African Leaders denounce Israel’s Gaza offensive

African leaders at a summit in Addis Ababa condemn Israel’s Gaza actions, citing humanitarian law breaches. The departing AU chair supports South Africa’s legal action against Israel.

During an African Union summit in Addis Ababa, leaders denounced Israel’s actions in Gaza, urging an immediate halt. Moussa Faki, AU Commission chair, labelled Israel’s offensive as a severe breach of international humanitarian law, accusing it of decimating Gaza’s population. Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh also spoke at the summit.


Azali Assoumani, President of the Comoros and the departing African Union chair, commended South Africa’s legal action against Israel at the International Court of Justice. He strongly criticized Israel and he commented, “the genocide Israel is committing in Palestine under our nose.”
Azali Assoumani stated that the international community must not ignore the atrocities occurring, which have caused chaos in Palestine and significant global repercussions. He highlighted that a quarter of Gaza’s population is facing starvation due to the conflict, initiated by Hamas’ incursion into Israel on October 7. This incursion resulted in approximately 1,200 deaths, mostly civilians, and the abduction of around 250 individuals.

Israel vehemently denies accusations of genocide in Gaza, asserting that it endeavours to minimize civilian casualties and targets only Hamas militants. Israel contends that Hamas’ practice of operating within civilian areas complicates efforts to avoid civilian harm. During the previous year’s AU summit, an Israeli representative was promptly removed from the plenary hall amid controversy surrounding Israel’s observer status within the continental body.

The commencement of this year’s summit was marked by apprehension regarding conflicts and the reemergence of coups throughout Africa. Faki highlighted concerns over various issues, including the postponement of elections in Senegal and instances of violence in eastern Congo, Sudan, the Sahel, and Libya. He emphasized the need to rekindle the ethos of African solidarity and Pan-Africanism to confront the myriad challenges confronting the continent, which is home to 1.3 billion people.