East Jerusalem should be declared Palestinian state’s capital, say Muslim world leaders


Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan poses with Jordan's King Abdullah and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Istanbul, Turkey, December 13, 2017 (Osman Orsal/Reuters)

The leaders of 57 Muslim nations have called on the world to recognise “the State of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its occupied capital”.

An Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) communique has declared US President Trump’s decision to recognise the city as Israel’s capital as “null and void”.

“Jerusalem is and will forever be the capital of the Palestinian state,” President Mahmoud Abbas told delegates at the OIC summit in Istanbul.

“We do not accept any role of the United States in the political process from now on, because it is completely biased towards Israel.”

OIC said the move has signalled Washington’s withdrawal from its role in the Middle East peace process.

A view of the Dome of the Rock. Jerusalem is historically a holy centre of the three Abrahamic religions

“All violence… is a result of a failure to find a peaceful solution to the Palestinian issue,” Jordan’s King Abdallah said.

The Palestinians had engaged with the Trump administration in an attempt to agree “the deal of the century”, Abbas said, but were instead given “the slap of the century”.

Trump shocked even some of his country’s closest allies by following through with his campaign promise to formally recognise the holy city as Israel’s undivided capital.

Israel annexed east Jerusalem in 1967 in a move that the UN declared a violation of international law. Both Palestine and Israel claim it as their capital, and the city’s status remains a major obstacle in peace talks. Not to mention Israel’s other illegal occupations of the West Bank and Golan Heights.

Israel’s transferral of its civilians to its occupied territories fall under Article 8(2)(b)(viii) of the International Criminal Court Rome Statute as constituting a war crime.

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Ambar Iqbal

Ambar is a Politics student at Kings College London. Her goal is to bring awareness to the important stories around the world, especially the ones that go unheard. She's appeared on the BBC, and is passionately involved with community organisation back home in Staffordshire.

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