Jun 26, 2009, 7:06 AM
The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) has expressed its disgust against what it described as the unnecessary use of force by Israeli security forces against unarmed civilians in the Gaza Strip.
A statement from the parliament, which was made available to this paper, noted with concern such actions, describing it as a grave violation of international norms. The parliament calls for the immediate lifting of the blockade on the Gaza Strip.
According to the statement, the parliament reiterates its solidarity with the Palestinian people and its continued support for international resolutions that call for the withdrawal of Israel from the occupied Palestinian territories.
Below we reproduce the full statement of the Pan-African Parliament:
"The Pan-African Parliament would like to express it profound shock at the incident that took place at the high seas in international waters by the Israeli security forces against the unarmed civilians who were on board the humanitarian convoy of ships that were destined to the Gaza Strip.
The Pan-African Parliament condemns the deliberate and unnecessary use of force by the Israeli forces that resulted in the loss of many human lives. This represents a grave violation of international norms and cannot be accepted.
The Pan-African Parliament would like to reiterate its solidarity with the Palestinian people and its continued support for international resolutions that call for the withdrawal of Israel from the occupied Palestinian territories. The Pan-African Parliament also calls for the immediate lifting of the blockade on the Gaza Strip."
The Pan-African Parliament was established in March 2004, by Article 17 of the Constitutive Act of the African Union, as one of the nine organs provided for in the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community, signed in Abuja , Nigeria in 1991.
The establishment of the Pan-African Parliament is informed by a vision to provide a common platform for African peoples and their grass-roots organisations to be more involved in discussions and decision-making on the problems and challenges facing the continent.
The seat of the Parliament is in Midrand, South Africa.
It represents all the peoples of Africa with the ultimate aim of evolving into an institution with full legislative powers, whose members are elected by universal adult suffrage.