Foreign minister: OIC’s lack of political will in addressing Palestinian plight should no longer be tolerated

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin  Hussein speaking at a press conference on the 36th ASEAN Summit in Putrajaya June 25, 2020. — Bernama pic
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein speaking at a press conference on the 36th ASEAN Summit in Putrajaya June 25, 2020. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 16 — As more homes are being demolished, more deaths are occurring, and more misery is being inflicted on the Palestinians, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) ‘lack of political will’ should no longer be tolerated as an excuse to perpetuate Israel’s occupation further.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said it is clear the bloodshed committed against the Palestinians has to end, along with Israel’s impunity in committing untold atrocities, and Israel as perpetrators of these heinous crimes should also be held accountable.

“While unintentional, we have shamefully contributed to encouraging the Occupying Power through our inaction.  Malaysia takes the floor today to echo the strong views expressed around the table on the urgent need to take bold action to salvage the situation on the ground,” he said.

Hishammuddin said this during the virtual open-ended extraordinary meeting for the OIC Executive Committee at the level of the foreign ministers, today. His speech text which included Malaysia’s six recommendations on the way forward for OIC in addressing the plight of the Palestinians was made available to the media.

While Malaysia has strongly and publicly demanded Israel to immediately cease its hostilities and attacks against Palestine, the international community cannot choose to remain silent and oblivious to these atrocities committed by Israel.

“It is an insult when other countries come out and speak about the right of Israel to self-defence, and not a single word about the Palestinian right to self-defence when Palestinians are slaughtered, and have been occupied for over 50 years,” he pointed out

Malaysia has continuously and consistently condemned in the strongest terms the incursion and attacks by the Israeli Occupation Forces against Palestinian civilians and worshippers in Al-Aqsa Mosque, all forced evictions of Palestinians from their homes and Israel’s continued military airstrikes on the Gaza Strip since last week, he said.

These atrocious, disproportionate, and excessive attacks by Israel are in total and blatant disregard of all international laws, furthermore they are in violation of the United Nations (UN) Charter, and a war crime under the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention.           

Hishammuddin also relayed Malaysia’s six recommendations for OIC on how best to move forward with the first calling the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to rectify its failure and shoulder its responsibility in maintaining peace and security, with Israel made to fully comply with all its obligations as prescribed by relevant UNSC resolutions.

Secondly, in ensuring the safety of Palestinians, the OIC needs to urge the UN to provide international protection for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, in line with international humanitarian law, particularly the Geneva Conventions, to ensure accountability for all parties to the conflict.

Third, the international community, particularly OIC members, should robustly pursue all legal, political, and economic channels to pressure Israel. On this front, Malaysia has recently worked closely with Indonesia and Brunei to jointly condemn the Israeli attacks against Palestinians.

Fourth, OIC members need to urge civil society worldwide to continue their struggle to call for accountability and highlight gross violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Fifth, while addressing the current crisis, the international community must continue to find a lasting solution to the conflict, including addressing urgently the root cause of the conflict and return to a meaningful peace process to end the Israeli occupation.

Sixth and finally, Malaysia stresses the importance for all OIC members to remain united in supporting the plight of the Palestinians because without unity, the Muslim Ummah will falter into disarray.

He said peace in the region cannot be realised without an independent State of Palestine, based on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as the capital. This is the only viable solution to the Palestinian-Israel conflict.

“To this end, I believe and remain convinced that the OIC must continue to play a central role to take all maximum possible efforts to protect Palestinians against Israel’s hostile acts,” he said ending his speech. — Bernama

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