Islamic summit in Istanbul urges 'international force' to protect Palestinians

Istanbul (AFP) –


A summit of Muslim leaders in Istanbul on Friday, chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, called for an international force to protect the Palestinians after Israel killed dozens on the Gaza border.

The final communique issued by leaders of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a copy of which was obtained by AFP, said Israel had carried out the "wilful murder of at least 60 civilians" when Palestinians protested on the Gaza border Monday.

It called "for the international protection of the Palestinian population including through dispatching of international protection force."

The statement also angrily lashed out at the United States, saying that Washington was complicit in the actions of Israel against the Palestinians.

It denounced the "savage crimes committed by the Israeli forces with the backing of the US administration".

This was the second emergency OIC meeting Erdogan has hosted in the space of half a year after the December 2017 summit, also in Istanbul, that denounced US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The statement said that move had "further emboldened the Israeli government in its reckless behaviour towards civilian Palestinian population."

It strongly warned other counties not to follow the decision by the United States to move its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

"Any state that follows... is complicit in undermining international law and order."