Ceasefire is our priority, he says
Pakistan’s foreign minister said Sunday that Israeli aggression in Palestine was “intolerable” and his country will raise its voice against it at every forum.
“The international community should immediately swing into action and stop the use of force by Israel,” said Shah Mehmood Qureshi, the foreign minister, after a virtual meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
“Ceasefire is our priority,” he added.
On Sunday, Israeli strikes killed 33 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
The heaviest fighting since 2014, sparked by unrest in Jerusalem, saw the rivals again trade heavy fire, with the death toll rising to 181 in the crowded coastal enclave of Gaza since Monday and at 10 in Israel, according to authorities on either side.
Israeli should not be given immunity for “crimes against humanity” and breaking “international laws”, said Qureshi.
He added that he spoke with his Palestinian counterpart and other foreign ministers over the phone on Saturday and will talk to the US secretary of state tonight to discuss the situation.
He also condemned the destruction of media offices in Palestine in Israel missile strikes and said “the targeting of media houses is an attempt to silence the voices”.
In an emergency meeting of the OIC Executive Committee on Sunday, Qureshi said that support for the Palestinian cause has been a defining principle of Pakistan’s foreign policy since its inception.
“Pakistan is appalled by the sheer magnitude of illegal, disproportionate, and indiscriminate use of force, tyranny, and injustice being perpetrated by the Israeli occupation forces against defenseless Palestinians.”
According to the foreign minister, in the wake of the deteriorating conditions for the people of Palestine, Prime Minister Imran Khan has spoken with the custodians of the two holy mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan, and the President of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas.
At this somber juncture, we reaffirm our unflinching solidarity with the government and people of Palestine – valiantly defending their legitimate rights, he promised.
We salute their courage in the face of unabated Israeli atrocities and preserving their Arab and Islamic identity, Qureshi added.
Qureshi met Palestinian ambassador to Pakistan today and extended his condolences for those killed in the violence. The envoy thanked Pakistan for its unflinching support for the Palestinian cause.