Message of

H.E. Dr. Azeddine LARAKI the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference on the Occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

Geneva, 29 November 2000

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuh,

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

On 29 November of every year, the international community celebrates the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, in accordance with the resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly No. 32/40 (b) of 1977, which coincides with the Anniversary of the Adoption of UNGA resolution No. 181 issued on 29 November 1947.

The resolution was an expression of the will of the world states and peoples to do justice to, and show solidarity with, the Palestinian people to restore its imprescriptible and inalienable national rights.

Allow me on this occasion to extend my appreciation and gratitude on behalf of the member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference to the United Nations and its various organs and bodies for the efforts they are exerting to highlight and explain the ramification of the Palestinian cause to the world and for the assistance they are lending to the Palestinian people in all arenas.

This year, celebrations happen to come at a time when the Palestinian people and its just cause is going through the most difficult circumstances at the most critical point in its resistance. Its blessed Intifada, or uprising, has now been going on for more than two months, to end up the Israeli occupation of its territories, gain freedom and independence and protect its Islamic and Christian shrines and sanctuaries in the face of the Israeli occupation forces using their military machinery, helicopters, missiles, tanks and internationally banned ammunition to kill more than 300 martyrs and injure over ten thousand people, to destroy Palestinian infrastructures, and demolish Palestinian centers, houses of worship, farms, and homes atop their occupants, to bulldoze the soil, to uproot fruitful trees, to besiege all the Palestinian cities and villages, to close the airport and passageways to people, commodities, supplies and medicines, and to cut off the Palestinian people from the rest of the world.

This Israeli brutal aggression as well as all the inhuman and illegitimate Israeli measures and practices, which are in flagrant violation of all the international covenants and conventions, particularly the 1949 Geneva Convention, have been seen on the TV screens of the world and covered by reports such as those of Amnesty International and Mrs. Mary Robinson, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, which have exposed the magnitude of the Israeli crimes being perpetrated every day against the defenceless Palestinian people.

It is because of all that that there is a need for immediate action compel the Israeli occupier to put an end to its aggression and pull back its military forces and machinery to their position before the 28th of September 2000 as well as a need to constitute an international commission of enquiry in accordance with Security Council resolution No. 1322 (2000) to give an urgent and comprehensive report on its findings.

There is also a pressing need for the High Signatories of the Fourth Geneva Convention to convene in order to consider the continuous violations by the Israeli occupier of the provisions of the Convention.

That is something that requires the international community to assume its responsibility to provide the necessary international protection for the Palestinian people until the Israeli occupation is evicted from its territories and the resolutions of international legitimacy on the cause of Palestine, Al-Quds, and the Middle East, particularly Security Council resolution 242 and 338 and General Assembly resolution 194, are implemented and until the Palestinian people is able to exercise its imprescriptible and inalienable rights, including its right to return to its homes and properties and establish its independent Palestinian state on its national soil with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as capital.

The Organization of the Islamic Conference, which has supported the peace process in the Middle East on the basis of the foundations it was built on, particularly Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 and the land-for-peace formula, is of the view that a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East cannot be reached without a full Israeli withdrawal from all Palestinian and Arab territories occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem, in accordance with Security Council resolution 242.

It reaffirms its recognition of the State of Palestine as well as its total support of the State of Palestine and its right to full membership in the United Nations just like other states of the world.

We call on you to work with us to achieve the aspirations and hopes of the Palestinian people to live in freedom and dignity under its independent Palestinian State with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital so as to ensure international peace and security.