#JLP80th: Holness calls for two-state solution as Israel-Gaza war claims more than 16,000 lives
Prime Minister Andrew Holness is urging the relevant parties in the nearly two-month-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict to seek a permanent solution to the hostilities.
Holness, whose Government was roundly criticised after Jamaica missed an October 27 vote as the United Nations General Assembly approved a nonbinding resolution calling for a “humanitarian truce” in the Gaza-Israel war, addressed the matter on Sunday while addressing the 80th annual conference of the governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) at the National Arena.
“We remain convinced that this (permanent solution) can only be achieved by a negotiated two-state solution enabling the Palestinians and Israelis to live in peace and dignity,” said Holness.
The prime minister has remained largely silent since the latest Gaza-Israeli war erupted on October 7 when Hamas fighters crossed the border into southern Israel and killed at least 1,200 people while taking around 240 as hostages. Since then, Israel has kept up a relentless pounding of the Gaza Strip, killing an estimated 15,000 Palestinians, including nearly 6,000 children, while wiping out entire neighbourhoods and displacing about 1.8 million of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents according to Gaza’s Health Ministry and the United Nations.
Holness acknowledged a four-day pause in fighting that started on Friday as Hamas agreed to release hostages for Palestinian prisoners in return for increased aid, including food, medicine and fuel entering Gaza.
According to Holness, “Jamaica supports the cooperative system of nations and we will do our part to make the world a better place”. He said the government will maintain this approach “whether it’s support for disaster recovery for our neighbours as we did in Dominica and the Bahamas or in supporting peacebuilding in Haiti”.
Said Holness: “Jamaica is consistent in its support for the universal respect and adherence to the principles of international law and respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty of all nations. We condemn all forms of terrorism and support the right of nations to defend themselves and pursue their security while preserving the rights of innocent civilians to live in peace and dignity”.
“We are deeply concerned at the rising human cost in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and we welcome the current pause in hostilities,” he added.