Palestine Appeals to Nigeria to Wade into Palestine, Israel Conflict
Michael Olugbode in Abuja
Palestine has appealed to Nigeria to come out and play a critical role in resolving the Palestine/Israel conflict.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja at the weekend, the Ambassador of the State of Palestine to Nigeria, Abdallah Abu Shawesh, said Nigeria can play a crucial role because it has good relations with Palestine and also with Israel.
The ambassador said Nigeria is well positioned to take some stand on international affairs as the 7th most populous country in the world, the biggest economy in Africa and having been playing crucial roles in Africa and in the international arena from time immemorial.
He said: “Nigeria has continued to play crucial role because Nigeria is standing firm in support of international law, standing firm in support of the Palestinian cause. Nigeria can also push forward for more implementation of the international resolution.
“I will communicate with different levels of people of Nigeria to make sure that they support the move not only from the political level but other institutions such as human rights institutions and NGOs to make sure that they collaborate with their counterparts in Palestine.”
The envoy, who noted that the Palestinians have made a move to go to the International Crisis Group to seek legal advice on Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, however added that: “This might have consequences to the peace process as the Israeli side considers it a unilateral move. What is your view on that?”
Shawesh said: “After 75 years of Nakba (catastrophe of establishment of Israel) as you might know, the majority of the Palestinian people became refugees after the destruction of their 527 villages and towns by Israeli forces, which forcefully ejected them from their home land.
“And after 65 years of occupation, we have no other choice but to use all legal and diplomatic means to go to the United Nations and the International Criminal Court (ICC) to put an end to this brutal occupation.
“The Israelis consider it unilateral but I can assure you it is not unilateral because the overwhelming majority in the UN were supporting our move to go to the ICC not only the overwhelming majority, Nigeria is also supporting this move and voted in favour of the resolution which was adopted only a few days ago.
“156 countries are in favour of our resolutions and this is one indicator, the other indicator is that we have good relations with the majority of countries in the world, and we have over 100 embassies in the world.”
“The unilateral move was done by Israel, which is denying and violating the resolution of the international community. Israel is building settlements in occupied Palestinian territory which is against international law.
“They (Israelis) are building over 300 settlements, moving the Israeli citizens to the occupied Palestinian territory which is another unilateral move that contradicts the international law. But our move at the international arena is a multilateral move supported by the majority of the international community,” he stated.