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Foreign Minister issues latest statement of support for Palestine in Israel-Hamas war

Posted: Sunday, October 29, 2023. 12:31 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Minister of Foreign Affairs Senator Eamon Courtenay has described as a “war crime” the “collective punishment” of citizens of the Gaza Strip, which Israel has blockaded since October 7 following a raid by Hamas militants into Israel which killed some 1,500 civilians, injured thousands more, and saw more than 200 taken hostage.

In response, Israeli operations have cost nearly nine thousand lives, most Palestinian. The amount of explosives that have been dropped on Gaza exceeds 12,000 tons, Courtenay revealed, which has an especially grim significance: “That is equivalent to the size of the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Our collective conscience is shocked.”

In the Senate on Thursday, Courtenay reiterated Belize’s position: “We condemn the unjustified use of force and the killing of innocent civilians by both sides. We call for an immediate ceasefire. We call for the immediate release of all hostages. We demand that international humanitarian and human rights law be respected by all parties. We call for the safe, unimpeded access for adequate humanitarian support to Gaza. Belize will never waver from its longstanding support for the Palestinian people to exercise their right to self-determination and for an independent Palestinian state, within its 1967 borders.” He further called on the United Nations to stand for the Palestinian people and ensure that both sides can live in peace once more.

Belize, Courtenay said, deeply regrets the loss of innocent lives of men, women and children of several nationalities because of this operation, but it is not over as Israel has until recently blocked key needs including water, electricity and food, only just opening the Egyptian crossing for international aid to enter. A ground invasion of Gaza, he warned, could open the door to a wider conflagration – but Israel, he said, “is not above international law.”

 

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