Muslim leaders have gathered in Turkey for an Islamic summit to discuss Israel’s massacre of dozens of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Monday.
The emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Friday seeks to show solidarity with the Palestinians after Israeli snipers shot dead at least 62 Gazans near a fence in the besieged enclave.
President Hassan Rouhani reiterated Iran’s support for the Palestinian cause and their right of return to their homes as he headed to Istanbul.
“Under the circumstances, it’s the duty of all Muslims especially the leaders of the Muslim world to defend Palestinians and al-Quds. This constitutes defending both Islamic values and the great and civilized Palestinian nation,” he said.
The meeting in Istanbul, Rouhani said, is being held with the aim of examining “two catastrophic incidents,” namely the “illegal and disastrous transfer of the US embassy to al-Quds” and the “ruthless killing of the Palestinian people by the Zionist regime.”
“On behalf of the great nation of Iran, I want to convey my condolences to the great people of Palestine and say that the Islamic Republic of Iran has always been the advocate of the oppressed people, and one of the major goals of its revolution is the liberation of the noble al-Quds and Occupied Palestine,” he said.
“And our nation continues to pursue this aspiration and will continue on this path,” Rouhani added.
An eight-month Palestinian baby girl has been killed as a result of inhaling Israeli tear gas during clashes along the Gaza border.
The Istanbul summit, he said, is “an opportunity for the leaders of the Islamic countries to voice their hatred toward the Zionist move and to use all the means to deal with it, including in the General Assembly of the United Nations and other international bodies.”
The Iranian president also said the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem al-Quds has provoked the anger of the Muslim countries and made the US more hated than ever in the world public opinion.
Israel and the US, Rouhani said, are creating problems in the Muslim world to distract attention from the Palestinian issue.