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**NEWS**

MEETING OF THE OIC COMMITTEE OF SIX ON PALESTINE - 2017-09-20

 I. On Wednesday 20th September 2017, the OIC Six-Member Committee on Palestine met at the United Nations Headquarters under the chairmanship of His Excellency, Yousef A. Al-Othaimeen, Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

II. The meeting was attended by Their Excellencies the Foreign Ministers of the following Member States of the Committee:

- Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

- Republic of Senegal.

- Republic of Guinea.

- State of Palestine.

- Malaysia

III. The Secretary General opened the meeting with a statement affirming the OIC’s unwavering position on the cause of Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif, and called for concerted efforts in the UN Security Council to assume its responsibility to ensure that Israel halt its violations, to end the Israeli occupation within well-defined timeframe and to maintain the vision of the two-state solution. He also affirmed the support for the Palestinian efforts to join international conventions and institutions.

IV. The Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs delivered a statement providing an exhaustive account on the situation in the Palestinian territories and the escalation of the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people. His statement also contained an account of the grave situation in the Palestinian territories, particularly in East Jerusalem, as a result of the on-going construction of the segregation wall, the settlement activities and the illegal Israeli measures and practices aimed at Judaizing the Holy City. He also provided a briefing on Palestinian moves to gain international recognition for an independent and free Palestine along the 4 June 1967 border.

V. The committee members delivered statements affirming their States’ support for the Palestinian rights and the unwavering Palestinian position. They demanded that the international community assume responsibility in compelling Israel to end its violations of the international law and aggressions against the Palestinian people. They also demanded that pressure be brought to bear on Israel to end its blockade of the Gaza Strip, cease all settlement activities and violations in the city of Al Quds, resume the peace process in line with the foundations on which it has been established, and implement the international resolutions on Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

VI. The Committee submitted the following recommendations to the Coordination Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the OIC Member States:

1. The meeting confirmed all the resolutions on the question of Palestine, Al Quds and the Arab-Israeli conflict adopted by the Islamic Summits, CFMs and Al Quds Committee.

2. The meeting reaffirmed the centrality of the cause of Al-Quds Al-Sharif for the Islamic Ummah, and the need to preserve its Arab-Islamic character and to defend the inviolability of the sacred Islamic and Christian sites. It reiterated its condemnation of the Israeli illegal and illegitimate measures aimed at altering the city’s status, demographic structure and Arab-Islamic character, particularly through illegal colonial practices, including the settlement activities and the construction of the Apartheid wall within and around the city in order to isolate it from its Palestinian environs.

3. The meeting reaffirmed its principled support for the Palestinian people’s right to national independence and the exercise of their sovereignty within their Palestinian State with AlQuds Al-Sharif as its capital. It called on the states of the world to support the right of Palestine to gain United Nations recognition for the State of Palestine along the 4 June 1967 borders.

4. The Meeting emphasized its continued strong support for Palestine’s efforts to internationalize the question of Palestine and to go ahead with the efforts to obtain a Security Council resolution setting a time limit for ending Israeli occupation and providing international mechanisms for the implementation of relevant United Nations resolutions. It welcomed the accession by the State of Palestine to many international conventions, including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The Meeting strongly supported efforts of the State of Palestine to conclude its accession to more international organizations, covenants and treaties.

5. It reaffirmed once again the rights of Palestinian refugees by virtue of the international law and UN General Assembly Resolution 194 (III) adopted on 11 December 1948.

6. The meeting affirmed the illegality of the Israeli measures in occupied East Jerusalem aimed at annexing and Judaizing it as well as altering its demographic and geographic character. The meeting warned against the dangerous excavation works carried out by Israel underneath the blessed Mosque of Al Aqsa. It demanded the international community, particularly the UN Security Council and UNESCO, to assume their responsibilities in compelling Israel to respect international law and to cease its illegal and illegitimate practices in occupied East Jerusalem.

7. The meeting also strongly condemned Israel’s illegal settlement policy and practices inside the Palestinian territories and the construction of the expansionist wall that has caused the confiscation of Palestinians’ lands and properties and the isolation of scores of Palestinian villages, towns and cities.

8. The Meeting expressed its deep concern over escalating acts of violence, provocation, incitement and terrorism perpetrated by extremist Israeli settlers against the Palestinian civilian population and their properties.

