At UNGA, Pakistan calls for stopping Israel’s ‘killing machine’ in Gaza

Pakistani envoy reiterates call for ceasefire in Gaza as humanitarian situation worsens in besieged strip

Palestinian children walk at the site of an Israeli strike on a house, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, December 16, 2023. — Reuters
  • Pakistan calls for investigation of Israeli atrocities in the Gaza Strip.
  • Gaza faces tragedy of epic proportions due to Israeli offensive: envoy.
  • Akram laments collective punishment of Palestinians by Israel.

With the war in Gaza raging on resulting in a harrowing humanitarian tragedy, Pakistan has called out Israel for its blatant human rights violations in Gaza amounting to genocide of Palestinians.

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the inter-governmental body Munir Akram said: “Israel’s indiscriminate attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, blockading of food and other essentials, and forced displacement of Palestinians are flagrant violations of humanitarian law and may amount to the crime of genocide.”

Akram, while representing a group of 14 countries including Algeria, Bolivia, China, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Nigeria, Syria, and Venezuela, on Friday called for the establishment of a special tribunal to probe Israeli atrocities against the Palestinians.

His remarks come as the Palestinian death toll has surged past the grim 18,000 mark — including over 7,000 children — amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict that erupted after the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

Since then, Israel has laid siege to the strip which has been subject to indiscriminate bombing by Israeli forces coupled with an ongoing ground offensive resulting in the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Gazans.

The situation in the besieged strip remains dire amid severe fuel and food shortages and crumbling health infrastructure.

Earlier this week, in the wake of the unfolding human tragedy in Gaza, the UNGA passed a resolution by an overwhelming majority of 153 votes against 10, calling for an immediate ceasefire and protection of civilians in the conflict.

“We deeply regret that calls from the UN Secretary-General and the General Assembly were not heeded by Israel and it continues its criminal attacks against the Palestinian people,” the Pakistani envoy said.

The resolution came days after the United States vetoed a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution regarding the ceasefire in Gaza.

Lamenting on the “human tragedy of epic proportions” in Gaza, the Pakistani envoy drew the forum’s attention towards Israel’s indiscriminate attack on civilians, the prevailing siege of the strip, and preventing of food and other essentials from reaching Gaza as flagrant violations of humanitarian laws.

Reiterating Pakistan’s call for a ceasefire in Gaza Akram urged the forum to put a stop to Israel’s “killing machine” in the strip.

He also censured Israeli forces for resorting to collective punishment of the Palestinians with entire families and neighbourhoods being wiped out due to Israel’s indiscriminate bombing.

Last month, Pakistan dispatched its second aid consignment to Gaza — the first of which was shipped in October — with the relief goods comprising hygiene kits, medicines, and food packages.

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