Wed. Jun 19th, 2024
Maureen Okpe

The Palestinian Ambassador to Nigeria, Abdullah Abu Shawesh, has called for an immediate end to the conflict in Gaza, marking over 105 days since the initial bomb strike, as the death toll continues to rise.

In a statement released on Friday in Abuja and made available to Global Sentinel, Shawesh commended South Africa for its strong stance at the United Nations International Court of Justice, advocating for an end to the perceived genocide against the people of Palestine.

Expressing deep concern, the Ambassador highlighted that despite the passing of 105 days, Israeli forces persist in oppressing Palestinians in the strip with no apparent plans to halt the aggression.

Shawesh further voiced his distress over the apparent complacency of world powers, noting their deafening silence on the plight of Palestinians, particularly as civilians, innocent women, and children bear the brunt of the conflict.

Emphasizing the gravity of the situation, he stated that from October 7, 2023, to the present date, at least 23,708 Palestinians have lost their lives in Gaza, and 60,005 Palestinians have been injured, with apparent intentions to seize additional territory from the Palestinian state.

Shawesh decried the non-payment of Palestinian workers since the war’s inception, revealing that the Israeli government has refused to remit the Palestinian clearance funds to the government for the third consecutive month. This refusal has left the government unable to fulfill its financial obligations, exacerbating the plight of the people.

The Ambassador concluded by urging the international community to take decisive action to bring an end to the conflict, emphasizing the urgency of addressing the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza.

The full statement reads:

“The massive death, destruction, displacement, hunger, loss, and grief of the last 100 days are staining our shared humanity.” UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini

“What we have seen since 7 October is a stain on our collective conscience. Unless we act, it will become an indelible mark on our humanity. People will continue to suffer and die from the rockets, the bombs, the missiles and the bullets; and in increasing numbers from starvation, disease and exposure.”  Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator – Briefing to the UN Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, 12 January 2024

At the outset, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the political leaders and people of South Africa for their strong moral stance and for standing steadfastly in support of international law and justice by suing Israel for its genocide of the Palestinian people, the occupying power, before the United Nations International Court of Justice. 

In this regard, we also urge all countries that side with Israel’s acts of genocide and are neglecting to condemn Israel’s war crimes to acknowledge what is actually happening and to review their moral and legal position. 

Three things cannot be hidden for long: the sun, the moon, and the truth. The truth is that the behavior of the Israeli government is in fact forms of genocide against the Palestinian people.

South Africa submitted an 84-page document crammed with devastating evidence that Israel is breaching its legal obligation under the 1948 international Genocide Convention. The Convention defines genocide as the “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.”

This definition is wholly applicable to the Israeli political and military leaders’ declared positions, and which prove the intent and their military acts on the ground prove the Israeli government is violating and breaching the Convention. The declaration of the Israeli Prime Minister reminded the Israeli population about the Old Testament and of the carnage of Amalek and to “spare no one, but kill alike men and women, infants and suckling.” 

The war minister Gallant vowed that “Gaza won’t return to what it was before – we will eliminate everything”. Also, the Minister of Energy and Infrastructure pledged “they will not receive a drop of water or a single battery until they leave this world.”

On January 11th, the ICJ court listened first to South Africa and the following day to the lawyers representing the Israeli Occupation. We all know that discussing this case and issuing a final verdict may take many years to come, all with a lot of investigation.

 South Africa has brought the matter to the court as a matter of extreme urgency and with a priority and stipulation to order Israel to halt and suspend its onslaught campaign in order to protect the Palestinian people and preserve the evidence. We expect to hear the decision in the coming days. We must wait until then to know whether the court is convinced by the evidence that SA presented. 

Israeli verbally attacked SA and declared its position regarding the announcement by the Israeli Prime Minster that we (Israel) will not stop the war regardless of the court decision.

On the 103rd day of the Israeli frenzied genocide campaign against the Palestinian people, the casualty numbers are growing and growing and many respected international governmental organizations issued countless reports that we can all refer to for the accurate statistical information.

