Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday reiterated Pakistan's unequivocal support for the rights of Palestinian people and their just struggle.
In a telephonic interaction with the Palestinian Foreign Minister, Dr. Riyad Al Maliki, Qureshi strongly condemned the attacks by Israeli forces on Al-Aqsa Mosque and continued air strikes on Gaza that have killed innocent civilians, including children.
The foreign minister briefed his Palestinian counterpart on Pakistan's efforts to sensitise the international community on the serious situation and the violations of human rights and international law.
Qureshi also reassured Dr Maliki of Pakistan's steadfast support to Palestinian people during these testing times.
The Palestinian diplomat updated the foreign minister on the dire situation on ground, as well as the efforts being made to prevent its further worsening.
Israeli planes renewed air strikes in Gaza early on Saturday and Hamas retaliated by firing rockets into Israel as their battle entered the fifth night and US and Arab diplomats sought an end to the violence.
Palestinian medics said at least four people were killed in one of several airstrikes in northern Gaza. Residents said Israeli naval boats fired shells from the Mediterranean though none may have hit the strip.
The Palestinian religious affairs ministry said Israeli planes destroyed a mosque. A military spokesperson said the army was checking the report.
With no sign of an end to the fighting, casualties spread further afield, with Palestinians reporting 11 killed in the occupied West Bank amid clashes between protesters and Israeli security forces.
At least 132 people have been killed in Gaza since Monday, including 32 children and 21 women, and 950 others wounded, Palestinian medical officials said.
Earlier on Friday, Qureshi contacted his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud to discuss the grave situation in the middle eastern region.
FM Qureshi expressed Pakistan’s serious concerns on the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and grave human rights violations. He condemned the continued attacks by the Israeli defence forces against the Palestinians, in particular innocent civilians and children, adding that the Israeli acts defied all norms of humanity and international law.
He recalled the Pakistan-Saudi Arabia joint statement issued during the recent visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to the kingdom, on 8 May, which included the two countries’ shared perspective on the Palestinian issue.
The foreign minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s full support for the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, especially their right to self-determination and establishment of their independent state with pre-1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with the Arab peace initiative and relevant UN resolutions.
The Saudi foreign minister also expressed concerns at the serious developments in Palestine and briefed FM Qureshi regarding the initiatives being taken to address the situation.
Qureshi welcomed the initiative of Saudi Arabia to convene an emergency meeting of the OIC’s Executive Committee at the foreign ministers level on May 16, 2021.
The foreign minister assured the Saudi foreign minister of Pakistan’s unequivocal support for the just cause of Palestine.
Expressing gratitude for the warm Saudi hospitality during the premier’s recently concluded visit, FM Qureshi apprised his counterpart of the post-visit telephone call between PM Imran and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, during which the two leaders also conferred on the serious situation in Palestine and the need for urgent steps to address it.
The two foreign ministers agreed to continue close consultations and coordination on the evolving situation in Palestine.