OPPOSITION Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar condemns the ongoing conflict in Gaza, calling for immediate action to address the dire humanitarian situation.
In a release on Monday, Persad-Bissessar said both Israelis and Palestinians have the right to live and thrive in peace in their own states.
She expressed concern over the breach of humanitarian laws and the alarming number of innocent lives lost. The Opposition Leader emphasised the need for every democratic society to protest the massive death toll and extensive destruction of infrastructure, including hospitals, houses, schools, crops, electricity, and water supplies.
The current conflict dates back to October 7, 2023, when Israel launched a large-scale military campaign against Hamas in Gaza in response to a surprise attack on southern Israel by Hamas, claiming the lives of about 1,200 Israelis according to Israeli authorities.
She said that as of February 4, 2024, the Palestinian death toll from the ongoing Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip has risen to 27,365, with 66,630 others wounded. A staggering 70% of these casualties are reported to be women and children, she said.
The Israeli military action has left 85% of Gaza’s population internally displaced, facing shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of Gaza’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed.
Persad-Bissessar also denounced the October 7, 2023, attack by Hamas on Israeli civilians, acknowledging that there can be no defense for such actions.
She said nothing can justify the slaughter of innocent Palestinian children by the Israeli military.
The Opposition Leader called on the Trinidad and Tobago Government to leverage the country’s current presidency of the United Nations to initiate discussions aimed at ending the “genocide” in Gaza. Persad-Bissessar highlighted the UN’s denouncement of grave violations by Israel and its efforts to address the destruction faced by the Palestinian residents of Gaza.
Despite being a small island state, Persad-Bissessar urged Trinidad and Tobago to take a resolute approach, collaborating with international partners to potentially bring an end to the military activity.
She stressed the country’s responsibility to be proactive and vigilant in addressing the bombardment and siege of Gaza, emphasizing the need to stop the egregious breach of humanitarian laws and the slaughter of innocent lives.