Former President Goodluck Jonathan has warned the international community against taking sides in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine.
In total, 197 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, including at least 58 children, and more than 1,200 wounded since Israel launched its air campaign against Hamas, a terrorist organisation on May 10 after the group fired rockets. The heaviest exchange of fire in years was sparked by unrest in Jerusalem.
But taking to Twitter on Monday, the ex-President said the conflict can only be resolved when those living within the borders of Israel and Palestine take the time to understand each other until they come to a place where they can coexist, co-prosper, and eventually cooperate.
He also called for peace on both sides, adding that the international community should work towards ensuring a ceasefire.
“I sue for peace in both Israel and Palestine, and urge that every international support should be towards deescalating the conflict, rather than escalating it,” he said.
“The present conflict in that part of the world can never be resolved by nations and institutions taking sides. It can only be resolved by those living within the borders of Israel and Palestine taking time to understand each other until they come to a place where they can coexist, co-prosper and eventually cooperate.
“For that to happen, what is needed, in the immediate term, is a ceasefire, followed by massive confidence building on both sides. That is what the international community should aim for. Peace. It is achievable.”
Overnight Sunday to Monday, Israel launched dozens of strikes in the space of a few minutes across the crowded coastal Palestinian enclave controlled by Islamist group Hamas, according to AFP journalists and the army.
Flames lit up the sky as explosions shook Gaza city.
The strikes caused widespread power cuts and damaged hundreds of buildings, local authorities said. No casualties were immediately reported.
West Gaza resident Mad Abed Rabbo, 39, expressed “horror and fear” at the intensity of the onslaught.
“There have never been strikes of this magnitude,” he said.
Israel’s army said in a statement that it hit the homes of nine “high-ranking” Hamas commanders, without providing details on casualties.
The overnight bombardment also included the third round of strikes on what the army calls the “Metro,” its term for a Hamas underground tunnel network.
Fifty-four fighter jets pounded 15 kilometers (nine miles) of tunnels, which the army has previously acknowledged runs in part through civilian areas.
Gazan Mani Qazaat said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “should realise we’re civilians, not fighters”, adding “I felt like I was dying”.