FM Qureshi condemns Israeli aggression in Palestine

By Staff Reporter
Tuesday – May 18, 2021
ISLAMABAD: The foreign minister (FM) Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Monday, strongly condemned violence by the Israeli forces against innocent worshippers at Al-Aqsa mosque during the holy month of Ramadan.

According to a press release, the Palestinian ambassador Ahmed Jawad A.A. Rabaei called on the FM in the federal capital.

While conveying his deepest sorrow and condolences for the innocent victims of lethal attacks by Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) in Gaza and the West Bank, he categorically condemned IDF’s continuous and indiscriminate attacks that resulted in martyrdom of more than 140 Palestinians, including 39 children and 22 women, and injured more than 1,000.

Reassuring the Palestinian ambassador of Pakistan’s ongoing efforts, FM Qureshi briefed him about his outreach to foreign ministers of important regional partners.

Palestinian ambassador Rabaei expressed his gratitude for Pakistan’s unwavering support and steadfast policy on Palestine.

He appreciated Pakistan’s continuous efforts to engage the international community for protecting Palestine.

Palestinian ambassador Rabaei apprised the FM about the latest situation on ground, which was already dreadful due to coronavirus (COVID-19), and the ensuing humanitarian suffering.

In another press release, Monday, the permanent representative (PR) to the United Nations (UN) ambassador Munir Akram wrote that Pakistan welcomes the open meeting of the UN Security Council (UNSC) to discuss the extremely grave situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Jerusalem.

It is regrettable that the UNSC has been unable to even hold this meeting and to take action to halt Israeli aggression for so long.

Pakistan 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 destruction of civilian infrastructure.

We also strongly condemn 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; and are in contravention of the norms of international law. They violate UNSC and UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions; and have grave implications for the maintenance of peace and security in the region and beyond.

UNSC resolution 242 (1967) declared the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” and demanded that Israel withdraw its armed forces from territories occupied in the 1967 war.

Numerous UNSC resolutions, including resolution 2334 (2016), have 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.”

Likewise, UNSC resolutions 252, 267 and 271 of 1968 censured Israel in the strongest term for its illegal and unilateral measures taken to change the status of city of Jerusalem.

The UNSC called on Israel to rescind such measures and to refrain from such actions in future.

It recognised “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”.

UNGA resolution 2253 also declared Israeli measures to change the status of Jerusalem as invalid. Subsequently, UNSC resolution 478 and others on the status of Jerusalem reaffirmed this position.

Israel’s ongoing attacks against Palestinians also violate UNSC resolutions, including resolution 259 (1968), relating to the protection of civilians in the occupied Palestinian territories.

It is regrettable that despite the daily loss of lives due to Israel’s aggressive actions, the UNSC has failed to demand that Israel halt its indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force against the defenceless and beleaguered Palestinian people in Jerusalem, in the occupied West Bank and in the besieged Gaza.

It is regrettable that such actions by the UNSC have been prevented by those who proclaim their strong adherence to the principles of human rights and the international rule of law.

In the ongoing Israeli onslaught against the Palestinians, the violations of human rights and of international legality could not be more blatant and egregious; yet, Israel continues to enjoy immunity from the often-used sanctions against others; it enjoys impunity from any accountability for its aggression, which many have judged amount to war crimes; and impunity for flouting the so called “rules-based” world order.

 There is 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.

In the grim backdrop of the deteriorating situation in the region, we urge the UNSC to fulfil its charter obligations, to call for an immediate halt to Israel’s use of disproportionate and arbitrary force; to offer protections to the Palestinian civilians who are bearing the brunt of the Israeli attacks; and to ensure Israel’s full compliance with international humanitarian and human rights laws, including the right to life, freedom of worship, movement and peaceful assembly.

Israel must be asked to stop all unilateral and illegal steps including settlements and attempts to change the status of Jerusalem.

The UNSC should initiate steps to hold Israel accountable for its war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Above all, the UNSC must promote the full implementation of the relevant UN resolutions especially for the realisation 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.