Dozens of academics and parliamentarians from over 40 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, and North and South America, along with revolutionary representatives from Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, have come together to affirm their opposition to and condemnation of the continuing siege of the Gaza Strip.
The announcement came in the context of condemnation of siege tactics being used against any group of people, but with particular emphasis on the siege against Palestinian civilians. It was made at a conference in Gaza City on Tuesday; several members of the Palestinian Legislative Council were in attendance.
During the proceedings, the European delegation called on governments and human rights organisations across the world to utilise all peaceful means at their disposal to force Israel to end its siege of Gaza. It emphasised the need to put an end to the ban on imports and exports of materials relevant to the healthcare industry, as well as industrial, commercial and construction materials. It called for the lifting of all forms of control over Gaza's territorial waters and the establishment of a buffer zone between it and the Israeli occupation. The Europeans also condemned the violation of the rights of civilians in the Gaza Strip.
It was confirmed by the European delegation that its members would exert all possible efforts to convey the real image of the suffering of the Palestinian people to the rest of the world; they emphasised that the number of Europeans who sympathise and stand in solidarity with the Palestinians is increasing steadily.
Gaza's Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh, stressed to the conference that the Israeli occupation was isolated internationally, which proved to the Palestinian people the level of international solidarity with them. Mr Haniyeh added: "Gaza needs a lot, including the re-construction of buildings destroyed by the [Israeli] occupation; over 5,000 buildings were completely destroyed [by Israel] and materials for their reconstruction have, until this moment, not been allowed in."
The delegation took part in the opening of a photographic exhibition which ran alongside the conference and highlighted aspects of Israel's barbarism during its war on Gaza as well as the siege it continues to impose on the Strip.
MEMO Photographer: Mohammed Asad