OIC head urges focus on Gaza blockade

October 28, 2010, Thursday/ 16:46:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

Condemnatory statements must be trumped in favor of international law to end the long-standing humanitarian tragedy caused in the Gaza Strip by the unjust Israeli blockade, Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, secretary-general of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), has stated, while calling for the generation of ideas to better assist the people of Gaza.

Representatives of 57 member-states of the OIC and of private institutions gathered in Jeddah over the weekend for a meeting of the Group of Legal Experts. Speaking at the meeting, İhsanoğlu called for practical proposals on how OIC member states and private institutions can go about ending the siege and encouraged participants to come up with ideas on how international law can best assist the subjugated people and hold their victimizers to account, according to a statement from OIC.

İhsanoğlu stressed that the Muslim world cannot allow this disgraceful siege to continue to devastate the inhabitants of Gaza as the whole world is watching. The secretary-general said that dealing with the issue of the Israeli blockade of Gaza Strip requires a multi-pronged attack including political, humanitarian and judicial approaches.

Israel imposed the blockade after the Hamas takeover of Gaza, allowing only a limited selection of basic goods in since 2007. It came under world pressure to ease the embargo after an aid flotilla was raided in May by the Israel military, resulting in the deaths of nine activists comprising eight Turks and one Turkish-American.

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