OIC Press Release
|21 August 2001|
The date of August 21st corresponds with the anniversary of the criminal arson attack perpetrated against the blessed Mosque of Al-Aqsa. Today, this anniversary is commemorated at a time when the Palestinian people, the occupied city of Al-Quds and the holy shrines are facing a brutal Israeli aggression which has been escalating over the last twelve months.
Israel is still imposing an abusive blockade around the city of Al-Quds and denying the faithful access to their places of worship. Israel has gone as far as to choose the age group of those who may be allowed to perform prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, considered to be the first of the two Qiblas and third holy shrine in Islam. Even these authorized worshipers are subjected to humiliation and harassment, their identity cards being withdrawn from them and not returned to them until after their prayers.
This painful anniversary comes around at a time when Israel is continuing its brutal aggressions against the defenseless Palestinian people, with incursions into their towns, destruction of their homes, assassination of their leaders, usurpation of their land, bulldozing of their plantations and destruction of their economy.
The Israeli aggression has even extended to Palestinian institutions in the occupied city of Al-Quds, through its occupation and its closure within a systematic plan aimed at altering the historical facts and the falsification of the reality which points to the fact that the city of Al-Quds is an occupied city and that the Israeli presence there is temporary and of colonialist character which must come to an end sooner or later. This anniversary of this criminal attack against the blessed mosque of Al-Aqsa falls at a time when the UN SecurityCouncil is getting ready to hold a special session at the request of the Organization of the Islamic Conference to discuss the deteriorated situation in the occupied Palestinian territories and the recent developments in the city of Al-Quds.
On this occasion, the Organization of the Islamic Conference urges the international community, once again, to shoulder its responsibilities and compel Israel to abide by the resolutions of international legitimacy concerning Al-Quds, Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict, so that this part of the world may enjoy the peace to which it aspires.
The Organization of the Islamic Conference hopes that the Security Council’s present emergency session may offer an opportune occasion for the Council to adopt an equitable stand which the international community looks for to ensure that international legitimacy prevails.