Jerusalem - Photo Credit UN
CAIRO – 22, July 2017: The fourth International Conference on Jerusalem in Baku condemned on Friday the Israeli violations against Palestinian worshippers, the imposition of restrictions, and the closure of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. The conference described these violations as a violation of the historic status quo and the international law, according to the Palestinian News Agency (WAFA). Speakers at the conference also voiced concerns that such actions could drive the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a religious confrontation with dangerous repercussions.
The conference communiqué stated: “On behalf of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, we, organizers of the International Conference on Jerusalem, strongly condemn Israel’s closure of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the banning of Friday prayers.”
It added: “These measures and all other restrictions imposed by Israel, the occupying power, in violation of the historic status quo and international law, constitute both a blatant aggression against those who wish to attend these holy sites in Jerusalem, and an attack on the rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to worship at these sites.”
“These provocations, violations and attacks against Palestinian worshipers, aggravate religious sensitivities and tension, and should be immediately brought to an end to avoid a dangerous escalation of the situation on the ground.”
The International Conference called on the international community “to urgently reaffirm respect for the historic status quo, and to compel Israel, the occupying power, to rescind all measures that violate this historic status quo, including the installation of metal detectors, and to comply with its obligations under international law. We call on all parties concerned to work to calm the situation and avoid any steps that may increase the tension.”
It concluded: “We reaffirm the longstanding international condemnation, enshrined in UN General Assembly and UN Security Council resolutions, of all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, and stress that only an end of the Israeli occupation will pave the way for a just and lasting peace.”
The 2017 Conference, convened under the theme “Jerusalem and the international community: providing political and economic support”, aimed to provide up-to-date information on the situation in the city and explore ways to stimulate its resilient development. Representatives of States, civil society groups and other organizations shared a range of perspectives on the current escalation, while also underscoring the need to provide concrete support to the Palestinian population in East Jerusalem.
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