The Latest: Israel Calls US Decision ‘turning Point’ For UN

The Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will convene for an extraordinary summit in Istanbul to discuss Jerusalem following U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision last week to recognize the holy city as Israel’s capital and relocate the U.S. embassy to the city. The OIC, which was established in 1969 to support a free Palestine, is expected to go beyond messages of condemnation at the summit and prompt the U.S. to abandon its decision that enables the Israeli occupation of Palestine and massacre of Palestinians.

Possible decisions that the OIC could take for a free Palestine are as follows:

1. Jerusalem is the capital of the Palestinian state.

2. Jerusalem should not be excluded from all regional discussions.

3. Israel is an occupying state and it should withdraw from these territories immediately. No international enterprise can legitimize this occupation.

4. U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is null and void. Initiatives to halt its implementation should be started urgently and this decision should be made impractical by effective measures.

5. All attempts made and pressure put on Muslim countries to compromise on Jerusalem must be rejected.

6. Jerusalem cannot be seen as a bargaining piece in the name of "peace" or "rapprochement" with Israel, nor can it be up for discussion. Countries that do this should be condemned and put under pressure.

7. Muslim countries should clearly and collectively declare to the world that they reject all initiatives that view Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

8. All negotiations in the name of "peace" with Israel should be ended immediately. Joint political, military and economic projects with Israel should also end.

9. Muslim countries should cut their economic and political ties with Israel.

10. Harsh economic and political pressure must be imposed on the Israeli government, defense of Palestine should be noted as a non-controversial decision, and Israel should be isolated from the region.

Jerusalem: A century of hostile occupation
Jerusalem: A century of hostile occupation

Jerusalem, which was occupied by the British one century ago this week, is experiencing one of its most difficult times. The occupation of Jerusalem, which has been ongoing since Dec. 9, 1917, has gained a new dimension after U.S. President Donald Trump declared the city the capital of Israel. Since last Wednesday, when Trump made the scandalous announcement, Israeli forces have martyred four Palestinians and wounded 1,487 others, as well as taking 150 Palestinians into custody in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.City forbidden for millionsNearly 3 million Palestinians living in the West Bank cannot enter Jerusalem because of the walls constructed around them by Israel. Two million Palestinians living under a blockade on the Gaza Strip are also banned from entering Jerusalem. About 5 million Palestinian refugees scattered around the globe are unable to return to their homeland Jerusalem. There are just above 300,000 Palestinians living in occupied East Jerusalem.Video: Erdoğan: We won’t abandon Jerusalem to the mercy of a child-murderer state!Exile and warJerusalem remains at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem, now occupied by Israel, might eventually serve as the capital of a future Palestinian state. Jerusalem had been under the rule of the Ottoman Empire since 1517, but was captured by the British in 1917. General Sir Edmund Allenby took Jerusalem through the Jaffa gate on Dec. 11. In General Allenby’s proclamation of martial law in Jerusalem, he declared “The defeat has resulted in the occupation of your city by my forces. I therefore here and now proclaim it to be under Martial Law, under which form of administration it will remain so long as military considerations make it necessary.”West Jerusalem was occupied by Israel in the Arab-Israeli war of 1948. Over 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from Palestine. This is referred to as the Nakba, or catastrophe, when Israel was officially founded. Eastern Jerusalem was occupied by Israel in 1967, although this annexation has never been recognized internationally. A UN vote in December 2016 declared that Palestinian territories were under hostile occupation.Illegal Jewish populationJewish settlement projects aimed at strengthening Israel’s control of East Jerusalem are deemed illegal under international law. Despite this, there are over 200,000 Jewish settlers in illegal settlements in East Jerusalem.Israel’s settlements have repeatedly been described as having “no legal validity, constituting a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the vision of two States living side-by-side in peace and security, within internationally recognized borders,” as stated by a UN Security Council Meeting in December 2016.Istanbul Islamic summit to tackle JerusalemTwo-pronged Israeli attackIsraeli army forces launched airstrikes on the Gaza Strip on Monday. The attacks were launched using an Israeli tank and warplanes which targeted Hamas posts in the southern Gaza Strip.The attack came as tensions mount and Palestinians are targeted by Israeli army troops amid ongoing protests against last week’s decision by the U.S. to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.Confrontations of varying intensity have been reported in the West Bank cities of Ramallah and Hebron (al-Khalil), and in the town of Sair as well as Jerusalem. Palestinian demonstrations have remained underway in the occupied territories for the last four days to protest Washington's policy shift on Jerusalem.Trump’s Jerusalem decision has sparked global outrage and protests, and on Monday the EU strongly rejected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s calls to recognize the holy city as the capital of Israel.No reduction in aid to Palestinians: UN relief agencyIsraeli forces hit Gaza Strip, defense official saysYıldırım calls for Muslim unity on Jerusalem

