Palestinian FM calls Israel aggression 'war of revenge'

AFP , Thursday 26 Oct 2023

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki said on Thursday that Israel's aggression in Gaza was a "war of revenge", as he called for a ceasefire in the conflict.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki, AFP

"This time the war that Israel is waging is different. This time, it's a war of revenge," Maliki said. "This war has no real objective than the total destruction of every livable corner in Gaza".

He said the need for a ceasefire was a top priority to get aid into the Gaza Strip, where the main UN agency warned Wednesday operations would cease as it was running out of fuel.

"First we need to end this aggression, this one-sided war, and then we need to call for a ceasefire," he said, adding that "a ceasefire is essential, for the distribution of humanitarian aid".

EU leaders' were set on Thursday to call for a "humanitarian pause" in the war on Gaza, as the bloc grapples with another conflict on its fringes alongside Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Maliki said he was not confident EU officials "would go for a full ceasefire, stressing that the so-called "humanitarian pause" would not alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

"I am confident that they will have a very serious discussion and they will be able understand the difference between a humanitarian pause and a ceasefire."

Maliki also said the only long-term solution in the conflict would be a return to the two-state solution, the framework proposed for separate Israeli and Palestinian states.

"It will be difficult, but not impossible to go to the two-state solution. But what is the alternative? We don't have an alternative."

Maliki's statements follow his meeting with top officials at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, including its chief prosecutor Karim Khan.

"The situation in Gaza is so dangerous now that it needs immediate intervention by the ICC prosecutor," Maliki said, accusing Israel of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The Palestinians have made a second submission to the UN's highest International Court of Justice (ICJ), which is also based in The Hague, he said.

The UN's general Assembly has asked the ICJ's judges for an advisory legal opinion on Israel's occupation in Palestinian territories.

Israel's 20-day bombing campaign in Gaza has caused over 7,000 Palestinian casualties, including children, and displaced over half of Gaza's population.

Israel's preparations for a ground invasion are underway, while regional leaders criticise the West for its perceived double standards in supporting Israel's war crimes.

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