Press Statement (2) by Charles Santiago in Klang on Wednesday, 31st December 2008:

Global pressure needed to stop organised murder in Gaza 

I strongly condemn the Israeli air strikes on the Gaza strip which has killed close to 400 Palestinians and left thousands injured. It is also deplorable to note Israel's Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai warn that the offensive against Gaza could take weeks.

This is Israel's deadliest attack since 1967 but the UN Security Council is limiting itself to issuing press statements. We have not heard a whisper from Tony Blair, the envoy to the Middle East. Neither has he set foot anywhere in Gaza.

I also denounce the open support by Washington to Israel and pledge alliance to the hundreds of people who demonstrated outside the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's federal capital on Tuesday.

White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe has said that the United States understands Israel needs to take actions to defend itself to deal with terrorist threat. The subtle hint that Israel is under siege is nonsensical as Palestinian tanks are not in the streets of Tel Aviv.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon's generic statements to the press stating he is alarmed with the developments in Gaza will not help to ensure a lasting ceasefire. Eight or more years of US and global diplomacy has been ineffective as the West is pro Israel and the world has become immune to the bloodbath in Gaza.

I urge the UN Security Council, European Union foreign ministers, the Arab League, US, world leaders and other international bodies to sum up the political will needed to provide help and stop the violence in Gaza.

I call upon the Malaysian government to provide urgent humanitarian support and work together with like-minded countries to sponsor a UN resolution to condemn and stop the Israeli massacre of the Palestinians

Much more is needed than mere lip service to prevent the rockets, re-open crossing points under international oversight so that the 1.5 million people of Gaza can get fuel, food and medicines as opposed to it being a lucrative route for arms smugglers.

Global powers must come together to exert international pressure on both parties to end the hostilities including stating clear terms for the resumption of negotiations, monitor the UN Security Council to come up with a resolution setting out the terms in international law for a durable solution and set-up proper international oversight of the Rafah border.

This would set the platform for real progress and work towards a wider peace in 2009.

* Charles Santiago, MP for Klang