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Pakistan calls for immediate, unconditional ceasefire in Gaza

24 July, 2014

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NEW YORK: Pakistan called on the United Nations Security Council to act by adopting a resolution that would call for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire, halt Israeli air, ground and naval offensive and remove Israeli forces from Gaza.

Participating in a debate on situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, Pakistan's permanent representative Ambassador Masood Khan urged the Security Council to play its role in ending the blockade of Gaza, opening its border, and release of Palestinian prisoners. He said that Pakistan condemned continuing Israeli aggression.

Ambassador Masood said that the people in Pakistan have expressed their solidarity with the entrapped and embattled people of Gaza through protests, rallies and resolutions. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that Israeli atrocities amount to genocide and has demanded that the world must stop this aggression.

Pakistan also called for humanitarian pauses to help those who are badly wounded or those stranded in temporary shelters. "Children and women of Gaza are crying out for help. This council must listen to their screams and respond," he added. He also said that this council had acted swiftly, and decisively from time-to-time on Syria, Libya, Yemen, Central African Republic, Mali and Ukraine.

"People all around the world wonder why on Gaza it has been able to produce only a press statement or just elements for the press and not a resolution," he added. Referring to the imbalance of power between the fighting forces, the ambassador said that it was not really a war because one side was mighty and well armed and the other side ill-equipped using some projectiles.

"The Palestinians, who do not have a standing army, are being pummeled by one of the most modern and sophisticated military machines. There is no proportionality," he added. About the plight of the Palestinians, Ambassador Masood said that innocent, non-combatant and unarmed men, women and children were being mowed down and that one quarter of those killed are children; three quarters civilians. "Death is coming to them from the sky, from waters and from land. Their chastisement is complete and definitive. Nobody can help them," he said.

Emphasizing the importance of peace talks, he said that one of the reasons for the recent escalation in violence was the collapse of the peace process. "We endorse the Secretary General's message to Israelis and Palestinians: Stop fighting; start talking; and take on the root causes of the conflict," he concluded.

End.

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