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OIC calls for global action against Israel

07 June, 2010

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JEDDAH: The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) on Sunday called for the setting up of a group of legal experts to bring to justice Israeli officials who were responsible for the attack on the Gaza-bound aid flotilla last Monday in which nine peace activists were killed and several others wounded.

Following an extraordinary meeting of the OIC Executive Committee, the organization`s Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said Israel was given a stern warning that its attack on the Freedom Flotilla was going to have far-reaching consequences. The incident has isolated the Zionist state from the international community, which has united in condemning Israeli aggression, he said.

Addressing a press conference after the meeting at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah on Sunday, the OIC chief described Israel’s action as “a form of state terrorism and piracy,” which warrants the prosecution of those who planned and executed it.

Flanked by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Malki at the press conference, he invited OIC Ambassadorial Groups in New York and Geneva to work for the adoption of an international stand condemning “this odious crime” and the lifting of the “lawless blockade on the Gaza Strip.”

He paid special tributes to Turkey for its sacrifices and extended condolences to the families of those killed on the aid ship.

The meeting agreed that it was no longer a conflict between Israel and Palestine, rather it was Israel versus 32 countries whose citizens were on board the aid flotilla and who were of all faiths and backgrounds. “Therefore, it should be interpreted as an attack on the United Nations and its values,” Ihsanoglu said, calling for the convening of a UN General Assembly session on the issue.

Davutoglu said the OIC meeting was a clear message to Israel that it cannot continue like this anymore. It will have to end the blockade of Gaza.

Demanding an Israeli apology and an international investigation into the incident, Davutoglu said it was the first time in the history of Turkey that its citizens had been murdered by soldiers of another country. “It is Turkey’s own 9/11,” he said.

Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Nizar Madani, Iran’s Manouchehr Mottaki and Indonesia’s Marty M. Natalegawa also attended the extraordinary session. Other countries were represented by their ambassadors and consuls general.

Natalegawa of Indonesia told Arab News that the OIC should proceed beyond condemnation. “We should build bridges to countries, and indeed to civil societies the world over, beyond our organization, those who have equally been outraged by this latest Israeli illegal act.”


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