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Islamic nations meet over Palestinian violence

March 7, 2016

Indonesian President Joko Widodo urged Israel to end the "colonization" of the Palestinian territories, speaking to Muslim leaders in Jakarta. Representatives from almost 50 nations attended the Islamic world summit.

Israel Palästina Konflikt
Image: Getty Images/AFP/J. Ashtiyeh

International patience for Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories had "long run out," Widodo said in his Monday speech.

"As part of the international community, Israel must immediately stop its illegal activities and policies in occupied territories," he said while opening a special summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Jakarta.

Indonesia and the Islamic world were "ready to take concrete steps to push Israel to end its colonization of Palestine and its arbitrary actions" in Jerusalem, according to Widodo, the leader of the world's most populous Muslim nation.

Delegates from 49 out of 57 OIC countries traveled to Jakarta to attend the extraordinary conference, which was organized at the request of the Palestinian National Authority.

Indonesien OIC Gipfel in Jakarta
Widodo (L) welcomes Palestinian President Abbas in JakartaImage: Getty Images/AFP/A. Berry

International players have been concerned with the spiralling of violence between the Israelis and the Palestinians, which has claimed hundreds of lives since last October. The Israeli government blames the surge on a campaign of incitement.

In turn, the Palestinian Authority points out their frustration at decades-long Israeli rule and the expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied territories.

Abbas looks to Palestinian unity government

Speaking in Jakarta on Monday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned that the Israelis' push was jeopardizing diplomatic efforts in the region.

"We work constantly to bring back our land and ... to establish a national unity government," Abbas said in his speech at the summit.

"We have approached our brothers in Gaza," he said, referring to Hamas, which controls that part of the Palestinian territories. "If there is goodwill, if there is a desire, we can establish a unity government in a few months."

Among the dozens of delegates at the Jakarta conference is Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on allegations of war crimes in Sudan's Darfur region. The 255-million nation of Indonesia, however, is not a party to the ICC statute.

dj/msh (AP, dpa)