Pakistan calls for action against Israeli settlement and repression of Palestinians
UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has called on the international community to take action against Israel for its “illegal practice” of building settlement on occupied territories and demolishing the structures of Palestinians and their displacement and evictions.
“While we continue to watch from the sidelines, increasing incidents of settler and ‘price tag’ attacks are making the occupied territories truly unlivable,” Ambassador Raza Bashir Tarar, Pakistan’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, told the General Assembly’s Fourth Committee, which deals with special political decolonisation matters.
Speaking in a debate on the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, he also called for an immediate end to the blockade of Gaza, now in its sixth year.
“Ending the culture of impunity is important for building an environment of trust and confidence,” the Pakistani diplomat said. In his remarks, he also reaffirmed Pakistan’s “unrelenting support” for the Palestinian people in their just struggle for peace and right to self- determination.
Ambassador Tarar said the situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory was abysmal. Israel, the occupying Power, persisted with its oppressive policies, affecting the most vulnerable groups, among them, children, who suffered severe effects.
The Committee report stated that from 500 to 700 Palestinian children were detained by the occupation forces each year and subjected to treatment that was not only in violation of all international human rights laws and practices, but was also unethical and immoral.
Further, he said, Israel’s illegal settlement policy and other actions were shrinking the window for a two-State solution. The report, he added, rightly noted that Israel’s occupation seemed cost free, as the international community provided the basic needs for the victims.
The strategy of the occupation forces seemed clear: force the Palestinian people off their own land or marginalise them to maintain a system of permanent oppression. How could any political process be expected to resume in such circumstances, he asked, pointing out that any political settlement required a good faith commitment from both sides.
In its absence, the situation could only deteriorate. Pakistan, Tarar said, was a staunch supporter of the establishment of a sovereign and independent Palestinian State, on the basis of pre-1967 borders, with Al-Quds al-Sharif as its capital, and of the Palestinian Authority’s initiative to be accorded Observer State status in the United Nations.