07 Jun, 2010

[ hang nadim] Unanimous approval by Dewan Rakyat of motion condemning Israeli attack

KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 - The Dewan Rakyat today unanimously approved a motion strongly condemning the Israeli military attack on Gaza-bound humanitarian aid ship Mavi Marmara on May 31, which resulted in the deaths of nine Turkish peace activists and the detention of, among others, 12 Malaysians.

The motion, tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and seconded by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, was approved after a debate of about five hours by Barisan Nasional (BN) backbencher, opposition and independent MPs.

The unanimous approval of the motion was announced by Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee.

At that time, a majority of the MPs were in the house, except for those who had to be away on official duty, including Parit MP Mohd Nizar Zakaria who was on another aid ship, MV Rachel Corrie, seized by the Israeli naval forces yesterday while heading for Gaza under the sponsorship of the Perdana Global Peace Organisation (PGPO).

The Dewan Rakyat has 222 members, with 137 of them representing the ruling BN, 77 the opposition and eight independents. The opposition MPs comprise 25 from Parti Keadilan Rakyat, 29 from the DAP and 23 from Pas.

A total of 28 MPs, 12 of them from the BN, 14 from the opposition and two independents, spoke during the debate on the motion.

When winding up debate on the motion, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said Malaysia would work with friendly countries to get the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to Pass a resolution to condemn's Israel's actions and for its leaders to brought to justice at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

If this failed, he said, Malaysia and other countries having similar views on the Israeli action would urge an emergency session of the United Nations's General Assembly (UNGA) to be convened to pursue the same.

He said although the MPs had expressed their lack of confidence in the UNSC in taking action against Israel, Malaysia remained committed to the Palestinian cause.

Pan-Islamic group tells members to review Israel ties
JEDDAH, June 7 - The Organisation of the Islamic Conference, the world’s largest Muslim grouping, has appealed to its members to review their ties with Israel over a deadly assault on a Gaza aid convoy.

The OIC “calls on the member states to reconsider their relations with Israel, including reconsideration of normalisation of such relations,” it said late Sunday after a meeting in the Saudi city of Jeddah, where it is based.

Several of the pan-Islamic group’s 57 member countries, including Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, and various others from Africa and Central Asia, have diplomatic relations with Israel.

Israeli commandos raided on a convoy of ships carrying aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip before dawn on May 31, killing nine pro-Palestinian activists with Turkish citizenship.

The OIC “condemns in the strongest possible terms the brutal aggression by the Israeli forces against civilian ships transporting humanitarian aid material to the Gaza Strip in international waters,” it said in a statement.

It called on “the United Nations Secretary General to establish an independent international commission to launch a full investigation into the incident, which it termed “an act of state terrorism.”

Sunday’s meeting of the OIC executive committee, which was attended by Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu, was held to discuss the Israeli assault.

In its statement, the OIC demanded Israel provide compensation for those killed and wounded in the raid.

It also called for “an immediate lifting of (the) unlawful Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip and the opening of all Israeli-controlled crossing points” into the impoverished coastal enclave.

The statement came after the Islamist Hamas movement that runs Gaza told reporters that Arab League chief Amr Mussa would visit the Palestinian territory “in the coming days.”

Israel has maintained a blockade of Gaza since 2007, when Hamas took power by force there after having won Palestinian elections. Egypt has also usually kept its Rafah crossing with Gaza shut.

Israeli naval forces intercepted another aid ship, the Rachel Corrie, on Saturday as it tried to reach the Gaza Strip. It said on Monday that all the activists on board that ship have been deported. - AFP

Anifah also said the government would study in detail a suggestion by Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim which called on Malaysia to combine forces with Turkey to take military action against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"It has to be studied in detail, more so as Malaysia and Turkey are not signatories of the Rome Statutes governing the ICC,” he said, adding that Malaysia would pursue this matter through the UN.

He also took to task Opposition MP Azmin Ali (PKR-Gombak) for trying to suggest that the Prime Minister had let the United States (US) off the hook in the matter.

"When tabling the motion, the Prime Minister had clearly urged the US not to give excuses for Israel's actions,” he said, adding that Azmin's contention there was hypocrisy on the part of the Barisan Nasional (BN) and UMNO as the BN government had hired Apco Worlwide, a company allegedly owned by jews, to do public relations work.

