Israeli crimes against in Gaza 'unprecedented in human history': Head of African Union commission at summit

Saturday 17 Feb 2024

Leaders at an African Union summit in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Saturday condemned Israel’s offensive in Gaza and called for its immediate end as they opened a two-day summit.

African heads of state attend the 37th Ordinary session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) Summit at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024. AP


Moussa Faki, the chair of the African Union Commission, said Israel’s offensive was the “most flagrant” violation of international humanitarian law with Faki describing it as a "war of extermination."

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh was among those attending.

But asked about the possible presence of an Israeli delegation, Faki's spokeswoman Ebba Kalondo told AFP bluntly: "They are not invited. That's it."

Faki spoke alongside Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, who also addressed the summit.

“Rest assured we strongly condemn these attacks that are unprecedented in the history of mankind,” Faki said to applause from delegates.

“We want to reassure you of our solidarity with the people of Palestine.”

Azali Assoumani, president of the Comoros and the outgoing chairperson of the African Union, praised the case brought by South Africa against Israel at the International Court of Justice while condemning “the genocide Israel is committing in Palestine under our nose.”

“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.

A quarter of Gaza’s residents are starving because of the Israeli war and blockade on Gaza.

After four and half months of carpet bombing of Gaza, the Israeli army has killed and wounded more than 100,000 Palestinians and demolished more than half of all residential units in the strip, leaving most of the civilian population without shelter.

The African leaders' strong words came as Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu continued war-mongering with threats to launch a ground assault on Rafah in southern Gaza, which is now home to 1.5 million displaced Palestinians.

During last year’s AU summit, an Israeli delegate was unceremoniously removed from the plenary hall amid a row over the country’s observer status at the continental body.

Short link: