Riyadh: Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saudi joined the united voice of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) condemning Israel's "flagrant violations" of Palestinian rights. He called on the international community to act urgently to put an end to Israel's military operations in the Gaza Strip, reported Al Jazeera.
The Saudi top diplomat made the televised remarks on Sunday at the start of an emergency meeting of the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held virtually following a week of intense Israeli bombings of Gaza – an enclave of two million people – which has remained under an air, land and sea blockade imposed by Israel.
Israel claims it launched airstrikes in the Palestinian territory after Hamas fighters in Gaza fired rockets into its territory. Hamas action came in response to an Israeli crackdown on Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem and the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque – Islam's third holiest site – by Israeli forces.
The Minister condemned the violation of the sanctity of Islamic holy sites and eviction of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967 and annexed it in 1980 and has since been building settlements – considered illegal under international law – for Jews. Palestinians also accuse Israel of cleansing the Palestinian land of its natives and make a demographic change.
Al Saud also called on the international community to fulfil its responsibility in stopping a "dangerous escalation", and to revive peace negotiations based on a two-state solution.
Another speaker at the OIC meeting on Sunday, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki of the Palestinian Authority, which administers the Israeli-occupied West Bank, decried what he called Israel's "cowardly attacks".
"The rise of the Palestinian people has made it clear that Jerusalem is a red line," Malki said, adding "our people will not be exhausted by Israel's killing machine".
Others leaders including Turkey's foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu echoed similar strong sentiment against Israeli aggression.