Muslim-majority allies urge world to up pressure on Israel

AFP , Saturday 8 Jun 2024

An alliance of mostly Muslim-majority countries including Turkey, Egypt, and Iran on Saturday demanded full Palestinian membership of the United Nations and greater international pressure on Israel amid its war on Gaza.

In this file, visitors to the United Nations headquarters take photos at the General Assembly speaker s podium ahead of the General Assembly. AP


The D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation, which also includes Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria and Pakistan, called for an immediate ceasefire in the devastated Palestinian territory, where Israel has been battling Hamas militants for more than eight months.

Foreign ministers from the group meeting in Istanbul called on the United States to lift its veto on full Palestinian UN membership and on all countries to "exert diplomatic, political, economic and legal pressure" on Israel.

They also urged states to ensure Israel complies with the International Court of Justice's decisions, withdraws from the southern Rafah governorate and guarantees the safe entry of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Denouncing an "ongoing genocide and grave violations of international law", the group called on states to contribute to and join legal proceedings against Israel at international courts.

The eight countries also demanded an end to arms and ammunition deliveries to Israel and that all measures be taken to protect Palestinian civilians, rejecting any attempted forced displacement.

They advocated a two-state solution based on 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as a Palestinian capital and a guarantee mechanism to protect a future settlement.

The Gaza war was sparked by Hamas's unprecedented October 7 attack on southern Israel which resulted in the deaths of 1,194 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Militants from Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups also took 251 hostages, 116 of whom remain in Gaza, including 41 the army says are dead.

Israel's retaliatory military offensive has killed at least 36,801 people in Gaza, also mostly civilians, according to the Hamas-run territory's health ministry.

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