Jerusalem Current Affairs - 2019
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The 14th summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held in Mecca, Saudi Arabia was hosted by Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.
Key Highlights of Summit
- Agenda: The official agenda of meeting was to address ‘current issues in Muslim world’ and ‘recent developments in a number of OIC member states. Also, amid soaring tension between Iran and the US and its Gulf allies the OIC summit discussed the regional security issues. The Mecca summit supported Palestinians and backed Saudis in Iran standoff.
- Background: In December 2017, The United States President Donald Trump broke the decades of established protocol by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In May 2018 US embassy was transferred from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The suit was soon followed by Guatemala.
- Political leaders and heads of state from Islamic nations unanimously condemned countries including United Sates decision of making “illegal and irresponsible decision” to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
- In a joint statement at OIC summit in Saudi Arabia, the leaders called on countries that have moved their embassies to Jerusalem (by recognizing it as Israel’s capital) to rethink their strategy and which OIC considered as a serious violation of international law and international legitimacy.
About Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)
- It was established in 1969 by 24 member states and presently has 57 member states from four continents.
- Members: Out of total 57 member states the organisation has several significant non-Arab member states, like Turkey, Iran and Pakistan. The 22 members of the Arab League are also part of OIC. It has five observer members, including Russia and Thailand.
- With a collective population of more than 1.8 billion, it is the second largest intergovernmental body after the United Nations (UN).
- Objective: As per OIC charter, it aims to preserve Islamic values, safeguard and defend national sovereignty and independence of its member states and also to contribute to international peace and security.
- OIC states itself as ‘the collective voice of the Muslim world’ and works towards protecting interests of Muslim world.
- Summit: OIC holds an Islamic Summit once every three years at which heads of state discuss ways to achieve OIC’s charter’s objectives and make policy decisions that concern its member states.
- OIC has permanent delegations to the UN and the European Union (EU)
- Its official languages are Arabic, English and French.
Tags: 14th Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Summit • EU • European Union • Guatemals • Islamic Summit
On 15th December 2018, Australia recognized West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. With this, Australia has become one of the few countries that officially recognize West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and as the seat of the Knesset (Israel’s parliament). This move is supposed to irk Indonesia and other countries.
However, Australia has made it clear that it will not move its embassy from Tel Aviv until a peace settlement is reached between Israel and Palestine. Yet, Australia will establish a defence and trade office in Jerusalem and start looking for an embassy site
West Jerusalem is that part of Jerusalem which remained under Israeli control after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. A number of western countries such as the UK acknowledge de facto Israeli authority, but withhold de jure recognition. Israel’s claim of sovereignty over West Jerusalem is more widely accepted than its claim over city of East Jerusalem
- Both Israel and Palestine claim Jerusalem as their capital.
- Before this, United States President Donald Trump’s administration had also announced recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on December 6, 2017.
- The UN General Assembly passed a resolution in opposition to declare the US President Donald Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “null and void”
- India also supported the resolution, which was approved with a majority of 127-9 at the UN General Assembly calling for the US to withdraw its decision
The Israeli–Palestinian tussle is the ongoing struggle between Israelis and Palestinians that began in the mid-20th century. The origins of this conflict can be traced back to Jewish immigration, and sectarian conflict in Mandatory Palestine between Jews and Arabs. This conflict has been referred to as the world’s “most intractable conflict”, with the ongoing Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for last 51 years