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Did we make atomic bombs to show them in a museum? asks Maulana Chitrali

Maulana Chitrali demanded in a Tuesday televised speech full support for Palestinians, and for their just cause. "Did we make atomic bombs to show them in a museum? We don't need missiles, atomic bombs or a huge army if they can't be used to liberate Palestine," Chitrali said.

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Pakistan has accused Israel of “war crimes” in a United Nations Security Council statement. At the same time, a Pakistani Member of Parliament, Maulana Chitrali, demanded in a Tuesday televised speech full support for Palestinians, and for their just cause.

“Did we make atomic bombs to show them in a museum? We don’t need missiles, atomic bombs or a huge army if they can’t be used to liberate Palestine,” Chitrali said.

Notably, Human Rights Watch (HRW), an acclaimed international rights group, has claimed in its latest report that the “Israeli authorities methodically privilege Jewish Israelis and discriminate against Palestinians,” and these “deprivations are so severe that they amount to the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.”

It says Israel has a policy “to maintain the domination by Jewish Israelis over Palestinians”, including those who are its citizens. Apartheid amounts to state-sanctioned racial discrimination and is considered a crime against humanity.

Israel’s foreign ministry has rejected the report as “preposterous and false”. It accused the international campaign group of having a “long-standing anti-Israeli agenda” and carrying out an ongoing campaign “with no connection to facts or reality on the ground”.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the report. “It is urgent for the international community to intervene, including by making sure that their states, organisations, and companies are not contributing in any way to the execution of war crimes and crimes against humanity,” he said.

Israel’s Arab minority comprises just over 20% of its population of 9.3 million, while at least 2.5 million Palestinians live in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, and 350,000 in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem. About 1.9 million Palestinians live in the Gaza Strip, which the UN considers to also be occupied by Israel.

Israel occupied the territories in the 1967 Middle East war. It pulled out of Gaza in 2005, but still controls most of its borders, as well as its airspace and waters off its coast.

More than 600,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements built in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Most of the international community considers the settlements illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.

Read more: Is deal of century a pathway to peace or a recipe for disaster?

Human Rights Watch’s 213-page report, entitled A Threshold Crossed, states that the present-day reality is that Israel is the sole governing power throughout most of those areas and that in the remainder it exercises primary authority alongside limited Palestinian self-rule.

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