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Al-Aqsa Mosque issue is a red line, warns OIC

Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli security forces on Monday near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, near the West Bank city of Ramallah. (AFP)
JEDDAH: The 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will meet in Istanbul, Turkey, on Aug. 1 to discuss the crisis around Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem, it said in a statement Monday. Turkey currently holds the OIC presidency.
“The issue of Al-Aqsa Mosque is a red line that can never be toyed with under any circumstances,” the OIC said in a statement after a meeting in Jeddah.
“Attacking Al-Aqsa Mosque in any way and under whatever pretext will have serious consequences and will lead to instability in the region,” it added.
The statement was read by Ambassador Samir Bakr Diyab, the OIC’s assistant secretary-general for Palestine affairs, on behalf of Secretary-General Yousef A. Al-Othaimeen.
The statement was delivered at the opening of the emergency meeting of the OIC committee of permanent representatives, which discussed the ongoing developments in Al-Quds Al-Shareef.
The OIC warned that “compromising Al-Aqsa Mosque in any form and under any circumstances will have very grave consequences.”
Ambassador Diyab remarked that “the ongoing events at Al-Aqsa were premeditated and planned for execution by Israel, the occupying power, in order to gain full control of Al-Aqsa and to begin to divide it temporally and spatially the way it did with the Ibrahimi Mosque.”
The statement saluted and praised the Palestinian people, particularly those in Al-Quds, who lead in defending their city and holy sites on behalf of the entire Islamic Ummah.
“Israel defies and denigrates international resolutions on a daily basis,” the statement pointed out.
The secretary-general also said that “the fast rate of Israeli plans aimed at Judaizing Al-Quds is unprecedented, particularly after UNESCO’s endorsement of the resolution affirming that Al-Aqsa is one of Islam’s holy sites.”
Ambassador Taysir Jaradat, undersecretary of Palestine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, called for “full condemnation of all Israeli measures seeking to change the existing historical condition and prevent Muslims from accessing Al-Aqsa Mosque to freely practice their religious rites.”
Jaradat also called for the establishment of an OIC committee to follow up these processes and generate ideas for comprehensive action by international organizations, human rights groups and influential states in the international community to play a role in pressuring Israel to rescind its decisions.
Jaradat urged the international community to assume its responsibilities in relation to “this grave violation which requires joint Arab and Islamic action at all levels.”

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