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Pakistan urges UNSC to hold Israel accountable for its crimes against humanity

Israel has initiated both air and ground raid on Palestinian territory causing at least 200 deaths and thousands of injuries.

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Pakistan has called on the UN Security Council, which met Sunday to discuss the grave situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Jerusalem, to press for an immediate halt to Israel’s use of “disproportionate and arbitrary” force and to offer protection to the suffering Palestinian civilians.

In a statement submitted to the 15-member Council, Ambassador Munir Akram also called for initiating steps to hold Israel accountable for its war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Pakistan, he said, condemns Israel’s use of “indiscriminate and disproportionate” force, including aerial bombing, resulting in the deaths of nearly 200 Palestinians, including dozens of women and children, as well as the destruction of civilian infrastructure.

Read more: Pakistan’s unusually strong diplomacy: FM Qureshi minces no words in exposing Israel’s inhumane oppression of Palestinians  

“Israel must be asked to stop all unilateral and illegal steps including settlements and attempts to change the status of Jerusalem,” the Pakistani envoy said in a well-reasoned statement.”

While emphasizing the sheer violations of international law by Israel, the permanent representative said, “Israel’s actions are unacceptable; and are in contravention of the norms of international law,” while adding that “they violate UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions; and have grave implications for the maintenance of peace and security in the region and beyond.”

He also called on the Security Council to promote the implementation of the relevant UN resolutions, especially for the realization of the two-state solution through the establishment of a viable, independent and contiguous Palestinian state with pre-1967 borders and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

In his remarks, Ambassador Akram also condemned Israel’s deliberate and systematic assault against Palestinian worshippers in the Haram-al-Sharif, including the Al-Aqsa mosque during the holy month of Ramadan; its violation of the sanctity of these holy sites; its continued policy of expansion of its illegal settlements; its forced evictions of Palestinians, and demolition of their homes; its targeting of journalists and international media outlets in the occupied Palestinian territories.

“These Israel’s actions are unacceptable,” the Pakistani envoy declared.

Pointing out that UNSC resolution 242 (1967) — also known as land for peace document —  declared the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war”, he demanded that Israel withdraw its armed forces from territories occupied in the 1967 war.

Subsequent resolutions have declared that the “establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of a two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.”

Those resolutions, he added, censured Israel in the strongest term for its illegal and unilateral measures taken to change the status of the city of Jerusalem. The Council called on Israel to rescind such measures and to refrain from such actions in future, and recognized “that any act of destruction or profanation of the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites in Jerusalem or any encouragement of, or connivance at, any such act may seriously endanger international peace and security”.

Read more: PM Imran Khan, Malaysia’s Mahathir discuss Palestine

Ambassador Akram regretted that the Security Council had failed to demand that Israel halt its indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force against the defenseless and beleaguered Palestinian people in Jerusalem, in the occupied West Bank and in the besieged Gaza.

“It is regrettable that such actions by the Council have been prevented by those who proclaim their strong adherence to the principles of human rights and the international rule of law,” noting that Israel continues to enjoy immunity from the often-used sanctions against others.

Underscoring that the Palestinian cause is a legitimate struggle against an ‘occupying power’ by an ‘occupied people’, the Pakistani envoy said “It is a just struggle for self-determination and against foreign occupation.”

Ambassador Munir Akram reiterated earlier remarks made by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at the extraordinary meeting of the OIC who distinguished in categorical terms between Israel, the oppressor, and Palestinians, the oppressed.

“There is a neither a moral nor a military equivalence between Israel and the Palestinians. The Palestinian cause is a legitimate struggle against an ‘occupying power’ by an ‘occupied people.’ It is a just struggle for self-determination and against foreign occupation. The asymmetry of power between an occupied and beleaguered people and one of the most powerful militaries in the region is stark and brutally evident,” Ambassador Akram said.

Read more: Israel deliberately provoking violence to counter Hamas?

“The asymmetry of power between an occupied and beleaguered people and one of the most powerful militaries in the region is stark and brutally evident.”

APP with additional input from GVS News Desk.

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