0903 GMT October 21, 2018
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif condemned Israel as a “brutal and rogue apartheid regime” for its recent killing of Palestinian people, calling for international investigation into the crimes.
Addressing an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, the Iranian top diplomat called on the organization to punish the Israeli regime and protect the lives of Palestinians.
The OIC emergency meeting was held to discuss recent killing of over 60 Palestinians in Gaza Strip by Israeli forces on Monday when tens of thousands of Palestinians had gathered near the border.
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been protesting for seven weeks to be able to return to their historic homes they forced to flee in 1948.
As the bloodshed was underway, the US relocated its embassy from Tel Aviv to Al-Quds months after Washington announced it was recognizing the occupied Palestinian city as the “capital” of the Israeli regime.
“In the light of the massacre in Gaza, the international community is entitled to demand an end to the impunity of this brutal and rogue apartheid regime,” Zarif said.
“It is imperative for our organization to reinforce the call for bringing the perpetrators to justice,” he said, adding, “We need to take concrete action in the United Nations system, including by pushing for a transparent and independent international inquiry and asking for providing international protection for the Palestinians as envisaged in international humanitarian law.”
"We must give the toughest response ... to the crime against humanity committed by Israel," Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told the meeting of OIC foreign ministers ahead of the summit.
A draft communique prepared for the summit calls for "international protection for the Palestinian people" and condemns Israel's "criminal" actions against "unarmed civilians".
Ayatollah Khamenei: Al-Quds will be capital of Palestinian state
On Thursday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said Palestine will finally be freed from the clutches of enemies and that Al-Quds will be the capital of Palestinian state despite US attempts to distort this reality.
“God willing, Palestine will be liberated from the grip of enemies and America and its stooges will not be able to do a damn thing via-a-vis truth and the divine tradition,” said the Leader.
The Leader further denounced Israel’s latest bloodshed in Gaza.
“Under such circumstances, some complain why the US does not take a stance [against Israel]. This is while America and many Western governments are complicit in these crimes,” the Leader said.
Rouhani: Give due response to Israeli regime
Iranian president also called on OIC members to give a “due response” to the Israeli regime over its latest massacre of Palestinians.
Hassan Rouhani reiterated Iran's support for the Palestinian cause and their right of return to their homes as he headed to Istanbul.
He made the remarks on Friday in Tehran before leaving for Istanbul to attend the OIC meeting in 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 Istanbul summit, Rouhani 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 has provoked the anger of the Muslim countries and made the US more hated than ever in the world public opinion.
UN rights chief: Israel systematically deprives Palestinians of human rights
UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said on Friday Israel has systematically deprived Palestinians of their human rights, with 1.9 million in Gaza “caged in a toxic slum from birth to death.
“Nobody has been made safer by the horrific events of the past week,” he said. “End the occupation, and the violence and insecurity will largely disappear.”
Arab League calls for international probe
Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit on Thursday called for an international probe into alleged "crimes" committed by Israeli forces against Palestinians during deadly violence along the Gaza border this week.
"We call for a credible international investigation into the crimes committed by the occupation," Abul Gheit said.