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Nigeria stands in solidarity with Palestinians, calls on UN to end Israel’s aggression

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Leaders from different human rights organisations and Islamic bodies have called on the United Nations to go beyond condemnation and take all necessary steps to stop Israel from its continued illegal occupation and eviction of Palestinians from their homes.

The coalition, led by Nigeria’s Head of International Muslim Women Union (IWMU), Dr. Khadijah Olaniyan, charged the UN to protect civilians, especially innocent children from future Israel’s aggression in Palestine.

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About eight organisations that formed the coalition gathered at the Lagos State Secretariat Mosque Conference Room, on Monday, for the world press conference, where they reviewed the aftermath of Israeli’s 11-Day offensive in Gaza, which claimed the lives of 237 Palestinians, including 65 children.

Other members of the coalition are Muslim Awareness International (MAI), Al-Mu’minaat (The Believing Women) Organisation, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Guild of Muslim Professionals (GMP), Pristine Cactus, Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, MSSN, Lagos State Area Unit, and Lagos Secretariat Community Central Mosque (LSCCM).

“Palestine predates Israel, but the latter is really out to wipe out Palestine,” Olaniyan alleged, adding that the powers that be have watched Israel maim, kill, and commit war crimes on innocent civilians in Palestine, without prosecution.

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According to her, “In the just concluded Gaza onslaught, Israel killed over 200 civilians, including 65 children, during the pogrom that lasted 11 days before allies of Israel could make it call a unilateral ceasefire. Eleven days of horror and wanton waste of innocent lives and properties.”

The organisations condemned attacks on innocent civilians, both at home and at their mosque (Aqsa), humanitarian facilities, among others, thereby calling on the United Nations (UN) to stop Israel from future acts of state-sponsored terrorism, including evictions, occupation of Palestinian homes and lands, and deliberate acts of provocation, which may lead to escalation of violence and the accompanying killings.

“We align with the conditions of the ceasefire given by Palestinians. Israel must desist from further occupations of East Jerusalem, illegal settlement building on Palestinian land, Al-Aqsa Mosque (invasion) hostilities and continued siege and invasion of Gaza”, it added.

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Director of Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Nigeria, Prof. Lakin Akintola also condemned the attacks on innocent civilians and called on the UN, including the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to hold America responsible for the crimes against humanity.

According to him, the U.S. government has the power to influence Israel to stop its atrocities against Palestinians and withdraw to the 1967 borders, but Washington isn’t doing anything to stop Israel.

“Instead, she keeps on arming Israeli soldiers which have been on for decades, with more than $20 billion dollars annually, to maim and commit extrajudicial killings of innocent Palestinians.

“We’ll continue to hold the US government responsible until it stops Israeli aggression because we know the answers to the Palestine-Israel crisis, lies squarely with America,” he added.

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He said, “Israel is the greatest apartheid country in existence today. The South Africans who segregated blacks from the rest of the community and who compared blacks to dogs have been vanquished. Apartheid has fallen in South Africa.

“But we are surprised that around the same time that South Africa apartheid was fallen, Israeli aggression, segregation, marginalisation, discrimination against the Palestinians who own the land just started, with more vicious wickedness.

The MURIC Nigeria Director said people are against apartheid. They are people of good conscience and they will not support the killings of innocent people. Many Americans have also demonstrated against the Israelis and the government of America. The American people must rise against Zionism aggression.”

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He also corrected the wrong impression among Nigerians that the Palestine-Israel crisis is centred on religion, saying, “It isn’t religion. This is clearly ethnic cleansing. The Israeli’s inhumanity against Humanity. There are Christians in Palestine, with 27 per cent population, and yet, the world is keeping quiet against the right of this minority, as they, alongside the Palestinian Muslim population were strangulated by Israel for 11 days.

Also speaking at the conference was the female head of Al-Mu’minaat (The Believing Women) Organisation in Lagos State, Hajia Bushrah Adeagbo-Jubril, who called on Muslims across the world to unite against Israeli’s persecution of Palestinians.

According to her, “In unity, we stand, divided we fall. We go with the mantra of ‘One for all, All for One. Most often we feel unconcerned with other Muslims/humans.”

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Hajia Adeagbo Jubril also prayed for brethren across the globe, especially in Gaza and other regions in Palestine (for whom we are here gathered) to Uighur in China, Kashmir in India, Yemen, Iraq, Libya, and Syria amongst others, whom she said are facing various challenges.

Representative of Pristine Cactus, Barrister Mutiat Orolu-Balogun, said under international law, Israel has committed the most vicious crimes against humanity.

She however said despite all the crimes, the apartheid regime is enjoying unconditional and unwavering support from western powers, especially, with the misuse of veto power by the United States.

Speaking further, Orolu-Balogun advised Nigerians who criticised the supporters of Palestinians, noting that, “It’s true we are facing our own challenges, yet, injustice in one place is injustice everywhere and as a member of the international community, Africa cannot be free until Palestine is free.

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“Let’s come together for justice and let’s condemn evil and injustice wherever it may be. Free Palestine, Free Gaza”, she added.

Representative of Muslim Awareness International (MAI), Mrs. Sherifah Atoyebi, condemned the attacks on Palestinians, saying the 11-days of torture and persecution from Israel is unwarranted and the world cannot continue to keep quiet under international law that guarantees every human right to life, property, association, and dignity.

Atoyebi noted that the right of the Palestinians should not be overlooked. She said it might appear that what is going on in Palestine is about religion, but she affirms that the crisis is more than religion. It is against humanity and everyone has to stand up and speak with one voice against Israeli atrocities in Palestine.

A member board of Trustees, GMP, Hajia Jelilat Abdul Hamid, also called on the UN on behalf of the Guild of Muslim Professionals (GMP) to stand up to its responsibilities and protect Palestinians from Israeli injustice.

“We call on UN to order Israel to immediately leave the illegally occupied territories in Palestine for Palestinian refugees in other neighbouring Arab countries to return to their land. After this, Palestine should be returned to the world map,” she added.

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