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Islamic summit to address settlements, Jerusalem

Feb. 6, 2013 4:25 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 7, 2013 4:28 P.M.)
CAIRO (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlement expansion and threats to holy sites in Jerusalem are on the agenda for the 12th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which opened Wednesday in Cairo.

President Mahmoud Abbas is joining leaders of Islamic nations for the two-day summit, which will include a special session to draft a resolution on Israeli settlement expansion in occupied Palestine.

On Tuesday, foreign ministers of Islamic states agreed to hold a special donor conference to support Jerusalem and its Palestinian residents.

Hamas urged the OIC to provide immediate protection to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in a statement Wednesday.

"The Palestinian people and its holy Islamic and Christian sites are being exposed to real violations by the Israeli occupation," Hamas said.

The movement urged OIC member states to work to lift the blockade of Gaza and called for an economic and political boycott of Israel to stop Israeli attacks on Palestine, Lebanon and Syria.

Hamas also urged the OIC to adopt the issue of Palestinians imprisoned in Israel and to highlight the issue in world courts and the United Nations.

Meanwhile, Abbas met with his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the sidelines of the summit on Wednesday, the official Palestinian Authority news agency reported.

The presidents discussed the PA's financial crisis and the reconciliation process between Fatah and Hamas, Wafa reported.

The meeting was attended by PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat, PA Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad al-Malki, and spokesman for the president's office, Nabil Abu Rudeina.

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