9. The meeting called upon Member States to take the necessary measures to ban any products of Israeli settlements from entering their markets in fulfilment of the obligations contained in international treaties, to prevent Israeli settlers from entering their territories, and to impose sanctions on the companies and bodies contributing to the construction of the wall and to the other illegal Israeli acts in the occupied Palestinian territory.

10. The meeting called upon the international community to shoulder its responsibility in putting pressure on Israel to lift the blockade and end the closure of the Gaza Strip, and to remove the roadblocks that tear apart the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and restrict the movement of Palestinian citizens.

11. The meeting condemned Israel’s defiance of the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice issued on 9 July 2004 and its non-compliance with the UN General Assembly Resolution ES-15/10 of 20 July 2004, as well as its persistence in constructing the wall in the Palestinian occupied territories, within and around East Jerusalem. Therefore, the meeting renewed its call for the respect of the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justiceand the implementation of Resolution ES-15/10, and called upon all States to impose punitive sanctions on the entities and companies contributing to the construction of the wall.

12. The meeting stressed the need to implement the relevant international resolutions on Palestine and to abide by the principles and resolutions of the international law, including the law on the protection of human beings, particularly the provisions of the Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War adopted on 12 August 1949.

13. The meeting reaffirmed its support for comprehensive peace based on the relevant United Nations resolutions, including UN Security Council Resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1397 (2002) and 1515 (2003), as well as the agreed principles which call upon Israel to withdraw fully from the Palestinian occupied territories, including East Jerusalem and the other Arab occupied territories.

14. The meeting called upon the international community and the Quartet to exert the necessary efforts to compel Israel to return to negotiations in line with the terms of reference of Madrid Peace Conference and to desist from unilateral measures, including settlement building, which could undermine the peace process. The meeting expressed its categorical rejection of the positions and measures that contradict the rules of international legitimacy and the terms of reference of the peace process. It demanded all States and international organisations not to recognize or deal with any assurances or promises undermining the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.

15. The meeting expressed grave concern at the tragic conditions of the Palestinian and Arab detainees in Israeli prisons and detention centres. It demanded the international community, represented by the international humanitarian and human rights organisations to expose Israel’s inhumane practices in its prisons and to exert pressure on Israel to release all Palestinian prisoners detained in its prisons.

16. The meeting affirmed the continued unwavering responsibility of the United Nations toward the cause of Palestine until a just and comprehensive solution is reached that guarantees ending the Israeli occupation and enabling the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable national rights, including their right to return, to self-determination, and to the establishment of their independent State on their national soil with East Jerusalem as its capital.

17. The meeting emphasized the need to continue to ascertain that the Israeli credentials presented to the United Nations do not include the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including East Jerusalem.

18. The meeting renewed its demand to States and international institutions and bodies to abide by the international resolutions on East Jerusalem as an integral part of the Palestinian and Arab territories occupied in 1967; and also called on them not to participate at any meeting or activity that serves Israel’s objectives of consolidating its occupation and annexing the Holy City.

19. The meeting condemned Israel’s attempt to forcefully change the structural and historical character of East Jerusalem Jerusalem, and changing the names of streets under its occupation, and requested the international community not to give in to the Israeli attempts aimed at altering the geography and demography of the occupied areas in flagrant violation of international law.

20. The meeting affirmed the need to implement the UN Security Council Resolution 237 on the return of the displaced Palestinians, and UN General Assembly Resolution 194 on the return of the Palestinian refugees to their homes and properties as two fundamental foundations of a just and comprehensive settlement.

21. The meeting affirmed the continued responsibility of the United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in performing its duties toward all Palestinian refugees, by virtue of the relevant UN General Assembly resolution. It called on the Member States of the OIC to support the UNRWA in order to enable it to continue to render its services to the Palestinian refugees.

22. The meeting renewed its demand to the Member States to abide by the resolutions adopted by the Islamic Summit Conferences and the Islamic Conferences of Foreign Ministers on the cause of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict while voting at the United Nations and in international fora.

23. The meeting decided to mandate the Secretary-General to take the necessary measures to intensify contacts and coordination on the cause of Palestine and the Arab Israeli conflict between the OIC, the League of Arab States, the African Union, the Non-Aligned Movement, the European Union and the United Nations and its specialized agencies; and expressed appreciation for these institutions’ positions of solidarity and their support for the just struggle of the Palestinian people.

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