By: Landing Ceesay
The United Democratic Party strongly condemned Israel’s attack on Palestine, saying ‘the senseless and continued Israeli bombardment of Gaza will have devastating consequences’ for Palestinians.
“Throughout the EID holidays, Gambians and the rest of the world have watched with horror and consternation the violent attacks of the Israeli Defence Forces on Gaza. The escalating situation in Israel and Palestine affirms once more that intractable conflicts can only be solved through peaceful negotiation.
“The senseless and continued Israeli bombardment of Gaza will have devastating consequences for more than two million people who have been suffering under an illegal Israeli blockade for 14 years. As [it] is always the case, it is civilians who will bear the brunt, with their homes and livelihoods destroyed. Every effort must be made to dissuade both sides from further escalation, and to end the violence that is causing fear, death and misery on both sides,” the party said in a statement sent to this medium.
It continued that the ‘horrific images’ also demonstrate that unless the root of the conflict are addressed, the ‘illegal occupation by Israel of Palestinian land and the denial of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination’, there will never be peace.
The party observed Israel’s actions as a violation of international law.
“Israel’s actions are a violation of international law. They show a total disregard for successive United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions that call for an end to the occupation of Palestinian land and for the fulfilment of the rights of the Palestinian people. Since Israeli security forces launched assaults on worshippers at ‘Al Aqsa’ Mosque in Jerusalem last week, the violence has now engulfed the Gaza Strip, large parts of the West Bank and a number of Israeli cities. It has claimed the lives of dozens of people, including children,” it said.
The UDP expressed angered at ‘the pain and humiliation being inflicted on the Palestinian people’; saying the sight of women and children being evicted from the homes their families have lived in for generations brings back painful memories of apartheid South Africa – of forced removals and land dispossession of the last century.
“Being forced from one’s home at gunpoint is a trauma not easily forgotten, and is carried across generations. For all who believe in equality, justice and human rights, UDP cannot but be moved and indeed angered, at the pain and humiliation being inflicted on the Palestinian people,” the opposition party stated.
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) at least 40 children have been killed in Gaza since 10 May. Over half of them were under 10 years old.
“It is also deeply troubling that Israeli forces last week destroyed a multi-storey building that housed a number of media organizations, such as Al Jazeera, AP, Reuters, etc., sending a chilling message to [the] media on the violence,” UDP mentioned.
The UDP further calls on all parties involved to show restraint, respect human life, and cease the current hostilities which lost too many lives; adding that the continued occupation of Palestinian land and the suffering of the Palestinian people is a blight on the conscience of humanity.
“As a Political Party, UDP is committed to being part of international efforts aimed at reviving a political process that will lead to the establishment of a viable Palestinian state existing side-by-side in peace with Israel, and within internationally recognized borders. The two-state solution remains the most viable option for the people of Israel and Palestine, and must continue to be supported,” the 25-year-old party said.
The party stated that as firm believers of justice and freedom, they stand in solidarity with the Palestinians in their quest for self-determination, and also support their resistance against the deprivation of their human rights and the denial of their dignity.