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Source: Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)
31 December 2008

OIC Executive Committee at the level of the Permanent Representatives holds emergency meeting on Gaza The Expanded Executive Committee of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) at the level of the Permanent Representatives held an emergency meeting on Wednesday, December 31st 2008, at the OIC headquarters. The meeting, convened in the run up to the ministerial meeting scheduled to be held at the OIC headquarters on Saturday 3rd January 2009, discussed the grave situation in the Gaza Strip due to the Israeli aggression.

The OIC Secretary General, Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, delivered the opening speech in which he said that, "I can hardly find words to describe this ongoing tragedy in the Gaza Strip. It is without any doubt a violation of all human values. This tragedy necessitates a diligent, serious and effective Islamic action to bring it to an end and relieve the Palestinian people from its impact. We must make every effort to stop the bloodshed of the defenseless Palestinian people whose rights have been usurped and who have been thrown out in every part of the world and denied their freedom and their fundamental rights. Similarly, the international community must not accept that this tragedy continue and should break the silence and act immediately."

Ihsanoglu appealed to all the parties concerned, in Palestine and beyond, to put aside political calculations and act instead toward stemming the bloodshed and enabling the population in the Gaza Strip to maintain the little living conditions they still have. He continued by pointing out that, "Therefore, we call strongly for an immediate cease-fire and for the medical and humanitarian supplies to enter the Gaza Strip through all access points."

The Secretary General added that the Executive Committee took, during its expanded extraordinary meeting held at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah on 27th Shawwal 1427 AH corresponding to 18th November 2006 AD, a decision that called on states to break the siege imposed on the Palestinian people, to act with the international community to end the embargo, and force Israel to release the tax revenues owed to the Palestinian Authority.

He pointed out that the Executive Committee also held on 25th Muharram 1429 Hijri corresponding to 3rd February, 2008 in Jeddah an expanded extraordinary meeting at the level of Foreign Ministers. The Committee took a decision welcoming the initiative launched by the OIC Secretary General to mobilize the necessary support for the provision of the necessary humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.

He went on by saying: "This is the moment when we must all implement these decisions and take new decisions and measures required by the current situation to stop this unprecedented human tragedy. I have made contacts with a number of international officials to urge them to intervene effectively to leash the Israeli aggression. In this connection, I addressed the US Secretary of State, the EU High Representatives for Security and Foreign Policy Affairs and the British Foreign Secretary, and demanded that they act immediately to put an end to the tragedy caused by the ongoing Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip."

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