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Iran FM due to attend OIC emergency meeting on al-Quds

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will attend an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Turkey, amid heightened Israeli aggression against Palestinians.

Zarif plans to leave Tehran for Istanbul on Tuesday to take part in the OIC meeting which is scheduled to discuss the latest developments in East Jerusalem al-Quds, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Monday.

He added that Muslim countries must hold more consultations and boost cooperation in light of ongoing developments in the occupied territories and escalating pressure on the Palestinian people during recent days.

Muslim countries should never forget that regardless of certain disagreements, Palestine is the top issue of the Muslim world, Qassemi said.

The Palestinian issue would only be settled by reinforcing unity among Muslim countries and exerting more pressure on the Israeli regime, the Iranian spokesperson added.

Tensions have recently escalated in the West Bank and Jerusalem al-Quds between the Israeli forces and the Palestinians after the Tel Aviv regime imposed restrictions on the al-Aqsa Mosque.

Muslims had been refusing to hold prayers at the mosque and prayed in the streets around the Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds for almost two weeks after Israel installed security equipment, including metal detectors and cameras, at the sacred compound following a deadly shooting incident there on July 14. Israel's recent restrictive measures have drawn widespread international condemnations.

Over 200 Palestinians were reportedly injured in Friday's clashes in Jerusalem al-Quds and the West Bank. Israeli forces fired tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition on Friday.

The occupied Palestinian territories have witnessed new tensions ever since Israeli forces introduced restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015.

More than 300 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces in the ongoing tensions since the beginning of October 2015.

The Tel Aviv regime has tried to change the demographic makeup of Jerusalem al-Quds over the past decades by constructing settlements, destroying historical sites and expelling the local Palestinian population. Palestinians say the Israeli measures are aimed at paving the way for the Judaization of the city.

The al-Aqsa Mosque compound is a flash point, which is also holy to Jews. The mosque is Islam's third holiest site after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.

Source: Press TV

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