More international condemnations continued on Monday for the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip that has claimed the lives of over 525 Palestinians, including 90 children, and wounded around 2500 others.

The United Arab Emirates cabinet on Monday condemned the Israeli attacks on the battered Gaza Strip, the WAM news agency said in a statement. The cabinet, headed by Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed al-Maktoum, prime minster and ruler of Dubai, expressed its solidarity with the Palestinian people and sympathy with “victims of the Israeli aggression that has killed hundreds of innocent women and children,” the statement said. “The cabinet condemns Israel’s aggressive attack on the Gaza Strip, which is an outrageous violation of international law,” according to the statement, issued after a cabinet meeting.

Malaysia Monday called on the United Nations to convene an emergency session on the Israeli military offensive in Gaza, saying it had a “moral duty” to end the violence.

“I note that the UN Security Council continues to fail to act on this critical matter,” Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said in a statement. “I therefore urge that an emergency special session of the UN General Assembly be convened to adopt a “Uniting for Peace” resolution.”

While the Security Council includes the five permanent members and 10 elected nations, the General Assembly represents all member states. “The United Nations Security Council has a moral duty to stop the atrocities committed by Israel and demand a ceasefire by all sides,” he added.

Abdullah said Malaysia’s representative to the UN would raise the issue with the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) of developing nations and the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

The premier of majority-Muslim Malaysia accused the United States of failing its responsibilities as a superpower by failing to take action. He condemned Washington for blocking a UN resolution calling for an end to the Israeli offensive, and said it should have used its influence to bring about a ceasefire.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon has said he regretted the Security Council’s failure to reach an accord on Israeli’s military assault on the Gaza Strip and appealed for unity to end the ten-day crisis.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and Arab foreign ministers were to convene at UN headquarters in New York on Monday to appeal for international pressure to end the Israeli attack.

Japan also said it was “gravely concerned” for the safety of civilians in the Gaza Strip after Israel sent ground forces in following its air blitz. Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura reiterated Japan’s calls for a ceasefire between Israel and the Islamic resistance movement Hamas. “We have great worries as we continue to monitor the situation,” said Kawamura, the Japanese government’s spokesman.

Japan, which has sought a larger role in the Middle East, last week announced 10 million dollars in emergency humanitarian assistance for the Gaza Strip.

Moreover, Chinese President Hu Jintao has expressed concern about the “humanitarian crisis” in Gaza while talking to US President George W. Bush, Israel’s most powerful ally, the foreign ministry said. “We are very worried about the humanitarian crisis that has emerged in the Gaza Strip,” Hu told Bush in the telephone conversation, which happened late Sunday, according to a statement on the ministry’s website.

Hu “expressed concern about the escalation in the conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis and the worsening turbulence in the Middle East,” the statement said. “We hope that the relevant parties will immediately stop their military activities and armed clashes and relax the situation in order to create the conditions for a solution to the conflict by political means,” Hu said.

Moreover, Bangladesh’s prime minister-elect Sheikh Hasina Wajed has condemned Israel’s ground and air offensive in Gaza, a day before she is due to be sworn in as the country’s leader.

Sheikh Hasina condemned Israel’s actions during a meeting with seven envoys from Arab nations at her residence, said her spokesman Mohammad Zamir. “Sheikh Hasina has denounced the Israeli attacks on Gaza and told the envoys that Muslim states should do whatever possible to relieve the distressed Palestinians,” he told reporters.

Aid groups have said Israel’s offensive had aggravated a humanitarian crisis for Gaza’s population, who have no electricity, no water and now face dire food shortages. Hospitals were only running on backup generators.


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