Islamic nations hold emergency summit
The 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation opened an emergency meeting on 16 May 2021 over the heavy fighting between Israel and the Gaza Strip's militant Hamas rulers, the first major move among Mideast nations still grappling with how to address the conflict.
- While the Arab League and organizations like the Saudi-based OIC have maintained their view that the Palestinians should have their own independent state, Israel recently has reached recognition deals with several of its members.
- That, as well as the concerns of some nations over Hamas, has seen a somewhat-muted response to the attacks as opposed to the full-throated response of decades past.
- The plight of the Palestinian people is the bleeding wound of the Islamic world today, Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar said.
- Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki of the Palestinian Authority, which administers autonomous enclaves in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, decried what he called Israel's "cowardly attacks" at the start of the meeting.
- Across the Arabian Peninsula and Persian Gulf states reactions to the fighting has been mixed.
- There are Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, two Gulf Arab states that reached recognition deals with Israel last year in the waning months of the Trump administration.
- Those nations, as well as Saudi Arabia, have reiterated their support of Palestinians obtaining their own independent state.