Amid a wave of jihadist terrorism in France, Sinai, Lebanon and Mali, members of the United Nations met on Monday to focus on “Palestine,” with several speakers accusing Israel of fueling the violence across the region.
“The continued Israeli occupation of Arab and Palestinian territory is the main challenge before the international community to achieve peace and stability in the region and the world,” said Arab League secretary-general Nabil al-Arabi, in a speech read out by his representative.
“This occupation represents the main cause for the spread of terrorism and extremist ideology in the region,” he said.
“Failure to find a just solution to the Palestinian cause – as the core issue in the Middle East – has started fueling conflicts in the region, threatening to affect international peace and security,” said Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary-General Iyad Ameen Madani.
In a speech read on his behalf by an envoy, Madani also accused Israel of carrying out “aggressions against the blessed al-Aqsa mosque” warning that its actions “feed extremism, violence and racism and contribute to igniting religious strife that would endanger the prospects of peace and stability in the region.”
The leader of the Islamic bloc called on the international community to intervene urgently, saying finding a solution depends on “applying pressure on Israel to cease its continuing aggression against the Palestinian people.”
The OIC’s members include some of the most volatile and terror-affected countries in the world, including Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Egypt, Somalia and Pakistan. None of the conflicts in those countries are related to the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
U.N. officials themselves have sought to draw a link between jihadist terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.
Last Thursday, the U.N.’s “special coordinator on the Middle East peace process,” Nickolay Mladenov, told the Security Council that resolving the Palestinian issue would help counter the extremism behind the “abhorrent terrorist attacks” in Paris, Beirut and the Sinai.
“We cannot separate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from this global threat,” he said.