Mon. Jun 24th, 2024
Maureen Okpe

The  Ambassador  of the Nigerian Embassy of the State of Palestine, Abdullah Abu Shawesh has highlighted the atrocities of the past and the present struggles of the Palestinian people amidst the backdrop of the 76th year of AlNakba, emphasizing the unwavering resolve of Palestinians against Israeli occupation.

Shawesh while relinquishing the grim statistics of the ongoing conflict, underscored the huge numbers  of lives lost, destruction of infrastructure, and the dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza. 

The Ambassador decried the continuous torture of the Palestinian persists, despite international resolution, recent events further exacerbated the suffering of the Palestinian people.

Ambassador Shawesh also,  expressed gratitude to nations, who have  supported the Palestinian cause, acknowledging the recent vote in the United Nations General Assembly as a step towards a peaceful resolution.

Speaking further the  Ambassador Shawesh condemned the targeting of aid workers and humanitarian assets, emphasizing the need for accountability and justice. He called for an independent investigation into recent atrocities, including the discovery of mass graves, and reiterated the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and justice.

 The statement in full: On the 76 years of Al-Nakba We did not forget, we will not forgiveMay 16, 2024The Palestinian people will continue to resist the Israeli occupation. There is nothing more moral, legitimate, and just than this.Yesterday May 15, the Palestinian people worldwide marked the 76th year of Al-Nakba that took place between 1947 and late 1948. During this time, European Jewish military gangs ethnically cleansed and forcibly uprooted the indigenous Palestinian people from their ancient land of Palestine. 

This was a result of a systematic and pre-engineered series of more than 70 massacres, with the most prominent being Deir Yassin. Al-Nakba means that over 15,000 Palestinians were martyred. 950,000 Palestinians became refugees in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank, and Gaza, with 531 Palestinian villages and towns out of 1,300 completely erased. Today, 5.8 million Palestinian refugees are registered. Numerous pieces of evidence, such as mass graves, mass destruction, and other atrocities committed by the Zionist armed gangs during Al-Nakba, are still being revealed. 

We must remember Al-Tantura.On the 223rd day of the frenzy genocidal war against the Palestinian people, I would like to review some statistical figures with you. 

245,091 martyrs including 15,103 children, 9,961 women, 142 journalists and 492 medical staff. 10,000 missing persons. 78,404 wounded and injured, with 72% of the victims being children and women. 17,000 children live without one or both of their parents.243 mosques destroyed and 321 partially damaged. 3 Churches targeted and destroyed, 86,000 housing units completely destroyed and 294,000 partially damaged. 103 schools and universities destroyed. 206 archaeological and heritage sites destroyed, 75,000 tons of explosives materials dropped on Gaza.33 hospitals along with 54 health centers were taken out of service. 

A total of 160 health institutions and 126 ambulances were targeted by the Israeli occupation.11,000 wounded people need to travel for treatment to undergo operations. 10,000 cancer patients face death due to the lack of medical treatment. 1,095,000 are infected with infectious diseases as a result of displacement. 20,000 cases of viral hepatitis infection due to displacement. Tens of thousands of pregnant women are at risk due to a lack of access to healthcare. There have been 310 cases of health personnel being arrested.After the USA vetoed the Palestinian motion in the Security Council to become a full member state, the UNGA voted last Friday, May 10, with 143 in favor and 9 against on upgrading the Palestinian statehood status, granting it all but voting rights with regard to all activities related to its plenum. This is another step forward in the endorsement of the two -state solution and a peaceful resolution to the Palestinian question. 

I would like to seize this opportunity to thank the 143 countries that supported the Palestinian motion and also extend special thanks to the Federal Republic of Nigeria in this regard.One day after the Palestinian side accepted the Egyptian – Qatar – US truce proposal, the Israeli military took control of the only lifeline crossing point between Gaza and Egypt and completely sealed Gaza off from the rest of the world. 

This move will deepen the humanitarian suffering, malnutrition and famine. I would like to refer you to the recent report by Israel Information Center for Human Right on the Occupied Territories in titled “Manufacturing Famine: Israel is Committing the War Crime of Starvation in the Gaza Strip.” The report legally and rightfully describes Israel’s policies and measures of starving the Gazans as a war crime. In this connection, the UNRWA Commissioner General, Philippe Lazzarini, stated, and I quote, “The Israeli authorities continue to issue forced displacement orders… This is forcing people in Rafah to flee anywhere and everywhere. Most people in Gaza have moved multiple times… They desperately sought safety that they never found… The claim of ‘safe zones’ is false and misleading… No place is safe in Gaza.”Despite providing their coordinates, the Israeli army launched eight air strikes on the aid workers’ convoys and premises in Gaza, killing or injuring at least 31 of them. It is worth noting that 250 aid workers have been killed in Gaza since the latest Israeli military aggressions. 

UN Secretary-General António Guterres issued a direct appeal to the Government of Israel late on Tuesday May 7 “to stop any escalation and engage constructively in the ongoing diplomatic talks”.3On the combined efforts between the official level and the settlers’ colonial thugs to dismantle and destroy the UNRWA, and after long inflammatory rhetoric against the UN body the settlers’ gangs conducted an arsenal attack on the headquarters in East Jerusalem for the second time in a row. The Israeli government is fully complicit in these attacks by fully protecting and granting immunity to the attackers with zero accountability. The UNSG commented on this terrible incident and said, “I condemn the recent attack on UNRWA’s Headquarters in East Jerusalem. Targeting aid workers and humanitarian assets is unacceptable, and must stop,”.4In this connection, Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, has strongly condemned the attack by Israeli colonists against the UNRWA headquarters in occupied Jerusalem.

Following the discovery of 7 mass graves containing 520 bodies of martyrs in Gaza hospital courtyards, the Security Council members voiced deep concern and called for an independent investigation.Citing the Human Rights Watch “Israeli security forces have unlawfully used lethal force in fatal shootings of Palestinians, including deliberately executing Palestinians who posed no apparent security threat, based on documentation of several cases since 2022.”5Regarding the global student Intifada on campuses around the world, let me remind you that when the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) openly calls for the discrimination and enslavement of African Americans in broad daylight, Western democratic countries describe it as constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression. However, when college students express their solidarity and sympathy with the Palestinians, it is labeled as hate speech and anti-Semitism. These students are beaten and harshly treated. Threatened with expulsion from universities, severe sanctions in the future, imprisonment, and facing trial.This is the exact meaning of hypocrisy and double standards

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