Organization of Islamic Cooperation rejects Netanyahu annexation pledge

The emergency meeting of OIC foreign ministers was called at the request of Saudi Arabia. (AFP)

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Sunday expressed its “total rejection” of the Israeli prime minister’s pre-election pledge to annex part of the occupied West Bank.

Following an emergency meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the member states of OIC in the Saudi city of Jeddah on Sunday, the OIC expressed “its total rejection and strong condemnation of the Israeli Prime Minister’s declaration,” to annex the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank if re-elected in September 17 polls.

The 57-member pan-Islamic body asserted the centrality of the Palestinian cause and Jerusalem to Muslims.

“This dangerous declaration... deliberately undermines international efforts to achieve a just and lasting peace... and pushes the whole region towards further violence and instability,” according to the statement carried by Palestinan News & Info Agency (WAFA).

The OIC proclaimed absolute rejection and vehemently condemned the Israeli prime minister’s stated intention to “apply Israeli sovereignty on all of the Jordan Valley, northern Dead Sea and settlements in the occupied West Bank,” describing it as a dangerous escalation, a further serious encroachment on the historical and legal rights of the Palestinian people, a flagrant breach of the UN Charter, the principles of international law and the relevant UN resolutions.

The council “supports and backs up the Palestinian moves and steps to hold accountable Israel, the occupying authority, for its crimes against the Palestinian people, while calling on the member states to provide all the political, legal, technical and material support necessary for the success of the State of Palestine’s moves with the relevant international bodies,” according to the statement.

The emergency meeting of OIC foreign ministers was called at the request of Saudi Arabia, which has unilaterally condemned Netanyahu’s pledge as a “dangerous escalation.”

The multilateral statement comes as Netanyahu’s government on Sunday approved a new settlement in the occupied West Bank.

Netanyahu’s moves could essentially destroy any remaining hopes for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

His pledge to annex the Jordan valley has drawn firm condemnation from the Palestinians, the United Nations, the European Union and Arab states.

-with AFP

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