The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which was established in 1969 following the criminal arson of al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem, will meet in Istanbul on Wednesday for an extraordinary summit to discuss Jerusalem following U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision last week to recognize the holy city as Israel’s capital and relocate the U.S. embassy to the city. It is expected that clear messages and steps against Israel will emerge as a result of the summit.
World’s largest army
The OIC is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations with a membership of 57 states across four continents. The organization is the collective voice of the Muslim world and can sign military and economic sanctions.
If the member states of the OIC unite militarily, they will form the world’s largest and most comprehensive army. The number of active soldiers would be at least 5,206,100, while the defense budget would reach approximately $175 billion.
Israel dwarfed by Muslim army
In comparison, Israel is dwarfed by this unified Muslim army. The population of Israel, which is occupying Palestine, is 8.547 million. The population of Istanbul alone is over 14 million.
There are 160,000 active soldiers in Israel’s forces, and their defense budget is $15.6 billion.
Muslim countries can surround Israel
One of the decisions that could emerge from the OIC summit is to establish a “Jerusalem Duty Group” in which a few countries protect the city. In this regard, military steps are expected to be taken.
The establishment of a possible Muslim army would ensure that Israel is militarily surrounded.
First stage boasts 250,000 soldiers
It is expected that 250,000 soldiers will participate in the first stage of a possible operation. Land, air and naval bases of member states located in the most critical regions will be used. Joint bases will be constructed in a short period of time.
Close contact routes can be formed by land bases near Israel. There are also air bases where planes traveling from distant regions can gather. Israel may also encounter many ships coming from the Mediterranean and Red Sea.
It is possible for 500 tanks and armored vehicles, 100 planes and 500 attack helicopters and 50 ships to mobilize quickly.
Turkey alone outdoes Israel
Turkey may play an important role as an operational center. Turkey, which recently completed the successful cross-border Euphrates Shield Operation, ranks seventh internationally for its army. In terms of its army size, Turkey ranks second among NATO members. Turkey has approximately 4,000 tanks, 1,000 aircraft and 13 submarines. There are 194 vehicles in the fleet as part of the steps taken in recent years.
As the only Muslim country in ownership of nuclear weapons, Pakistan has an important place among the OIC members.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is currently the term leader of the OIC, delivered a clear message regarding Jerusalem.
“Those who think Jerusalem belongs to them today will not be able to find a tree to hide behind tomorrow,” said Erdoğan.
OIC summit on Jerusalem to be a turning point
The Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will convene for an extraordinary summit in Istanbul to discuss Jerusalem following U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision last week to recognize the holy city as Israel’s capital and relocate the U.S. embassy to the city. The OIC, which was established in 1969 to support a free Palestine, is expected to go beyond messages of condemnation at the summit and prompt the U.S. to abandon its decision that enables the Israeli occupation of Palestine and massacre of Palestinians. Possible decisions that the OIC could take for a free Palestine are as follows:1. Jerusalem is the capital of the Palestinian state.2. Jerusalem should not be excluded from all regional discussions.3. Israel is an occupying state and it should withdraw from these territories immediately. No international enterprise can legitimize this occupation. 4. U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is null and void. Initiatives to halt its implementation should be started urgently and this decision should be made impractical by effective measures.5. All attempts made and pressure put on Muslim countries to compromise on Jerusalem must be rejected.6. Jerusalem cannot be seen as a bargaining piece in the name of "peace" or "rapprochement" with Israel, nor can it be up for discussion. Countries that do this should be condemned and put under pressure.7. Muslim countries should clearly and collectively declare to the world that they reject all initiatives that view Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.8. All negotiations in the name of "peace" with Israel should be ended immediately. Joint political, military and economic projects with Israel should also end.9. Muslim countries should cut their economic and political ties with Israel.10. Harsh economic and political pressure must be imposed on the Israeli government, defense of Palestine should be noted as a non-controversial decision, and Israel should be isolated from the region.Jerusalem: A century of hostile occupation11. A historic step should be taken at the extraordinary OIC summit in Istanbul, firm decisions should be made and Muslim countries must demonstrate their political strength and their capability to act independently.12. OIC member countries should withdraw their ambassadors to the U.S. for “consultations.”13. Muslim countries should limit, freeze or even end relations with the countries that accept Israel's occupation of Jerusalem. 14. European countries in particular should be subjected to intense pressure in this regard. Strong lobbying should be initiated immediately. 15. Initiatives should be started in the European Union, Russia and China, and international organizations should be mobilized. 16. The declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is also unacceptable for the Christian world. Therefore, Eastern churches and the Christian clergy should be gathered in Istanbul and a common decision should be made. 17. The U.S. has lost its impartiality in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The U.S. administration should no longer be considered an interlocutor in Middle East peace talks. All Muslim countries should declare that they will not see the U.S. as a party of peace.18. Muslim countries should establish a common force to defend Jerusalem, establish a line of defense, and encourage and direct large-scale mass movements. A global pressure mechanism must be mobilized.19. Muslim countries should establish a Common Peace Army, and within this power a unit should be formed under the name of “The Force to Protect Jerusalem.”20. Muslim countries should establish a “Jerusalem Fund” within the OIC, and the economic dependence of the Palestinian people on Western countries must be ended. 21. The airspace of Muslim countries should be closed to Israeli aircraft, and the sharing of intelligence with Israel and the U.S. should be stopped immediately.22. Israel's military interventions in Muslim countries should be responded to harshly, and mechanisms and partnerships should be established to prevent these interventions.23. Muslim countries must end their conflicts with each other and unite in solidarity against the threats posed by Israel and the U.S. 24. The headquarters of the OIC must be moved to Istanbul, and Istanbul should run the post of general secretary.Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called an extraordinary summit of the OIC to be held in Istanbul on Dec. 13 to discuss Jerusalem after Trump’s declaration. The OIC is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations with a membership of 57 states spread over four continents. The organization is the collective voice of the Muslim world.No reduction in aid to Palestinians: UN relief agencyIstanbul Islamic summit to tackle JerusalemIsraeli forces hit Gaza Strip, defense official saysYıldırım calls for Muslim unity on Jerusalem
Malaysia’s Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the Malaysian army was ready to defend Jerusalem.
“We have to be prepared for any possibilities. The ATM [Malaysian Armed Forces] has always been ready, waiting for instructions from the top leadership. Let us pray that this dispute would not lead to chaos," Hussein said.
Turkey building alliances
Over the recent years, Turkey has developed strong ties with OIC member states. It has conducted military drills with neighboring Iraq, and signed many projects with Qatar and Somalia among other Gulf and African countries.
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