Islamabad, November 13, 2015 (PPI-OT): At the United Nations Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi questioned the Security Council’s inaction over finding a solution to the Palestinian issue and putting an end to Israeli atrocities and violence in the region, says a press release received here today from New York.
Participating in a debate on a Report by a Special Committee on Palestine, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN also described as “disconcerting” the assessment from Washington earlier this week that prospects of resolving the Palestinian issue remain bleak.
She assailed Israel for refusing access to international bodies for investigation of the situation on ground and called for an end to the Israeli blockade of Gaza, now in its eighth year. Voicing concern over rising incidents of violence, Ambassador Lodhi said that “A third and more intense Intifada is being forecast.”
She highlighted the plight of the Palestinian people including women and children who continue to suffer brutal repression. “Restrictions on Palestinian freedom and rights, harassment by Israeli settlers, terror and provocation in and around the holy sites, including the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, and bleak prospects for a negotiated and comprehensive peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians”, are all compounding the suffering of the Palestinian people, she said.
She recalled the concern raised by the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights over the high number of casualties, especially those resulting from the use of live ammunition by occupation forces and said that limitations on use of force placed by international law apply where a military occupying power operates in civilian areas.
Ambassador Lodhi denounced the new discriminatory legislation enacted by Israeli lawmakers targeting Palestinian minors, which imposes a mandatory minimum penalty of four-year imprisonment for stone throwing.
She said, “In addition, arrests of parents, family members of political activists and of youth on charges of incitement on Facebook have further deepened the sense of fear amongst the Palestinian people”.
She warned that such mental and physical persecution of Palestinian youth would only engender more violence and aggravate their sense of despondency.
Pakistan, she said, believed that durable peace could only be achieved through political solutions, not through military force and heavy-handed tactics.
Ambassador Lodhi said that “A just, sustainable and equitable resolution of the Middle East conflict is only possible through an independent, contiguous and viable State of Palestine, based on the pre-1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital.”
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