JAKARTA, PALESTINOW.COM – Indonesia has called on the Muslim world and its allies to join hands in a “massive mobilization” against Israel’s plan to illegally annex a large part of the West Bank, issuing the call as top diplomats from Muslim and Muslim-majority countries convened to reiterate their support for Palestinian sovereignty and an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Speaking at an extraordinary meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Wednesday evening, Foreign Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi said that the member countries should work together to mobilize support for Palestine and hedge against any internal divisions over the contentious issue.
“Our voice should be solid to prevent the formal annexation from happening,” Retno said in her speech, a transcript of which was made available to The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.
The OIC, which was established in response to the 1969 arson attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, has regularly issued statements and resolutions condemning Israeli aggression on Palestine.
However, individual member states have offered varying responses to Israel’s annexation plan depending on their diplomatic relations with the United States, which has been a strong supporter of Israel with US President Donald Trump espousing the plan.
Retno noted that while all countries in the world were scrambling to tackle the coronavirus pandemic over the past few months, Israel had used the opportunity to annex the West Bank.
After successfully forming a coalition government following repeated failure, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to extend sovereignty to Jewish settlements and the Jordan Valley in the West Bank – Palestinian territory that Israel occupied during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.
Netanyahu’s new government is due to discuss the annexation plan beginning July 1, reports Reuters.
Retno alleged that Israel had violated international law and various United Nations resolutions while undermining international parameters and consensus on the question of Palestine, including the two-state solution.
“The current ‘de facto’ annexation is unacceptable. The planned ‘formal’ annexation is even more unacceptable,” she stressed during Wednesday’s virtual meeting.
The minister urged OIC states that maintained formal relations with Israel to take diplomatic measures in accordance with OIC resolutions if Israel proceeded with its plan to formally annex the disputed territory.
A staunch ally of Palestine, Indonesia does not have diplomatic ties with Israel.
The OIC adopted a resolution at Wednesday’s extraordinary meeting that “warns against the dangerous intention of Israel, the occupying power, to annex parts of occupied Palestinian territory” as representing “a serious escalation of its colonial policies and measures, flagrant aggression on the historical, legal and political rights of the Palestinian people, and a blatant violation of the principles and standards of international law, the UN Charter and relevant UN resolutions”.
Retno also stressed that OIC states must be actively denounced Israel’s move at international and multilateral forums, including the UN General Assembly, the UN Security Council (UNSC), and the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
OIC member states Indonesia, Tunisia and Niger currently serve as nonpermanent UNSC members. Fifteen OIC states, including Indonesia, sit on the UNHRC.
“The OIC must also begin to lobby other groupings and other international organizations,” the minister said, and that the collective movement should aim “to support the resumption of credible multilateral negotiations guided by internationally agreed parameters with the aim to achieve the two-state solution”.
Retno added that she had sent letters clarifying Indonesia’s position to her counterparts in the Non-Aligned Movement, the G-77, and the European Union, as well as all members of the UN Security Council. The letter also asked for their support in rejecting Israel’s annexation plan.
In a joint announcement with Netanyahu in late January, Trump released his long-delayed Israeli-Palestinian “peace plan”, which laid out a vision for establishing an independent Palestinian state while also formalizing Israeli sovereignty over settlements in occupied Palestinian territory.
The heavily biased plan received different responses from individual countries, with Indonesia pointing out that the US plan did not adhere to “internationally agreed parameters”, including those on illegal Israeli settlements, the status of Jerusalem, and the fate of some 5 million Palestinian refugees.
In February, the OIC issued a resolution that categorically rejects Trump’s plan, saying that it “does not meet the minimum aspirations and legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and contradicts the terms of reference of the peace process”.
Source: The Jakarta Post