Thousands of Nigerian activists on Tuesday called on the international community to boycott Israel due to its illegal occupation of Palestinian land.
At a rally held in the Nigerian capital, Lagos, commemorating 100 years of the Balfour Declaration in which Britain supported the establishment of a Jewish state on Palestinian land, activists called on the United Nations and other global bodies to isolate the Israeli government for abandoning the two-state solution.
Organized by the Muslim Awareness International (MAI) group, the rally also celebrated Palestinian resistance to the Israeli occupation.
“The international community must prevail on the State of Israel to obey all UN resolutions
concerning Palestine,” said Dele Ashiru, one of the speakers at the event.
“Israeli belligerence represents both present and future danger for lasting peace in the Middle East and globally. The United States must reverse the declaration and recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Ashiru added.
MAI chairperson, Abdul Waheed Atoyebi, stressed the importance of supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Tel Aviv. “The international community must consider it a duty to support and promote the BDS movement which is gaining ground around the world and checking the aggression of the Zionist state,” Atoyebi said.
Ateyobi’s call to boycott Israel comes just days after Nigeria’s representative at the UN, Ibrahim Umar, blasted the Israeli government’s construction of illegal settlement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) as an obstacle in the peace process.
“The spike in the expansion and consolidation of settlements in the West bank, including East Jerusalem, among others, will have a negative impact on the Middle East peace process as they affect the contiguity and viability of a future sovereign Palestinian State,” Umar said.
Umar added that the demolition of Palestinian homes, forced evictions, and threat of violence from Israeli settlers infringes on the Palestinian right to life, liberty and the security of the Palestinian person. “Nigeria expresses concern that the settlements, which displace and restrict the movement of Palestinians, have negative consequences on their human rights and quality of life,” he said.
Nigeria called on Israel to halt and reverse all settlement development in the OPT. “We believe that the freezing of settlements by Israel is key to establishing peace between Israel and Palestine to co-exist side by side as two viable independent states,” he said.
The Nigerian delegation also called for an end to Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip and the restoration of movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza. “The situation in the Gaza Strip and the near collapse of its infrastructure being enforced by the Israeli blockade and military action should be of grave concern to the international community,” added Umar.