The federal government has asked Israel and Palestine to guarantee the rights of their citizens to live in peace as hostilities continue between the two countries.

In a statement on Thursday, the federal ministry of foreign affairs also urged the two parties to de-escalate the hostilities.

A prolonged conflict between Israel and Palestine is fuelling the new fighting amid concerns that the situation could escalate and result in a war.

The statement from Ferdinand Nwonye, spokesman of the ministry, read: “The Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to state that the Federal Government of Nigeria is watching with great concern the unfolding developments with Israel and the State of Palestine and urges both parties to see reason and de-escalate the hostilities.

The Federal Government further urges the two parties to remain committed to the two-state solution and, in the meantime, guarantee the rights of all citizens to live in peace and dignity.”

The current crisis could be traced back to events leading to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 after Britain took control of the area known as Palestine following the defeat of the ruler of that part of the Middle East in the first world war.

The Jews claimed the land as their ancestral home just as Palestinian Arabs also laid claim to its ownership and opposed the move, resulting in a war.

The latest violence follows weeks of rising tensions relating to the decades-long conflict.

While Israel claims that more than 1,000 rockets have been fired into its territory by Palestinian militants, there have also been reports of its airstrikes on Gaza, which have led to civilian casualties.