Four Namibians might be trapped in Gaza conflict

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

Four Namibian citizens might be caught in the crossfire of the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian armed group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation, Executive Director Penda Naanda, stated that the ministry received an anonymous email suggesting that two adults and two children are currently in Tel Aviv a city in Israel.

Naanda noted that they were in the process of confirming the accuracy of this information.

“We were recently informed about two adults and two children who travelled to Tel Aviv for a medical operation. The email states that they went there through an organisation called ‘Save A Child’s Heart’ for cardiac treatment,” Naanda explained.

Adding that the email provided the name and contact number of one child’s mother but he cannot reveal further information yet.

Even though Namibia does not have an embassy in Israel, Tel Aviv falls under its diplomatic coverage from Windhoek. Similarly, Namibia is represented in Israel through its embassy.

The ongoing conflict has seen the largest attack by Hamas against Israel in decades, resulting in over 800 Israeli and around 500 Palestinian casualties amid intense fighting and bombardments.

Earlier this week the Namibian Government condemned the escalating violence, lamenting the loss of lives on both sides and urging a de-escalation of the conflict in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Defence Minister, Yoav Gallant, announced an impending total blockade on the Gaza Strip, including cutting electricity and blocking essential supplies.

Reports from Gaza’s Ministry of Health indicate that Israeli air raids since the Hamas offensive began on Saturday have claimed the lives of at least 510 Palestinians and left 2,751 injured.

Israel has reported 800 of its citizens dead, with over 2,200 or more injured in retaliatory attacks since the war started on Saturday, while Israeli military claimed to have targeted over 1,000 sites in Gaza, including devastating air raids on Beit Hanoun.

According to the United Nations, these strikes have left over 123,000 Palestinians in Gaza displaced.

Adding to the tension, an overnight Israeli air raid reportedly obliterated a fourth mosque in the Yarmouk neighbourhood in Gaza, resulting in the evacuation of thousands of residents.

Naanda stated on Monday.

“Namibia is calling on Israel to cease its attacks and refrain from engaging in provocative acts against the Palestinian people and to respect international humanitarian law,” he said in a statement.

He reaffirmed Namibia’s support for the Palestinian people’s legitimate right to self-determination and nationhood as stipulated in relevant UN resolutions.

Naanda urged the global community to advocate for an end to hostilities, safeguard civilians, and support the Palestinian cause to establish lasting peace in the Middle East.

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