IDF troops in Gaza
Photo: AP

Islamic summit to accuse Israel of 'war crimes'

Draft of Islamic conference's concluding statement charges Israel with human rights violations

The world's largest Muslim body will accuse Israel of committing war crimes against Palestinian civilians, according to a draft of the final communiqué of an Islamic summit in Senegal seen by Reuters on Friday.


"The conference denounces the current and increasing Israeli military campaign against the Palestinian people and the serious violation of human rights and war crimes including the killing and injuring of Palestinian civilians," the draft said.


It called Israel's "collective punishment of civilians" a violation of international human rights law and said "the occupying forces must be held responsible for these war crimes."


The communiqué is due to be approved at the end of a two-day meeting in Dakar, Senegal, of the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the second largest inter-governmental bloc after the United Nations.


'Clash of ignorance'

Meanwhile, leaders at the summit agreed to work with the West to fight religious bigotry and a US envoy pledged support for a dialogue to avoid "a clash of ignorance."


Delegates at the conference said a final communiqué would focus on the threat of "Islamophobia" facing the world's around 1.5 billion Muslims.


But it would recommend cooperation and dialogue with the non-Muslim world to defuse a potential clash of civilizations stoked by Western fears over Islamic terrorism and Muslims' anger at perceived insults against their faith.


"The Islamic Ummah (community) is moving in a moderate direction and almost on a progressive path, we're all moving in the same path," said Sada Cumber, who was appointed by President George W. Bush last month to be the US envoy to the OIC.


Cumber said the risk from religious bigotry and extremism came not so much from a clash of civilizations, as from "a clash of ignorance on the part of Muslims to learn more about America and us, the Americans, to learn more about Islam."


פרסום ראשון: 03.14.08, 19:10
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