Kenya urges for de-escalation of violence, military action restraint in Israel-Palestine conflict

President William Ruto has issued a strong condemnation of the recent  attack on Israel by the Palestinian militant group Hamas from the Gaza Strip.

In a statement on Saturday, October 7, Ruto termed the attacks as acts of terrorism that poses a significant threat to international peace.

“Kenya joins the rest of the world in solidarity with the State of Israel and unequivocally condemn terrorism and attacks on innocent civilians in the country. Kenya strongly maintains that there exists no justification whatsoever for terrorism, which constitutes a serious threat to international peace and security,” he asserted on X (formerly Twitter).

Ruto reiterated that all acts of terrorism and violent extremism are abhorrent, criminal, and unjustifiable, regardless of the motives behind them.

He further called upon the international community to swiftly mobilize and hold not only the attackers but also their organizers, financiers, and supporters accountable for their actions.

The Head of state also called for  immediate cessation of violence.

“In consideration of the complex and delicate context of the security situation in Israel-Palestine, Kenya also makes a call for the de-escalation of violence and urges all parties to restrain from further military action, given its potential to intensify carnage and the suffering of innocent civilians, and to trigger heightened tension in the region and beyond,” he posited.

“We therefore call on all parties to respect the rights of civilians and honour their obligations under international law”.

Ruto also expressed concern over the targeting of civilians in the ongoing conflict, resulting in a disturbing increase in casualties.

“We take this opportunity to reiterate our firm stand in solidarity with all those calling on the parties to desist from further attacks, promptly effect cease-fire and embark on a path towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict,” he added.

Hamas launched a massive offensive early Saturday against Israel, firing thousands of rockets aimed as far as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem as its fighters breached Gaza’s security barrier.

Israel’s army said the land, sea and air attack — which saw Hamas fighters shooting residents in Israeli towns and settlements — had killed more than 200 Israelis and wounded 1,000.

Gun battles raged into Sunday morning between Israeli forces and hundreds of Hamas fighters in multiple Israel locations, while soldiers and civilians were taken hostage.

Gaza officials said intense Israeli air strikes on the coastal enclave had brought the Palestinian death toll to at least 256, with nearly 1,800 wounded.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday warned Israel was “embarking on a long and difficult war” and vowed its response against Hamas would “continue with neither limitations nor respite until the objectives are reached”.

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