OIC reiterates status of Al-Quds City and Islamic and Christian sacred sites

Palestinian football players on August 21, 2019 wear white masks as a sign of protest against the storming on August 18 by Israeli forces of the Burj Al-Laqlaq Football Stadium and banning a tournament organized by Palestinian families in Jerusalem's Old City from taking place. (AFP / AHMAD GHARABLI)
Updated 22 August 2019
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OIC reiterates status of Al-Quds City and Islamic and Christian sacred sites

JEDDAH: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has reaffirmed its support for the State of Palestine’s right to full sovereignty over Al-Quds City, the capital of Palestine, protect its Arab identity, preserve its heritage, defend the sanctity of its holy sites and ensure inalienable rights in the city.

The OIC in a statement issued on Wednesday, on the 50th anniversary of the arson attack on the Holy Mosque of Al-Aqsa, said that it comes while Israeli violations continue escalating against Al-Aqsa Mosque, restricting the freedom of access of Muslims to the mosque, continuous attacks on Muslim worshipers inside its yards, closing its gates, and enabling extremist settlers to storm its yards.

In addition, the OIC pointed out in the statement the intensifying of excavations under the mosque and its vicinity within the framework of Israel’s plans to radically alter the city, change its geographical and demographic characteristics and isolate it from its Palestinian surroundings in a flagrant violation of the international law and relevant UN resolutions.

The OIC (which was established in light of Al-Quds and the Palestinian cause) called on the international community to work to bring Israel, the occupying power, to abide by the principles of international law and resolutions and end its occupation of all the land of the occupied Palestinian State recognized by the UN on the basis of the 1967 borders, including the City of Al-Quds.

The OIC also applauded the Palestinian people in the city of Jerusalem, reaffirming its continued solidarity with them and supporting their legitimate rights.


Venus Williams crashes out of Wuhan Open

Updated 9 sec ago

Venus Williams crashes out of Wuhan Open

  • Former top tennis player Venus Williams is a 2015 Wuhan champion and now 59th in the world rankings
WUHAN, China: Venus Williams’ first visit to Asia since 2017 was cut short as she crashed out of the Wuhan Open first round on Sunday 7-5, 7-6 (7/5) to fellow American Danielle Collins.
The 39-year-old Williams, a 2015 Wuhan champion now 59th in the world rankings, squandered a lead in the first set before eventually losing to Collins, who recorded just the second match win of her career on Chinese soil.
The 35th-ranked Collins rallied back from 3-5 down in the opening set, winning a whopping nine games in a row to go up 7-5, 5-0.
Williams, a wildcard at Wuhan this year, finally stopped the bleeding, holding the serve to interrupt her opponent’s momentum.
It was the start of a surprising five-game run from Williams, who saved two match points along the way as she drew level at 5-5.
In the decider, Williams got the first mini-break but it was Collins who eventually created a 6-4 gap, converting with an ace on her fourth match point to move into the second round.
It was Collins’ second triumph over Williams, who had also stumbled against the 25-year-old during the Miami Open last year.
“This is my first tournament here in Asia, I was just happy to come out with a win, said Collins, who next takes on defending champion and ninth seed Aryna Sabalenka, a 6-1, 6-2 winner over Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
Meanwhile, 2017 Wuhan runner-up Ashleigh Barty is making sure she has enough left in the tank for a busy closing stretch of the season, including her singles debut at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen and a highly-anticipated Fed Cup final between Australia and France in Perth.
Barty is top seed at Wuhan and faces a stiff challenge in the fight for the year-end number one ranking from the likes of Karolina Pliskova, Simona Halep, Bianca Andreescu and Naomi Osaka.
The 23-year-old Australian is first-ranked this week and would like to finish the year on top, but admitted that she has other priorities.
“I think it’s a target without being a target,” Barty told reporters.
“We’ve put ourselves in a position where it’s a possibility. I plan my schedule, the last six months of this year, well in advance. I think I’m not going to change it to try and chase it,” she added.
“If it happens, it happens.”
Barty will open her Wuhan campaign against either Russian Daria Kasatkina or Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia.