The Organizations of the Islamic Conference (OIC) on Thursday afternoon strongly condemned Israel for designating two shrines on Palestinian territory as Israeli national heritage sites, calling the move "aggressive, provocative and irresponsible". In a statement issued after a meeting of its ambassadors at U.N. headquarters in New York, the OIC urged the U.N. Security Council to take immediate steps "to compel the Israeli government to revoke this illegitimate action." It called the Israeli government's decision illegal and an attempt "to trigger religious confrontation." The statement called on the Quartet of Mideast peacemakers the U.N., the U.S., the European Union and Russia "to stand up to this blatant act of aggression which represents a serious provocation to Muslims ... and has the serious potential to incite yet another cycle of violence to further destabilize the fragile situation in the occupied Palestinian territories." Pakistan's acting Permanent Representative, Ambassador Amjad Hussain Sial, who spoke at the meeting called on the United Nations to "take immediate steps to impress upon Israel to revoke this illegitimate action and refrain from any irresponsible and provocative act which would further undermine the chances of peace in the region". Briefing reporters after the OIC envoys discussed the Israeli decision to usurp Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi in the Palestinian city of Al-Khalil and Masjid Bilal Ibn Rabah in the occupied city of Bethlehem, Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja'afri said the participants expressed their outrage over the serious development. The Syrian envoy then read out a unanimously agreed statement, saying "The OIC Group stresses the illegality and illegitimacy of the Israeli government's decision and considers it as null and void and without any effect whatsoever. "The OIC Group calls on the international appropriate bodies, including the United Nations, the Human Rights Council, the UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), the Quartet (the diplomatic group in search of peace in the Middle East) as well as the depository states of the Geneva Conventions to shoulder their responsibilities in taking the urgent necessary measures by not recognizing this Israeli fait acompli policy and to compel the Israeli government to revoke its aggressive and irresponsible decisions in this regard," the statement said. "The OIC Group unanimously stresses that this aggressive decision of the Israeli government, as well as, the other aggressive illegal acts in occupied East Jerusalem blatantly violates international law and contradicts with the terms of the Fourth Geneva Convention which prohibits occupying Power from tampering with or altering religious or heritage sites in the areas that it occupies," the statement said. Currently, Syria holds the leadership of the OIC, which is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations with 57 member states spread over four continents. "The OIC Group further holds the Israeli government responsible for the serious repercussions of its continuous premeditated attempts to trigger religious confrontations in order to evade its obligations and responsibilities under international law and United Nations resolutions and distract attention from its brutal and inhuman policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, including its policies of military aggression, assassination, settlement and Wall colonization, home demolitions, expulsions, imprisonment, and the collective punishment of the entire Palestinian civilian population by countless illegal measures and practices .....," the statement said. "The OIC urges the Security Council to uphold its responsibilities, as enshrined in the (UN) Charter, to maintain peace and security in taking immediate steps to compel the Israeli government to revoke this illegitimate action and to refrain from any further irresponsible and provocative acts aimed at undermining any remaining chances for the resumption of peace process and the achievement of a just and lasting peace settlement, " the statement said. "It also calls upon the Quartet and the international community to stand up to this blatant act of aggression which represents a serious provocation to Muslims as well as to the international law and which is inflaming grave tensions and has the serious potential to incite yet another cycle of violence to further destabilize the fragile situation in the occupied territory," said the statement. "The Group reiterates the OIC secretary-general's call to the director-general of UNESCO, urging her to take prompt legal action in the International Court of Justice and stand up to this act of Israeli aggression against the Islamic heritage of Palestine," the statement said. "It also welcomes the OIC secretary-general's decision to issue directive in favour of urgent coordinated action at the level of the OIC Ambassadorial Group in UNESCO to face this defiant aggression," the statement added.