Interim Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani on Sunday condemned Israel for its “genocide” of Palestinians, stressing the current situation was a result of seven decades of illegal occupation of Palestinian land.
Speaking with media, Jilani said Pakistan condemned the siege of Gaza as a “severe human crisis,” as Palestinians were attacked while also being denied access to food, water and fuel. “Any attempt to equate Israel, which is an aggressor, with the Palestinian struggle, is unacceptable for Pakistan,” he said, referring to various statements by Western leaders seeking to justify the ongoing bombardment of Palestine as Israel’s “right” to defend itself against Hamas.
“Israel had committed aggression and conducted aerial aggression over Gaza, which resulted in the deaths of scores of women and children,” he said, adding Pakistan had not waived from its principled demand of self-determination for Palestinians.
Reiterating Pakistan’s demand of a two-state solution for the Middle East conflict, he said this called for an independent state of Palestine with pre-1967 borders and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital. This policy of Pakistan, he emphasized, had not changed. “We will continue pursuing the same policy as adopted in the past till Palestinians get their right to self-determination under the U.N. Security Council and the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) resolutions,” he said, calling on Israel to respect and implement international laws and all relevant U.N. and OIC resolutions.
The caretaker minister said an emergency and extraordinary meeting of the OIC Executive Committee would take place in Jeddah on Oct. 18 to discuss the situation in Gaza. To a question, he said the meeting would take up the issue of humanitarian aid for besieged Palestinians, noting that presently Israel had enforced a “complete siege of Gaza” that hampered relief efforts. The meeting, he added, would also deliberate on a coordinated response of OIC member countries over how to end the Israeli aggression.
“Pakistan is ready to provide humanitarian assistance and is in touch with Egyptian authorities,” he said.
Israel last week warned around 1.1 million Gazans to flee to the south ahead of an expected ground offensive that the Israeli military claims would seek to oust the Hamas group. An entire week of bombardment on Gaza killed over 2,200 people, mostly civilians and children. Aid agencies have warned that forcing so many people to move as bombs continue to fall around them is virtually impossible and called for a cessation of hostilities. However, bolstered by the West, Israel has maintained that it would only end the current offensive with the eradication of Hamas.
Also on Sunday, the interim foreign minister criticized the Indian government for not granting visas to Pakistani spectators and journalists for the ongoing cricket World Cup. Describing the actions as “short-sighted and highly condemnable,” he said it had set a wrong precedent and violated international norms and the ICC charter.