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Arab, Islamic parliamentarians urge Israel to lift Gaza blockade

DAMASCUS (Xinhua) - Representatives attending the extraordinary meeting of the Parliamentary Union of the Organization of the Islamic Conference member states (PUOICM) Wednesday called on Israel to lift its four-year siege on the Gaza Strip.

The three-day meeting themed "lift the unjust siege on Gaza" attracted some 37 delegates from the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

Syrian Speaker Mahmoud al-Abrash at the opening called on parliaments worldwide to press their governments to help lift the Gaza blockade and punish Israel for its "massacre" of the pro- Palestinian activists onboard the Gaza-bound aid flotilla in late May.

Israel has been under international pressure to lift the Gaza-blockade since its naval raided the international aid flotilla on May 31, killing nine people onboard. However, the Israeli government rejected an international investigation into the deadly incident, instead, it announced the setup of an internal inquiry panel on June 14.

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani urged the UN Security Council to take measures against the Jewish state which he said is a main factor threatening world peace and security.

Early on May 31, the OIC had strongly condemned the Israeli attack. OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said in a statement that it is a serious crime violating international laws and human values.

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The Conference Deputy Head Ali Marzouqi blamed Israel for putting collective sanctions on the Palestinians and blockading 1. 5 million civilians in the Gaza Strip.

OIC is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations, which has 57 member states spreading over four continents.


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