Speakers have called for global intervention while emphasising the importance of an immediate dialogue process to swiftly end the spiralling conflict and humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.
Foundation Dialogue for Peace organization’s founder Aamir Javed Sheikh who is a Norwegian-Pakistani and local politician in Oslo Thursday arranged the first-ever webinar on the topic ‘Israeli-Palestinian conflict, violence or dialogue’ where both Israeli and Palestinian diplomats, among others, expressed how to defuse the fuelling conflict in Gaza.
Moderating the session, former prime minister of Norway Kjell Magne Bondevik welcomed the guest speakers including Opposition Leader in the Senate Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani from Islamabad, Palestinian Ambassador to Norway Marie Antoinette Sedin, Israeli Ambassador to Norway Elon Roth, Dr Muhammad Bin Abulkarim Al-Issa, Secretary-General of the Muslim World League, and Chief Rabbi Michael Melchior, Jerusalem.
Iffat Hassan Rizvi covered the event from Oslo for TLTP, saying that during the webinar Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani termed the Palestinian conflict as a long-standing Middle East dispute which has caused large-scale loss of lives and destruction. Gilani was of the view that the dispute not only has generated tension in the region but also polarised the community and stiffed economic growth.
Condemning attacks on innocent worshippers in the Al Aqsa Mosque during the sacred month of Ramazan as against all norms of humanity and human rights laws, Gilani said such atrocities are not acceptable by any religion. He expressed that war, bloodshed or violence doesn’t provide a solution but only a peaceful and meaningful dialogue will bring about lasting peace.
Calling immediate attention of the international community to resolve the issue in the region, Gilani said strong political will and the ability to take bold decisions by top Israeli leadership to deescalate violence and pursue dialogue is of paramount importance.
Speaking on the occasion, Israeli Ambassador Elon Roth said the spiral of bombing must be broken by the ceasefire, adding: “The ceasefire is urgent on humanitarian reason through political dialogue”. He said many civilian and children are suffering, adding, “Once again we are experiencing hectic days in Philistine-Israel relations. Families are forced to leave home, the number of IDPs is increasing, it’s really a humanitarian crisis”.
Alleging Hamas for resisting dialogue in settling the ignited issue of Gaza, the Israeli ambassador placed the responsibility of bombing on the shoulders of the Hamas authorities, claiming the authorities were using people of the vicinity as a human shield. Blaming the Hamas authorities for defying dialogue, Elon Roth claimed, “Gaza can become the Middle East’s Singapore through dialogue”.Countering the Israeli ambassador,
Palestinian Ambassador Marie Antoinette Sedin said, “Excuse me by stating that I feel so sad, sick and disappointed, what I heard, I felt like we are not the victim – we are the occupiers”. She urged the international community to fulfil its obligation practically instead of delivering statements of condemnation which she said the Israeli always ignored.
She said, “Let’s not forget that Nakba took place in 1948 and there has been a continuous process of killing and imprisoning, displacement, demolishing homes, confiscating land, using our natural resources, committing massacre, and atrocities, violation against Palestinian is going on since 73 years”.
“We cannot forget the ongoing issues of confiscating the Palestinian land, peace and destroying the Palestinian homes, uprooting the olive trees, forcing Palestinian to leave their properties and demolishing Palestinian houses in Jerusalem and its surroundings”, she expressed.
She informed that one-and-a-half decade witnessed Gaza under siege, saying, “How can be Gaza become Singapore when residents of the city have not passage to go out”. She reiterated many years of suffering is unbearable as Palestinian live under the aggression of Israeli forces who are humiliating all the people who are passing their checkpoints. “To reach to people to people there must be end of occupation”, she concluded.
Chief Rabbi Michael Melchior of Jerusalem said, “There would be no justice in Israel without justice in Palestine – There is a need for world religious leaders to come out saying we are willing to talk to narrow the gap for peaceful settlement of the issue”.
Dr Muhammad Bin Abulkarim Al-Issa, Secretary-General of the Muslim World League emphasised dialogue to address the issue. He was of the view that everyone should learn a lesson from history that the logic of force ends up in a loss in all circumstances. He added that every stakeholder should go to the negotiation table to realise a comprehensive justice for this issue.
The writer heads a leading news wire service ‘The Law Today Pakistan’ commonly known as TLTP. He has a special focus on news relating to superior courts adjudication, access to right of information, civil, political, social and economic rights under the approach that existing cyber regime realization ensures procedural fairness in administrative law. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org