It was announced today that an extraordinary meeting of the foreign ministers of the League of Arab States will be held on Wednesday, August 22, 2001, to review the deteriorating situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Yesterday, Minister of State and Acting Minister of Information Dr. Madani Alaqi left Cairo after attending the one-day emergency meeting of Arab League information ministers during which they approved a plan, to be launched within days, for a collective Arab media drive to expose to international public opinion the racist and aggressive policies of the Israeli government of Ariel Sharon against the Palestinian people, their land and their property, and to refute Israel's arguments concerning the situation in the Middle East. A ministerial committee will be formed to follow up implementation of these decisions. In addition, a number of Arab ministers, thinkers and politicians will be selected to tour foreign countries to explain the goals of this plan and to activate the decisions of the conference in Beirut two months ago. Arab League Information Commissioner Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, who will be a member of this team, praised the move, describing the Israeli media as persistently committing forgery of historical facts.
Also yesterday, Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jameel Al-Hujeilan, while denouncing Israel's recent occupation of the Orient House in Al-Quds [Jerusalem], which he described as a flagrant violation of all agreements signed between the Palestinians and the Israelis, declared that these desperate measures by Israel will never undermine the determination of the Palestinian people to have their legitimate rights restored, and to establish their independent state with Al-Quds as its capital. He appealed to the international community to intervene to halt Israel's violations against the Palestinian people, and to put greater pressure on Israel to withdraw from the Orient House, and from all occupied territories. He reiterated the GCC position in support of the Palestinians' legitimate rights in accordance with the United Nations resolutions and the Madrid formula of land for peace.