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Source: Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)
21 August 2017

OIC statement on 48th anniversary of Al-Aqsa fire

Date: 21/08/2017

Muslims are marking the 48th anniversary of the sad burning of the holy mosque of Al-Aqsa, the first Qibla (prayer direction) of Muslims and the third holiest site in Islam, amid mounting extremist settlers’ violations and assault, condoned by the Israeli occupation forces, against the Al-Aqsa.

The policy of judaization and ethnic cleansing practiced by the Israeli occupying power in the city of Al-Quds, against its population and sanctities, is such that it constitutes a breach of the Muslim Ummah’s indelible religious rights and heritage. More than a source of provocation to the feelings of Muslims, an offense to the freedom of worship and a desecration of the sacred places of Islam, these policies and practices are a downright affront to the international law and the relevant international legitimacy resolutions.

On this sad occasion, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation reaffirms the central religious and spiritual character of Al-Quds and the place of importance the holy Mosque of Al-Aqsa holds amongst the Muslim community worldwide, stressing that the integrity and sanctity of this city’s holy places can only be maintained if peace and security are established throughout the entire region.

The OIC holds Israel, the occupying power, fully responsible for the safety of all the holy places falling under its unjust occupation, pointing out that the international covenants and agreements, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention, prohibit aggression by the occupying power on houses of worship and provide that free access to these places should be ensured. These international instruments also prevent the occupying power to take such measures as may alter the geographic and demographic status of historical and holy places.

Faithful to its main cause of formation, and amid continuing Israeli aggression against the holy city of Al-Quds, the OIC reaffirms its rejection of any attempt to undermine the Palestinian sovereignty and compromise the Palestinian presence in Al-Quds Al-Sharif. It also calls on the international community to force Israel to abide by the principles and resolutions sanctioned by the international law and the international legitimacy, and to end its occupation of all the territory (to the 1967 borders) of the Palestinian state, granted admission to the UN on 29 November 2012. The OIC also calls for a cessation of the ongoing Israeli violations and judaization plans, especially Israel’s attempts to harm the Islamic and Christian holy places in Al-Quds, on top of which is the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The OIC salutes the Palestinian people holding steadfast in the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, reiterating its full solidarity with them and endorsing their struggle for their legitimate rights. The Organization further stresses its commitment to protect the city’s Arab and Islamic identity, promote its status as a common human heritage and defend its Islamic and Christian shrines, especially Al-Aqsa Mosque. Further, the OIC reiterates its pledge to defend the Muslim community’s inalienable religious rights in their city, and calls for continued support to be provided to Al-Quds and its steadfast population.

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