Free Press Journal

OIC holds emergency meeting on Gaza situation


Jeddah: The executive committee of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Tuesday held an emergency ministerial meeting here to deliberate on the Israeli “aggression” on the Gaza Strip, state-run Saudi Press Agency reported.

“The executive committee is holding its second meeting within one month for deliberations on how to respond to the Israeli flagrant aggression on our people in Gaza Strip… over an entire month to kill Palestinians en masse, targeting civilians, especially children and women who make up more than half of the victims,” Saudi Minister for Foreign Affairs Prince Saud Al-Faisal said in his address at the meet.

“The whole world has followed up the horror and brutality of the Israeli occupation army while using the most powerful types of weapons to kill innocent civilians in their homes and demolition of ceilings on their heads,” Prince Saud said referring to the crisis in Gaza Strip.

“The world has seen children and babies being killed while in the arms of their mothers. The world has seen the mothers being murdered while having embryos living in their wombs. What the world has seen in the war on Gaza of tragic images and unprecedented brutality and mass destruction goes beyond all limits of humanity,” he added.

Prince Saud is the head of the 41st session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC. Among those attending the meeting at the OIC general secretariat in Jeddah included Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.

During the meeting, he called on Arab nations to stand together on “one line” to repel Israel.

The foreign minister stressed the aim of Israel “to wipe off Palestinian existence” and criticised “the whole world” for allowing “Israel’s savagery against the people of Gaza”.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia considers the Palestinian cause its primary cause,” Prince Saud said.

“Divisions among Islamic nations are causing civil strife, leading Israel to repeat its crimes,” he said, adding that Arab countries must “support all Egyptian efforts to stop the aggression against” and “stand against the challenges” they are facing.

The Saudi foreign minister also questioned whether Israel “would be able to undertake its aggression if the Muslim world was united”.

He pledged a $500-million development fund to support rebuilding efforts in Palestine.

Earlier this month, Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz criticised international inaction regarding the situation in Gaza, labelling Israeli’s military offensive a “war crime against humanity”.

“The (international) community which has observed silently what is happening in the whole region, was indifferent to what is happening, as if what is happening is not its concern. Silence (such as this) has no justification,” King Abdullah said in a statement Aug 1.

“We see the blood of our brothers in Palestine being shed in collective massacre, that have spared nobody, and in war crimes against humanity… all taking place before the eyes and ears of the international community,” the King’s statement said.

King Abdullah affirmed that the Muslim world was going through a “historic and vulnerable phase,” adding that “the terrorists think that their… backbones have been strengthened but they are delusional”.

“What these terrorists are doing in the name of religion is shameful and disgraceful,” the king added, citing “the killing of people whose killing God has forbidden, and mutilating their bodies and feeling proud in promoting this”.

Although the Saudi king did not explicitly name any country or groups when talking about “terrorists”, he appeared to be referring to the situation in the region as a whole, including both the latest conflict in Gaza, as well as the situation in Iraq and Syria.

“They have distorted the pure and humane image of Islam and smeared it with all sorts of bad qualities by their actions, their injustices and their crimes,” the statement said.

King Abdullah added that “terrorism has many manifestations, the most dangerous being state terrorism.”