He then told Azmin to scrutinise the company's website to verify for himself if there was any truth to his claims.

He also denied claims by Pas MPs Datuk Kamarudin Jaafar and Datuk Mahfuz Omar that the Malaysian consul in Istanbul was not committed in helping Malaysian volunteers involved in bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza , saying all steps were taken, not necessarily openly, to ensure their saftey at all times.

Things then got a little heated up when Mahfuz accused the Malaysian government of having trade ties with Israel and that in May, Malaysia had exported palm oil to that country.

"No need to get overly sensitive, I have already said I will get back to the ministry concerned about this. I have also stated that I will be providing written answers to some of the questions that were raised today,” he said.

Thanking the MPs for their support for the motion, Anifah said he would be personally writing to US state secretary Hilary Clinton on her country's lackadaisical attitude towards Israel.

"The resolution we took today will also be conveyed to the UN in a letter by the Prime Minister,” he added.

The Dewan sits again tomorrow. - Bernama

Dr M: Gaza aid may need to be sent via land

KUALA LUMPUR: A new assessment on the effectiveness of shipping humanitarian relief aid to Gaza has to be made to ensure the aid reaches the people of Gaza, said former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“We have to make an assessment first as to the effectiveness of the method of bringing relief to Gaza. This is not just a propaganda.

“We are very worried that the cement for example is not allowed by the Israelis to be imported into Gaza. They (Palestinians) may make use of it to build military bunkers to fight against them (Israelis), but without the cement they (Palestinians) cannot build the houses,” said Dr Mahathir, when asked on the next move of the Perdana Global Peace Organisation (PGPO) to bring aid to the Gazans following the hijacking of the relief vessels by Israel’s navy.

He was speaking to reporters on Sunday night after launching the inaugural charity fund to raise funds for the development of a new Kiblah Education Complex in Jenderam Hilir, Sepang, which will comprise a secondary school, a tahfiz centre and a linguistics centre, under the patronage of Yayasan Kebajikan Nusantara (Yakin).

When asked whether humanitarian aid can be transported by air, he said that he did not think so, and added that “it might be by land”.

“If Egypt opens it border with Raffah, they want to examine everything and every item that we take and that may cause delays, and also they may consider certain things as dangerous,” he said. - Bernama

Bulan Sabit Iran akan hantar 3 kapal ke Gaza
TEHERAN 7 Jun - Persatuan Bulan Sabit Merah Iran akan menghantar tiga kapal bantuan ke Genting Gaza dalam percubaan terbaru untuk melanggar sekatan yang dikenakan ke atas wilayah Palestin itu oleh musuh ketat Teheran, Israel.

Ia juga akan menghantar sebuah pesawat membawa 30 tan peralatan perubatan ke Mesir untuk disalurkan ke Gaza.

Pengarah hal-ehwal antarabangsa Bulan Sabit Merah Iran, Abdolrauf Adibzadeh memberitahu agensi berita rasmi IRNA malam tadi, dua kapal akan belayar ke Gaza pada hujung minggu ini, disusuli kapal ketiga pada tarikh yang belum ditetapkan.

Keputusan untuk menghantar kapal-kapal itu diambil selepas mesyuarat dengan Kementerian Luar.

"Sebuah kapal akan membawa sumbangan bekalan makanan dan ubat-ubatan daripada orang ramai, manakala sebuah lagi akan membawa 70 pekerja bantuan seperti jururawat dan petugas perubatan," kata Adibzadeh.

Katanya, Bulan Sabit Merah telah meminta sukarelawan Iran bertindak sebagai pekerja bantuan untuk mengiringi kedua-dua kapal yang dihantar dengan kerjasama kerajaan Turki itu.

"Sukarelawan yang mahu pergi ke Gaza untuk membantu penduduk Palestin yang tertindas boleh merujuk ke laman web Bulan Sabit Merah dan mendaftarkan diri," kata Adibzadeh.

Menurutnya, kapal-kapal itu pada asalnya hendak dihantar menerusi sebuah negara perantara, tetapi persatuan membuat keputusan untuk menghantarnya terus ke Gaza.

Bulan Sabit Merah Iran pernah menghantar sebuah kapal bantuan membawa makanan dan ubat-ubatan ke Gaza pada Disember 2008, tetapi dihalang daripada menghampir wilayah itu oleh tentera Israel.

