Leaders from different human rights organisations and Islamic bodies have called on the United Nations to go beyond condemnation and take all the necessary steps to stop Israel from its continued illegal occupation and eviction of Palestinians from their homes.
The coalition, led by Dr. Khadijah Olaniyan, Nigeria’s representative at the International Muslim Women Union (IWMU), also charged the UN to protect civilians, especially innocent children from future Israel’s aggression in Palestine.
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 include Muslim Awareness International (MAI), Al-Mu’minaat (The Believing Women) Organization, 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”, said Dr. Olaniyan, who added that the powers that be have watched Israel maim, kill, and commit war crimes on innocent civilians in Palestine, without prosecution.
According to Dr. Olaniyan, “In the just concluded Gaza onslaught, Israel killed over two hundred civilians, including sixty five (65) children, during the pogrom that lasted eleven (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 in the strongest terms, 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 the 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.
Hold US responsible for crimes in Palestine, Akintola tells UN, ICJ
The Director of Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Nigeria, Prof. Lakin Akintola also condemned the attacks on innocent civilians, called on the UN, including the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to hold America responsible for the crimes against humanity.
According to him, the US government has the power to influence Israel to stop its atrocities against the Palestinians and withdraw to the 1967 borders, but Washington isn’t doing anything to stop Israel.
“Instead, she keeps on arming Israeli soldiers which has been on for decades, with more than 20 billion dollars annually, to maim and commit extra judicial 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.
Prof. Lakin called Israel an apartheid state.
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 therefore speaks to the conscience of the American people, adding that “We believe it’s the system that is aggressive to the Palestinians not the good people of America.
We all speak of #peace but nobody is talking about #justice (for the #Palestinians) and there cannot be peace without justice. Justice is the soul of peace and whoever denies justice cannot expect peace. – Prof. Ishaq Lakin Akintola, Director, #MURIC #Palestine #Israel pic.twitter.com/omgOmMDlNL
— Muslim News Nigeria (@muslimnews_NG) May 24, 2021
“The good American 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.”
He also corrected the wrong impression among Nigerians that the Palestine-Israel crisis is religion based, saying, “It isn’t religion. This is clearly ethnic cleansing. The Israeli’s inhumanity against Humanity. There are Christians in Palestine, with 27% population, and yet, the world is keeping quiet against the right of this minority, as they, alongside Palestinian Muslim population were strangulated by Israel for 11 days.
MURIC joined leaders of the remaining organisations in the coalition to call on United Nations to exhibit its independence, saying that if there is independence of democracy, that independence must be exhibited.
“UN must no longer allow America or Britain to veto resolution against Israel. UN must rise a single body against oppression.
“Lastly, we all speak of peace but nobody is talking about justice and there cannot be peace without justice. Justice is the soul of peace and whoever denies justice cannot expect peace,” he added.
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.”
Hajia Adeagbo Jubril also prayed and showed solidarity 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.
Barrister Mutiat Orolu-Balogun, who represented Pristine Cactus said under the 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 the western power, especially, with the misuse of veto power by the United States.
“If the holocaust wasn’t okay, apartheid in South Africa wasn’t okay, genocide not okay in Rwanda, why is the holocaust, apartheid and genocide in Palestine okay?” Orolu-Balogun asked.
Speaking further, Barr. 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.
“Let’s come together for justice and let’s condemn evil and injustice wherever it may be. Free Palestine, Free Gaza”, she added.
Representing the Muslim Awareness International (MAI), Mrs. Sherifah Atoyebi said the condemnation of war crimes going on in Palestine came to the forefront in the past days.
She 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 in as much as it found out under international law that every human, has a right to life, property, association, and dignity.
Mrs. Atoyebi noted that the right of the Palestinians should not go overlooked. “However, to some, it might appear appears 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.
Hajia Jelilat Abdul Hamid, a member board of Trustees, GMP, 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 their lands. After this, Palestine should be returned to the world map,” she added.
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