OIC envoys urge UNSC action to halt Israeli attacks

The Nation  |  May 14, 2021

A bloc of Muslim nations have urged UN Security Council intervention amid "violent and escalating attacks" by Israel against Palestinians. 

Urging the council to fully implement previous resolutions on the Israel-Palestine issue, the permanent UN representatives of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states released a statement on Wednesday.

The group said that if it found the Security Council "fails to uphold its responsibilities to address this crisis" it would go to the UN General Assembly to "rise up to its responsibilities," including by resuming the tenth emergency special session to halt Israel's "aggressions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, ensuring protection to the Palestinian people, and pursuing measures to hold Israel, the occupying Power, accountable for its grave breaches of international law and human rights violations."

The joint statement was sent by Niger's UN Ambassador Abdou Abarry, who is currently serving as the chairman of the OIC group, to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir of Turkey, and Security Council President Zhang Jun of China.

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Earlier, the group has unanimously adopted a Pakistan-proposed statement condemning Israel and reaffirming support for Palestinians, as deadly clashes in East Jerusalem and other areas escalate.

Tensions have been running high in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem since last week when an Israeli court ordered the eviction of Palestinian families. The decision was later postponed.

Palestinians protesting in solidarity with residents of the neighborhood have been targeted by Israeli forces.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed the entire city in 1980, in a move that has never been recognized by the international community.

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