UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has called for urgent intervention to stop the genocide in Gaza, as a UN agency warned on Tuesday that new Israeli military orders for evacuation from Khan Younis would affect an estimated 250,000 people.

“There is no more apt situation calling for urgent intervention to stop the genocide than in Gaza where the international community has failed to restore peace,” said Pakistan’s Permanent Representative Ambassador Munir Akram.

In an alert issued at the UN headquarters, UN humanitarian workers warned that “chaos and panic” were spreading in southern Gaza, where an estimated 250,000 people are set to be impacted by new Israeli military evacuation orders from Khan Younis.

Detailing another night of heavy bombardment across the enclave, the UN agency assisting Palestine refugees, UNRWA reported that Gazans fleeing the southern city have had to erect shelters at the water’s edge because displacement camps along the coast are already packed.

Khan Younis evacuation orders to affect an estimated 250,000 people, warns UN agency

Only a few weeks ago, Khan Younis was deserted after intense Israeli bombardment damaged or destroyed homes and buildings. However, families with few other options went there after the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) moved into Rafah at the beginning of May.

“It’s another devastating blow to the humanitarian response here, it’s another devastating blow to the people, the families on the ground. It seems that they’ve been forcibly displaced again and again,” said UNRWA Senior Communications Officer Lo.

Addressing the situation in Gaza during a UN General Assembly debate, Ambassador Akram questioned the international community’s response, asking: “Where are the original eloquent proponents of R2P? Some block the Security Council from demanding a ceasefire, while others supply arms to Israel, even after the ICJ called to stop this plausible genocide.”

He noted that resolution 2735, which calls for a ceasefire in Gaza, remains unimplemented, and the Israeli military operations continue unabated.

“Is this not a situation where the Security Council, acting under the Genocide Convention, reinforced by the R2P doctrine, should intervene to offer protection to the victims in Gaza?” he asked.

Ambassador Akram informed the General Assembly that the OIC has recently proposed creating a UN-led force to protect Palestinian people. “This must be urgently considered by the Security Council,” he demanded.

Ambassador Akram also urged the international community to consider how best it can help in preventing genocides, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, stating that the situation in Gaza “demonstrates that peoples under foreign occupation face a greater risk of severe human rights abuses”.

Responsibility to protect

R2P, or the Responsibility to Protect, is a global political commitment endorsed by all United Nations member states in 2005. It is designed to prevent genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity.

If a state fails to protect its citizens or is itself the perpetrator, it authorises the international community to intervene through diplomatic, humanitarian, and other peaceful means, and as a last resort, through collective use of force authorised by the Security Council.

Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2024

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