Foreign ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries, in an emergency meeting on Sunday in Jeddah, urged the United Nations Security Council to step in on Israel’s continued provocations against Palestinians.
They reaffirmed their stand in solidarity with the Palestinian cause and the need to end all Israeli occupation. Iran, a member of the OIC, did not attend the meeting.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday he would annex the Jordan Valley, a large swathe of the occupied West Bank that Israel captured in 1967 and which Palestinians want as part of a future state.
Middle East nations and European powers have expressed alarm at the plan, which Netanyahu said he would implement if he wins a closely contested election next week.
Ibrahim al-Assaf, the Saudi Foreign Minister, said the Israeli plans are “null and void”.
Although Arabs are facing many other challenges, al-Assaf said, Palestine will remain the central cause for them.
He emphasized that Saudi Arabia, under all circumstances and by all means available, has not hesitated in supporting the Palestinian people to restore their rights and establish an independent state with full sovereignty in Palestinian territories demarcated by the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as a capital.
Arab foreign ministers at the OIC also condemned Netanyahu’s plan as “aggression” and undermined any chances of a peace settlement with the Palestinians. Sounding the alarm, they held the Israeli government liable for all consequences entailed upon such decision.
Demanding a strong response to Netanyahu’s plan, OIC ministers called for taking all possible political and legal actions and involving the UN Security Council, the General Assembly, international tribunals, and any other relevant international organizations and bodies to counter what they labeled a colonial and expansionist policy.
OIC Secretary General Yousef Al-Othaimeen, in his opening speech, called “to put in place mechanisms to hold Israel accountable for its aggression against the Palestinians.”