The Israeli enemy shelled the outskirts of Aita as-Shaab in Sector Centre shortly before midnight on Tuesday, damaging properties and infrastructures. At dawn, the outskirts of Rmeish and Ramya villages were targeted by the Israeli enemy's heavy artillery fire. The Israeli enemy also fired flares above the towns of Sectors West and Centre, while reconnaissance planes overflew Tyre and Bint Jbeil districts. Source: National News Agency - Lebanon

Foreign Minister, Jordanian Counterpart Discuss Recent Developments in Rafah, Gaza Strip

Riyadh: Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah and Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman Safadi discussed recent developments in the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian city of Rafah during a telephone conversation today. They underscored the imperative of halting the ongoing Israeli military escalation and the danger of Israel's occupation of the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing and its closure to humanitarian aid entering the strip. Source: Saudi Press Agency

Albudaiwi: GCC Keen to Help Bring About Development for Member States and the World

Paramaribo, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary General Jasem Albudaiwi said that the GCC is working to harness all available resources and potentials to bring about development for the council member states and the world as a whole. Speaking at the 8th International Cooperation Conference held yesterday under the title "Propelling the Greater Caribbean Through Pathways for Sustainable Development" in Paramaribo, the capital of the Republic of Suriname, Albudaiwi said that the conference addresses the increasing challenges of today and explores ways that can help achieve the requirements of decent living and effective participation in the decision-making process. He also said that the GCC takes part in this conference due to its wish to increase cooperation with the Caribbean Community, as affirmed in the joint ministerial meeting held by the GCC and the Caribbean Community on September 18, 2023, in New York. Albudaiwi said that the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding that defines areas of cooperation, and adopted a joint plan of action that outlines the main objectives and mechanisms for political, trade, investment, and tourism cooperation. He stressed that the GCC General Secretariat has been working, ever since its establishment, to boost international cooperation, with the aim of achieving the interests of all parties. "We are confident that the GCC member states and the Caribbean countries have promising potential and investment opportunities, distinguished geographic location and a large economic and consumer market. Together, they can form an active economic bloc in both regional and international arenas, contributing effectively to achieving sustainable development," he said. Source: Saudi Press Agency

International Conference of Religious Leaders Convenes in Malaysiac

Makkah, The International Conference of Religious Leaders, organized jointly by the Prime Minister's Office of Malaysia and the Muslim World League, was held yesterday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, under the patronage of Malaysian Prime Minister Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim. Muslim World League Secretary General Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Alissa and some 2,000 religious figures and intellectuals from 57 countries took part in the event which is part of Malaysia's and MWL's efforts to establish a global religious platform that promotes cooperation based on commonalities, sets a roadmap to promote harmony among the followers of religions that include the majority of the world's peoples, and resolves issues of coexistence responsibly and in harmony. Alissa delivered the main speech at the conference, emphasizing that the distinguished group of religious leaders who take part in it work to promote interfaith harmony and combat extremist ideologies, particularly the danger of cultural and civilizational clashes. He stressed that 'our diverse world needs religious leaders with a tangible impact on promoting peace and harmony in its societies' and that 'this is a sensitive time burdened with troubles and dangers' that does not tolerate any moment more of inaction or negligence. Alissa also pointed to the decline in values and international resolve that the world is witnessing. "The bloody war in Gaza is the clearest evidence of the failure of the international community to stop the genocide there," he said, expressing appreciation for the 'great and continuous efforts made by the Arab and Islamic countries led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with its honest and strong voice at several summits and meetings, and its influential international presence'. Ibrahim stressed that the conference represents an important opportunity for religious leaders to take the lead and offer social or religious advice, reiterating that they have a great responsibility. The Malaysian prime minister warned against claims about a clash of civilization s and politics, which seek to divide humanity, stressing that people are tired of the absence of justice and reiterating: "Let religious leaders assume their rightful role and be more influential and effective." Participants in the conference issued a final statement reaffirming that every human being is a distinguished creature in the universe, and rejecting discrimination or favoritism based on religion, gender, color, or ethnicity. They stressed the important role followers of various religions play in promoting peace in the world and harmony in societies, and that the task of religious leaders is to recall the civilizational models that build bridges of cooperation and peace to the benefit of all. They pointed out that effective and fruitful dialogue is the best way to resolve conflicts and end wars, as well as to improve relations among representatives of different civilizations. They also stressed that religious and cultural diversity requires the formation of an effective civilizational partnership, and constructive dialogue within a common social contract that invests in the diversity of visions in the service of humanity and in achieving a comprehensive national development. The participants issued several recommendations that were included in the final statement, such as urging major religious institutions worldwide to cooperate and coordinate in serving humanitarian causes, respecting religious and cultural specificities, encourage moderate discourse that highlight the tolerance of religion, increase solidarity among societies, and reject extremist discourse that incites to hatred and exploits religion to create crises and fuel conflicts. The participants also called for forming a high-level committee for the conference, comprising religious leaders, experts, and thinkers, under the chairmanship of the Cabinet of Malaysia and the General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. The committee would form specialized task forces to achieve its objectives, including pushing for an end t o wars and conflicts through dispatching delegations representing the high-level committee, and addressing governments and international organizations mainly to call for an immediate and urgent intervention to stop the war in Gaza, comply with international covenants and rights, and seek to end the suffering of the Palestinian people and ensure that they gain their legitimate rights. Source: Saudi Press Agency

