies in the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem.

At the end of the statement, the OIC Group expressed its full support and solidarity with the Palestinian people in their endeavour to regain their legitimate and inalienable national rights, including their right to self-determination, sovereignty and independence for their State in the territory occupied since 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and to find a just solution for the plight of Palestine refugees in line with United Nations Resolution No.194.