Saturday, April 20, 2024

Palestinian FM says Netanyahu prolonging Gaza war to stay in power

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is prolonging the war in the besieged Gaza Strip in order to stay in power, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki has said.

He made the remarks during a meeting with South African Ambassador Sean Benfeldt at the Foreign Ministry’s headquarters in Ramallah, the Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

“Netanyahu is not interested in a cease-fire. On the contrary, he wants to prolong the war for as long as possible to remain in power,” said Al-Maliki.

He said Israel “is using starvation as a weapon of war, as there are nearly 600,000 Palestinians on the verge of famine,” expressing his disappointment with the international community, as it is not doing enough to pressure Netanyahu.

Al-Maliki emphasized the necessity for the international community to bear its responsibilities towards the Palestinian cause, confirming that Palestine will continue to pressure the UN Security Council and the US to implement a cease-fire.

He pointed out the danger of Israel’s daily raids on Palestinian camps in the West Bank, the destruction of infrastructure, the killing of Palestinians and the ongoing pressure on residents of the camps to force them out.

Regarding the genocide lawsuit filed by South Africa against Israel in December, al-Maliki expressed appreciation from the Palestinian leadership and people for South Africa’s historic stance and advocacy against Tel Aviv at the International Court of Justice in the Netherlands.

He affirmed that “this legal, humanitarian and moral effort is of utmost importance to expose the corruption of the world and its double standards.”

Al-Maliki added that “the provisional measures issued by the court (in January) are very important to show that Israel is still continuing its crimes in the Gaza Strip.”

Israel has waged a deadly military offensive on the Gaza Strip since an Oct. 7 cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas in which 1,163 people were killed.

More than 31,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have since been killed in Gaza and over 73,000 injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid a crippling blockade of most food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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