Pakistan condemned Israel’s unrelenting bombardment and total siege of Gaza on Sunday, equating the escalating humanitarian crisis with Palestinian genocide.
“We also condemn the siege of Gaza which is very unfortunate […] that they have no water, health facility and food which is creating a major humanitarian crisis that can be equated with genocide,” stated Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbasi Jillani on Sunday. Pakistan Condemns Israel’s Actions in Gaza as Genocide of Palestinians.
At the Foreign Office in Islamabad, the foreign minister was speaking to the media.
The announcement comes as the humanitarian crisis in Gaza worsens, with Israel imposing a total blockade in response to a surprise Hamas offensive on Israeli communities.
Israel has advised around 1.1 million Gazans living in the north of the Palestinian enclave to move to the south before a ground operation targeting Gaza City, the headquarters of the Hamas group.
According to Gaza health officials, Israel’s bombings have resulted in over 2,200 casualties, with a substantial majority of them being civilians.
“[…] this is a genocide being committed by Israel against poor people of Palestine. There is no doubt that Israel has committed aggression,” the foreign minister added.
FM Jillani also urged Israel to follow international law and UN resolutions on Palestine that recognise the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination.
The continuing Hamas-Israel war, according to the foreign minister, is the outcome of Israeli troops’ illegal possession of Palestinian areas for seven decades.
“Any attempt to equate Israel that is aggressor with that of the Palestinian struggle is unacceptable for Pakistan. Pakistan would demand that Palestinian right to self-determination must be respected,” he continued.
According to the FM, occupied Palestinian lands must be removed in accordance with UN resolutions on a two-state solution. “Separate state status should be accepted not only by Israel but by the international community with pre-1967 borders with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital this is a consistent position of Pakistan.”
He further stated that Pakistan was in contact with the UN and international assistance groups in order to offer timely humanitarian aid to the beleaguered people of Gaza.
‘Situation is catastrophic’
Israeli troops prepared for a military assault on Gaza on Sunday, as the government promised to exterminate Hamas’s fighters in punishment for a rampage across Israeli cities eight days ago.
Before launching a ground assault, Israel ordered over a million Palestinians in Gaza’s northern sector to vacate and transfer to the south.
As a result, humanitarian organisations expressed grave alarm about the looming crisis.
Concerns have grown over the fate of Palestinian people in blockaded and beleaguered Gaza, one of the world’s most densely populated territories with a population of 2.4 million if it becomes the site of severe urban conflict and house-to-house fighting.
According to relief organisations, forcing Gazans to relocate is impossible while the war continues.
However, as a result of an Israeli siege, food, water, gasoline, and medical supplies are running low, and aid organisations are warning of a worsening humanitarian disaster.
“The situation is catastrophic,” said Jumaa Nasser, who travelled with his wife, mother, and seven children from Beit Lahia in northern Gaza.
“We´ve had no food or sleep. We don´t know what to do. I´ve given my fate up to God,” he told AFP.
According to the World Health Organisation, forcing thousands of hospital patients to evacuate to already overcrowded hospitals in the southern Gaza Strip might be “tantamount to a death sentence.”
Exiled Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh criticised Israel for “war crimes” in Gaza on Saturday, but he ruled out any “displacement” of Gazans, including to Egypt.
On the diplomatic front, Chinese envoy Zhai Jun will travel to the Middle East next week to press for a truce and support peace talks, according to official television CCTV.
Saudi Arabia has also demanded an “immediate cease-fire.” Russia claimed it had urged the UN Security Council to vote on its cease-fire resolution on Monday.
International assistance organisations, including the United Nations and the Red Cross, as well as some foreign diplomats, are concerned about the evacuation plan’s viability.
“We fear an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe,” the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Ivan Karakashian stated.
According to the UN, almost 423,000 Palestinians have already fled their homes, and 5,540 homes have been destroyed.
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