H.E. DR. ABDELOUAHED BELKEZIZ, SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE ORGANIZATION OF THE ISLAMIC CONFERENCE (OIC), AT THE EXTRAORDINARY CONFERENCE OF THE FOREIGN MINISTERS OF THE OIC MEMBER STATES
Doha, State of Qarar
Your Highness,Highnesses, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatuh,
I should like to convey my deep appreciation and gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar and Chairman of the Ninth Islamic Summit Conference, for his wise initiative in calling for the convening of this Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers of the OIC Member States. This initiative comes as another step in the ongoing process initiated by His Highness in his untiring and vigorous efforts to defend the just causes of the Islamic world since assuming the Chairmanship of the Ninth Islamic Summit Conference held in Doha. The convening of this Islamic assembly today in the capital of Qatar testifies to the wise and energetic leadership of His Highness and his diligent endeavours to consolidate Islamic solidarity and achieve the dignity, welfare, and prosperity of the Islamic Ummah.
Highnesses, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our meeting today is being held at a difficult time when the whole world is standing witness to the Israeli arrogance which is assaulting the defenseless Palestinian people by all forms of killing, torture, starvation, blockade, and suffocation in a vicious bloody campaign with a trail of funeral processions of death, mourning, and tragedies following one after the other before our very eyes, every day, in every hamlet and every village in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The world has seen for itself, through these scenes, how Israel disavows, by its very actions all the conventions of modern civilization, including the principles of humane interaction with human beings, how it has come to practice a policy reeking of the law of the jungle that people had rejected thousands of years ago, and how it flouts all the laws and legislations of civilization that have been adopted by civilized society, such as the respect of human life, the sanctity of human rights, the rights of peoples to self-determination, the necessity for the rule of law, and the obligation of honorable, humane dealings with the civilian population living under occupation. International legitimacy is clear, as embodied in the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council as well as hundreds of resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly and other international forums, but Israel has not stopped at rejecting and disregarding these, and has even refused that any of these organizations, particularly the UN Security Council, should play any role in any peaceful resolution of the Palestinian cause and the Arab Israeli conflict.
And even though this logic of arrogance hardly has any parallel in current international relations, Israel insists on willfully defying international public opinion by launching daily aggressions to trample the rights of the Palestinian people. The confiscation of Palestinian lands goes on relentlessly and the building of Israeli settlements on these lands never ceases, on top of what Israel calls the natural expansion of settlements, the daily destruction of homes, the excoriation of agricultural lands, and the shelling of civilian public facilities and residential areas using war planes, missiles, and other lethal weapons. The aim behind all these practices is to spoliate the remaining Palestinian territories and tighten the Israeli stranglehold over Palestinians so as to drive them away through all forcible means until they join their refugee-brothers in the diaspora.
As if all that has not been enough, the most sinister designs of the present Israeli government are its declared determination to continue seizing Islamic holy places in Palestine, as it did in the past when it took the Holy Ibrahimi Haram in Hebron, in addition to its current plans to invade the sanctity of the Blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque in the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, the site of the Prophet’s (PBUH) Isra with Allah’s Grace, the Holy Dome of the Rock, and the Prophet’s (PBUH) Mieraj to the heavens. No Israeli government could dare contemplate such a ghastly deed since the occupation of Al-Quds and the territories of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967, but it seems that Sharon, who sparked off the Blessed Al-Aqsa Intifada by his desecration of the Holy Mosque eight months ago, is still bent on even more defiance of the sentiments of Muslims and contempt for their sanctities and sacred shrines by invading that immaculate space, which is an act that will, if carried out, have serious and unforeseeable consequences.
Your Highness, Highnesses, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It has now become clear to anyone following up the conduct of Israel’s present leaders that they have no plans for a peaceful resolution and that their policy consists of using excessive force, military solutions, and imposing their programs and schemes by coercion and force. I do not think that we need to dwell on these practices that have become common knowledge. What we actually need is to consider what can be done to come to the rescue of the steadfast Palestinian people in their present plight.
In this respect, and given the exceptionally harsh current conditions of our Palestinian brothers in the occupied territories, I am of the view that the Islamic Ummah should adopt all collective, practical, and tangible measures to check the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people by putting an end to the cycle of premeditated massacres and killings and daily bloodshed and seeking once again with the great and influential players to secure international protection for the Palestinians and win over the support and sympathy of international public opinion.
It is also of paramount importance that we should warn, at the highest levels, of the grave dangers attached to Sharon’s policy to desecrate the sanctity of the Holy Haram area in the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, as well as the serious consequences that would ensue from such an act.
Pending the achievement of the above objectives, the Islamic Ummah should take a number of practical initiatives, inspired by the bonds of Islamic solidarity, to extend urgent material assistance of all kinds to the Palestinian people to enable it to nurse its wounds, ease its pains, and fill its hunger and to support it to continue its resistance to the usurpers of its rights and freedom. These are, in my belief, some of the duties imposed by this critical and trying juncture. Indeed, we have all rallied to this meeting today in order to avert these imminent threats. As you can see, the situation now requires, more than ever before, a decisive and historic stand to help our brothers, the Palestinian fighters, who have made and continue to make the greatest sacrifice that anyone can make, that is Shehada, or martyrdom, by giving up their souls for the sake of these territories that Allah has blessed.
We are the defenders of sacred and just rights and a cause that we should never give up. Neither should we allow the crimes that are being perpetrated in the Palestinian territories to go unaccounted for. That is why I propose that our extraordinary meeting insist on calling for compelling Israel to pay reparations for the material losses which they have caused by their aggression against the Palestinian people, including the destruction of their facilities, infrastructures, and housing and the devastation of their lands and uprooting of trees.
Finally, the right we are defending is clear and evident for all to see, which should serve to add strength to our already deep faith in the need to lift the injustice being wrought upon our brothers, the Palestinian fighters, and fortify their ranks, which are indeed the last line of defense for the sanctities and holy shrines of Islam in Palestine. We have in Almighty Allah’s Book and in the teachings of our true religion ample evidence urging us to defend our brothers in religion and thereby defend the "Dar" of Islam and its boundaries, for Almighty Allah said, "But if they seek your help in the cause of your religion, it is your duty to aid them"; and He also said, "Permission to take up arms is hereby given to those who are attacked, because they have been wronged. Allah has power to grant them victory." Allah’s Word is Truth.
Wassalamu Alaikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatuh.