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Ex-P.M.’s Musa, Barrow join calls for ceasefire in Gaza

Posted: Tuesday, October 31, 2023. 10:07 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: While both were active politicians, it seemed there was little the Right Honourable Said Musa and the Right Honourable Dean Barrow could agree on.

With both now retired, they have joined up on a number of local and international issues and on Monday issued a joint statement on the Israel-Hamas war ongoing at the moment. Musa, notably, is of Palestinian descent through late father Hamid, while Barrow’s first son and Leader of the Opposition Moses “Shyne” Barrow is a convert to Judaism.

The only living former Prime Ministers of Belize are united in horror, they say, “…by the horrific toll in human life caused by the unspeakable, continuing tragedy in Gaza. Hamas’s killing of Israeli civilians and taking others hostage was wrong. But as the United Nations Secretary-General has acknowledged, it did not happen in a vacuum. It is in the context of Israel’s years-long blockade of Gaza, its displacement of Palestinians, and seizure of their properties, its arbitrary arrest and imprisonment of citizens in both Gaza and the West Bank, and its annihilation of human rights, that Hamas’s actions must be understood”.

The assault on Gaza approaches genocide, they claim, and Israeli leaders’ “clear expressions of intent and incitement to genocide…have not been condemned. They added that “No so-called “right of self-defence” can excuse Israel’s pitiless siege and unrelenting bombing of Gaza,” and that “The failure of the United Nations to stop an ongoing genocide, played out on the world’s media screens as some macabre horror serial show, is profoundly disturbing and could seriously affect its relevance to achieving world peace.”

Barrow and Musa are joining leaders, organizations, and people of conscience everywhere in calling for an immediate ceasefire, and for aid, relief, and reconstruction to flow to Gaza. They also add that Israel and Hamas should exchange prisoners and the international community must negotiate an end to the war, which would see a resolution rooted in the right of the Palestinians to self-determination.

Separately, the Bar Association of Belize has also issued a release calling for a total ceasefire in Gaza, including “the facilitation of the establishment of a peaceful process for finally realizing lasting peace in Gaza and the West Bank, the immediate halt to armed attacks on civilians whether Palestinian or Israeli, the immediate provision of an unrestricted flow of water, food, medicine, fuel, and humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza and the release of all hostages and prisoners taken in furtherance of the conflict”.

Israel nonetheless pushes ahead with its ground invasion, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quoted as saying that to stop now would be “a surrender to Hamas.”

 

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