OIC Press Release


4 March 2002


Statement Issued by H.E. Dr. Abdelouahed BELKEZIZ, Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, on the Escalation of Israeli Aggressions in the Palestinian Territories

The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference Dr. Abdelouahed BELKEZIZ, received a message from the President of the Palestinian National Authority Yasser Arafat. The message was delivered to His Excellency by Mr. Nabil Shaath, PNA Minister of Planning and International Cooperation during a meeting on Sunday evening 3 March 2002 in Jeddah.

President Yasser Arafat’s message contained recent developments of the grave situation prevailing in the Palestinian territories in the light of the brutal aggression carried out by the Israeli forces of occupation against the Palestinian people.

Mr. Nabil Shaath put forward exhaustive statements on the tragic situation experienced by the Palestinian people and their heavy losses in lives and properties resulting from continuous shelling of Palestinian houses and institutions by military aircraft and tanks.

In this respect, the two sides stressed the need to take the necessary procedures at competent international fora aimed at demanding Israel to pay compensations for the material and moral losses sustained by the Palestinian people as a result of the continuous Israeli aggression.

Dr. Abdelouahed BELKEZIZ and Mr. Nabil Shaath discussed the means to be taken at OIC level in order to activate Islamic solidarity for halting the Israeli aggression and resorting to negotiations that will ensure the establishment of the Palestinian State with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

In this respect, the OIC Secretary General addressed a message to President Yasser Arafat, President of the Palestinian National Authority concerning the current situation in the region. He also issued the following statement:

The OIC Secretary General Dr. Abdelouahed BELKEZIZ is following with deep concern the escalation of Israeli aggressions against the Palestinian people as well as the war waged by the Israeli forces of occupation against Palestinian Camps, villages and towns, resulting in the fall of scores of martyrs and hundreds of injured people, including women, the old and children, and the destruction of several homes and dispersal of their occupants.

The escalation of these aggressions comes at a time when ceaseless regional and international efforts are being deployed in order to bring tranquility to the region and resume the peace process, particularly in the wake of the initiative put forward by His Royal Highness Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on ending the Arab-Israeli conflict, which has received the support and backing of several States of the region and around the world. The Israeli escalation also proves the insistence of the Israeli government on adopting an aggressive approach and carry out criminal designs against the Palestinian people and their National Authority, in a desperate attempt to sabotage the peace process and undermine the opportunities and initiatives seeking to restore peace to the region.

In the face of these Israeli aggressions and practices, the OIC requests the international community, in particular the UN Security Council, to assume its obligations by halting the Israeli aggression, providing protection for the Palestinian people and compelling Israel to withdraw from the Palestinian territories and implement the resolutions of the international legitimacy. It is not possible to maintain silence vis-a-vis these inhuman Israeli practices in Palestine and deal with Israel as a state above the law.

While strongly condemning the practices of the Israeli occupation, the OIC reiterates its stand by the Palestinian people, in support of their just struggle to recover their legitimate inalienable rights, foremost of which is their right to freedom, return and establishment of their independent State with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital. The OIC calls on its Member States to extend all forms of support and backing to the Palestinian people, their leadership and National Authority.