Web posted at: 3/16/2006 1:30:26 Source ::: Agencies
JEDDAH: Islamic foreign ministers renewed support for Palestinians yesterday and blasted an Israeli raid on a West Bank prison to seize Palestinian radicals as “state terrorism”.
“Member states of this executive committee are unanimous with regard to backing the Palestinian people and their national economy so that their pressing needs would be met,” the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu told reporters.
Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr Al Kurbi said participants had stressed the need to assist the Palestinian Authority and the issue would be raised at an Arab summit in Khartoum later this month. Kurbi opened the two-hour meeting at the OIC headquarters here by accusing Israel of terrorism.
Ihsanoglu denounced as “open provocation” the prison raid which ended with the surrender of the detained leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ahmed Saadat, and sparked an unprecedented spate of hostage-taking in the Gaza Strip.
Meanwhile, Qatar’s Cabinet yesterday denounced the Israeli raid and the capturing of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (pflp) leader Ahmad Saadat and his comrades. It described the raid as a flagrant violation by the Israeli government of previous agreement and as a perpetuation of occupation.
The Cabinet also affirmed that such an aggression constitutes a violation of the international conventions, a breach of the international law and an Israeli attempt to commandeer the region into a cycle of violence and counter-violence that would destroy all chances of peace-making in the region and undermine the road-map plan.
The Cabinet called upon the UN and the Quartet to shoulder their responsibilities and put an end to the on-going Israeli practices against the Palestinian people and their national leaderships.
The Cabinet also renewed Qatar’s support to and solidarity with the Palestinian people in their just struggle to regain their legitimate rights to establish their independent state on the native soil of Palestine with Al Quds Al Sharif as its capital.
In Jericho, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of a “dreadful crime”. “What happened in Jericho was a dreadful crime… Israel had no right to carry out this kidnapping,” said Abbas. Also, the four hostages — Canadian teacher Adam Budzanowski, South Korean television correspondent Yong Tae-young and French journalists Caroline Laurent and Alfred Yacobzadeh — were brought back to Jerusalem after being freed in Gaza City.