Pakistan urges UNSC to call for immediate halt to Israel’s use of ‘disproportionate’ force against Palestinians

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UNITED NATIONS, Pakistan has called on the UN Security Council, which met Sunday to discuss the grave situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Jerusalem, to call for an immediate halt to Israel’s use of “disproportionate and arbitrary” force and to offer protections 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, condemned 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 destruction of civilian infrastructure.

 

“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.

 

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 Ramazan; its violation of the sanctity of the 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 the 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, he said, had declared that the “establishment by Israel of settlements in 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 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”.

 

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,”, he said, noting that Israel continued 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 was 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.”

 

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