11. A historic step should be taken at the extraordinary OIC summit in Istanbul, firm decisions should be made and Muslim countries must demonstrate their political strength and their capability to act independently.

12. OIC member countries should withdraw their ambassadors to the U.S. for “consultations.”

13. Muslim countries should limit, freeze or even end relations with the countries that accept Israel's occupation of Jerusalem.

14. European countries in particular should be subjected to intense pressure in this regard. Strong lobbying should be initiated immediately.

15. Initiatives should be started in the European Union, Russia and China, and international organizations should be mobilized.

16. The declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is also unacceptable for the Christian world. Therefore, Eastern churches and the Christian clergy should be gathered in Istanbul and a common decision should be made.

17. The U.S. has lost its impartiality in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The U.S. administration should no longer be considered an interlocutor in Middle East peace talks. All Muslim countries should declare that they will not see the U.S. as a party of peace.

18. Muslim countries should establish a common force to defend Jerusalem, establish a line of defense, and encourage and direct large-scale mass movements. A global pressure mechanism must be mobilized.

19. Muslim countries should establish a Common Peace Army, and within this power a unit should be formed under the name of “The Force to Protect Jerusalem.”

20. Muslim countries should establish a “Jerusalem Fund” within the OIC, and the economic dependence of the Palestinian people on Western countries must be ended.

21. The airspace of Muslim countries should be closed to Israeli aircraft, and the sharing of intelligence with Israel and the U.S. should be stopped immediately.

22. Israel's military interventions in Muslim countries should be responded to harshly, and mechanisms and partnerships should be established to prevent these interventions.

23. Muslim countries must end their conflicts with each other and unite in solidarity against the threats posed by Israel and the U.S.

24. The headquarters of the OIC must be moved to Istanbul, and Istanbul should run the post of general secretary.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called an extraordinary summit of the OIC to be held in Istanbul on Dec. 13 to discuss Jerusalem after Trump’s declaration. The OIC is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations with a membership of 57 states spread over four continents. The organization is the collective voice of the Muslim world.

No reduction in aid to Palestinians: UN relief agency
No reduction in aid to Palestinians: UN relief agency

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) on Monday assured Palestinians that there would be no reduction to humanitarian aid provided by the agency, according to UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl.In a statement, Krahenbuhl said that UNRWA was “more determined than ever” to protect the rights of Palestinians and meet their humanitarian needs.“Nothing is more important to me than fulfilling that mission,” he said.“It is a mandate that reflects the will of the international community and was extended by the United Nations General Assembly a year ago.”Video: Footage emerges of 22 Israeli soldiers arresting 14-year-old Palestinian boyHe went on to assert that the UNRWA would continue providing vital services “without interruption” to refugees in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, the blockaded Gaza Strip and in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.Krahenbuhl also confirmed that the UNRWA’s 711 schools and 143 medical clinics would remain open to refugees.He urged the UNRWA’s partners and donors to maintain their support for the agency “until a just and lasting solution [to the Israel-Palestine dispute] has been found”.“It is a matter of dignity for 5.3 million Palestinian refugees.”The UNRWA, which in recent years has struggled with chronic funding shortfalls, provides education and health services to more than 5 million Palestinian refugees.Istanbul Islamic summit to tackle JerusalemIsraeli forces hit Gaza Strip, defense official saysYıldırım calls for Muslim unity on Jerusalem

