The Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Dr Yousef A. Al-Othaimeen, called on OIC Member States, financial and private institutions, the private sector and individuals to provide all forms of assistance to the people of Al-Quds particularly in the critical sectors, such as education, housing and health.
He made the call in his address to the opening session of the Open-Ended Extraordinary Meeting of the OIC Executive Committee at the level of Foreign Ministers on the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, held in Istanbul on Tuesday, 1 August 2017.
The Secretary General explained that the OIC, through the Islamic Development Bank, is executing projects covering all aspects of social and economic development in Palestine. This is in addition to financing provided by the Islamic Solidarity Fund which, since inception, has executed many projects in the State of Palestine to the tune of US$ 27 million, particularly in the maintenance of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and infrastructure projects in the Al-Quds Al-Sharif.
Al-Othaimeen emphasized that the meeting is important in order to coordinate the efforts of the OIC Member States to confront the plans by Israel, the occupying power, to take control of Al-Aqsa and Judaize Al-Quds, which it has blockaded and isolated from the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories.
Al-Othaimeen warned that the continuation of open Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people in Al-Quds places singular and collective responsibility on the shoulder of OIC Member States so that they can take measures to confront these challenges by working with the international community to assume responsibility for ending Israeli aggressions and infractions in Al-Quds.
They should also provide the necessary international protection to the Palestinian people, which can only be achieved through the commencement of serious and effective negotiations to bring about just and comprehensive peace on the Palestinian issue, in accordance with the Arab peace initiative, the two-state solution and relevant international legitimacy resolutions.
In this connection, the Secretary General renewed his tribute to the Palestinian people in Al-Quds, affirming their connection to their land and holy sites. He praised the determination of the Jerusalemites which forced the Israeli occupation succumb to their legitimate demands.
He also underscored the religious and spiritual centrality of the city and the eternal connection of Muslims all over the world to the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the rejection of any attempt to compromise the rights of the Palestinians to full sovereignty over Al-Quds, capital of the State of Palestine.