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Palestinian Ambassador bemoans humanitarian crisis in Gaza, calls for ceasefire

African Union, others condemn Israel’s attack on Gaza

Abdullah Shawesh, Ambassador of the State of Palestine to Nigeria, has lamented the humanitarian crisis in Gaza following the ongoing war between Israel and Palestine.

Shawesh, in a press briefing on Wednesday in Abuja, decried what he called an ‘ongoing Israeli-Western war’ against the Palestinian people and the dire humanitarian situation that has unfolded, calling for a ceasefire.

The Ambassador recounted the historical context of the conflict dating back to the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which led to the displacement of Palestinians from their ancestral homeland in 1948, known as Al Nakba.

He emphasized that this war couldn’t be isolated from decades of occupation, injustice, and suffering endured by the Palestinian people. The recent conflict resulted in a devastating toll, with over 8,700 Palestinian martyrs in Gaza and 114 in the occupied West Bank.

Read also Nigeria, other UN members call for “humanitarian truce” on Gaza resolution

“A majority of these casualties were children, women, and the elderly. Thousands of Palestinians were injured, and many remain missing under the rubble. The health sector was severely impacted, with a significant number of health rescue staff injured or killed, ambulances out of service, and hospitals under constant threat,” he noted.

Shawesh pointed out the misinformation spread by the Israeli Prime Minister and the subsequent incitement in the United States.

He highlighted the unbalanced Western media coverage that historically favoured the Israeli perspective, contributing to a skewed understanding of the conflict. He cited the importance of providing a balanced platform for the Palestinian side of the story.

The Ambassador expressed concern about Western countries’ unconditional support for Israel, which he believed encouraged the Israeli occupation.

He argued that the goal of the current war was the forced transfer of Palestinians to the Sinai Peninsula, a long-standing Israeli aspiration.

Ambassador Shawesh stressed that an immediate ceasefire was essential to address the humanitarian crisis, and he urged the international community to focus on the root causes of the problem.

He emphasized the global demand for an immediate ceasefire while acknowledging a gap between public sentiment and official responses. The Ambassador urged collective action to address the pressing humanitarian issues in Gaza.

Since the start of the 2023 Israel–Hamas war on 7 October 2023, numerous attacks have taken place both internally and internationally as part of and in response to the conflict.

As the conflict evolves, international attention remains focused on the ongoing crisis and pursuing a peaceful resolution.