Keputusan untuk menghantar dua kapal tersebut diambil selepas tersiarnya laporan mengenai kesediaan pasukan tentera elit Iran, Pengawal Revolusi untuk mengiringi flotila bantuan ke Gaza.

"Jika pemimpin tertinggi revolusi, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei mengeluarkan arahan berhubung perkara ini, tentera laut Pengawal Revolusi akan mengambil langkah praktikal dengan menggunakan keupayaan dan peralatan mereka untuk mengiringi flotila bantuan ke Gaza," kata pegawai Khamenei dalam sayap tentera laut Pengawal Revolusi, Ali Shirazi semalam. - AFP

‘Haul Israel to court for attack’
By Eileen Ng | KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has urged the international community to act against Israel’s Zionist regime for war crimes by hauling it to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Describing Israel as the world’s thug, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Malaysia would continue to call for Israel to face the ICC for atrocities against the Palestinian people as well as the May 31 attack on the Freedom Flotilla vessel MV Mavi Marmara.

The ship was part of a flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza. Israeli troops also intercepted and seized another aid ship, Rachel Corrie, off the coast of Gaza on Saturday.

“Malaysia also urges countries which have a similar stand to submit proposals to the United Nations general assembly to obtain an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice,” Najib said when he tabled an emergency motion in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday to condemn the attacks.

Members of parliament from both sides of the house were united in condemning the Zionist regime. Some of the MPs were also seen wearing the keffiyeh, or Palestinian scarf, around their shoulders.

Among them were Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir (BN-Jerlun), Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli (Pas-Kuala Krai) and Datuk Mahfuz Omar (Pas-Pokok Sena).

The keffiyeh was regularly worn by the late Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, and is commonly seen as the symbol of the Palestinian struggle.

Najib wanted Israel to pay damages and compensation for all properties, including food, construction equipment, medicine and ships, that were seized as well as personal properties belonging to members of the aid convoy.

Malaysia also demanded that Israel pay compensation for causing mental, physical and psychological trauma as well as any other compensation deemed fit by ICC.

Najib also took the United Nations to task for its ineffectiveness in censuring Israel and pointed out Israel’s arrogance stemmed from support from the United States.

“For the past six decades, the Zionist regime has continuously oppressed the Palestinian people. Despite various resolutions passed by the Security Council of the United Nations, these werecontinuously ignored by Israel.

“We know for a fact that if the same acts were committed by other countries, these countries would be subjected to a variety of actions by the Security Council. This clearly proves that the council is biased.

“Such arrogance is happening because Israel feels it is being protected by the world’s major power. In this regard, Malaysia would like to urge the US to discharge its moral obligation to ensure the regime adheres to the responsible and civilised norms of a nation state.

“As long as US support for the Zionist regime is total and not in adherence to universal humanitarian values, there will be no end to the arrogance of this regime.”

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin called forthe international community to push for a free and accountable investigation.
“We also urge the Zionist regime to quickly open all channels for humanitarian aid into Gaza and to move out from the Gaza strip.”

He expressed regret that the Security Council had failed to take stern action against Israel for the atrocities committed against the Palestinians over the years.

“It is clear that the Zionist regime is getting more arrogant with its repressive powers. The long arm of the law seems unable to stop the regime’s army from enforcing its law of the jungle.”

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim ticked off the Security Council’s “mild” statement recently in condemning the attacks.

“Its statement was very weak because of America. Israel wouldn’t dare to attack the flotilla and set up blockades in Gaza without the support of America.”

Zulkifli Nordin (Independent-Kulim Bandar Baru) urged the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to set up its own peacekeeping force to help members, including Palestinians.

Lim Guan Eng (DAP-Bagan) called on Najib to see US President Barack Obama and voice Malaysia’s displeasure with the way the US was seemingly protecting Israel.

Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam (BN-Segamat) said Israel should immediate rescind the blockade against humanitarian aid ships going to Gaza.

Liang Teck Meng (BN-Simpang Renggam) called for an open investigation into the attack on the flotilla to avoid a repeat of such incidents in the future while Datuk Ibrahim Ali (Independent-Pasir Mas) said Israel was a “mosquito country” that became arrogant due to support from the big powers, such as the US.

Read more: ‘Haul Israel to court for attack’

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