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Nigeria, African Union urge end to Israel-Gaza war

The Federal Government of Nigeria has expressed deep concern about the outbreak of hostilities between Israel and Hamas in the early hours of Saturday, 7th…

The Federal Government of Nigeria has expressed deep concern about the outbreak of hostilities between Israel and Hamas in the early hours of Saturday, 7th October 2023 and called for de-escalation and ceasefire.

Amb. Yusuf M. Tuggar (OON), Minister of Foreign Affairs, made this call in a statement he personally signed and made available to Daily Trust.

He said the cycle of violence and retaliation that the current escalation had assumed, only serves to perpetuate an unending cycle of pain and suffering for the civilian population, that bears the brunt of every conflict.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria, therefore, calls on both sides to exercise restraint, prioritize the safety of civilians and give room for humanitarian considerations.

“We are therefore calling for a peaceful resolution of the conflict through dialogue,” he said.

In the same vein, the head of the African Union Commission has appealed for an end to the conflict which has killed hundreds on both sides.

Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the Commission, called on both parties “to return, without preconditions, to the negotiating table to implement the principle of two States living side by side”.

“The Chairperson further calls on the international community, and the major world powers in particular, to assume their responsibilities to impose peace and guarantee the rights of the two peoples,” Faki said in a statement posted late Saturday by the 55-member AU bloc on X, formerly known as Twitter.

He “wishes to recall that denial of the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people, particularly that of an independent and sovereign State, is the main cause of the permanent Israeli-Palestinian tension,” the statement said.

Hamas launched a massive offensive early Saturday against Israel, firing thousands of rockets aimed as far as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem as its fighters breached Gaza’s security barrier.

Israel’s army said the land, sea and air attack – which saw Hamas fighters shooting residents in Israeli towns and settlements – had killed more than 200 Israelis and wounded 1,000.

Gun battles raged into Sunday morning between Israeli forces and hundreds of Hamas fighters in multiple Israel locations, while soldiers and civilians were taken hostage.

Gaza officials said intense Israeli air strikes on the coastal enclave had brought the Palestinian death toll to at least 256, with nearly 1,800 wounded.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday warned Israel was “embarking on a long and difficult war” and vowed its response against Hamas would “continue with neither limitations nor respite until the objectives are reached”.

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