OIC Media Observatory’s Weekly Report on Israel’s Crimes against Palestinians, April 30 – May 6, 2024

Jeddah According to the weekly report by the Observatory of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) (April 30 - May 6:May 6, 2024), Israeli occupation forces had launched a military ground operation against the city of Rafah, despite international opposition and the ongoing efforts to halt their aggression against the Gaza Strip. This action comes amidst numerous international warnings of the potential for a wide-scale human massacre and an unprecedented famine. As per the report from the OIC Media Observatory detailing Israel's crimes against Palestinians, there were 26 separate massacres between April 30 and May 06, 2024. During this period, the occupation forces killed 253 Palestinians and injured 476 others. The report also highlights that the total number of Palestinian martyrs since October 07, 2023, stands at 35,233. The report also mentioned that Israeli settlers in the Gaza Strip conducted attacks on two Jordanian aid convoys. The first attack took place at the Beit Hanoun crossing, targeting 31 trucks, while the second attack occurred on the Kerem Shalom crossing road, targeting a convoy of 48 trucks. The targeted trucks were carrying humanitarian aid, including food and flour. Furthermore, a joint report by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) stated that the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip has caused significant damage to its health and education infrastructure. Within seven months, 79,000 homes were completely destroyed, and 370 others were partially damaged due to the Israeli bombings. The report estimates the cost of reconstruction will be around $40 billion, with a projected completion timeline of up to 16 years, with 2040 being the earliest possible timeline. "As a result of the aggression, 1.74 million Palestinians (58% of the Gazan population) are expected to fall into poverty," the report stated, highlighting that the Israeli aggression has undone 44 years of development effort that began in 19 80 in the Gaza Strip's health and education sectors. In the past week, the Observatory reported four incidents of incursions into the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Additionally, around 127 Palestinians were arrested in various cities and towns in the West Bank. Occupation forces demolished nine buildings, including residential and commercial shops in Al-Quds, Ramallah, Tulkarm, and Hebron. Moreover, three bulldozers, two agricultural tractors, and a truck were confiscated in the villages of Hebron, Ramallah, and Nablus. Agricultural lands and infrastructure in Nablus, Hebron, and Tulkarm were also destroyed. Source: Saudi Press Agency

OIC Hails Bahamas’ Decision to Recognize Palestine as a State

Jeddah: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has hailed Bahamas' decision to recognize the State of Palestine, saying that this important step is consistent with international law and the relevant UN decisions, and contributes to affirming the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and supports their cause. The organization expressed appreciation for stances such as this, which support international efforts to end the Israeli colonial occupation of Palestine since 1967 and to achieve justice and freedom for the Palestinian people. OIC also renewed its call to all countries that have not yet recognized the State of Palestine to do so, in support of the international efforts to achieve peace and stability in the region based on the two-state solution, the relevant resolutions and international legitimacy. Source: Saudi Press Agency