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'Israeli killing machine must be stopped in Gaza and the West Bank' Pakistan tells UN

'Israeli killing machine must be stopped in Gaza and the West Bank' Pakistan tells UN

By The Sout Asia Times

 

NEW YORK - Pakistan on Friday urged the UN General Assembly to take concrete steps and stop the Israeli killing machine in Gaza and the West Bank.

Addressing the special session of the UN General Assembly on the Gaza situation, Pakistan's top diplomat at the UN Munir Akram strongly condemned the Israeli bombing and killing of over 7,000 innocent Palestinians.

He also urged the General Assembly to consider the OIC Foreign Minister's proposal for the deployment of UN Peace force in Palestine to protect civilians.

Following is the transcript of Akram's speech to the UN

 

an immediate and unconditional ceasefire. The Israeli killing machine must be stopped in Gaza and the West Bank;

Statement by Ambassador Munir Akram,Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN, During the Tenth Emergency Special UNGA Session (Resumed) onPalestine

(26 October 2023)

 

Mr. President,

 

Thank you for convening this resumed tenth emergency session of the General Assembly in response to the request of the Arab and OIC groups.

 

2.We are witnessing a human tragedy of epic proportions unfold in front of our eyes. Israel’s campaign of bombardment and air strikes that has now continued for 20 days. Seven thousand helpless Palestinians – half of them children –and wounded 17,000. Entire families and neighbourhoods have been wiped out. The Palestinians are being bombed indiscriminately and without mercy or compunction. Their essential lifelines – water, food, fuel – have been cut off. Over a million have been internally displaced. And, even those displaced, cannot hide from Israeli bombs. Forty percent of Gaza city has been destroyed. And, yet, the Israeli onslaught continues. It has also spread,almost without note, to the West Bank.

 

3.Thirty-seven staff members of the UN Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) in Palestine have tragically lost their lives, many with their families and their homes. 40 UNRWA buildings and warehouses have been damaged by Israeli strikes.

 

4.As noted by one UN official working in Palestine, Gaza- the largest open-air prison in the world– has today become the graveyard of a population trapped between war, siege and deprivation.

 

5.Pakistan strongly and unequivocally condemns Israeli air strikes and the systematic and barbaric crimes against the Palestinians, particularly the attacks on schools and residential buildings and even hospitals, such as Ahli Baptist hospital where hundreds of sick and injured civilians were killed. These Israeli attacks on civilians, civilian objects and infrastructure, blockade of water, food and fuel, as well as the forced transfer of people from the occupied territory, are flagrant violations of international humanitarian law and amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

 

6.Indeed, what we are witnessing on our television screens what the Palestinian people are enduring, may amount to a veritable genocide.

 

7.As the Secretary-General has warned, and as we can all perceive, the situation “is growing more dire by the hour”. The war “risks spiraling throughout the region”. In this moment, the Secretary-General said, it is vital to be clear on principles….starting with the fundamental principle of respecting and protecting civilians”.

 

8.We are repelled by the crude and disrespectful Israeli response to the Secretary-General’s circumspect and valid views. The General Assembly shouldcollectively reject these insulting remarks and reaffirm our full confidence in the Secretary-General. 

 

Mr. President,

 

9.As human beings, we must be appalled at the magnitude of the suffering of the helpless Palestinian civilians, especially the children and women. I am sure all of us are also appalled at the vicious and callous way that the Palestinians are being slaughtered – by cowardly aerial bombardment and long range artillery– they are being crucified notby a militant organization but by the government, which claims to be a democratic. And, we must be also appalled by those who, by blocking the call for a ceasefire in the Security Council, have enabled the continuation of the Israeli slaughter of innocents. 

 

10.It is the hope of the Arab and OIC countries that the General Assembly, acting under the “Uniting for Peace” process, will succeed where the Security Council has failed. The co-sponsors of the draft resolution in document A/ES-10/L.25 seek three clear objectives:

 

One, an immediate and unconditional ceasefire. The Israeli killing machine must be stopped in Gaza and the West Bank;

 

Two, the flow of sufficient and sustained humanitarian assistance into Gaza to preserve lives and prevent further suffering of innocent Palestinians; and

Three, to ensure that the Palestinian population of Gaza is not further displaced, within or outside Gaza.

 

11.It is shocking that even these largely humanitarian objectives, set out in the most circumspect language, have been opposed by some in the General Assembly. Even the call for a ceasefire has faced objections. This position is unjustifiable legally and morally. Furthermore, an amendment has been moved to insert condemnatory language that is one-sided, discriminatory and legallycontentious. 

 

12.If equity is to be served, we would need to insert language to reflect the realities of this war in a balance and clear manner:

 

One, to reaffirm the right of the Palestinian people under international law to struggle by all possible means, including armed struggle, to secure their freedom from foreign occupation and exercise their right to self-determination; and 

 

two, to strongly and unequivocally condemn Israel’s barbarous and indiscriminate bombing of Palestinian civilians and protected objects and sites in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law. Without such balancing language, we will vote resolutely against the one-sided Canadian amendment. 

 

Mr. President,

 

13.In the context of this war, consideration should also be given to some form of an accountability mechanism. The crimes being committed, which cannot go unpunished. We have several precedents to choose from. 

 

14.Finally, for the future, we need to consider the ways to prevent a recurrence of this slaughter. The OIC Foreign Ministers have proposed deployment of a protection force to safeguard Palestinian civilians in the Gaza and perhaps also in the West Bank. We should give serious consideration to this

 Mr. President, 

 

15.It is only once this war is brought to an end, and the killing stops, that we can turn to find a durable two state solutions.

 

16.The resolution that we have presented just seeks that, to stop the war and killingsand turn to find a durable solution. I urge you to the vote for the resolution and voteagainst the one-sided Canadian amendment. 

 

I thank you.

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