The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Khaleel, has issued a call for urgent action to aid the Palestinian people during the Extraordinary Meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Executive Committee. The meeting was held at the OIC General Secretariat in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to discuss the ongoing Israeli military aggression against the Palestinian people.

In his remarks, State Minister Khaleel condemned the ongoing Israeli military aggression against the civilians in Gaza. He called for support to ensure humanitarian corridors for the delivery of medicine, food supplies, and other basic necessities to Gaza.

State Minister Khaleel further called on Israel for the complete withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian lands, stating that it violates international law and contravenes UN Security Council and OIC resolutions. He also noted that establishing a sovereign and independent state of Palestine based on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, is the only pathway towards regional peace and stability.

In a statement published after the emergency meeting of foreign ministers, the OIC denounced Israel’s backers for granting the country “impunity” in its war in Gaza. The 57-member bloc of Muslim-majority countries “deplores the international positions that back the brutal aggression against the Palestinian people and grant Israel impunity, taking advantage of the double standards that provide cover for the occupying power,” the statement read.

The committee also reaffirmed its emphasis on the centrality of the Palestinian issue for the entire Islamic Ummah and supported the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. This includes their right to self-determination, the return of Palestinian refugees, their right to independence, and their legitimate right to self-defence.

“In light of the blatant and unprecedented Israeli aggression in the occupied Palestinian territory and the heinous massacres perpetrated against civilians in Gaza Strip by the Israeli occupation forces, which led to hundreds of innocent civilian casualties, thousands of injuries, and the displacement of hundreds of thousands through the demolition of their homes,” OIC members called “for the immediate cessation of the barbaric aggression of the Israeli occupation forces against the Palestinian people and the immediate lifting of the siege imposed to the Gaza Strip.”

Israel’s continued bombardment of Gaza has killed at least 3,785 Palestinians since 7 October.

The meeting was held upon the joint invitation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Chair of the current session of the Islamic Summit and Chair of the Executive Committee, and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The Maldives has been an active member of the OIC since becoming a member in 1976.