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FG, others to initiate peace move in Gaza

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By Abraham Adekunle

OIC and Arab League selects Nigeria as part of delegation to take int’l action.

Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Arab League have selected Nigeria as part of a special delegation mandated to initiate an immediate international action to halt the ongoing war in Gaza. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, made this known in a statement on November 14, 2023. According to Tuggar, the selection was communicated to Nigeria by the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja. Tuggar said that the decision was taken in furtherance to the resolution adopted at the Joint Arab Islamic Extraordinary Summit on Israeli aggressions against the Palestinian people, which took place in Riyadh on Saturday.

According to the minister, the resolution that bears Nigeria inclusion in the Peace team states the following: “Assign the Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in its capacity as the presidency of the 32nd Arab and Islamic Summit, along with counterparts from Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, Türkiye, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Palestine.” It further stated that any other interested countries, and the Secretary-General of both organisations to initiate immediate international action on behalf of all member states of the OIC and the Arab League to formulate an international move to halt the war in Gaza. This move was to pressure for a real and serious political process to achieve a permanent and comprehensive Peace in accordance with established international references.

Tuggar said that Nigeria welcomes the intervention.

Nigeria was invited to the emergency joint Arab-Islamic summit in the Saudi capital Riyadh to discuss the war taking place in the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian territories. At the summit, Tuggar said that Nigeria stood firmly with the two state-solution prescribed by the UN to help bring a stop to the Israeli-Palestinian war. Tuggar said that Nigeria was ready to work collectively to bring an end to the violence and find lasting solutions.

He said that Nigeria welcomes the intervention by the OIC to emphatically add its voice to the call for an end to the violence and loss of lives of innocent civilians. Tuggar said that the disproportionate use of force against the people of Gaza begs the question of how many more must die to avenge the act of aggressor? He questions where the Rule of Law is. “Today, we live in a data-driven world, and the question is where is the evidence that the violence meted out by Israel on Gaza is having any effect on Hamas,” he said.

Prime minister of Israel rules out ceasefire in Gaza.

Around 1,400 people were killed, according to Israeli tallies, and some 240 were taken hostage, including children, after Hamas gunmen crossed the border and attacked Israeli towns and villages. Since the 20th century, Palestine and Israel have been engorged in conflict on land ownership. Various wars have been fought on this matter. One of them is the six memorable days, known to Israelis as the Six-Day War and to Arabs and others as the 1967 War. It redrew the region’s landscape in fundamental ways. In those six days, Israel defeated three Arab armies, gained territory four times its original size, and became the pre-eminent military power in the region.

Meanwhile, Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has ruled out a ceasefire in Gaza, saying that the military was performing “exceptionally well.” However, he insisted that Israel does not plan to reoccupy the Palestinian territory. “A ceasefire with Hamas means surrender,” he told the news, adding there was no timetable for the military offensive. However long it takes, the minister said that the Israeli military will do it. Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas after the militant group poured across the border from Gaza on October 7, killing 1,400 people, mostly civilians and taking around 240 people hostage, according to Israel.

Netanyahu said Gaza must be demilitarized and deradicalized.

The retaliatory aerial bombing and ground offensive has killed more than 10,800 people in Gaza, mostly civilians and many of them children, according to the Hamas-run health ministry. Netanyahu said that Israel has no plans to remain in Gaza long-term. “We don’t seek to govern Gaza. We don’t seek to occupy it, but we seek to give it and us a better future,” he said, adding that Israel does not seek to displace anyone. On his plan for Gaza’s future, he said the impoverished and blockaded territory must be demilitarized, deradicalized and rebuilt.

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