Israeli airstrikes have continued to bomb civilian apartments, refugee camps, and also a tower hosting offices of international media outlets, such as Aljazeera and AP, over the last 10 days while Palestinian Muslims were fasting during the holy month of Ramadan and planning to celebrate Eid al-Fitr to mark the end of Ramadan on May 13, 2021.
The Israeli aggression has claimed 212 lives, including 61 children and 36 women, injured at least 1,305, and displaced some 40 thousand Palestinians in Gaza as of May 17, 2021. In West Bank, 11 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces, while 10 Israelis were also killed in rocket attacks launched by Hamas.
Palestine is currently the only country in the world that is still being colonized. All sufferings endured by the Palestinian people are due to Israel as the occupying power, Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi noted in her speech at an emergency meeting of the OIC Executive Committee held virtually on May 16, 2021.
Indonesia reaffirmed its staunch support for the Palestinians' struggle for independence and called for the unity of OIC member countries and various Palestinian elements in the fight against Israeli colonization.
"Justice must prevail for the Palestinian people. I emphasize that Indonesia will continue to support the Palestinian cause," the minister remarked.
Marsudi also urged OIC members to leverage their influence to press for a cease-fire and halt Israeli aggressions against Palestinians at the earliest.
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"Together, we have to act now," Marsudi stated before 15 other foreign ministers and deputy ministers of the OIC member countries.
Tensions have been escalating in occupied Palestine following the Israeli court’s orders for eviction of six Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem, which is predominantly Arab, and for Jewish families to move into those homes.
The attempted eviction has prompted strong protests internationally and especially by Palestinians that had congregated in the complex of Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third Islamic holiest site, where they also spent the nights for Lailatul Qadr prayers during the last 10 days of Ramadan.
However, Israeli forces launched tear gas and stun grenades at the Palestinians in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound while attempting to block worshipers from performing prayers in the mosque, where the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) had urged Muslims to pray in Al-Aqsa.
"The brutal storming and assault on worshipers in the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque and its courtyards is a new challenge to the international community," Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas noted in a statement issued on May 10.
Hamas has responded from besieged Gaza by launching rockets to southern Israeli towns. To this end, Israelis have launched continued airstrikes to devastate Gaza.
The international community has reacted against the slaughters in Gaza by organizing rallies in several cities, including in Europe, the US, Asia, and Australia. Several leaders have called for an immediate ceasefire to prevent further casualties in Gaza, though Israeli leaders had yet to pay heed to such requests.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Malaysian Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, and Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah issued a joint statement on May 16, 2021, calling the international community to remain resolute in their commitment for the “two-state solution” towards achieving an independent State of Palestine, based on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The leaders, who expressed strong condemnation to the repeated blatant violations and aggressions conducted by the Israelis throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, also expressed their readiness to support international efforts aimed at achieving comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in the Middle East.
In the statement, they also voiced their grave concern with the illegal expansion of settlements and the demolitions and seizures of Palestinian-owned structures across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
They also unreservedly condemned the flagrant violations of international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, perpetrated by Israel, the Occupying Power, through its inhumane, colonial, and apartheid policies towards Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
They seek an urgent and responsible collective action to ensure the necessary accountability for such violations and urged all parties to exercise maximum restraint, cease attacks against civilians, take steps to de-escalate the situation, and uphold international law and order.
“We urge both parties to accept a temporary international presence in the City of Al-Quds to monitor the cessation of hostilities in the Occupied Territory of Palestine,” they stated.
The three leaders requested the United Nations General Assembly to convene an emergency session to address the grave developments and come up with a Uniting for Peace Resolution, with a view to putting an end to the atrocities against Palestinian people.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chairperson of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) Faction of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR RI) Sukamta urged the Indonesian government to strongly push the UN to deploy peacekeeping forces to Palestine.
"The deployment of peacekeepers in several countries facing conflicts has proven successful in reducing the escalation of conflicts," Sukamta noted.
The PKS Faction deputy chairperson admitted that materializing such a peace mission would be challenging owing to the veto of the United States as a permanent member of the UNSC. However, Sukamta is optimistic that all-out efforts would be made to contain the spread of violence and conflict.
"The Indonesian government can propose a deployment of peacekeepers in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict area through an emergency session of the Organization of Islamic OIC and the United Nations," the legislator emphasized.
The member of Commission I DPR RI also urged the Indonesian government to ready peacekeeping troops for deployment in the Palestinian territories if the UN were to take a decision to deploy peacekeepers in the Israeli-Palestinian buffer zone.
In the meantime, the UN Security Council has failed to adopt a resolution to end the Israeli aggression against Palestinians as the US administration has blocked such proposed resolution thrice by using its veto rights over the last one week.
In his address before the virtual UNSC debate, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki described Israeli attacks on occupied territories of Palestine as "war crimes" and urged the UNSC to impose sanctions and an arms embargo on Tel Aviv.
"Israel is the armed thief that has entered our house and is terrorizing our family. It destroys our homes and oppresses our people, generation after generation," Maliki stated.
The people of Gaza cannot breathe since European Jews came to Palestine in the 1940s to grab Palestinian land and commit ethnic cleansing of the indigenous people in order to declare an establishment of the state of Israel on the Arab land.
The struggle against Israeli colonization has been ongoing for over seven decades, and with the steadfastness of the Palestinian people and the help of Allah the Almighty, Gaza will never go down.
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