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Halt ‘modern genocide’ in Gaza, Pakistan tells Israel at UN

Tooba Shakir 7 months ago 0 0

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Pakistans Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Munir Akram. — APP
Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Munir Akram. — APP
  • Akram says Israelis committing “modern genocide” against Gazans.
  • Pakistani envoy says “we must call it for what it is”.
  • Pakistan’s envoy to UN calls out Israel for its war crimes.

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan sternly called on Israel to “stop the genocide” of Palestinians in Gaza, with Islamabad’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Munir Akram telling a meeting that an immediate ceasefire was critical to meet immense needs in the besieged enclave.

As the war rages on in Gaza, the Palestinian death toll from the Israeli air strikes swelled to 9,488, of which 3,900 are children, the health ministry in Hamas-controlled Gaza said on Saturday, while Israel’s death toll stands above 1,500. 

“We cannot mince our words; we have to tell the Israelis: stop the genocide,” Akram said during a briefing on the “Humanitarian Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.”

UN Humanitarian Coordinator Martin Griffiths, fresh from the war-torn region, and Lynn Hastings, Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, were among those who briefed the member states about the latest developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Both officials called for humanitarian ceasefires to ensure the safe delivery of food, fuel, and other essential items.

In his remarks, the Pakistani envoy said that the Israelis, having suffered the Holocaust, were now committing the “modern genocide” against the Palestinians, and “we must call it for what it is”.

In this regard, he called for respecting and adhering to the international humanitarian law that forbids attacks on civilians and civilian objects.

“Let us, as the international community, adhere to what the General Assembly has said. Let us adhere to what the international humanitarian law says,” Ambassador Akram said.

“This is what we expect from all those who are leading the United Nations, all those who are speaking for the conscience of the international community.”

The Pakistani envoy said that the deadly Israeli strikes against schools, hospitals, and civilian sites in Gaza on the pretext that there were military targets in those facilities were a gross violation of international law and norms as well as a “collective punishment” of a helpless people.

“Where does international law justify this?,” Ambassador Akram asked, pointing out that under the terms of that law civilian sites and facilities, especially the hospitals, cannot be targeted.

The Israel-Hamas war continues and an ongoing bombardment of the Gaza Strip continues to escalate the humanitarian crisis in Palestine.

Meanwhile, Israel has also intensified its ground operation and bombardment on the Gaza Strip in response to Palestinian Group Hamas’ October 7 attacks, which caught Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration by surprise.

For its relentless attacks, Israel accuses Hamas of hiding among civilians and has been using this explanation as an excuse when it faces criticism for targeting besieged civilians.

With Turkey being the latest to recall its envoy from Israel, many countries have also cut their diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv, whose forces have besieged Gaza for 17 years.

Global powers, including the United States and the UN, have called on Israel to ensure that civilian casualties are avoided in its continuing pursuit to eliminate Hamas, but to no avail.

The UN is also calling for an immediate ceasefire to at least allow aid to flow smoothly to the war-torn strip and permit the exchange of hostages.

Israeli PM Netanyahu, however, has ruled out halting his forces’ assault on Gaza and stressed that they would continue to pound the Hamas-run enclave.

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