A protest against Israeli attacks on Gaza entered its second week as hundreds of protesters and human rights activists staged another demonstration at the Liberty Roundabout on Wednesday.
The protesters chanted slogans against Israeli atrocities in the besieged Gaza Strip.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MNA Shaza Fatima Khawaja said Israel must stop its attacks on Palestinians.
“The Israeli attacks are the worst form of state-terrorism. More than 80 per cent of the people killed in the Israeli raids are civilians. The Jewish state is intentionally making women and children their targets. I strongly condemn Israeli actions and request my countrymen to do the same,” she said. Khawaja said that all Pakistanis should extend moral support to the Palestinians.
“Pakistan itself faces many problems, but this should not stop us from raising our voice to support a just cause. Our own problems should not make us insensitive towards the problems of other human beings,” said Khawaja.
Khan said worldwide protests had forced an emergency session of the UN Human Rights Council and Israel was under diplomatic pressure to end the offensive.
“However, unconditional support from the United States has enabled Israel to continue to murder innocents in Gaza. In such a situation, international legal restraints are not the best way of saving Gaza,” she said. Asma Naqvi, another protester, said that people from all countries should support Gaza residents.
“You do not need to be a Muslim to stand up for Gaza. You just need to be a human. Innocent people are being killed by Israeli forces for no reason. We need to stand up against those stone-hearted people. That is why we come and protest here at the Liberty Roundabout daily,” she said.
International Association of Human Rights Chairperson Rubab Mehdi H Rizvi said, “We all have a responsibility to promote peace and justice. Justice comes only when violence has stopped.”
Rizvi said everybody lost in a war. “This is not a time to go into our separate corners. Nobody can strengthen peace if they choose a side,” she said. “Now is the time to come together towards an understanding. We should not fan the flames of war, which are already high. We need neither Anti-Semitism nor Islamophobia,” she said.
“Firing rockets may be emotionally satisfying for Hamas, but this undermines the Palestinian cause. Equally, Israeli bombing of civilians and killing children is not an act of self-defence but a war crime,” said Rizvi.
She said that the supporters of peace from all sides needed to come together to ensure that the conflict came to an end. “The United Nations and International Criminal Court can and should play a role in deterring further war crimes,” Rizvi said.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2014.