US Representative Ilhan Omar joined and led nearly 400 world diplomats in signing a brief statement, stipulating the global call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza after 96 days of continuous Israeli bombardment in the besieged enclave.
“I am proud to lead this international effort to end this violence, to demand a release of the hostages who have now suffered for 96 days, and to condemn all violations of international law in this conflict,” Omar said.
The joint statement by Omar and German lawmaker Sevim Dagdelen leading 384 policymakers highlighted the immediate need of the release of remaining Israeli captives as well as humanitarian aid entry into Gaza.
“We join together to call for an immediate, multilateral ceasefire in Israel and Palestine, the release of all the remaining Israeli and international hostages, and the facilitation of humanitarian aid entry into Gaza,” read the statement.
The letter gained prominence during South Africa’s presentation of its case against Israel in the International Court of Justice, wherein Israel has officially been charged with genocidal acts and violation of international laws in Gaza.
Amidst this three-month period, more than 23,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israe and about 85% of the population, displaced.
“Atleast 40 people were killed in a blast just outside a hospital yesterday,” said Omar. However, the US administration, firm on its statement of “Israel’s right to self-defense” following the October 7 attack by Hamas labelled South Africa’s case as “meritless” regardless of all arguments to the contrary.
“We can hold two things in our heads at once: that the attacks by Hamas on October 7 were a war crime, and that Israel has responded by committing crimes against humanity—crimes that the United States, and much of the West, continue to let happen, despite our professed support for international law,” Omar told The Guardian.
The American signatories including representatives Omar, Jamaal Bowman, Cori Bush, André Carson, Greg Casar, Jesús García, Hank Johnson, Summer Lee, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Nydia Velázquez and Bonnie Watson Coleman, and British contingents – Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, and Shami Chakrabarti, amongst many other world leaders also supported the need for international governments to take responsibility of the grave violations through the statement. “We further urge our own respective governments and the international community to uphold international law and seek accountability for grave violations of human rights.”
The statement, led by Omar also includes politicians from Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.