Pakistan demands UNSC to hold Israel accountable for crimes

Ambassador Akram calls expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine illegal and grave violation of international law

UNITED NATIONS  -  Pakistan has urged the UN Secu­rity Council to "fully and force­fully" implement its resolutions on the Middle East conflict that give the right of self-determina­tion to the Palestinian people.

Speaking in the 15-member Council, Ambassador Munir Akram also strongly condemned the recent large-scale Israeli military operations in Jenin in occupied Palestinian West Bank, and called for holding Israel ac­countable for its "grave human rights violations and crimes in occupied Palestine." "Unfor­tunately," the Pakistani envoy said, "The killing of children, women, and men continues in occupied Palestine with com­plete impunity."

He added, "The rule of law can be upheld only if it is applied universally and consistently, without exceptions or double standards."

Ambassador Akram regretted that the Security Council had not been able to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of internation­al peace and security in occu­pied Palestine. Giving the er­ga-omnes character of the right of self-determination, the Paki­stani envoy said, “It is also in­cumbent on all States to ensure that any impediment to the ex­ercise of the right to self-deter­mination by the Palestinian peo­ple is immediately terminated.”

He said, “On July 5, three Spe­cial Rapporteurs of the United Nations Human Rights Coun­cil stated that Israeli attacks against the Jenin refugee camp may constitute a war crime and had no justification under in­ternational law.” “The impuni­ty that Israel has enjoyed for its acts of violence over decades only fuels and intensifies the re­curring cycle of violence.”

The Special Rapporteurs also called for Israel to be held ac­countable under international law. The Pakistani envoy said, “The continuing expansion of Israeli settlements in the occu­pied territories and the expul­sion and evictions of Palestin­ians from their properties are illegal and grave violations of Council resolutions and inter­national law, including human­itarian law.” 

“The international communi­ty cannot accept the fait accom­pli Israel is seeking to impose with the design to perpetuate its forcible occupation and de­stroy Palestinian nationhood,” Ambassador Akram said.

“There will be no durable peace in the Holy land until the creation of an independent, via­ble, and contiguous State of Pal­estine, established on the basis of pre-1967 borders, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.”

Opening the debate on the sit­uation in the troubled region, Khaled Khiari, Assistant Secre­tary-General for Middle East, Asia, and the Pacific in the De­partments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations, said that from 27 June-24 July in the occupied West Bank, 25 Palestinians, in­cluding 5 children, were killed, and 249 Palestinians were in­jured by Israeli security forces. 

According to Israel, 2 Israeli security forces personnel were killed while another 39 Israelis were injured by Palestinians.

“This deterioration is taking place alongside ongoing uni­lateral steps that undermine a two-State solution, the absence of a peace process, and the con­tinuing economic challenges facing Palestinians and the Pal­estinian Authority,” he stressed.

On July 3-4, in the Jenin refu­gee camp in the occupied West Bank, Israeli security forces car­ried out an operation marked by multiple drone strikes and over 1,000 ground troops. Twelve Palestinians, including four chil­dren, were killed and over 140 injured — the most in a sin­gle operation in the West Bank since the United Nations began tracking casualties in 2005.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad al-Quds Brigades claimed 8 of the 12 fatalities as members, in­cluding children.

Israeli settler violence contin­ues, albeit not at the scale wit­nessed in June, he pointed out, reminding Israel of its responsi­bility to abide by international humanitarian law when carry­ing out security measures. 

“The funding gap faced by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Ref­ugees in the Near East (UNR­WA) is of grave concern,” Khiari went on to say, urging the inter­national community to contrib­ute the $200 million the Agen­cy urgently needed to maintain services from September on­wards. Ambassador Riyad Man­sour, the Permanent Observer for the State of Palestine said, “There are more than 700,000 Israeli settlers in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. 

“So, let us start by calling things by their name,” he urged. 

“The Israeli occupation is a settler-colonial occupation”, and the only way the interna­tional community can end it is to address its settler-colonial nature,” he stated.

“We need an action plan, with the necessary resourc­es and the will to implement it,” he stressed. “The Interna­tional Criminal Court investi­gations must start yielding re­sults by providing justice for victims and deterring perpetra­tors. The International Court of Justice advisory opinion will give the United Nations and all States guidance on their le­gal obligations,” Riyad Mansour concluded.

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