|[Published: Saturday December 02 2023]
'Palestinian genocide' compared to climate change at COP28
DUBAI, 02 Dec. - (ANA) - The president of Colombia has compared the “genocide of the Palestinian people” to climate change.
Speaking at COP28 on Friday, Gustavo Petro linked the Israel-Gaza conflict to the climate emergency.
He claimed “barbaric acts unleashed against the Palestinian people is what awaits those who are fleeing the south because of the climate crisis”, adding the conflict is a "rehearsal for the future".
Weeks of Israeli bombardment and a ground campaign have left more than three-quarters of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million uprooted, leading to a humanitarian crisis.
More than 13,300 Palestinians have been killed - roughly two-thirds of them women and children - according to the health ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza. Hamas is a UK-proscribed terrorist organisation.
Israel has previously said allegations of genocide were "deplorable" and that its actions target Hamas militants, not civilians.
Some 1,200 Israelis have been killed, mostly during Hamas’s deadly 7 October attack that triggered the war.
Petro, the left-wing president who was sworn in last year and is a former member of Colombia's M-19 guerrilla group, said at the second day of COP28: “I invite you, ladies and gentlemen, to think about a fusion, a combination of events: the climate crisis and the genocide of the Palestinian people.
“Are these events disconnected, is my question, or are we seeing here a mirror of what is going to happen in the future? The genocides and the barbaric acts unleashed against the Palestinian people is what awaits those who are fleeing the south because of the climate crisis.”
He went on: “Most victims of climate change, which will be counted in their billions, will be in those countries that do not emit CO2 or emit very little. Without the transfer of wealth from the north to the south, the climate victims will increasingly have less drinking water in their homes and they will have to migrate north, where the melting glaciers will make it possible for people to have drinking water. The exodus will be of billions.
“There will be pushback against the exodus, with violence, with barbaric acts committed. This is what is happening in Gaza. This is a rehearsal for the future. Why have the major carbon-consuming nations made it possible for the systematic killing of thousands of children in Gaza, is my question?
“Because if they do not kill them, they will invade their country to prevent them from consuming their carbon. We can therefore see what the future will look like. There will be a shrinking of democracy and unleashed barbaric acts against our peoples. Those of us who do not emit CO2. Those of us who are poor."
Israel restarts operations
Israel restarted combat operations in the Gaza Strip minutes after a temporary truce expired on Friday, blaming Hamas for breaking the ceasefire.
Within hours of the truce ending, Hamas-run Gaza reported 109 people had been killed and dozens wounded in air strikes.
In light of this, Petro was not the only world leader at COP28, which is being held in the UAE, to speak out about the conflict.
Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: "While discussing the climate crisis, we cannot ignore the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Palestinian territories right beside us. The Israeli attacks that have claimed the lives of over 16,000 innocent Palestinian civilians, the majority of whom are children and women, can in no way be justified."
Jordan's King Abdullah also said: "Nor can we stand by as the massive destruction of a relentless war in Gaza threatens more people and holds back progress towards a better global future."
It comes as UK prime minister Rishi Sunak said the UK is exploring alternative routes to provide aid to Gaza following the breakdown of the truce.
Sunak also renewed calls for “sustained humanitarian pauses” as he met regional leaders on the sidelines of the COP28 summit. - (ANA) -
AB/ANA/02 December 2023 — - -