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Abdullah bin Zayed chairs Arab Foreign Ministers' emergency meeting in Riyadh to discuss Israel's continuous aggression on Palestinian people

posted on 10/11/2015: 1947 views

RIYADH: H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, yesterday chaired the emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers, which the UAE called to discuss the latest developments in the occupied Palestinian territories in light of the stalled peace process and Israel's continuous aggression on the Palestinian people, its lands, holy sites and the future action plan at the international level.

In his welcome address. HH Sheikh Abdullah said the meeting is being convened amidst a dangerous escalation by the Israeli government and forces, Jewish settlers and Jewish extremist groups in Jerusalem. Israel is perpetrating brutal crimes daily on the Palestinian people, and is desecrating the sanctity of the holy Aqsa Mosque and other Islamic and Christian holy sites without any deterrence and respect. Israel is also killing and arresting Palestinian people - children, women, youth and elderly people, displacing thousands of Palestinians by demolishing their homes.

'Israel is mainly responsible for the escalation of violent acts as a result of its continuous occupation of Palestinian territories and its unlawful measures against the Palestinian people,' HH emphasised, noting that the Palestinian Cause is the Arabs' central issue and its continuity without a just solution constitutes the key magnet that draws the forces of terrorism and extremism in the region. As a main factor for tensions, the Palestinian Cause will remain the key to security and peace in the region.

'We cannot speak about countering terrorism and backing international peace and security while Israel is committing these systematic, and abhorrent crimes. We believe that the procrastination of the Israel government towards the peace process has resulted in the current state of frustration in the international community despite its tireless diplomatic efforts,' HH noted, stressing that Israeli officials and settlers should not enjoy immunity and should be held accountable for the heinous crimes they committed.

'We hold them fully accountable for these crimes, which amount to war crimes, and the perpetrators should be brought to justice,' he added.

'It is unacceptable to speak about reciprocal violence and liken the resistance to aggression, particularly amidst the repeated aggressions by Jewish settlers against the Palestinians and the Israeli government's threat to impose a complete siege on Hebron,' Sheikh Abdullah added.

'We demand that the international community shoulder its responsibility regarding the Israeli acts to change the status quo of Jerusalem by adopting a tense, extremist rhetoric, inhumane measures against a people reeling under repressive occupation. Consequently the occupying power is held fully responsible for the current escalation. We repeat our demand for provision of an international mechanism for the protection of the Palestinian people as urgent and necessary, for protecting an unarmed people from systematic terrorism in line with the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their additional protocols to provide international protection to the Palestinian people, and also immediately lift all forms of unfair blockade on the occupied Palestinian territories.' HH also demanded that the United Nations Security Council assume its full responsibilities by issuing a resolution for setting appropriate mechanism and measures to ensure protection and safety of Palestinian civilians, especially since the Council has affirmed in many resolutions the application of the Fourth Geneva Convention on the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967 including East Jerusalem. The emergency session of the UN General Assembly must be approached to issue a resolution recommending specific measures for halting Israeli aggressions and for an international protection system.

HH emphasised that continuous Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, failure to establish an independent Palestinian state on the borders of 4 June, 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital, and continuous Israeli policies of settlement and confiscation of Palestinian lands, were major contributors to the state of instability and insecurity in the region.

Sheikh Abdullah recognised the need for supporting the tremendous efforts being made by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in defending the holy shrines in Jerusalem which are under the Hashemite's historic patronage led by King Abdullah II.

Sheikh Abdullah also lauded the great role being played by the Kingdom of Morocco under the leadership of King Mohammed VI, Chairman of the Jerusalem Committee, in defending the holy city, its Arab and Islamic identity and his support for resistance of the citizens of Jerusalem as well as his constant support for the Palestinian Cause at international forums.

Concluding his statement, the UAE foreign minister affirmed that a resolution should be adopted in regard to what action must be taken to stop Israeli crimes and aggressions in order to protect the holy sanctuaries and the Palestinian people from these racist crimes, which call upon the UAE to stand seriously, and also prompt the international community to shoulder its responsibility towards these brutal crimes and flagrant violations.

'The Palestinian Cause will remain our central issue and our role through your esteemed Council is to provide sustained support to the Palestinian brothers and to galvanise a unified, effective and serious stance towards these dangerous developments,' HH concluded.

Mohammed bin Nakhira Al Dhaheri, UAE Ambassador to Egypt and Permanent Representative to the Arab League, attended the meeting.

Taking the floor, the Palestinian Authority's Foreign Minister, Riyad al-Maliki, on behalf of the Palestinian leadership and people, thanked the UAE and H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed for calling the meeting to discuss the barbaric Israeli onslaught on the Palestinian people and the Islamic holy shrines in Jerusalem. He also thanked the government of the King, the government and the people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for hosting the meeting.

Addressing the Arab foreign ministers, al-Maliki said the Palestinian people were being subjected to the most savage aggression at the hands of the Israeli occupation forces and settler criminal gangs. The holy city of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque are also under cruel attacks.

'No doubt, these measures prove that Israeli occupation forces are working to change the status quo in Jerusalem,' he said.

On his part, Dr. Nabil Al Araby, Secretary-General of the Arab League, said the Arab foreign ministers were invited by H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed to discuss steps that should be taken to confront the audacious Israeli violations against the Palestinian people, which amount to war crimes.

He called upon the international community, notably the UN Security Council and other stakeholders, to work hard to end the conflict.

He once again called on the UNSC to live up to its moral and legal duties by compelling the Israeli occupation forces to comply with its relevant resolutions and respect the Geneva Convention, stop building settlements and refrain from targeting the Al-Aqsa Mosque and other holy sites.

Sheikh Abdullah then called a closed door session. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


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