At UN, Pakistan suggests tribunal to probe Israel’s crimes in Gaza, int’l force to protect Palestinians

UNITED NATIONS, (TW): Reiterating its strong condemnation of Israel’s ‘indiscriminate’ use of force in Gaza, Pakistan has urged U.N.’s main bodies to consider actions, including establishing a special tribunal to investigate the Israeli atrocity crimes and prosecute those responsible for war crimes committed.

Speaking in a General Assembly debate on the “Question of Palestine”, Ambassador Muhammad Usman Iqbal Jadoo, acting permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN, also proposed to the 193-member Assembly and the Security Council to look into the possibility of deploying an international protection force for Palestinian civilians, especially women and children, in Gaza and the West Bank.

The annual debate was opened by the General Assembly President, Dennis Francis, who noted that the question of Palestine has lingered on the Assembly’s agenda for 76 years with numerous resolutions and instruments established to end the vicious cycle of violence. “The longer the fear, distrust, appetite for revenge, hatred and anxiety fester and further deepen, the more lethal the psychological chasm grows, and the darker the shadow it will cast over generations to come,” the president said.

The only viable way to break the endless cycle of conflict and suffering is through a two-State solution in line with the relevant resolutions, he said, adding: “We must do our part to avert any regional conflagration.” In his remarks, the Pakistani envoy unequivocally condemned the indiscriminate use of force by Israel on civilians, civilian objects and infrastructure, and its blockading of food and water — all of which may amount to genocide. “The Israeli killing machine operating with complete impunity needs to be stopped”, Ambassador Jadoon said, adding that Israel must be held accountable for its defiance and criminal actions. Voicing unwavering solidarity with the Palestinians, the Pakistani envoy decried the suffering of the besieged people of Gaza.

Pakistan rejects Israel’s relentless bombing as self-defence, he said, noting that the root cause of the crisis lies in Israel’s prolonged occupation. and denial of Palestinians’ inalienable right to self-determination. “Israel’s murderous campaign against the occupied people of Palestine struggling for their freedom cannot be justified under the guise of self-defence.” Ambassador Jadoon hoped that the Joint Arab-Islamic Extraordinary Summit held in Riyadh on 11 November will lead to action by the Security Council to halt the Israeli slaughter, impose a durable ceasefire and revive the peace process. Meanwhile, he said, Israel must comply with the provisions of the resolution adopted by the General Assembly during this emergency special session that called for humanitarian truce leading to the cessation of hostilities.

The Pakistani envoy also proposed that the General Assembly and the Security Council consider the following actions: — Establishment of a special tribunal and accountability mechanism to investigate Israel’s atrocity crimes, identify and prosecute those responsible for war crimes committed, and to provide reparations for damage; — Deployment of an international protection force or mechanism to protect Palestinian civilians, especially women and children, in Gaza and the West Bank, from further attacks and oppression by the occupation forces and extremist colonialist settlers, and, — Restore and reinvigorate the Middle East peace process.

with the Middle East Quartet reviving its efforts under the UN secretary-general’s auspices and expanding to include the OIC and China to establish a durable solution based on the two-State solution with a secure, viable, contiguous and sovereign state of Palestine on the basis of the pre-June 1967 borders, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

In conclusion, Ambassador Jadoon told the General Assembly that Pakistan will support the convening of an International Conference to launch a revived peace process, and back the admission of Palestine as a full UN member. Earlier, Ahmad Faisal Muhamad of Malayasia, who is Vice-Chair of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, presented the Committee’s annual report which urged Israel to reverse punitive measures against the Palestinian Authority, cease disproportionate use of lethal force and protect Palestinian civilians, including from Israeli settlers. Israel, he said, must respect the status quo at holy sites in Jerusalem, ensure peaceful religious practices and lift the ongoing blockade of Gaza.

The Committee, the vice chair said, deems unilateral decisions taken by member states to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as “null and void” and urges Member States to officially recognize the State of Palestine to promote a two-State solution. The Committee further urges the General Assembly and Security Council to ensure the implementation of long-standing parameters for peace. Regional organizations must also take a politically active role to achieve a just and lasting resolution to the question of Palestine, such as the one offered by the Arab Peace Initiative, Muhamad said.

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