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African Union chair calls for stronger efforts for diplomatic solution to Israel-Palestine conflict

Anadolu Agency MIDDLE EAST
Published November 20,2023
The President of the Comoros and Chairperson of the African Union Azali Assoumani speaks during a press conference at the Chancellery in Berlin on November 20, 2023, during the G20 Compact with Africa conference. (AFP Photo)

The African Union on Monday criticized Israel's military attacks on Gaza and called for stronger efforts for a diplomatic solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

"What happened there is to be condemned, what was carried out from Gaza is to be condemned, but the answer was not proportionate," Comoros President Azali Assoumani, the current chair of the union said in Berlin.

"We condemn all measures, all actions, everything that harms children, and that then leads to extremism when they experience something like that," he added.

The president was responding to a question during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and African Union Commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat.

Assoumani called for stronger efforts for a diplomatic solution, stressing that there will be no peace in this region unless a two-state solution can be reached.

"We must all sit down at one table and affirm that people must live together in peace, and so everyone wins from it," he said.

"The world is a village, we are all partners, we all have a responsibility that we have to fulfill so that these hostilities would come to an end," he added.

The Gaza Strip has been under heavy bombardment since the Palestinian group Hamas launched a surprise offensive against Israel on Oct. 7.

Since Israel started bombarding Gaza on Oct. 7, at least 13,000 Palestinians have been killed, including over 9,000 women and children, and more than 30,000 others have been injured, according to the Palestinian authorities.

Thousands of buildings, including hospitals, mosques, and churches, have also been damaged or destroyed in Israel's relentless air and ground attacks on the besieged enclave.

An Israeli blockade has also cut Gaza off from fuel, electricity, and water supplies, and reduced aid deliveries to a small trickle.

The Israeli death toll, meanwhile, is around 1,200, based on official figures.