Solidarity with Palestinians

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AT long last, Israel and Hamas announced a ceasefire on Thursday, ending a bruising 11-day war that caused wide spread destruction in the Gaza Strip and brought life in much of Israel to a standstill.

The deal was brokered by Egypt but it is understood that the diplomatic offensive led by Pakistan, China and Turkey also put pressure on the Jewish State to review its policy of genocide and destruction in Gaza.

The cessation of hostilities is a welcome development as it would help mitigate sufferings of besieged and terrorized Palestinian people against whom worst type of war crimes were committed by Israeli forces with tacit approval of the United States that prevented the UN Security Council from playing any effective and meaningful role in protecting life and property of Palestinians.

Israel has agreed to a ceasefire with claims it has already achieved its targets against Hamas but the world has witnessed that even unprecedented barbaric bombing could not break resolve of the Palestinian people and, in fact, the latest aggression of Israel has given birth to a new wave of Palestinian Intifada and Palestinians would surely, one day, succeed in securing their rights with the growing support of the international community.

Though the United States paralyzed the working of the Security Council, the international community spoke overwhelmingly in favour of Palestinians through protest demonstrations across the globe and the voice of the globe was resonated from the hall of the UN General Assembly where representative after representative condemned Israeli aggression and expressed full solidarity with Palestinians.

By playing a lead role in diplomatic efforts aimed at mobilizing world support for the cause of Palestine, Pakistan has once again sent a clear message that it stands firmly with Palestinians.

Prime Minister Imran Khan deserves credit for strongly advocating the cause of Palestinian people and unequivocal condemnation of the Israeli aggression.

This was in line with the aspirations of the people of Pakistan, who showed complete solidarity with their Palestinian brethren throughout the history of the conflict and reiterated their resolve to extend fullest possible support to them during the latest phase of Israeli aggression.

There is an impression of internal political polarization in Pakistan but people of Pakistan were unanimous in expressing their solidarity with Palestinians on Friday as rallies and functions held across the country were participated both by government and opposition leaders as well as people representing different walks of life.

The firm declaration of Pakistan Foreign Minister that voice of the Palestinian people cannot and will not be silenced and that “the representatives of the Islamic world are here to speak with them and for them” would reverberate in all parts of the globe for a long time to come.

Stopping of the bloodshed was the immediate concern of people of Pakistan and other civilized members of the international community but the danger of resumption of Israeli aggression is still there as the Jewish State is power drunk and has no respect for international law or human rights.

With this in view, the proposal floated by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in his address to the UN General Assembly about deployment of an international force in Israeli occupied territories must be considered seriously by all members of the world body if they are genuinely interested in saving lives there.

Regretting inability of the UN Security Council in exercising its primary responsibility for international peace and security, the Minister said if the Council cannot agree to send the protection force, a ‘coalition of the willing’ can be formed to provide at least civilian observers to monitor cessation of hostilities and supervise provision of humanitarian help to the Palestinians.

After the ceasefire, provision of medical supplies and humanitarian aid assumes greater significance in view of massive bombing, killing and destruction but the mission is unlikely to be carried out unhindered because of virtual blockade of occupied territories by Israeli forces.

It is also important that a relief and rehabilitation fund is instituted to raise money for assistance and rehabilitation of the uprooted population and damaged infrastructure.

As the destruction is large-scale, the international community should make generous contributions for such a fund and in its absence should channelize their aid to the area through other means.

It is also hoped that the forum of the UN Human Rights Council would also be effectively used to hold Israel accountable for its war crimes and crimes against humanity.

 

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