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History of Nigeria's complex relationships with Israel and Palestine

Nigeria's relationship with Israel and Palestine is complex and has been marked by both cooperation and tension.

President Bola Tinubu's government has called for peace between Israel and Palestine [X/@ARISEtv]

The October 7, 2023 attack led to the death of over 700 Israelis, the worst individual civilian casualty toll in the country's history.

Israel has hit back, killing more than 500 Palestinians in airstrikes on the Gaza Strip controlled by Hamas, considered a terrorist group by the European Union and the United States.

The escalation has already started testing diplomatic relationships, with many nations already calling for a ceasefire between both sides. One of those nations is Nigeria, which shares complex relationships with both sides.

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We asked Google's intelligence chatbot, Bard, to go over the history of the relationships.

Nigeria's relationship with Israel and Palestine is complex and has been marked by both cooperation and tension.

Nigeria is a member of the African Union (AU), which has traditionally supported the Palestinian cause. In 1973, Nigeria severed diplomatic relations with Israel in protest of the Yom Kippur War. Diplomatic relations were restored in 1992, but the relationship remains sensitive.

Nigeria has consistently voted in favor of Palestinian resolutions at the United Nations, and has called for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, Nigeria also maintains close economic and security ties with Israel.

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Over 50 Israeli companies operate in Nigeria, and the two countries cooperate on counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency measures.

Nigeria's relationship with Palestine is also strong. Nigeria is a founding member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which supports the Palestinian cause. Nigeria has also provided financial and humanitarian aid to Palestine.

In recent years, Nigeria has tried to play a mediating role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In 2014, Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan visited both Israel and Palestine and called for both sides to return to the negotiating table.

Here are some key points about Nigeria's relationship with Israel and Palestine:

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  • Nigeria maintains diplomatic relations with both Israel and Palestine.
  • Nigeria has consistently supported the Palestinian cause at the United Nations.
  • Nigeria also has close economic and security ties with Israel.
  • Nigeria has tried to play a mediating role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

It is important to note that Nigeria's relationship with Israel and Palestine is not monolithic. There are a range of views on the relationship within Nigeria, reflecting the country's diversity of religious and ethnic groups.

Some Nigerians strongly support the Palestinian cause, while others view Israel as a valuable partner in economic development and security.

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