Saudis to host FM meeting of Muslim nations

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – The latest news on violence continues between Israel and militant Hamas leadership in Gaza (all local times):

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Saudi Arabia called on foreign ministers from the world’s largest group of Muslim countries to meet on Sunday. The rally aims to discuss Israeli acts of violence against Palestinians and the use of force by Israeli police against protesters at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

The kingdom will host the virtual summit, bringing together the ministers of the 57 nations of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation “to discuss the Israeli aggression in the Palestinian territory”, in particular the acts of violence near the Al-Aqsa mosque, the organization announced on Saturday.

The Saudi-headquartered OIC includes countries Iran, Turkey, Indonesia, and a range of predominantly Muslim countries.

The sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque, one of the holiest sites in Islam, is a sensitive and emotional issue for Muslims around the world. The OIC was formed 51 years ago in response to an extremist Jewish arson attack on the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem.

The top of the hill on which the mosque sits is also sacred to the Jews, who revere it as the Temple Mount as it was the site of biblical temples. Some Jews and Evangelical Christians are supporting the construction of a new Jewish temple at the site, an idea Muslims find alarming because they fear it will lead to the partition or demolition of the mosque.


RAMALLAH, West Bank – Palestinians began to rally across the occupied West Bank to mark the anniversary of the displacement of hundreds of thousands of refugees from what is now Israel during the 1948 war that surrounded its creation.

Nakba Day, in Arabic for “catastrophe,” comes amid widespread Jewish-Arab violence in Israel and heavy fighting between Israel and the Islamic militant group Hamas, which rules Gaza. The main event on Saturday took place in the West Bank city of Ramallah, where the internationally-backed Palestinian Authority is headquartered.

Palestinians in the occupied West Bank staged some of the biggest protests in years on Friday and clashed with Israeli forces, who shot and killed 11 people, including a Palestinian who was trying to stab a soldier at a military position.

Some 700,000 Palestinians fled or were driven from their homes during the 1948 war. Today, they and their descendants number around 5.7 million and reside mainly in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

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