Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was set up following the arson attack on the Holy Mosque of Al Aqsa on 21st August 1969. It was meant to concretize and institutionalize the Islamic world’s vision and role as to what it could offer – at the Islamic States’ level – for the benefit of the cause of Palestine and Al Quds Al Sharif. To this effect, the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers decided to set up a Department within the OIC General Secretariat dedicated to Palestine and Al Quds Al Sharif to focus on the following objectives:
•Exerting every effort to end the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, and extending active support for the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and for the establishment of their independent State with Al Quds Al Sharif as its capital.
•Preserving the united Islamic stand in favour of a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue in accordance with the OIC resolutions and the decisions of the United Nations and international legitimacy.
•Emphasizing the central character of the issue of Al Quds for the Islamic Ummah, upholding Palestinian rights, providing protection for the heritage and sanctities of Al Quds, and defending its Arabo-Islamic identity.
•Empowering the Palestinian people, consolidating their resistance and defending all their fundamental rights: political, social, civil, economic and cultural.
•Working with the international community in order to compel Israel to put an end to its settlement activities and to dismantle the settlements inside the Palestinian territories.
Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) follows a number of strategies for the achievement of the above:
1. Preservation of the city of Al Quds Al Sharif / Jerusalem as a pivotal issue for the OIC and the Islamic Ummah at the international fora, through:
•The coordination of Member States’ stands and policies towards Al Quds as a central issue, and activating the conference resolutions relating to it;
•Upholding international legitimacy, its decisions and its role within political, human rights-driven, and legal frameworks in any action process at the international level concerning Al Quds / Jerusalem.
2. Providing support to the cause of Palestine and Al Quds Al Sharif, and defending them through:
•Condemning, exposing and making public the Israeli practices.
•Defending the cause of Palestine and Al Quds, exercising pressure at the international and regional fora to support Al-Quds cause and to keep it alive.
•Cooperating and coordinating with internationally active institutions with regards to the Palestine cause.
•Political support to the Palestinian cause through the endorsement and implementation of Islamic Conference’s resolutions.
•Contributing to the preservation of the historical and religious character of the targeted buildings and sites, in Al-Quds.
3. Empowering the Palestinian citizens in the City of Al Quds and consolidating their resistance through:
•Endorsing and supporting the Palestinian Multi-sectoral Development Plan in Al Quds Al Sharif.
•Promoting an integrated and sustainable development of non-profit organizations in Al Quds Al Sharif.
•Improving economic and social opportunities for Al Quds Palestinian citizens.
•Developing and supporting health services provided to Jerusalemites and responding to their needs.
•Promoting opportunities for access to quality education for Palestinians in Al Quds.
•Extending housing facilities and infrastructures support in Al Quds.
•Raising awareness, locally and internationally, of the Israeli violations inside Palestine and Al Quds.
•Publicizing the cultural character of Al Qauds Al Sharif with its historical, religious and civilizational dimensions.
4. Tasks and Responsibilities
•The Department assumes daily responsibilities which can be summed up as follows:
•Follow-up of arrangements and preparation of resolutions, reports and other documents for OIC meetings and conferences at the level of ministers and permanent representatives concerning Palestine and monitoring their implementation.
•Coordination between the General Secretariat and OIC specialized institutions regarding activities related to Palestine.
•Facilitating and supporting sustainable development in all political, economic, social, educational, cultural and healthcare-related sectors in the Palestinian territories.
•Keeping up diplomatic contacts between the Secretary General, world leaderships and internationally influential figures as to the Palestinian cause.
•Cooperating with regional and international organizations to stage joint events on Palestine and Al Quds Al Sharif.
•Following the dossier on occupied Arab territories.
•Intensifying political efforts in favor of the Palestinian national stands and inalienable rights.
•Enhancing awareness through the media about the Palestinian cause and expose the Israeli violations inside the Palestinian territories, particularly in Al Quds.
•Representing the OIC in all regional and international meetings and fora