The denial of the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people, particularly that of an independent and sovereign State, is the main cause of the permanent Israeli-Palestinian tension, the African Union has said.
Expressing his concern at the outbreak of the current Israeli-Palestinian hostilities, African Union Commission Chairperson Mousa Faki said the fighting is causing grave consequences for the lives of Israeli and Palestinian civilians in particular, and for peace in the region, in general.
“The Chairperson wishes to recall that denial of the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people, particularly that of an independent and sovereign State, is the main cause of the permanent Israeli-Palestinian tension.
“The Chairperson urgently appeals to both parties to put an end to military hostilities and to return, without conditions, to the negotiating table to implement the principle of two States living side by side, to safeguard the interests of the Palestinian people and the Israeli people,” Faki said without condemning any party.
The Chairperson further called on the international community, and the major world powers in particular, to assume their responsibilities to impose peace and guarantee the rights of the two peoples.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday condemned attacks on Israel by Palestinian group Hamas, urging for diplomatic efforts to ease the tension.
“The Secretary-General condemns in the strongest terms this morning’s attack by Hamas against Israeli towns near the Gaza Strip and central Israel, including the firing of thousands of rockets toward Israeli population centers,” UN chief’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.
“The attacks have so far claimed numerous Israeli civilian lives and injured many hundreds,” Dujarric added. “The Secretary-General is appalled by reports that civilians have been attacked and abducted from their own homes.”
Guterres is “deeply concerned for the civilian population and urges maximum restraint,” it added. “Civilians must be respected and protected in accordance with international humanitarian law at all times.”
The United Nations Security Council is due to meet on Sunday to discuss the conflict, according to diplomats.
Guterres has called “all diplomatic efforts to avoid a wider conflagration”, Dujarric said in the statement.