BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI
There is nothing new in the Muslim geography while Palestinians die from Israeli bombs in Gaza. Leaders of the countries with Muslim populations convened, sermonized epically, and dispersed without agreeing upon any concrete action. The most significant outcome of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in Saudi Arabia was that Muslim countries even didn’t want to mention Hamas’ name.
The OIC summit final declaration signed officially by Turkey emphasized that the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people is the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), despite the previous statement by President Erdogan that Hamas isn’t a terrorist organization. Again, all organization forces were required to gather under the umbrella of PLO without mentioning Hamas. This message, which is in the 27th article of the declaration, reveals that Israel’s claim to “wipe out Hamas from Gaza” has gained acceptance in Muslim countries. Muslim countries only oppose the operation method by Israel, which doesn’t differentiate between civilians and armed elements.
MANY WISHES, NO ACTION
One of the most salient expressions of the declaration is that the operation by Israel cannot be considered self-defense. There is an emphasis in many sections of the statement that Israel’s operation is included in the scope of war crime.
The Arab League and OIC also decided to establish a joint mechanism to ensure that war crimes committed in Gaza stand trial at the International Court of Justice, according to the declaration. However, how well this mechanism can function is a big question mark, considering the previous performance of the OIC and Arab League. The call on the world to halt arms and ammunition sales to Israel is another striking element in the declaration. The fact that this call was made without any sanction elements is an apparent automatic guarantee that it won’t have any effect.
REACTION BY ISRAEL ON THE DECLARATION
The most troubled part of the matter for Muslim countries is that even the fact that Hamas was ignored entirely in the OIC declaration and PLO was driven forward didn’t have a repercussion in Israel at all. The statement by Israel before the ink of the OIC declaration hadn’t dried revealed that it wasn’t thought to immediately transfer the control of Gaza to PLO when the operations ended.
ERDOGAN’S NUCLEAR WEAPON FLAK
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s attribution to Israel’s nuclear weapons during his speech at the summit in Saudi Arabia was critical. A crazy speech full of heroism delivered by a far-right minister in the Israeli cabinet also disclosed a secret that everyone actually knows in the world. As soon as Israeli Heritage Minister Eliyahu said, “Dropping a nuclear bomb on the Gaza Strip is an option in the Israel-Hamas war,” Prime Minister Netanyahu immediately suspended him from the cabinet meetings indefinitely. However, the fat is in the fire. A government member exposed that Israel has nuclear weapons.
Erdogan used this confession at the OIC meeting and called on the international community to take action about Israel’s nuclear power. Although taking action for
Israel’s possible nuclear power is unlikely at the current global conjuncture, it is diplomatically vital that the situation is recorded internationally.
TURKEY OPPOSED EMBARGO ON ISRAEL
While Erdogan adopted a harsh attitude at the forestage, it was revealed at the OIC meeting that there was a different situation backstage. The information leaked from the meeting showed that Iran demanded to include the economic embargo by Muslim countries on Israel in the declaration while the draft declaration was prepared before the summit. However, the Arab press alleged that Turkey and Azerbaijan were the leading countries that opposed this the most. President Erdogan’s approach to separate the right-wing government led by Netanyahu from the state of Israel has apparently continued in Saudi Arabia as well.
WILL THE HOSTAGE DIPLOMACY GIVE A RESULT?
In the meantime, the Qatar and Egyptbased diplomacy traffic continued to rescue hostages taken by Hamas in Gaza last weekend. A deal to release all civilian hostages is very close currently. Military hostages seem to be out of negotiation for now. However, Turkey, which was at the center of the diplomatic traffic in the Ukraine-Russia war, seems to be excluded entirely from the secret diplomacy in the Gaza issue. The Western press made news in detail that CIA and Mossad Directors visited Qatar first and then Egypt for hostage negotiation, while National Intelligence Organization (MIT) Director Kalin was in the delegation of President Erdogan at the OIC summit in Saudi Arabia. It seems the sign of that…