In response to an invitation from Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in his capacity as Chairman of the Extraordinary Arab Summit Conference held in Cairo in 1996, Arab leaders held an extraordinary summit conference in Cairo on October 21-22, 2000. The convening of this Summit comes at critical circumstances in the history of the Arab world, after Israel has turned the peace process into a war against the Palestinian people by using its military force to lay siege to them, making them hostages inside the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The communiqué saluted the intifada of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories, which, it said, reflects their disappointment in the prospects of a political settlement, that has been impeded and blocked by the intransigence and procrastination of Israel and its failure to carry out its commitments. The Arab leaders asked God Almighty to have mercy on the Palestinian martyrs, saying their blood would be an incentive for tireless work for the liberation of the land, establishment of the state, and realization of peace. They praised the positive response of the Arab masses to the heroic Palestinian intifada and their condemnation of Israel's brutal aggression. This response is an expression of their nationalistic feelings and of the spirit of solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian people for preservation of sovereignty, dignity and sanctity.
The Arab leaders held Israel responsible for the escalation of tension and violence in the region, saying its practices had run counter to the spirit of the 1948 Geneva Convention and constituted a flagrant violation of international law. They deplored the manner in which Israel has been dealing with the issue of Jerusalem and its intentional provocative acts that are based on a spirit of abominable racism, and urged Israel to put an end to such provocative practices and to the repressive policy against Arab citizens.
The Arab leaders made it clear that the intifada had broken out as a result of Israeli policy, with the desecration of Al-Aqsa mosque and other sacred places, both Islamic and Christian, in occupied Palestine. They reiterated the right of the Palestinians to obtain just compensation from Israel for their human and material losses, and approved the Saudi proposal pertaining to the establishment of two funds, one with a capital of U.S. $800 million to help preserve the Arab and Islamic characteristic of Jerusalem, and the other with a capital of U.S. $200 million for the families of the Palestinian martyrs, urging all Arabs to donate the equivalent of one day's salary in support of the Palestinian intifada and the national Palestinian struggle.
The Arab leaders also called for the formation of a neutral international investigation committee within the framework of the United Nations, which would submit a report to the Security Council and to the Human Rights Committee on the causes of the deteriorating situation in the occupied Palestinian territories. They urged the Security Council to consider the developments of the situation in the occupied territories and called on it and the UN General Assembly to shoulder their responsibility as regards the protection of the Palestinian people.
The communiqué went on to state that the Arab countries, in line with international law, would pursue those who initiated the brutal practices, and urged the Security Council to form an international criminal court to try Israeli war criminals who had massacred Palestinians and Arabs in the occupied territories.
The Arab leaders deplored the escalation of tension in the region due to the aggressive and provocative practices of Israel at a time when the region was looking for a just and comprehensive peace after the Arab adoption, ever since the Madrid conference, of the peace option that paves the way for a final settlement in the Arab-Israeli dispute. They condemned Israel's failure to respond positively to this peace option and warned it against going ahead on the path of practices that undermine the security and stability in the region, declaring: "There are for the Arab world certain principles and rights that cannot be compromised." They urged Israel to comply with UN resolutions such as the Security Council numbers 242 and 338 and the General Assembly resolution 194 pertaining to the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland with compensation.
The communiqué declared that "a just and comprehensive peace will never be realized without restoration of Jerusalem to the sovereignty of Palestine, and recognition of the Palestinian rights including that of establishing their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital", reiterating that Jerusalem is an indivisible part of the Palestinian territories that were occupied in 1967.
The Arab leaders called for Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, Gaza Strip and the Syrian Golan Heights to the border lines of June 4, 1967. They also called for complete Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon and the release of all Arab detainees from Israeli prisons. They attested to their support for their brothers in Syria and Lebanon as well as Palestine and reiterated their determination to firmly confront Israeli attempts to infiltrate into the Arab world, and to stop the establishment of any relations with Israel, holding Israel responsible for the consequences of the resolutions taken in this regard. They noted that the problems of regional cooperation cannot be tackled without genuine achievement along the path of a just and comprehensive peace in the region. They decided not to resume any official or non-official activity within the multi-party framework and to suspend all activities pertaining to economic and regional cooperation with Israel in this framework.
The communiqué drew attention to the 1980 UN Security Council resolution 478, which called on all countries of the world to refrain from moving their embassies to Jerusalem, and to the resolution adopted by the 11th Arab Summit in Amman, which stipulated the severing of diplomatic relations with those countries that moved their embassies to Jerusalem or that recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The communiqué also noted that realization of peace and security in the region requires the admission of Israel to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and called for making the Middle East a region free from all kinds of weapons of mass destruction.
Calling for support for and updating of all organs of the League of Arab States, the Arab leaders agreed to hold their 13th Summit in Amman in March 2001.
The communiqué ended with reiteration of the determination of the Arab states to mobilize all available potential in support of the Palestinian struggle.