OIC expected to strengthen concensus on freeing Palestine from IS

OIC expected to strengthen concensus on freeing Palestine from IS

(www.oic-oci.org)

However, we have seen that Indonesia`s diplomacy is limited to humanitarian diplomacy ..."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Nearly 50 member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will gather in Jakarta for the March 6-7, 2016 extraordinary Summit.

The summit has been convened in response to the escalating human rights violations in occupied Palestine, particularly in Al Quds (Jerusalem), where almost every day one or two Palestinians were being murdered by Israeli occupying forces or by illegal armed settlers, and Palestinians farming lands and homes were being destroyed and confiscated by Israeli occupiers.

The situation in the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, continues to deteriorate as a result of the unrelenting illegal and destructive policies and practices adopted by Israel.

Such an approach of Israel is causing immense suffering to the Palestinian civilian population under occupation and severely diminishing the prospects of a peaceful solution, the Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations said in a letter dated February 11, 2016.

The Palestinian people continue to endure countless human rights violations and war crimes at the hands of the Israeli occupying forces and terrorist settlers, Ambassador Riyad Mansour, the Permanent Observer, wrote in his letter addressed to the UN Secretary General, the Security Council and the UN General Assembly.

"Since our previous letter, the criminal actions by Israeli occupying forces and settlers have markedly intensified, no doubt bolstered by a culture of impunity and lawlessness that continues to prevail due to the failure to hold Israel accountable for any of its violations and crimes against the Palestinian people and throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem," he wrote.

Such impunity has not only absolved Israel from its legal obligations as an occupying power but has also emboldened its continued perpetration of crimes without fear of punishment, he added.

"For all of these war crimes, acts of State terrorism and systematic human rights violations being committed against the Palestinian people, Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable and the perpetrators be brought to justice," he stated in the letter, posted on https://unispal.un.org.

Fully backed by the United States of America (USA), and allies such as Britain, Canada, Germany, Australia and France, Israel feels free to intensify brutalities against Palestinians, without worrying about any sanctions by the UN or the International Criminal Court (ICC) which has so far turned blind eyes to Israeli crimes against humanity.

The OIC is not the UN or the ICC that have the power to impose sanctions, but this group of Muslim majority countries nevertheless has a moral responsibility to help Palestine gain independence and to protect Al Aqsa Mosque, one of the holiest Islamic places on Earth, from Israels plan to destroy it. The Zionist Jewish State has claimed that the mosque was built on the remnants of a Jewish temple.

Yon Machmudi, lecturer at the University of Indonesia (UI), told Antara recently that the efficacy of the OIC will be judged based on its success in helping realize a free Palestine as the group was established in response to acts of vandalism by Israel against the Al Aqsa Mosque.

"The Al Aqsa Mosque will constantly remain under threat as long as Palestine does not have the right of self-determination, including the right to protect Al Aqsa," the lecturer at the Faculty of Culture of the UI emphasized.

The OIC was established 45 years ago, but Palestine has not gained independence and, in fact, has been more brutal in occupying Palestinian land, he pointed out.

Therefore, it is time for Indonesia to play a crucial role by initiating a new declaration that could offer a concrete solution for the independence of Palestine and, in particular, for the protection of Al Aqsa Mosque, he remarked.

The occupation of Palestine by Israel is a serious problem that has to be solved fairly, he emphasized.

Every member country of the OIC has a moral obligation to help realize an independent and sovereign state of Palestine, he stated.

Cholil Nafis, Middle East observer, also from the UI, reiterated the basic fact that Palestine is facing the problem of colonialism, which has led to a humanitarian crisis.

Colonialism must be abolished from the world as it violates human rights, Nafis noted in Depok, West Java, on March 3, 2016.

"This is also to uphold the promise made by the Jokowi-Jusuf Kalla administration during their general election campaign period in the past, which is to help find a solution to the Palestinian conflict," he pointed out.

Ahmad Zainuddin, member of Commission I of the House of Representatives, recently said Indonesia should step up political diplomacy to free Palestine from Israeli occupation and take Israel to the International Criminal Court.

"However, we have seen that Indonesias diplomacy is limited to humanitarian diplomacy, and even tends to be neutral. The political diplomacy of Indonesia and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) must be firmly pro-Palestine," Zainuddin said.

Indonesia should lobby with the OIC and the world to take Israel to the International Criminal Court and formulate a road map for the freedom of Palestine, he stated.

He lauded Indonesias proactive role in providing humanitarian aid and facilitating capacity building in Palestine, such as by holding several training courses for the Palestinian youth, building a hospital in Gaza, sending logistics assistance to help Palestinians, and appointing an honorary consul in Ramallah.

The politician from the Justice Prosperous Party (PKS), however, believes that humanitarian aid alone is not sufficient.

"As the nation with the worlds largest Muslim population, Indonesia must become a pioneer in liberating Palestine," he stated.

Indonesia must take steps to stop the illegal occupation of Israel, which is seizing more Palestinian land and evicting increasing number of Palestinian people, he stated.

"President Jokowi must be able to push the OIC and to become a pioneer in freeing Palestine. Indonesia has to be an initiator of a road map for the freedom of Palestine," Zainuddin added.

Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno LP Marsudi said the summit is expected to produce two documents, namely the Document of Resolution and the Jakarta Declaration.

The Document of Resolution will contain a reaffirmation of the stance and position of the OIC member countries regarding the settlement of issues in Jerusalem and commitment to support the Palestinian independence.

The Jakarta Declaration contains concrete measures to be carried out by the OIC member countries to resolve the Palestinian issue.

Hasan Kleib, director general of multilateral cooperation of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, stated that 47 of the 58 OIC member countries have confirmed their participation in the summit.

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council --- Russia, the United States, China, France, and Britain --- will also join the summit.

Russia, the United States, the UN and the European Union (EU) will also represent the Middle East Quartet.

Kleib underlined that the outcome documents would be not be legally binding as the only international organization that can impose sanctions for any resolution is the UN Security Council.

"Even though it is just politically and morally binding, we can reach a stronger consensus and offer solid support for Palestine," he said.

At least 391 journalists from Indonesia and 136 journalists from foreign nations will cover the Summit, Djoko Agung Harijadi, director general of Information and Public Communication of the Communication and Informatics Ministry, informed the press on March 4.
(T.F001/INE/KR-BSR/B003)

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