Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has urged the international community to take steps to halt Israeli aggression in Palestine, as the cross-border attacks into Gaza entered the 11th day on Thursday.
He said on Thursday while addressing a UN General Assembly session on the ongoing situation in the Middle East and Palestine.
“Death echoes in every house in Gaza. Israeli strikes are responsible for it. 15,000 people have fled their homes in Gaza,” he remarked.
FM Qureshi urged the UNGA to condemn Israel's forcible eviction of Palestinians from different territories including Sheikh Jarrah.
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“Driven by arrogance, Israel has mounted a relentless onslaught on the occupied and beleaguered people of Palestine,” the foreign minister said, adding, “Palestinians are being killed with impunity.”
In one week of the Israeli attacks, he said, over 250 Palestinians have been killed and thousands injured of them one-third are women and children.
While pointing towards the humanitarian crisis, FM Qureshi told the UNGA that there is limited access to food, water, hygiene and health services in Palestine.
“Gaza is plunged in darkness literally and metaphorically. The only light is that of Israeli explosions. This is Palestine. In full view of the world, Israeli airstrikes bring down entire buildings to kill and terrorise innocent Palestinians and even silence the media,” he added.
The foreign minister said the voice of the Palestinians people cannot and will not be silenced. “We the representatives of the Islamic World are here to speak for them.”
He criticised the UN for its inability to stop Israeli assault on Palestinians, saying: “It is appalling that the Security Council has been unable to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. The Security Council has failed even to demand a cessation of the hostilities.”
He added: “Let us be clear that there is no military equivalence between the beleaguered and the occupied Palestinian people who have no army, no navy and no air force and the Israeli war machine is one of the most powerful in the world.”
FM Qureshi also demanded UN to mobilise all possible humanitarian help for devastated people in Gaza and other parts of the occupied territories.
Israel must open all access points to Gaza to ensure the timely and urgent delivery of international assistance, he demanded.
He also asked the UNGA to take concrete steps to protect Palestinians from Israeli atrocities including deploying an international force.
“The General Assembly should go for concrete steps to protect the Palestinians. We should deploy an international force as was called for in the General Assembly resolution and as demanded by the Islamic Summit Conference on the 18th of May, 2018. If the Security Council cannot agree to send the protection force, a coalition can at least send civilian observers to monitor the cessation of the hostilities and supervise the provision of humanitarian help to the Palestinians,” he observed.