The proceedings of the international meeting “Jerusalem at the Heart of Peaceful Settlement of the Question of Palestine”,organized by the OIC General Secretariat in cooperation with the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, has began in the Senegalese capital, Dakar on Tuesday, 3 May 2016.
The meeting was inaugurated by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Senegalese Abroad of Senegal, Mr. MankeurNdiaye. The OIC Assistant Secretary General for Palestine and Al-Quds Affairs, Ambassador Samir Bakr Diyab, and the chairman of the UN Committee, Fode Seck, were in attendance.
Ambassador Diyab read the statement of the OIC in which he said that there was an unprecedented escalation of Israeli plans to Judaize the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif and to alter its historical landmarks as well as its Arab, Islamic and Christian character and demographic composition. Added to this is the attempt to isolate it from its Palestinian neighborhood.
The Assistant Secretary General drew attention to the growing spate of repeated Israeli attacks on Islamic and Christian holy sites, in particular the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque through incursion, closure of its doors, restriction of free access to it, attacks on and arrest of worshipers in the Mosque,confiscation of homes and properties, and renewed building of synagogues around them. He also reiterated the OIC’s warning on the danger of continuation of these violations which constitute an aggression and unprecedented provocation of Muslims’ sensibilities, thus widening the scope of the conflict to dangerous religious dimension.
Ambassador Diyab called on the international community to assume its responsibilities by halting these aggressions and providing international protection for the Palestinians against the daily attacks and crimes they endure at the hands of the occupation forces.
On another hand, Ambassador Diyab recalled the outcomesof the 5TH Extraordinary OIC Summit on Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif, convened by the OIC on 7 March 2016 in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta. The conference reiterated its support for efforts aimed at getting the Security Council to adopt a resolution condemning the Israeli settlements and providing apolitical term of reference for re-launching of negotiations, in accordance with a specified timeframe and with international guarantees.
Diyab alluded to the position of the OIC which welcomed and supported the French initiative entailing the establishment of an international support group, holding of an international peace conference to serve as a launch pad for a political process aimed at ending the Israeli occupation, and realizing the vision of the two-state solution.
It should be mentioned that the Dakar meeting, which continues its work till Wednesday, is part of a series of meetings held by the OIC together with the United Nations in an effort to increase international awareness about the ongoing developments on the question of Palestine.