Oman calls for ‘independent investigation’ into Israeli Aggression against Civilians in Gaza

Oman foreign minister
Oman foreign minister

Muscat, 31 Oct (ONA) — Foreign Minister Sayyid Bad Hamad Al Busaidi has called upon the international community to conduct an independent investigation into the Israeli aggression and hold it accountable for its deliberate targeting of civilians, their facilities, depriving them of their humanitarian needs, starving them, and subjecting them to collective punishment in the Gaza Strip.

In a statement to Oman News Agency (ONA), Sayyid Badr affirmed that Oman, as always, is committed to political solutions based on dialogue and the principles of international law. He said Oman believes that the international community should intervene to stop this war on Gaza and deter Israel from violating international law and continuing its military operations that result in the killing of civilians within the Gaza Strip, as well as the demolition of infrastructure, buildings, and residential areas.

Sayyid Badr said: “My firm belief is that violence is not a solution, and we strongly condemn it because victims are often children and civilians. If we look at previous historical experiences, it is clear that a military solution to the Palestinian issue or the Arab-Israeli conflict is impossible to achieve. Yes, there are existing movements or organizations resisting occupation, and this is their legitimate right. However, if we seek a final and just solution, it cannot be achieved militarily but through peaceful means. The possible and sustainable solution lies in political solutions, dialogue, and a strong commitment to achieving peace.”

He further added: “We must continue to confront these practices and Israel’s inhumane actions by upholding our values and adhering to our humanitarian ethics, which reject killing, destruction, and attacks on children and civilians. We must continue to exert political, diplomatic, and legal pressure and employ the voice of truth, the language of reason, and the power of logic in the face of Israel’s oppressive aggression, which includes killing innocent civilians, destroying their infrastructure, and depriving them of water, food, fuel, and medicine. I would like to emphasize that the media also has a responsibility here to deal with the situation objectively and credibly and to convey a fair message to the world, appealing to the human conscience everywhere. In the end, truth must prevail, and injustice must recede”.

He explained that the value of constructive international engagement lies in protecting the rights of civilians in peace and war, and therefore the immense potential of global frameworks is capable of creating the necessary conditions to halt the conflict and adopt peaceful solutions.

The Foreign Minister pointed out that all countries condemn and denounce the targeting of civilians, regardless of their nationalities, because this contradicts all the values we believe in. All countries have the right to self-defense. However, Israel’s response is excessively disproportionate, particularly in targeting civilians. It should not be forgotten that the Palestinian people also have the right to self-defense, he affirmed.

He explained that the forced displacement of civilians in the northern Gaza Strip and pushing them to move southwards is widely considered a precursor to genocide, according to Article II of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The blockade of Gaza, which prevents civilians from accessing water, electricity, food, and fuel, is an unlawful act and can be considered a war crime. These collective measures are prohibited under Article 33 of the Geneva Convention, he asserted.

He said” History has taught us that “self-defense” cannot justify genocide, collective punishment, and the targeting of innocent civilians. Moreover, blocking humanitarian aid to the population is a crime under international law.

Sayyid Badr called for an immediate ceasefire and the establishment of a truce monitored by independent United Nations observers. The world must also formulate urgent plans to provide direct and immediate humanitarian aid and necessities to the Gaza Strip.

He affirmed that Oman and the GCC countries have committed to supporting humanitarian relief efforts in the Gaza Strip.

He said that the world needs to address the root causes that have led us to this crisis, and deal with them progressively.

As for the most important root causes of this crisis, Sayyid Badr explained: “There are four key reasons we would like to focus on:

1. Israel has unlawfully occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip since 1967.

This occupation involves the persecution and displacement of innocent residents from their homes and the imposition of daily suffering on Palestinians in their territories. It deprives all Palestinians and refugees in these territories of their fundamental right to self-determination.

2. Despite the agreements reached in the Oslo Accords in 1993, the continued occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, has led to the systematic expansion of illegal settlements and the forced eviction of Palestinian residents from their lands and homes without rights, not to mention the apartheid policy pursued by the Israeli government.

3. Gaza has been under siege since 2007, isolated from Palestinians in the West Bank, making the territory entirely dependent on Israel for its infrastructure and essential vital supplies. 2.3 million of its inhabitants live in poverty and isolation: conditions imposed on them by Israel without any rights.

4. The Israeli coalition government formed in 2022 has escalated this injustice and darkness. We witness how the leaders of this Israeli government promote policies that target Palestinian populations more aggressively and cruelly than ever before”.

Sayyid Badr appealed to the world to take strong, deterrent, and punitive measures against the heinous statements and threats made by Israeli officials, such as those made by the current Israeli Minister of Finance, who, for example, said, “There are now three options for the Palestinians: slavery, migration, or death”.

Sayyid Badr pointed out that the international community has neglected these root causes of the conflict for decades. It is time for a genuine awakening within the United Nations Security Council to enforce its resolutions and apply international law to all countries without discrimination or double standards.

As for what needs to be done to achieve a successful peace process in the future, Sayyid Badr said: “It may be too early to discuss the details of a peace project, but in brief, I would like to say that, at the right time, an effective and credible peace process involving all parties without exclusion will be needed.

There are experiences and lessons that can be learned from. For example, Israel and its allies previously accepted the idea of engaging in dialogue with the Palestine Liberation Organization in the 1990s, after initially refusing to negotiate with it due to its classification as a terrorist organization. That dialogue with the PLO led to the start of the peace process at that time.

Today, we say that Israel and its allies must face the reality that, without engaging in dialogue with all parties, including Hamas, there cannot be a genuine Palestinian-Israeli peace.

The peace process should involve all key parties. We believe there is an international consensus on the need for a comprehensive peace, based on the two-state solution and in accordance with international law and well-known United Nations Security Council resolutions related to the Palestinian issue”.

At the conclusion of his statement, Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr affirmed that the Arab Peace Initiative is still in place and remains applicable because it is based on international law and United Nations Security Council resolutions. It is comprehensive and addresses all the occupied Arab territories exactly as stipulated by international legitimacy. – ONA

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