Emergency Meeting Convened by OIC Member-States
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Sunday voiced its firm rebuff of
the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pre-election threat to grab large
swathes of the occupied West Bank.
Following an emergency meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the
member states of OIC in the Saudi city of Jeddah, the organization condemned, in
the strongest terms, the declared intention of the Israeli Prime Minister “to impose
Israeli sovereignty on all the regions of the Jordan Valley, the Northern Dead Sea,
and the settlements in the West Bank, if he is reelected.”
“The OIC considered this serious declaration as a new aggression on the rights of
the Palestinian people and a blatant violation of the UN charter, the principles of
international law and the relevant UN resolutions including Security Council
resolutions No. 242 and 338”, said the organization in a statement published on its
Stressing the paramount importance given by the Muslim community to the
Palestinian cause and Jerusalem, the 57-member pan-Islamic body said: “This
dangerous declaration... deliberately undermines international efforts to achieve a
just and lasting peace... and pushes the whole region towards further violence and
The OIC announced its unyielding rejection and vehement condemnation of
Netanyahu’s threat to “apply Israeli sovereignty on all of the Jordan Valley,
northern Dead Sea and settlements in the occupied West Bank,” dubbing it a
provoking escalation, another serious violation of the historical and legal rights of
the Palestinian people, and a flagrant breach of the UN Charter and international
The council “supports and backs up the Palestinian moves and steps to hold
accountable Israel, the occupying authority, for its crimes against the Palestinian
people, while calling on the member states to provide all the political, legal,
technical and material support necessary for the success of the State of Palestine’s
moves with the relevant international bodies,” read OIC’s statement.
The emergency meeting of OIC foreign ministers was called at the request of Saudi
Arabia, which has unilaterally condemned Netanyahu’s pledge as a “dangerous
The Secretary General of the OIC, Dr. Yousef Bin Ahmed Al Othaimeen,
announced that the OIC will be holding an extraordinary meeting at the foreign
ministers level, at the request of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to address this
serious Israeli escalation and take the required urgent political and legal steps.
The multilateral statement comes as Netanyahu’s government on Sunday approved
a new settlement in the occupied West Bank, in what analysts dubbed a move that
could dramatically destabilize any remaining hopes for a two-state solution to the
Battling to win over voters ahead of polls on 17 September, Netanyahu on Tuesday
issued a pledge to grab hold of the strategic Jordan Valley - which accounts for
around a third of the occupied West Bank - if he wins the vote.
Netanyahu's threats have sparked widespread condemnation from the Palestinians,
Arab states, the United Nations and the EU.
A statement put out jointly by France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK on
Thursday said the countries were "deeply concerned" about the annexation plan.
"This would, if implemented, constitute a serious breach of international law," said
the statement. "France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom will
continue to call on all parties to refrain from actions in contravention of
international law that would imperil the viability of a two-state solution, based on
the 1967 lines, and make it harder to achieve a just and lasting peace."
The Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea constitute almost 30 percent of the
West Bank. Some 65,000 Palestinians and about 11,000 illegal Israeli settlers live
in the area - most of which is under Israeli military control in what is referred to as