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OIC chief calls for action against Israel after ship attack


Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Secretary-General Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu has called for an independent, neutral, trustworthy and transparent inquiry in line with international standards to investigate the bloody attack against an international aid convoy sailing to Gaza with the intention of breaking the years-long Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza.

Speaking at an extraordinary meeting of the board of directors of the OIC in Jeddah on Sunday, İhsanoğlu said the attack on the aid convoy is yet another addition to the list of Israel's violations of international law. “Israel must face the political and legal consequences of its crimes,” he added. İhsanoğlu said Israel's attack represented piracy, crime and state terrorism and added that Israel has now crossed the line because of it.

The commandos storming the ship is an attack on civilians from 32 countries, representing many faiths and religions including Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Calling on Israel to lift the blockade, İhsanoğlu said the siege violates the human and civil rights of the people in Gaza. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu also said in a speech at the meeting that the Israeli strike was a “determining moment” for the region's history, calling the incident "Turkey's September 11." Davutoğlu added: “It will have a deep influence on our regional and global point of view and nothing will be the same again."

He stressed during the OIC meeting called because of Monday's events that no state is superior to international law and Israel has to be held accountable for its “illegal and unacceptable” actions. Briefing the member states about the Gaza flotilla, Davutoğlu said the ship's primary aim was to take humanitarian aid to Gazans. Noting that Israeli soldiers attacked the ships 72 miles off Israel's coast, Davutoğlu said it is the first time that citizens of the Turkish Republic have been killed by soldiers of another country.

Accusing Israeli authorities for ordering their soldiers to board the ship without permission and forcefully taking the occupants to Ashdod port without the opportunity for communication, the foreign minister said Israel's actions for this reason are banditry, piracy, planned murder and hijack.


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