Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza: African Union Leaders Condemn Israeli Actions

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In the wake of the events unfolding since October 7, when Israel initiated bombardments on Gaza, a deeply concerning toll has been reported by Palestinian authorities. Tragically, over 13,000 Palestinians have lost their lives, with a particularly distressing toll of over 9,000 women and children among the casualties. Additionally, more than 30,000 individuals have suffered injuries, underscoring the extensive human cost of the conflict.


The impact on infrastructure has been severe, with numerous buildings, including crucial facilities such as hospitals, mosques, and churches, either damaged or destroyed. Israel’s sustained air and ground assaults on the besieged enclave have left a lasting imprint on the physical landscape, exacerbating the challenges faced by the local population.


Compounding the crisis, an Israeli blockade has severed Gaza from essential resources, including fuel, electricity, and water supplies. This blockade has not only heightened the humanitarian crisis but has also significantly diminished aid deliveries, leaving the region grappling with profound challenges and limited resources to address the pressing needs of its inhabitants. The nuanced reality of this situation highlights the multifaceted and complex nature of the conflict, emphasizing the dire consequences for the people caught amid this ongoing turmoil.


African Union’s chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, strongly criticized Israeli actions in the Gaza Strip, denouncing them during the opening speech of the 44th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council in Addis Ababa. He emphasized the compounded suffering of the Palestinian people, highlighting their deprivation of fundamental rights and the urgent need for international intervention.


“The suffering of the Palestinian people, deprived of their fundamental rights to freedom and to the constitution of a viable and sovereign State, is being compounded before our eyes by a war of extermination,” Mahamat said at the opening speech of the 44th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council in Addis Ababa on Wednesday.


Mahamat urged the global community to address the issue promptly, expressing concern that blind violence is met with silence and forgetfulness by major world powers. He called for an immediate end to hostilities, the release of hostages and prisoners, and a dedicated commitment to a political resolution based on the establishment of two sovereign states in peaceful coexistence, adhering to international law.


“The resurgence of military coups, pre- and post-electoral violence, humanitarian crises linked to war and/or the effects of climate change, are all major sources of concern for us,” Mahamat said.


Azali Assoumani, the President of the Comoros and the departing chairperson of the African Union, commended South Africa’s legal action against Israel at the International Court of Justice. Simultaneously, he strongly denounced the ongoing “genocide Israel is committing in Palestine right before our eyes.”


Assoumani emphasized the imperative for the international community not to turn a blind eye to the atrocities unfolding. “The international community cannot close its eyes to the atrocities that are committed, that have not only created chaos in Palestine but also have disastrous consequences in the rest of the world,” Assoumani said.


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