The Palestinian government has included the release of all hostages taken by both Hamas and the Israeli government in the ongoing war in Gaza as one of the demands requiring urgent attention.
The government also sought the establishment of an independent commission of inquiry by the UN “and with the full participation of the African Union and the EU.”
These demands were made on behalf of the Palestinian government by the country’s ambassador to Nigeria, Abdullah Shawesh, at a briefing in Lagos at the weekend.
The media interaction, facilitated by the Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), was attended by the organisation’s Secretary General, Is-haq Oloyede, a professor.
The war in Gaza has killed nearly 20,000 people, including journalists and aid workers. The war began on October 7, 2023 after Hamas launched what has been described as the largest attack against Israel in many years.
“The NSCIA intervention is not based on religion”
Welcoming guests to the forum, Oloyede said the NSCIA does not see the ongoing war in Gaza as a religious issue but one based on humanity, saying that the two countries of Palestine and Israel have both Muslims and Muslims as victims. to non-Muslims.
He called on world leaders to rise to the defense of humanity and said everyone should be concerned about unnecessary war.
The NSCIA scribe also urged the media to be fair and equitable in its reporting on the crisis, saying that reporting based on religious sentiments would amount to being unfair to humanity.
Addressing journalists, Ambassador Shawesh said the Palestinian government has always preached peace and condemned the violent response to the illegal occupation of Gaza by the Israelis.
He denied support for Hamas’s October 7, 2023 action against Israel, noting that long before that date, Palestinians had been under subjugation, oppression and harassment by the Israelis.
Shawesh said the Israeli government’s promise to eliminate Hamas has rather led to the killing of thousands of innocent people, and said what is happening in Gaza can only be described as genocide.
He said the relentless attack on Gaza and the continued hostage taking by both sides is a serious abuse of human rights that must be condemned by every right-thinking person.
Release of hostages, commission of inquiry
Shawesh said some 105 Israeli hostages and more than 4,000 Palestinian hostages should be freed for the good of humanity, and called on all world leaders to pave the way for their release.
He said that since the war broke out, more than 4,000 Palestinians have been arrested and imprisoned by the Israeli government, noting that tens of thousands of people have been killed and thousands of homes now razed in Gaza.
“We are not saying that you should support us, but we listen to each other. The war did not break out on October 7 but a long time ago. For a long time, Palestinians were murdered and sexually abused even in front of cameras to show the world and generations to come the destruction of innocent lives,” he stated.
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Meanwhile, Shawesh urged African and European nations to join Palestine in demanding an independent commission of inquiry, saying it should be established by the UN Security Council.
He said: “We need an independent commission of inquiry to carry out investigations into what happened on October 7, before the date and even after. This should be established by the UN Security Council with the full participation of the AU, EU and others.
“We need investigations every hour between 1917 and 2023 so that the world can know the truth and nothing but the truth. We used to kill each other for fun in the West Bank. “They used to do this in the presence of the camera they kept for their children.”
Since October 7, when Hamas launched the attack on Israel and the accompanying counterattacks that led to full-blown war, there have been several efforts to achieve a lasting ceasefire.
The United Nations Security Council has continued to meet in the hope that member countries will reach consensus and all vote in favor of a ceasefire as soon as possible.
Israel has promised to exterminate Hamas, but in keeping with its promise, it has claimed thousands of innocent lives and taken hostages on both sides.
Israel also accused some UN agency staff of being involved in the October 2023z attack, and the revelation has led to the suspension of funding for the agency by key nations, including England and the United States. , among other.