Istanbul Islamic summit to tackle Jerusalem
Istanbul Islamic summit to tackle Jerusalem

Jordan's King Abdullah II on Monday said an upcoming Islamic summit in Turkey would focus on the “challenges” posed by last week’s recognition by the U.S. of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.The king made the remarks at a meeting with Chuichi Date, president of Japan’s House of Councilors, at Amman’s Husseiniya Palace, according to a statement issued by Jordan’s Royal Court.On Wednesday, the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) plans to hold an emergency summit in Istanbul to discuss recent regional developments, especially as they pertain to Jerusalem.Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocate the U.S. embassy to the city.The dramatic shift in longstanding U.S. policy drew angry reactions -- including numerous demonstrations -- from across the Middle East.Jordanians protest US policy reversal on JerusalemSpeaking Monday, King Abdullah said the U.S. decision would have "serious repercussions” on regional stability and efforts to restart the Israel-Palestine peace process.He urged the international community to “shoulder its responsibilities” regarding Jerusalem and help achieve a “just and lasting solution” to the perennial Middle East conflict."The Jerusalem issue must be resolved within the framework of a settlement that also includes an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” the king said.Chuichi, for his part, described last week’s move by the U.S. as a “cause for concern due to its negative impact on the region”, according to the same Royal Court statement.The Japanese official reportedly went on to stress his country's commitment to a “two-state solution”, saying the Jerusalem issue must be resolved through final status negotiations.Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem -- now occupied by Israel -- might eventually serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.During his electoral campaign last year, Trump repeatedly promised to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and acknowledge Jerusalem as the Jewish state’s capital.In April, Moscow announced its recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, expressing hope that the city’s eastern half might eventually serve as the capital of an independent Palestine.Notably, in last week’s announcement, Trump stressed that his administration had yet to take a position regarding “the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem”.Galeri: Protest against US Jerusalem decision in Istanbul’s Yenikapı

Israeli forces hit Gaza Strip, defense official says
Israeli forces hit Gaza Strip, defense official says

Israeli army forces launched airstrikes on the Gaza Strip on Monday, an Israeli military official said.The attacks were launched in response to a rocket attack from Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on Twitter.“A short while ago, rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel. Hits have not yet been identified,” it said.An Israeli tank and warplanes targeted Hamas posts in the southern Gaza Strip, it added.Video: Footage emerges of 22 Israeli soldiers arresting 14-year-old Palestinian boyGaleri: Israeli soldiers crackdown on Palestinians protesting against Trump's Jerusalem decision

Yıldırım calls for Muslim unity on Jerusalem
Yıldırım calls for Muslim unity on Jerusalem

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on Monday called on Muslim countries to unite against the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.“Palestinians are never alone against this unfair, unlawful and arrogant decision,” he told parliament.“Islamic countries should move in unity against the U.S. move.”He said Turkey would not recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital “until the solution between Palestine and Israel.”U.S President Donald Trump’s announcement last week to recognize Jerusalem and move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv sparked demonstrations across the Muslim world.Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem -- now occupied by Israel -- might serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.In his address to the Grand National Assembly, Yıldırım also said the tomb of the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire would be returned to its previous location.The Syrian tomb of Suleyman Shah, the grandfather of Osman I, was moved within 200 meters (650 feet) of the Turkish border in February 2015 due to fears that Turkish troops could be threatened by Daesh at its original location.Under the 1921 Treaty of Ankara, the land where the tomb is sited is considered Turkish territory.

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