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OIC Summit in Turkey to Push for Strict Action against Israel



Turkey, as the term president of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), is expected to call on the seemingly unwilling Muslim world to take concrete action against the Israeli aggression toward Palestinians in today’s emergency summit.

The summit in Istanbul is expected to be attended by Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, King Abdullah II of Jordan, Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Kuwaiti Emir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah and Mauritanian President Mohammed Veled Abdulaziz.

The level of participation of the Arab world, mainly Gulf monarchies, is not yet known, though the emergency meeting on Jerusalem in December last year was marked due to the very low level delegations by participants. “The Arab leaders in the region are mostly maintaining their influence in the region with U.S. support. When this is the case, it is not possible for them to stand against U.S. policies in the region, even in a situation as in the Palestinian issue,” said journalist Oral Çalışlar, who is also a columnist for Posta daily. In addition, the OIC declared in a statement following the summit that east Jerusalem was the capital of Palestine “under occupation” and urged the U.S. to withdraw from the peace process and back down from its Jerusalem decision.

Arab leaders have been criticized by pundits for failing to stand up for the rights of Muslims and instead cooperating with Israel and the U.S.

“How can you expect the regime in Egypt, which came to power with U.S. support, to really stand against the U.S. decision on Jerusalem?” Çalışlar asked.

Egypt announced yesterday that Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukry would participate in today’s emergency summit.

The U.S. relocated its embassy to Jerusalem on May 14, a day before the 70th anniversary of Israel’s establishment in 1948, an event Palestinians refer to as the “Nakba,” or the “Catastrophe.”

Thousands of Palestinians had gathered on Gaza Strip’s eastern border early Monday morning to take part in protests aimed to commemorate the Nakba anniversary and protest relocating the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Most of the Palestinians killed on Monday were shot by Israeli snipers, Gaza’s Health Ministry said. More than 2,200 Palestinians were also injured by gunfire or tear gas.Among the indiscriminately killed 62 Palestinians was also an 8-month-old baby who died from tear gas inhalation along with eight children under the age of 16.

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım also invited his three counterparts from Libya, Nigeria and Iraq to the emergency summit, according to prime ministerial sources on yesterday.

Yıldırım phoned Libya’s Fayez al-Sarraj, Niger Prime Minister Brigi Rafini and his Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi to invite them to the emergency OIC summit, sources from the Prime Ministry confirmed.

On Tuesday, Yıldırım invited Bangladesh’s Sheikh Hasina Wazed, Morocco’s Saadeddine Othmani, Pakistan’s Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Abdullah bin Nasır es-Sani from Qatar and Algeria’s Ahmed Ouyahia, who are all premiers, to join the summit meeting.

After the OIC meeting today, a large rally will take place in Istanbul to protest Israel’s treatment of and recent killing of Palestinians.

“The world has witnessed a massacre against Palestinians which indicates the failure of the international system and its institutions,” Yaşar Hacısalihoğlu, a professor of political science and international relations and the rector of Yeniyüzyıl University, also told Daily Sabah. He added that the day the U.S. opened its embassy will be remembered as a day Israel indiscriminately massacred Palestinian people.

(Inputs from Reuters)