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Iran, Indonesia MPs Plan Gaza Convoy

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, June 9 (ICANA) – Iran and Indonesia plan to organize a multi-national parliamentary mission in an effort to break the Israeli-imposed siege of Palestine's impoverished Gaza Strip since 2007.
Thursday, June 09, 2011 7:09:28 PM
Iran, Indonesia MPs Plan Gaza Convoy

Visiting Iranian Majlis (parliament) Speaker Ali Larijani called on Thursday for a timetable to dispatch an aid mission led by parliamentarians from Iran and Indonesia to the besieged Palestinian territory.

In June 2007, Israel tightened its blockade of the Gaza Strip after the democratically-elected government led by the Palestinian Hamas movement was forced to limit its rule to the coastal sliver.

The Israeli-imposed blockade has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip, where nearly 1.5 million people are being denied their basic rights to appropriate living conditions, work, healthcare and education.

Despite repeated international calls, Israel has refused to lift the blockade even after its December 2008- January 2009 offensive on Gaza killed more than 1,400 Palestinians and inflicted more than USD 1.6 billion in damages on the region's economy.

Larijani, who arrived in Jakarta late Wednesday, stressed that other countries could take part in the humanitarian convoy, referring to efforts made by his Syrian counterpart Mahmoud al-Abrash in this regard.

The speaker of Indonesian House of Representatives, Marzuki Alie, also expressed hope that the mission could set sail to Gaza before the fasting Muslim month of Ramadan as “a gift” to the impoverished people in the coastal enclave.

Larijani and Alie also expressed their support for an agreement between feuding Palestinian factions to form a unity government and backed Palestinian efforts to be recognized as an independent state.

“Iran and Indonesia have been pursuing common measures regarding the issue of Palestine,” he said.

“Now we witness that as a result of these steps, various [Palestinian] factions, including Hamas and Fatah, have joined the negotiating table and we hope this will bear fruit,” he added.

Hamas and Fatah had been at odds since Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary elections in January 2006.

However, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah finally signed a reconciliation agreement in Egypt last month to pave the way for the formation of an interim unity government.

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