Malaysia condemns Israel’s blockade in Gaza

By NNN-Bernama

Kuala Lumpur : Malaysia on Tuesday condemned the blockade imposed by the Israelis and the closing of all border crossings between Israel and the Palestinian territory in Gaza.

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“The blockade has exacerbated the already worsening humanitarian crisis in the area and this will cause a humanitarian catastrophe,” Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said.

Abdullah, who is also chairman of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), called on the international community to force the Israelis to lift the blockade immediately and end the sufferings of the people in Gaza.

Malaysia also called on United Nations(UN) secretary-general Ban Ki-moon to hold an open-ended session of the UN Security Council to enable other UN members to participate in the debate on the grave situation in Gaza, he said in a statement here.

Stressing that the Israeli action contravened international law, Abdullah said: “The collective punishment of the innocent civilian population of Gaza is unacceptable under any circumstances.”

Underlining the rights of the Palestinians of access to food, fuel and medicine, the prime minister said the inhumane action by the Israelis would make the living condition of the Palestinian people even more unbearable.

Tel Aviv had justified its blockade of Gaza as retaliation for militant rocket attacks last week.

On Monday, Israel decided to ease the blockade, saying that it would allow some food and fuel for one day, after the UN warned that international food aid to the improverished territory may be suspended by the weekend.