Africans Rising for Unity, Justice, Peace and Dignity condemns the loss of civilian life and reckless disregard for human rights in Gaza and Israel. Targeting civilians in a war is a crime, condemnable and against international law. The latest outbreak of war has now claimed over 1500 in Gaza and 1300 people in Israel since the attack by Hamas on Saturday 7th October 2023. We are horrified by the civilian toll and call for a cessation of hostilities and for Israel to end the siege on Gaza immediately. We also call for Hamas to release civilian hostages taken during the Saturday attack. All perpetrators of war crimes against international law be they Israeli army or armed Palestinian resistance forces should be held to account. Ultimately, to achieve sustainable peace, the occupation must end.
We condemn the indiscriminate bombing by Israel of residential facilities, hospitals, worship centers, schools and entire neighborhoods in Gaza. In addition, the Israeli occupying power has enforced a siege on Gaza cutting off electricity, food and water to the 2.2 million civilians half of them being children. The apartheid regime seems to have weaponised the grief of Israeli victims to commit genocide and collective punishment on the Palestinian people. Public pronouncements of Israeli officials and their American and European backers point to this. These are war crimes and crimes against humanity in international law.
“Our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinian people” – Nelson Mandela.
Africans Rising is not oblivious of the root causes of this conflict. Israel has maintained a system of brutal oppression on the people of Palestine for over 75 years. Prominent human rights bodies including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watchand Israeli Human Rights organization, BTselem have investigated and produced unimpeachable evidence of a system of apartheid being enforced by Israel on the Palestinian population. This involves among others the maintenance of a degrading system of law for the Palestinians who are subject to wanton arrests, daily surveillance, raids on communities, demolition of Palestinian homes to make way for illegal settlements, starvation, murder of children and women. And all these are happening with the full support of American and European leaders who have little humanity to even acknowledge the loss of Palestinian lives.
However, the people of Palestine continue to resist apartheid and settler colonialism. As Africans, we are very familiar with the conditions of colonialism and apartheid and it is our duty to support the struggle of the Palestinian people and all colonized peoples for their liberation and freedom.
We therefore demand;
- An immediate cessation of hostilities to allow for much needed humanitarian response
- That Israel must end the siege on Gaza. Cutting basic supplies to a civilian population is inhumane and is a war crime in international law.
- That Hamas should releases civilian hostages in its custody and allow them to reunite with their families
- That the United States and Europe should stop fuelling the war through the supply of weapons to the occupier to murder the civilian population of Gaza.
- That Israel must end the occupation and its apartheid system.
- That the International Criminal Court (ICC) must expedite and update the world on the war crimes investigation opened in 2021 into the Occupied Palestinian Territories and appropriate actions be taken immediately