Gravely concerned, the Namibian government yesterday condemned the escalation of violence between Israel and Palestine in the Gaza Strip, which led to the loss of lives of both Palestinians and Israelis.
On Saturday, Palestinian militant groups led by Hamas launched a large-scale invasion and offensive against Israel from the Gaza Strip, breaking through the Gaza-Israel barrier and forcing entry via the Gaza border crossings, into nearby settlements in Israel and military installations.
Hamas is a Palestinian militant group that rules the Gaza Strip and wants to replace it with an Islamic state. Hamas has been fighting several wars with Israel since it took power in Gaza in 2007.
Executive director of the international relations ministry Penda Naanda said the Namibian government is thus urging the international community to encourage and call for a cessation of hostilities, the protection of civilians, and to continue to support the Palestinian people through the implementation of relevant UN resolutions.
“Namibia calls on Israel to cease its attacks and refrain from engaging in provocative acts against the Palestinian people, and to respect international humanitarian law,” he added.
Namibia further reaffirms its strong support for the legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people for their inalienable right to self-determination.
“Namibia continues to support diplomatic efforts aimed at reaching a lasting peace solution, leading to a two-state solution along the 1967 Israeli border, with East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine,” said Naanda.
He told New Era yesterday that although Namibia does not have a consulate in the Middle Eastern nation, both states share deep diplomatic and international relations.
“We haven’t received information of whether there are Namibians there. We had an honorary consulate before, but that position was revoked,” he stated when queried if there are Namibians in Israel.
Naanda added that when Namibians travel to other countries, they do not inform the relevant institutions, which can be a difficult and daunting task of accounting for everyone, especially in instances like this.
Meanwhile, Israel’s military yesterday said it took control of all communities around Gaza, more than 48 hours after Hamas launched a surprise assault where more than 1 000 people were killed.
Also condemning the conflict in the Mediterranean, PDM leader McHenry Venaani said the escalation of violence and warfare in the region is deeply distressing and worrisome. He firmly believes that the path to lasting peace and stability can never be forged through further conflict and military actions.
In his capacity as vice chairman of the International Democrat Union, Venaani said war feeds a cycle of violence that has gone on for far too long, breeding more pain, destruction, and hatred.
“It is imperative that this pattern be broken, and the problem be resolved diplomatically and peacefully. To stop the killing and advance a future in which Israelis and Palestinians can live side by side in peace with security and prosperity, the world community must unite behind this goal,” he stated.
Venaani added: “We recognise the legitimate concerns and security issues faced by Israel, as well as the rights of its citizens to live in safety and peace. Equally, we acknowledge the challenges faced by the Palestinian people, and their aspirations for self-determination and a life free from oppression and hardship.”
He said the first step towards peace must be an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire by all parties. Therefore, the cessation of hostilities will prevent further loss of life, and give diplomatic efforts a chance to succeed.
“All parties must commit to upholding international law, and respecting the rights and dignity of civilians on both sides. This includes the protection of humanitarian workers, medical facilities and civilian infrastructure,” he noted.