Stakeholders from Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya and Ambassadors of Israel, and Palestinian on Thursday engaged in a dialogue to fashion out ways in fostering peace between the ongoing Israeli and Hamas war, which have affected both countries, killing innocent women and children in the wake.
The stakeholders expressed their grievances at both countries as blame fly both sides during an online discuss, Geopolitics series 4.0 Israel-Hamas War and the way forward, with the topic, ‘Bridging divides for sustainable peace in the middle east and beyond.’
The Ambassador of Israel to Nigeria and the Permanent Representative of Israel to ECOWAS Micheal Freeman delivering his perspective on the issues stressed the inhumane treatment meted on the Israelis, he lamented over the murdering, killings of families, as well as the raping of women as a means of torture in horrific ways.
Freeman disclosed that till date, Hamas has refused to release the hostages taken during the massacre.
According to the Ambassador, from October 7th till date over 900 missiles have been fired by the Hamas, maintaining this wasn’t just an attack as people were murdered in their numbers.
He bemoaned the attack of October 7th saying this was the largest single massacre of Jews people since Holocaust, adding the attack have moved peace talk away from a generation.
“We are talking about children being killed in the presence of their parents. Parents being killed in the presence of their children.
“This level of brutality have not been seen even by the ISIS attacks and the Hamas were proud of this attack as it was televised. The level of pride displayed and saying they will do it again.
“For Isreal we want to make sure that Hamas will not do this again. If we have to cease fire, the kidnapped victims will have to be release, it is very easy if they want to end this.
“The Hamas people are not looking at ending this long time, they only want a short term cease fire to allow them regroup, so that they can continue these attacks.
“What Hamas want is to have increased numbers of casualties to use it against Isreal. They have facilities to hide their weapons. 70 terrorist surrendered today from the hospitals they are hiding. They are asking for ceasefire if we do, how do we get the hostages back. How do we stop Hamas from doing this again. Their call for cease fire is just words not intent.
Speaking further, the Ambassador noted that, Actions from world leaders, Women organisation have condemned the sexual violence against the Isreali women yet they deny that it never happened, “this is even shocking denying that the rape never happened.”
For his part, the Palestinian Ambassador to Nigeria Abdullah Shawesh said, the recent attack by Hamas cannot be discussed from the event of October 7th, without going back to history.
According to Shawesh, the event dated as far back as 1917 when the United Kingdom sowed the seed of discord.
He said, alot of lies have been peddled as regard the Oct 7th. Althogh Isreal said it is war against Hamas, he questioned the innocent Palestinian children and women that are being killed, however he denied the allegations of rape, stating that never happened.
“The Isreali settlers are the ones burning and burying Palestinians. The Ambassador claimed many women were raped but that is not the truth. This did not happen.
“We will not disappear from our land, they have tried to finish us but they will not succeed this has been happening since 1953 to expel is from us from our land.
“We acknowledge the right of the Isreali people to live and we do not teach our children to hate the Jewish. This is not true.
“One thing is that the Isreali supremacy is deeply rooted in their leaders and over time they have made remarks in regards to this.
Responding to questions on way forward, the Isreali Ambassador, Freeman insisted that, “Before we talk about dialogue to the solution of this situation there are questions we need to consider before we sit at the table.
“Firstly, have they condemned what happened on the Oct 7th. Despite the fact that it was televised so many of their officials have denied that this act never happened.
“The Palestinian need to stop the education of their children to kill the Jewish people seeing them as pigs that have to be slaughtered. No Palestinian have condemned the attack on the Isrealis people.To have peace Palestinian leaders will have to stand up to condemn, the actions of Hamas, release the hostages and recognizes the Jewish people. What we are seeing is much more disturbing.
“We recognize that the Palestinian people are there we can only work together when there is a compromise
On the reports that Isreali is killing innocent Palestinian civilians, Freeman apologized for the incident stating, we are sorry to say that there have never been a war without civilian casualties. The only way is to create safe zones to minimize the casualties which the Isreali have done, we have produced maps, fliers with necessary information.
While proffering solutions to foster.peace, The Palestinian Ambassador asked that an inquiry commission be established to independently investigate the claims of Isreal, stating anyone found guilty should be punished.
Shawesh said, None of the Isreali is ready to settle for peace, because you cannot be talking about peace and still be building and expanding on Palestinian lands. The Isreali settlers are known for their attacks and no one is talking about it. More than 25000 Palestinian have been killed in this attack.
“We need an inquiry commission by the international organization; the ICC to run an independent investigation on the precedents in this region, and who ever is found guilty should be made to face the consequences. What Isreal is doing is a war crime but they have denied that it is not a war crime.
“We are calling on the African union to be involved in this resolution. Since the Oct 7th attack alot have happened, we do not have anything against the Jewish people and they know this, we have a common background
An American-Isreali activist Shoshanna Keats Jaskoll lamented the sorry.state of affairs in Isreal after the attack as people are volunteering daily for funerals as parents, children are being buried.
Jaskoll stated that Hamas is not a solution for anyone who wants peace as it has to go for peace to reign.
The activist almost in tears, lamented the effect of the war on women and girls. She disclosed that young girls were found with evidence of sexual assault after the attack.
She called for the need for women to be at the decision making tables when the gate of the people are determined as women bear the brunt of war more.
Jaskoll said, ” it is important for women to be on the committee who are making decision, women with creative ideas. We need peace for our children.
“Invest your time infighting for a future for your children. Acknowledge the fact that none of us is going anywhere,” she stressed.
Earlier in her welcome address, Agnes John Thomas of West Africa Democracy Radio stated the need to advocate for unity as both sides have witnessed profound loss.
Thomas emphasised that true peace can only be achieved through dialogue as both sides needs to listen to each other.
She said, “road to lasting peace may be difficult but it is insurmountable. Together let us build bridges for peaceful coexistence as the world need peace.