WHILST affirming support for the Afghan people faced with dire humanitarian crisis, the extraordinary session of OIC Council of Foreign Ministers held on Sunday though overlooked the plight of Kashmiri people, yet did express solidarity with the oppressed Palestinian people.
The extraordinary session unanimously adopted Islamabad Declaration, unequivocally condemning all illegal colonial measures undertaken by Israel to colonize the Palestinian territory, particularly the attempts to alter the character and legal status of the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif where colonial settlements and racist laws including the so-called ‘settlement law’ has been introduced to annex the city and confiscate the properties of Palestinian inhabitants.
The population of Israeli settlers in the West Bank and Al-Quds Al Sharif is growing at a faster rate than the population of Israel. Roughly 10% of Israel’s 6.8 million Jewish population lives in these occupied Palestinian territories
. Today there are between 600,000 and 750,000 Israeli settlers living there who are granted Israeli citizenship and they also receive government subsidies that significantly low their cost of living.
These Israeli settlements are illegal under international law as they violate the Fourth Geneva Convention, which bans an occupying power from transferring its population to the area it occupies. Then there is also nobody to stop Israelis from bombing and killing the Palestinians.
According to Human Rights Watch, Israel is committing crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution against the Palestinians.
The same kind of persecution and effort to change demographic structure is being witnessed in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
The fact of the matter is that both the occupied territories have become an open prison for their locals. There is a strong resentment within the Muslim Ummah over the plight of Palestinian and Kashmiri people.
The western world must shun double standards on human rights and use their influence for the resolution of these two lingering disputes as per the aspirations of their peoples.
This is a must for the peace and stability of the world at large. Those who persecuted and killed innocent Kashmiris and Palestinians must be tried for war crimes.