'Cruel genocidal act': Non-Aligned Movement condemns Israel's assault on Gaza
Member states of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) condemned on Saturday Israel's military campaign on Gaza and urged for the implementation of a UN Security Council resolution to allow humanitarian aid into the besieged strip.
The announcement came as part of the 47-article Kampala Declaration late on Saturday after the body – a forum of 120 countries who are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc – held its 19th summit.
The five-day summit, which began on 15 January, was held in Uganda, where President Yoweri Museveni officially assumed the chairmanship of the summit and the NAM for the next three years.
The body "strongly condemns the illegal Israeli military aggression on the Gaza Strip, the indiscriminate attacks against Palestinian civilians, civilian objects, the forced displacement of the Palestinian population and further calls for an immediate and durable humanitarian ceasefire", the declaration said.
The NAM called for an immediate end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories to enable reaching a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 borders, and for an independent and sovereign Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The forum highlighted strong support for the admission of the State of Palestine as a member state of the UN, allowing it to rightfully assume its place within the international community.
The declaration condemned "all measures taken by Israeli, the occupying power, to alter the legal physical and demographic status of the Occupied Syrian Golan, and demand once again that Israel should abide by the relevant UNSC Resolutions and to fully withdraw from the Syrian Golan to the borders of the 4 June 1967".
It also "condemned the historical injustice against Africa and expressed support for increased representation for Africa in the reformed Security Council, thereby supporting the African Common Position as reflected in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration."
The summit also pledged to uphold and promote respect for the UN charter and international law, especially the principles of sovereignty, sovereign equality, territorial integrity, non-interference, and peaceful settlement of disputes.
'Cruellest genocidal acts'
On Friday, Cuba’s vice president, Salvador Valdes Mesa, said: "Since October 7, we have witnessed one of the cruellest genocidal acts ever to be recorded by history."
“How can the Western countries, who claim to be so civilized, justify the murder of women and children in Gaza, the indiscriminate bombings of hospitals and schools and deprivation of access to safe water and food?” he said.
At the start of the conference on Monday, the Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, expressed hope that the conference be one "in solidarity with the Palestinian people".
"And I know that the movement that supported Palestine from the beginning will continue to support Palestine until we put an end to this tragedy and accomplish the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people," Mansour added.
He said three objectives need to be met, which include an immediate ceasefire, humanitarian assistance in Gaza, and "fighting against the crime against humanity of mass displacement of our people outside of Gaza, (thereby) creating a second Nakba".
At least 25,105 Palestinians have been killed, and 62,681 wounded in Israel’s ongoing war on Gaza since 7 October. Some 70 percent of the victims have been women and children.
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa criticised the United Nations in his speech, saying: "This conflict has again illustrated the inadequacy of the United Nations, in particular the UN Security Council, in maintaining international peace and security."
Ramaphosa reiterated that South Africa "calls for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire in Gaza".
Ramaphosa highlighted that as "a consequence of the ever-worsening situation", South Africa has asked the International Court of Justice to issue provisional measures "ordering Israel to stop its military campaign in Gaza".
Last week, the South African government presented a case to the International Court of Justice. It argued that Israel's attack on Gaza, and especially the actions of its forces within Gaza since early October, could amount to genocide.
At the summit, Algerian President Abdelmajid Tebboune urged Israel to be held accountable for crimes against Palestinians, saying the "era of impunity and lack of accountability has ended".
Tebboune made the comments in a speech that was delivered by Algerian Premier Nadir Larbaoui on his behalf, according to Algeria's official news agency TAP.