“Between 7 October 2023 to 12 January 2024, at least 23,708 Palestinians were killed in Gaza and 60,005 Palestinians were injured.”  “Since 11 October 2023, the Gaza Strip has been under an electricity blackout, after the Israeli authorities cut off the electricity supply and fuel reserves for Gaza’s sole power plant were depleted.” “Since 7 October 2023 …and as of 12 January 2024, 333 Palestinians have been killed, including 84 children, across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem…. Of those killed in the West Bank (333); 324 were killed by Israeli forces, eight by Israeli settlers and one by either Israeli forces or settlers.… The number of Palestinians killed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 2023 (507) marks the highest number of Palestinians killed in the West Bank since OCHA started recording casualties in 2005”. “Since 7 October 2023 …and as of 12 January 2024, 4,176 Palestinians, including 631 children, were injured in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Of them, 4,046 have been injured by Israeli forces, 109 by settlers and 21 by either Israeli forces or settlers” 

Israel is waging a war of starvation and pushing the Palestinian economy faster towards the already clearly ravaging disaster. For the third month in a row, Israel refuses to transfer the Palestinian clearance funds to the Palestinian government, leaving it unable to pay its employees’ salaries and other financial obligations.

“The lack of drinking water in the Strip has become a matter of life and death”. “Residents are currently forced to drink unclean well water, which is contributing to the spread of transmitted and infectious diseases, especially amid the power outage and overall water supply shortage”.

It is absolutely inhumane to see countries with the largest military naval forces in the world moving to protect shipping and trade lines in the Red Sea, but we do not see them moving or even raising their voices to stop the acts of genocide taking place in the occupied Palestinian territories that we are seeing on the news. 

What makes matters worse, is that many of these countries are fully complicit in the ongoing genocide in Palestine by providing Israel with military means and ammunition, in addition to unconditional and unlimited political support.

More than 90 per cent of the population is now suffering from acute food insecurity, and many are on the brink of avoidable human-made famine. We recall that starvation of the civilian population as a method of war is prohibited. 

“Violence by Israeli settlers and Israeli security personnel has also dramatically increased in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, leading to the displacement of many communities within an increasingly coercive environment, possibly constituting forcible transfer. This comes in a context marked by massive increases in use of force by Israeli security forces, the detention of thousands of Palestinians, and extensive movement restrictions.” “Settler violence in the West Bank must be condemned and accountability pursued, and settlements.” 

One-third of the settler attacks against Palestinians after 7 October involved firearms, including shootings and threats of shootings. In nearly half of all recorded incidents after 7 October, Israeli forces were either accompanying or reported to be supporting the attackers. 

The tragic stories and human suffering that are affecting everyone in Gaza need to be archived and documented. This is important not only to track down and punish the criminal Israeli leaders in the future, but also for all of humanity to learn lessons from this tragedy and prevent it from happening again. Documenting the tragic stories of the victims will be a step forward in helping them come out of the shock and trauma and to begin to recover. It will also bring them some justice when we all treat them as human beings, not just as numbers.

Israel’s future is expected to be darker because of the thousands of soldiers who gladly, cold-bloodedly and killed the Palestinians en masse. They will return home one day with stained hands, proud of their roles in the destruction, and because of the unbearable pain they caused; happy to leave behind thousands of orphans, widows, and disabled children. They will return with psychopathic souls to live in Israel. Some of them might wake up and join the Breaking the Silence movement, and then we will hear more and more stories about the atrocities conducted in Gaza. The Israeli people themselves will pay a heavy price. A killer remains a killer regardless of his victim. When fascist ideology ravages a society, the prevailing idea is that if you are not with me, then you are my enemy.

So far none of the Israeli leaders have mentioned proportionate response. They still insist and threaten that this war will continue during 2024, and this means more thousands of innocent Palestinians are on their way to their graves

At the time of completely failing to achieve any of the two main goals of the war, the Israeli Prime Minister added another goal recently, which is full control of the 14-kilometer border between Gaza and Egypt. This is a clear attempt to extend the war for more months to come to avoid his trial.

It became very clear to everyone that this devastating war is to accomplish two goals only, which are to maintain Netanyahu in his current office and to further distance himself from responsibility for October 7, and as an addition, to fill the bank accounts of the weapons producers.

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