Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) strongly condemns Israeli’s annexation plan

Jeddah: Members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) strongly condemned the Israel’s plans to annex more parts of Palestine including 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

Speaking at an emergency meeting in Jeddah, the Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ibrahim Al-Assaf called on the international community to “shoulder its responsibilities’ regarding the “ongoing Israeli violations against the Palestinian people.” “We condemn the dangerous escalation by the Israeli Prime Minister,” Al-Assaf added.  And he said that any announcements or actions on the matter by Israel were “null and void.”, reported by Arab News.

The minister’s remarks came in response to the recent announcement on Sept. 8, by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he intended to annex the Jordan Valley in the West Bank. Netanyahu’s pledge, widely viewed as an attempt to attract hardline right-wing votes in next week’s Israeli elections, was also condemned by the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the UN, the EU, Jordan, Turkey and Palestinian leaders in the West Bank.

“We condemn Israel’s continued attempt to change the historical identity of Palestine,” OIC Secretary General, Yousef Al-Othaimeen told the emergency meeting on Sunday. And he added: “We call on the international community to put an end to Israel’s aggressive policies against the Palestinian people.”

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki warned the meeting that the dispute with Israel had become a religious conflict because of its violations. And he described the announcement regarding the Jordan Valley as a “serious threat.” “Netanyahu’s announcement of its intention to include the Jordan Valley undermines international agreements and resolutions,” Al-Maliki added.

Around 65,000 Palestinians and 11,000 Israeli settlers live in the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea area, according to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. The main Palestinian city is Jericho, with around 28 villages and smaller Bedouin communities, Reuters reported.

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