ISLAMABAD: Pakistan criticized the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for failing to seek an end to Israel’s Gaza airstrikes on Tuesday, asking its member states to hold all those responsible for committing “war crimes” in the area by targeting civilians and residential neighborhoods.
Israel besieged the Gaza Strip and launched airstrikes after a surprise attack initiated by Hamas on October 7 in retribution to the deteriorating condition of Palestinian people living under Israeli occupation.
According to the health ministry in Gaza, at least 5,791 Palestinians have so far been killed in the Israeli attacks.
Discussing the situation in the Middle East, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Munir Akram called for an immediate cease-fire to deescalate the conflict.
“The Israeli attacks on civilians, civilian objects and infrastructure, the blockade of water, fuel and food, as well as the forced transfer of people from the occupied territory are flagrant violations of international humanitarian law and amount to war crimes,” he told the UNSC. “Those responsible for these atrocity crimes must be held accountable.”
“Pakistan calls for an immediate and unconditional cease-fire,” he added. “The continuation of Israeli campaign in Gaza will lead to further massive civilian casualties and could trigger a wider and more dangerous conflict.”
Akram expressed Pakistan’s disappointment that the UNSC had not sought an end to the conflict, adding that those who were causing its continuation carried a heavy responsibility.
He also criticized those who described Palestinian resistance as terrorism.
“Any attempt to create a false equivalence between Israel, the occupying power, and Palestinians, the victims of this occupation, is untenable – legally, morally, and politically,” he continued. “Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Yet, under international law, the struggle of people living under foreign occupation for self-determination and national liberation is legitimate and cannot be equated with terrorism.”
“It is the suppression of the struggle which is illegal,” he added.
Akram noted that colonial powers had always described resistance to their rule as terrorism.
He recognized the UN charter gave its members right to self-defense while pointing out that a state which was forcibly occupying a foreign territory could not invoke that principle against those whose territory it was occupying.
“The perpetuation of Israeli occupation will not bring peace to the Holy Land,” he said. “Durable peace will emerge from the internationally agreed two-state solution.”
Source: Arab News