Elias calls on PM for Trinidad and Tobago to help end Israel-Gaza conflict

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Businessman Emile Elias – File photo

Businessman Emile Elias has written to the Prime Minister calling on the Government to join with Spain and Ireland in recognising Palestine as a state.

On April 12, Elias wrote to Dr Rowley expressing his hope that TT and Caricom would join with the Spanish and Irish governments on Palestine.

Elias said, “The genocide in Gaza must cause all of us to terminate our relations with Israel and join the movement.

“This is not a Muslim issue – it is a humanitarian one.”

Elias told the prime minister, “Israel has absolutely no intention of ending its illegal occupation of Palestine and continues to defy all UN resolutions regarding its illegal occupation since 1967.”

More recently, he said, Israel had rejected a two-state solution, which, he added, would require the return of “stolen ancestral lands to the Palestinians.”

“You have often spoken of respecting the UN. Let us do so now,” Elias told Rowley.

In his address on the occasion of the Eid-ul-Fitr observances on April 10, Rowley joined the call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

“Today I must also express prayers, from my heart, for those two million-plus followers who are caught in the struggle in the Gaza, and reaffirm that this government stands firmly behind the international call for an immediate ceasefire, so that there could be urgent and effective relief efforts, across that region, for food and medical supplies to the suffering.”

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar also called on TT to use its influence in the UN to end the conflict, in her Ramadan message. She urged the Government to use TT’s current UN General Assembly leadership to help end the conflict.

A Reuters report on April 12 said Ireland was close to formally recognising a Palestinian state and wanted to do so along with Spain and other like-minded countries, new prime minister Simon Harris said after meeting his Spanish counterpart.

Last month, Malta and Slovenia joined Spain and Ireland to work towards the recognition of a Palestinian state.

Israel has been waging a deadly military attack against Gaza since an October 7, 2023, cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas.

Over the past six months, the Israeli army has been relentless in what many regard as genocide and ethnic cleansing in Gaza.