A Nigerian Catholic cleric, Hassan Kukah, has proposed a group of international mediators for the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. The mediators should include ex-Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, Mr Kukah said.
According to PREMIUM TIMES, the cleric also proposed former US President Barack Obama, King Abdullah of Jordan, former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and former Ireland President Mary Robinson to serve as international mediators.
Mr Kukah said international mediators were important in revisiting and reviving the two-state agreement reached in Oslo, Norway, where a decision was reached for both Palestine and Israel to each have a homeland.
The Oslo Agreement in 1993 was meant to resolve the Israel-Palestine crisis by ensuring a two-state solution. The agreement has failed largely because Israel, concerned about its security, has expanded and continues to expand into Palestinian territories, establishing settlements considered illegal by international law.
Hostilities escalated on Saturday, 7 October, when Hamas militants attacked Israel, killing over 1,300 people. This led to Israel announcing a war on Hamas and carrying out air raids on Gaza, a Palestinian settlement controlled by Hamas and home to millions of people. The Israeli attacks on Gaza have caused over 3,400 deaths.
Mr Kukah noted that the Oslo agreement “needs to be dusted up, but I do not see Netanyahu contemplating that.”
The cleric’s concern about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu perhaps stems from the latter’s right-wing Israeli government, considered one of the most right-wing in Israel’s history with many members opposed to an independent Palestinian state as agreed in Oslo.
Mr Kukah said his concerns about Mr Netanyahu justify the call for an envoy or a team of international mediators to be initiated by the UN Security Council.
“After all, they hold the key to keeping the world just and safe,” he added.
Since the latest Israel-Palestine war, two attempts by the UN Security Council to agree on a ceasefire in the region have failed with member states being divided on different resolutions led by Russia and Brazil.
Analysts argue that diplomacy is failing to provide a solution to the Israel and Palestine crisis.
Several world leaders have condemned the ongoing escalation including Israel’s attack on a UN school, an Orthodox and an Anglican church owned hospital in Gaza.