GABORONE: The Ministry of International Affairs and Cooperation, has issued a warning on Tuesday stating that the conflict in the Gaza strip involving Israel and Palestine will eventually lead to a fully-fledged war if no efforts are made to ceasefire.
The Israel-Palestine conflict reached its 10th day on Wednesday, with no prospects of ending despite world leaders joining calls to bring peace in the region.
To date, the conflict has resulted in the killing of at least 212 people, including at least 61 children.
“The Government of the Republic of Botswana has noted with concern the ongoing fighting between the Israeli military forces and the Palestinian militants (Hamas), in the Gaza strip,” said a statement released by the Ministry of International Affairs.
“The fighting has resulted in the loss of many innocent lives, including women and children, as well as serious destruction of property.
“The Government of Botswana strongly condemns the escalation of the attacks, and calls for a ceasefire. This is necessary to avoid any further casualties in the conflict, which risks developing into a full-fledged war.”
Botswana further appealed to the parties to continue to seek a peaceful and durable solution to the conflict.
Meanwhile, neighbouring South Africa and continental powerhouse, has indicated that “unless the root causes of a conflict are addressed, in this case the illegal occupation by Israel of Palestinian land and the denial of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, there will never be peace.”
“The escalating situation in Israel and Palestine affirms once more what we South Africans know too well, that intractable conflicts can only be solved through peaceful negotiation,” said Ramaphosa in an open letter addressed to the citizens of South Africa.
“The latest violence was sparked by an Israeli court decision to evict a group of families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in East Jerusalem to make way for Israeli settlements.
Ramaphosa likened what is a happening in Gaza to what happed to people of colour during the apartheid regime.
“The sight of men, women and children being evicted from the homes their families have lived in for generations brings back painful collective and personal memories for the majority of South Africans – of forced removals and land dispossession,” he said.
“It was a pain and humiliation faced by my own family, and by many South African families. My family was forcibly moved to different parts of the country on two occasions.’’
Egypt has urged a brokered end to the fighting between Israel and militants in Gaza, and France has called for a UN Security Council resolution on the violence, as international pressure for a ceasefire intensifies, according to The Guardian.
Despite US reluctance to speak firmly on the matter, international reports indicate the signs are emerging that a ceasefire may be within sight, with the Egyptian effort gaining momentum among factions in Gaza, and the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, reported by Israeli media to have told officials in the south of the country that the fighting could end “within several days”.
According to The Guardian, US has so far stopped short of demanding an end to the clashes, confining its public efforts to urging that attacks are scaled back.
“Washington has repeatedly blocked efforts before the UN Security Council to draft joint statements calling for the fighting to end,” reported the British publication.
“The latest US rejection came at a Security Council meeting late on Tuesday that again ended without a statement, as airstrikes and rocket fire continued into the night.”
According to the Israeli Air Force, Hamas, the militant group that rules the Gaza Strip, has fired more than 3,300 rockets toward Israeli cities and towns, killing at least 10 people, reported Reuters.
Israeli forces and settlers have killed 20 Palestinians during unrest in the West Bank, a Palestinian human rights group said. And a wave of mob attacks hit at least one mixed Arab-Jewish city in Israel.
But the worst devastation is in Gaza, a densely packed coastal enclave of about two million people. Israeli forces have struck homes, refugee camps, medical facilities and other buildings.
Israeli officials have said the assault is aimed at destroying Hamas’s ability to make and launch missiles and a network of underground tunnels used by Hamas to move people and equipment.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.