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Namibia wants Israel, Iran to make peace

Written by on April 16, 2024

The Namibian government has called on both Israel and Iran to give peace a chance.

This comes after Iran launched drone attacks on Israel over the weekend.

The tensions between Iran and Israel are threatening to plunge the Middle East into further turmoil at a time when the United Nations Security Council voted for a ceasefire in the ongoing war between Israel and militant Palestinian group Hamas.

According to international media, Iran launched hundreds of aerial drones and missiles at Israel, marking a widely anticipated reprisal attack.

It is the first such direct clash between the two enemies who have been engaged in a years-long shadow war, with Iran using proxy forces.

The Israeli military said Israel and other countries had intercepted more than 300 cruise missiles and drones, mostly outside Israeli airspace. Israel said very little damage had been done, but warned people to remain alert. Iran had vowed to retaliate against a strike on its consulate in Syria on 1 April, which killed seven of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) officers, including a top commander. It accused Israel of carrying out that attack, but Israel neither confirmed nor denied it. Namibia’s international relations executive director Penda Naanda called on both Israel and Iran to resolve their disputes through peaceful means.

“As a member of the international community, we are concerned at the current developments, which have the potential to escalate into a wider conflict in the Middle East and call upon Israel not to escalate the already fragile situation in the region,” Naanda said.

He further called on the international community, in particular the United Nations (UN), to assist in finding a diplomatic solution that would lead to sustained peace and stability in the region. Speaking to Desert Radio yesterday, ambassador Tuliameni Kalomoh said the hostilities between Iran and Israel were expected after simmering tensions between the two countries.

“Yes. The moment these rallies occurred at the Iranian consulate in Syria on 1 April, killing several Iranian officials, including two Syrian generals. The retaliation by Iran was inevitable.”

Kalomoh called for the region to find a long lasting solution to the ongoing hostilities which has seen many hundreds of thousands being displaced from Palestine, while more than 30 000 have been declared dead. He said the United States regards Israel as its first state, adding that Israel will not exist without economic, financial, military and technological assistance from the United States. International relations expert and former ambassador Kaire Mbuende said the ongoing hostilities are threatening to plunge the Middle East into conflict. “The development of the weekend is significant in the sense that the Iranian attack was not on Israeli interests or American interests established in some way, but directly on Israel. But the same thing also applied to the Israeli attack on the Iranian consulate, because that is a sovereign territory, therefore, it’s really an infringement on their sovereignty.

“And the risk of a state-to-state confrontation is high now, even though there are efforts to avoid it. But I think it’s a new dimension he said. According to international media, following Iran’s attack, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed, “together, we will win”. However, it is unclear what Israel’s response will be. US president Joe Biden has reaffirmed “America’s ironclad commitment to the security of Israel”.

“We helped Israel take down nearly all” missiles and drones, said Biden, expressing strong condemnation for the attack.

“Iran and its proxies operating out of Yemen, Syria and Iraq launched an unprecedented air attack against military facilities in Israel,” he said.

Israel Defence Forces (IDF) spokesman Daniel Hagari said some Iranian missiles hit inside Israel, causing minor damage to a military base, but there were no casualties.

Iran’s IRGC said the attack was aimed at a “specific target”.

UN secretary general António Guterres issued a statement strongly condemning “the serious escalation represented by the large-scale attack launched on Israel” by Iran. He called for “an immediate cessation of hostilities” and for all sides to exercise maximum restraint.

“Neither the region nor the world can afford another war,” he warned.

The UN Security Council were to convene for an emergency meeting over Iran’s attack on Israel, its president Vanessa Frazier said. Israel’s defence and foreign ministers have warned that if Iran attacked Israel, Israel would strike back inside Iran.

Iranian armed forces chief of staff major general Mohammad Bagheri told state television that Iran’s response would be “much larger than the military action it earlier took”.

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