CAIRO, Jan 16 — Arab foreign ministers on Thursday adopted a new plan aimed at ending the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, opting for the formation of a ministerial committee on the task.
The committee, formed in a recommendation at the conclusion of an urgent Arab League meeting, will consist of the current chairs of the Arab Summit and Arab Peace Initiative Committee, Kuwait and Mauritania respectively, Jordan (a member of the Security Council), Egypt, Morocco, Palestine and the Arab League Secretary General.
It has been tasked with “carrying out the necessary contacts and negotiations in order to mobilise international support needed to re-launch an Arab recommendation at the Security Council related to ending the occupation, implementing a final resolution and holding negotiations, aimed at encouraging the resumption of talks on the matter, with Council members and regional groups.”
Ministers went on to express support of the Arab Peace Initiative, proposed by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia at the Arab Summit held in Beirut in 2002, underlining that it “forms the best option for achieving peace and ending the Arab-Israeli conflict.”
They praised the efforts of Palestinians to gain membership to international organisations and agreements, most recently the International Criminal Court.
Efforts amongst Arab states would continue to ensure further international recognition of Palestinian statehood, with a capital of East Jerusalem, according to 1967 borders, it was further emphasised.
On the matter, the ministerial council commended the Swedish government’s recognition of the State of Palestine, the recommendations to do so by the parliaments of Britain, Ireland, Spain, France and Portugal, and plans for such a recommendation by Italian lawmakers.
The final statement went on to stress its “utter and categorical rejection to acknowledging Israel as a Jewish state, and rejection of all pressure being placed on the Palestinian leadership on this matter.”
It also condemned “Israeli actions aimed at consecrating what is known as the ‘Judaization’ of the state,” and warned of the dangerous consequences of this “racist approach” on the Palestinian people and the region.
Attempts of the Israeli occupation to divide and take control of Al-Aqsa Mosque and of the continuing attacks carried out by Jewish extremists on the Islamic holy site were also condemned and rejected.
Condemnation as a war crime that should be punished according to international law was also set forth on expansion settlements in the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Jerusalem.
Also condemned were Israel’s actions against Palestinian prisoners of isolation and torture, refusing to grant them their basic human rights, and its refusal to release the ‘fourth batch’ of Palestinian prisoners.
The international community was called on to urge the full implementation of the four Geneva declarations on occupied Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem, in order to ensure the safety of the Palestinian people.
Arab ministers also expressed their support of the Palestinian national unity government, presided by Mahmoud Abbas, and their gratitude of Egypt’s efforts on hosting a donors’ conference for the rebuilding of Gaza.
It called on pledging nations to hand over their promised sums immediately to the Palestinian national unity government.
The ministers reiterated the need to ensure providing Palestinian authorities with a ‘safety net’ of USD 100 million on a monthly basis, in order to face these Israeli actions.
On this regard, nations who fulfilled these monthly pledges were thanked – predominantly Saudi Arabia.
Efforts carried out by King Abdullah II of Jordan to protect the sanctity of holy sites in Jerusalem, and which also led to revoking a decision to prevent Muslim worshippers from performing Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque were also commended.