An emergency foreign ministers’ meeting has been held Sunday, September 15th, by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), over the Israeli escalation announced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with his pre-election pledge to annex the regions of the Jordan Valley, the Northern Dead Sea, and the settlements in the West Bank.
The OIC considered this declaration to be a new aggression over the rights of the Palestinian people, and a blatant violation of the United Nations charter, the principles of international law, and the relevant UN resolutions including Security Council resolutions No. 242 and 338.
"At the request of Saudi Arabia, the organisation will hold an emergency meeting on Sunday at the level of foreign ministers in Jeddah to discuss the serious Israeli escalation," the 57-member pan-Islamic body said on Twitter on Wednesday September 11th.
Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, Ibrahim Al-Assaf, chair of the 14th Islamic Summit, called on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities in the face of Israeli violations against the Palestinian people.
“We deeply condemn and categorically reject the statements of the Israeli Prime Minister regarding the annexation of lands from the occupied West Bank,” Al-Assaf remarked, “Riyadh is required before the Islamic peoples to take all measures to address the Israeli escalation.”
Al-Assaf concluded: “any efforts that do not guarantee that the Palestinian people enjoy their rights are incomplete and will not lead to peace as we reiterate to emphasise adhering to peace as a strategic option.”
For his part, the secretary-general of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, strongly condemned the Israeli aggression and the violation of Security Council resolutions. He stated that Israel’s recklessness over international treaties meant that more efforts were needed to be exerted, and that interfaith dialogue also needed to be initiated, so as to bring to an end to the occupation, as well as to the sufferings of the Palestinian people.
Al-Othaimeen pointed out: “the Israeli Prime Minister's recent announcement is irresponsible and reflects a systematic settlement policy. There will be no peace in the Middle East without ensuring a just solution to the Palestinian issue.”
Foreign Affairs Minister of the Palestinian National Authority, Riyad al-Maliki, also remarked that Jordan had harnessed all its political and diplomatic energies, to confront Israeli colonial practices, as Israel continued to commit crimes and violations daily against Palestinians.
Al-Maliki said: “we appreciate the leading role of Saudi Arabia in the immediate call for this extraordinary meeting.”
The Jordan Valley accounts for around one-third of the West Bank, which Israel occupied in the 1967 Six-Day War, in a move never recognised by the international community.
Around 65,000 Palestinians and 11,000 Israeli settlers live in the Jordan Valley, and northern Dead Sea area. In addition, there is the main Palestinian city of Jericho, with around 28 villages and smaller Bedouin communities.