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Thursday June 20, 2024

At UN, Pakistan calls for deployment of protection force in Gaza

Akram calls for end to war and killings in Gaza so that durable two-state solution to Palestine issue can be found

By Web Desk
October 28, 2023
Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations Munir Akram speaks during the 10th Emergency Special Session (resumed) 39th plenary meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the United Nations headquarters in New York City on October 27, 2023. — AFP
Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations Munir Akram speaks during the 10th Emergency Special Session (resumed) 39th plenary meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the United Nations headquarters in New York City on October 27, 2023. — AFP

In a bid to safeguard Palestinian civilians in the besieged Gaza and the West Bank, Pakistan on Saturday called for giving serious consideration to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) proposal of deployment of a protection force in the areas.

The call was made by Pakistan's permanent representative to the United Nations Munir Akram while speaking at the 10th Emergency Special UNGA Session in NewYork today.

His comments come as the Israeli occupation forces are escalating bombing and expanding ground operations in besieged Gaza, killing over 7,700 Palestinians so far, including 3,500 children.

In a final communiqué, the Executive Committee of the OIC — following its extraordinary open-ended meeting held at the level of foreign ministers on October 18 — stressed the need to provide international protection for the Palestinian people.

It said an international protection force should be dispatched to protect innocent lives from ongoing attacks by the occupation forces and the extremist colonialist settlers.

In his address today, the Pakistani envoy called for an end to war and killings in Gaza so that a durable two-state solution to the Palestine issue can be found, Radio Pakistan reported.

Akram said: "The world is witnessing a human tragedy of epic proportions unfold in front of our eyes. 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."

The ambassador said 37 staff members of the UN Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) in Palestine have tragically lost their lives.

He said Pakistan strongly and unequivocally condemns Israeli air strikes and the systematic and barbaric crimes against the Palestinians.

"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."

Akram called for reaffirming the right of 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.

He said in the context of this war, consideration should also be given to some form of an accountability mechanism as crimes being committed cannot go unpunished.

He also underscored the need to consider ways to prevent a recurrence of this slaughter.