Pakistan hits out at Israel in top UN Forum

Pakistan hits out at Israel in top UN Forum

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan *strongly urges* Israel to *"stop* the *genocide* of Palestinians in *Gaza", Munir Akram, Islamabad's permanent representative* to the *UN, told the*meeting that an immediate ceasefire was *essential* to meet *the enormous*needs *of Gaza.* *A* besieged *territory.*

As the war *in Gaza continues, Israeli airstrikes have killed 9,488 Palestinians, including 3,900 children, the Health Ministry in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip said* on *Saturday.* *The* death toll *in Israel exceeds 1,500.* *"We can't mince words.* *Israelis must be told* to stop the *genocide,* Akram said during a briefing on the *"humanitarian situation* in the *occupied* Palestinian *territories."*

*Fresh from the conflict zone, UN*Humanitarian Coordinator Martin *Griffiths* and Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace *Process Lynn Hastings* were among those who briefed member states *on*the latest developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Both officials called for *a* humanitarian *ceasefire* to ensure the safe delivery of food, *fuel* and other essential *goods.* *The Pakistani ambassador said in* his *speech* that the Israelis, *who* suffered the Holocaust, *are* now committing *"modern genocide"* against the *Palestinians* and *that we should* call it what *we want.*

In this *context,* he called for *respect*and *compliance with* international humanitarian law *prohibiting* attacks on civilians and civilian *targets.* *"As an* international community, *let's follow* what the General Assembly has said. *Let's follow* what international humanitarian law *says,"* Ambassador Akram said. *"This* is what we expect from all who *lead* the United Nations, *from* all who *represent* the conscience of the international *community."*

*Pakistan's ambassador called Israel's bloody attacks on* schools, *hospitals*and civilian *facilities* in *the* Gaza *Strip under* the pretext that *these facilities contain* military *targets, flagrant violations* of international law and norms *and involved "collective punishment".*

*Powerless people. * *"Where* does international law justify *this?"* Ambassador Akram *demanded*that civilian *places* and facilities, especially *hospitals, should not be targeted as per* the *law.* *The ongoing* war *between Israel* and *Hamas and the* ongoing *bombing* of Gaza *are compounding* the humanitarian crisis in *Palestine.*

*At the same time,* Israel *stepped up* its ground *operations* and bombardment *of* the Gaza Strip in response to *the*October 7 *attack by the Palestinian group Hamas,* which *shocked the*Benjamin *Netanyahu regime.* Israel *blames* Hamas *for* hiding among civilians *for the brutal attacks* and *uses* this explanation as an excuse when it *is accused of* targeting besieged *civilians.*

*Turkey became* the latest *country* to recall its *Israeli ambassador, while a number of* countries cut diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv, *which has* besieged *the* Gaza *Strip* for 17 years. *World* powers, including the United States and the *United Nations,* have called on Israel to *continue to suppress Hamas and prevent* civilian *casualties,* but to no *avail.*

The *United Nations* is also calling for an immediate ceasefire to at least *ensure a continuous flow of* aid to the war-torn *region* and *to allow hostage exchanges.* *But Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu*has ruled out *an end to* his *army's offensive* on *Gaza, insisting* that *shelling of Hamas-controlled areas will continue.*