Mr. President,

I have the honour to submit this statement on behalf of member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in my capacity as chair of the OIC group.

At the outset, I thank France for its successful presidency of the Security Council this month, and for providing the opportunity for the OIC group to participate in this important meeting. The question of Palestine is one that is a primary concern for Muslims around the world, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation reiterates its unwavering support and solidarity with the Palestinian people.

OIC member states have repeatedly stated their concerns over the grave situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), including East Jerusalem, particularly in regard to Israel’s wall construction, continuing settlement construction and expansion, land confiscation and annexation, and demolition of homes and properties, as well as the forced displacement of Palestinian citizens. The current plan under consideration by the Israeli government to unilaterally annex vast swathes of the OPT as early as one week from now requires our particular and urgent attention, today. In response to that plan, the foreign ministers of OIC member states on 10 June 2020 adopted a resolution rejecting Israel’s threat to annex parts of the Palestinian land occupied in 1967 and urging the Security Council to the take the necessary measures to prevent annexation plan including by compelling  Israel, the occupying Power, to stop all its illegal actions.

The OIC group reiterates that the annexation of Palestinian land would violate international law, the UN Charter, and relevant UN resolutions, including Security Council resolution 478 (1980) and resolution 2334 (2016). The OIC group warns that the implementation of this illegal, unilateral plan would undermine the realization by the Palestinian people of their right to self-determination and would undermine the decades-long efforts made by the international community towards achieving a two-state solution based on the 4 June 1967 borders and the prospects for realizing a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace. Additionally, we underscore that any annexation would have grave consequences for the stability and security of the region and beyond.

Therefore, the OIC group stresses the urgent need for the international community to engage in serious efforts to halt Israel’s illegal annexation plan in order to salvage the prospects for peace. Furthermore, states should neither recognize the illegal situation resulting from Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, nor render any aid or assistance to illegal settlement activities. With reference to resolution 2334 (2016), the OIC group reiterates its calls on states to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the OPT, including East Jerusalem.

The OIC group calls on the Security Council to honour its obligations under the UN Charter and to address Israel’s annexation plan, which undermines efforts to reach a lasting political solution in accordance with relevant international law and UN resolutions.

The OIC reiterates its demand that Israel, as the occupying power, fully respect all of its obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, international human rights law, the UN Charter, and to comply with all relevant UN resolutions.

While addressing this threat of annexation, we urge the international community to also consider that the health, economic, and social challenges in the OPT have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, we encourage support for the UN COVID-19 Response Plan for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, UNRWA’s programme budget, and the COVID-19 Flash Appeal for Palestine Refugees.

In conclusion, the OIC Group affirms the urgency of bringing an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 and achieving the fulfillment of the right of the Palestinian people to exercise their legitimate rights, including their right to self-determination and to sovereignty over the territory of the State of Palestine, based on the 4 June 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.