UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has urged the UN Security Council to “fully and forcefully” implement its resolutions on the Middle East conflict that give the right of self-determination to Palestinian people.
Addressing a meeting of the 15-member UNSC on Thursday, Ambassador Munir Akram strongly condemned the recent large-scale Israeli military’s operations in Jenin in the Occupied West Bank, and called for holding Israel accountable for its grave human rights violations and crimes in Occupied Palestine.
“Unfortunately,” he said, “the killing of children, women, and men continues in Occupied Palestine with complete impunity. The rule of law can be upheld only if it is applied universally and consistently, without exceptions or double standards.”
The envoy regretted that Security Council had not been able to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security in Occupied Palestine.
Asks UNSC to fully implement resolutions on self-determination right to Palestinians; condemns military operations in Jenin
“It is also incumbent on all states to ensure that any impediment to the exercise of the right to self-determination by the Palestinian people is immediately terminated,” he said.
The ambassador pointed out that on July 5 three special rapporteurs of the UN Human Rights Council had stated that Israeli attacks against the Jenin refugee camp may constitute a war crime and had no justification under international law.
“The impunity that Israel has enjoyed for its acts of violence over decades only fuels and intensifies the recurring cycle of violence.”
The special rapporteurs had also called for Israel to be held accountable under the international law.
“The continuing expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories and the expulsion and evictions of Palestinians from their properties are illegal and grave violations of [Security] Council’s resolutions and international law, including humanitarian law,” the Pakistani envoy said.
He emphasised that the international community cannot accept the fait accompli Israel is seeking to impose with the design to perpetuate its forcible occupation and destroy Palestinian nationhood.
“There will be no durable peace in the Holy land until the creation of an independent, viable, and contiguous State of Palestine, established on the basis of pre-1967 borders, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital,” the Pakistani envoy stated.
While opening the debate, Khaled Khiari, the assistant secretary general for Middle East, Asia, and the Pacific in the Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations, noted that 25 Palestinians — including five children — were killed and 249 injured between June 27 and July 24 in the occupied West Bank by Israeli forces.
According to Israel, two security personnel were killed while another 39 injured by Palestinians.
This deterioration is taking place alongside ongoing unilateral steps that undermine a two-state solution, the absence of a peace process, and the continuing economic challenges facing Palestinians and the Palestinian Authority, he stressed.
Israeli settler violence continues, albeit not at the scale witnessed in June, he pointed out, reminding Israel of its responsibility to abide by international humanitarian law when carrying out security measures.
“The funding gap faced by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East is of grave concern,” Mr Khiari said, urging the international community to contribute the $200 million the Agency urgently needed to maintain services from September onwards.
Ambassador Riyad Mansour, the permanent observer for the state of Palestine, said, “There are more than 700,000 Israeli settlers in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.
“So, let us start by calling things by their name.”
“The Israeli occupation is a settler-colonial occupation, and the only way the international community can end it is to address its settler-colonial nature,” he stated. “We need an action plan, with the necessary resources and the will to implement it,” he stressed.
“The International Criminal Court investigations must start yielding results by providing justice for victims and deterring perpetrators. The International Court of Justice advisory opinion will give the United Nations and all states guidance on their legal obligations,” Mr Mansour concluded.
Published in Dawn, July 29th, 2023