Kingdom condemns Israeli attack on Gaza-bound aid flotilla

June 3, 2010

Saudi Arabia on Monday condemned the storming by Israeli forces of a flotilla carrying aid to Palestinians in Gaza, an operation that left nine of the ship’s passengers dead. The Cabinet characterized the attack as a reflection of Israel’s inhumane practices and a challenge to the international community and to international law. Israel, the Cabinet said, persists on starving the Palestinian people and depriving them of humanitarian aid. The ministers appealed to the international community to shoulder its responsibilities and put an end to Israel’s unjust policies and actions.

The operation against the flotilla has been widely condemned during the past week. In a statement issued in Riyadh on Monday, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary General Abdulrahman Al-Attiyah called the Israeli assault against a humanitarian convoy in international waters an act of piracy and state terrorism. In a statement issued in Singapore at the ASEAN-GCC Ministerial Meeting, the Foreign Ministers of the GCC called for an international investigation into the incident and demanded that the blockade of Gaza be lifted.

On Wednesday an emergency meeting of Arab Foreign Ministers was held in Cairo to discuss the situation. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Nizar bin Obaid Madani, who led the Saudi delegation to the session, criticized the international community for turning a blind eye to Israeli crimes. If it were not for the world’s complete silence towards its unacceptable practices, he insisted, Israel would not dare commit such acts. Dr. Madani demanded that the U.N. Security Council and the Mideast Peace Quartet intervene to punish those responsible for the killings and work to increase the flow of basic supplies to Gaza.

Meanwhile, during an emergency session held in Geneva on Tuesday by the U.N. Human Rights Council, Saudi Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the U.N. in Geneva Dr. Abdulwahab Attar described the Israeli operation as a “massacre and a criminal act.” He insisted, “This has constituted a flagrant violation of international law in which Israel recorded its non-respect for the right to life and civilians’ lives.”

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