Gaza War: Israel, Palestine Commit To Peaceful Coexistence.
Amid the ongoing conflict between Hamas and the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) in Gaza, Israel and Palestine have both expressed their commitment to peaceful coexistence.
The commitment comes as thousands of casualties are recorded on both sides of the divide in the continuing war.
This was the outcome of the 4th webinar edition of the Geopolitics Series, which focused on the ‘Israel-Hamas War and the Way Forward.’ The event, organised by the Media Centre for Development (MCD) in Abuja, Nigeria, in collaboration with the West Africa Democracy Radio (WADR) in Dakar, Senegal.
The event brought together stakeholders, ambassadors of Israel and Palestine, and prominent voices across Africa. This collaborative effort seeks to address the critical pre-conditions set by each side, acknowledging their impact on survival.
Senator Iroegbu, the convener of the Geopolitics Series, stressed that the dialogue, conducted under the theme ‘Bridging Divides for Sustainable Peace in the Middle East and Beyond,’ was aimed at promoting understanding, addressing humanitarian considerations, comprehending global implications, and unlocking the potential for African involvement.
Ambassador Michael Freeman, the Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria and the Permanent Representative of Israel to ECOWAS, expressed a commitment to peaceful coexistence. He highlighted the inhumane treatment of Israelis, lamenting the murders, killings of families, and the horrific acts of rape against women by Hamas.
Freeman expressed concern over Hamas’s refusal to release hostages taken during the conflict, detailing the scale of attacks and the impact on peace talks.
He said, “We are witnessing a heartbreaking reality where children are ruthlessly killed in the presence of their parents, and parents are brutally murdered before their own children. This level of brutality surpasses even the atrocities committed by ISIS. Hamas, in a disturbing act of pride, televised this horrific attack, openly declaring their intent to repeat it.
“For Israel, our priority is ensuring that Hamas does not perpetrate such atrocities again. Ceasing fire is a possibility, but the release of kidnapped victims is non-negotiable. If Hamas genuinely desires an end to the conflict, they must commit to a long-term cessation, not a temporary pause for regrouping and subsequent attacks.”
Responding to accusations of civilian casualties, Freeman acknowledged the unfortunate reality of war but highlighted Israeli efforts to create safe zones and minimise casualties.
In response, the Palestinian Ambassador to Nigeria, Abdullah AbuShawesh, affirmed the Palestinian commitment to peace.
He stressed that Palestinians do not harbour hatred for Jews but rather are concerned about prevailing thoughts in Israeli leadership. Shawesh delved into historical events, tracing tensions back to 1917, and denied allegations of rape, asserting a commitment to truth and dialogue.
He said, “The Israeli settlers are responsible for the horrifying acts of burning and burying Palestinians. The claim of widespread rape is baseless and untrue, contrary to the facts.
“We stand resilient against attempts to eradicate us from our land, a struggle dating back to 1917, but we will not succumb. Our acknowledgment of the Israeli people’s right to live is not synonymous with teaching hatred towards Jews; such allegations are unfounded.
“It is crucial to recognise that Israeli supremacy is deeply embedded in their leadership, as evidenced by historical remarks. Dispelling misinformation is paramount for fostering understanding and seeking a just resolution to the longstanding conflict.”
In seeking solutions, Ambassador Shawesh proposed an inquiry commission to independently investigate claims from both sides. He urged involvement from the African Union and the International Criminal Court (ICC) to address what he termed war crimes committed by Israel.