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‘Concerned’ Pakistan calls for ending hostilities between Israel and Palestinians

Israeli police inspect a car that has a Palestinian licence plate on it, following a mass infiltration by Hamas gunmen from the Gaza Strip, in Sderot, southern Israel October 7, 2023. — Reuters
  • Pakistan concerned about human cost of escalating situation.
  • It says closely monitoring unfolding situation in Middle East.
  • Hamas has launched attack against Israel, biggest in years.

Pakistan Saturday expressed concerns over the latest Palestine-Israel conflict after Hamas launched an attack against the occupying forces, the biggest in years.

“We are closely monitoring the unfolding situation in the Middle East and the eruption of hostilities between Israel and Palestinians,” the Foreign Office said in a statement.

The Palestinian group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, launched barrages of rockets at Israel from dawn earlier today as its freedom fighters crossed into Israel.

At least 44 people have been killed in Israel so far during the violence, according to the latest toll issued by Israeli medics, while more than 190 Palestinians have lost their lives in retaliatory attacks.

“We are concerned about the human cost of the escalating situation,” the Foreign Office said, calling upon the international community to join hands to end the hostilities.

The ministry’s statement added that the world powers should “come together for cessation of hostilities, protection of civilians and for a lasting peace in the Middle East”.

Pakistan has consistently advocated for a two-state solution as the key to enduring peace in the Middle East, with a just, comprehensive, and lasting solution to the Palestinian question anchored in international law and in line with relevant United Nations and OIC resolutions.

A viable, sovereign, and contiguous State of Palestine should be established on the basis of pre-1967 borders, with Al Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, the statement added. 

In a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, interim Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar said he was heartbroken by the escalating violence in the Middle East, which underscores the urgent need to “address the Palestine Question”.

“We urge restraint and protection of civilians. Enduring peace in the Middle East lies in a two state solution with a viable, contiguous, sovereign State of Palestine, founded on pre-1967 borders, with Al Quds Al-Sharif at its heart.”

Former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif, in a statement on X, said ending Israel’s illegal occupation, settlement expansion on Palestinian land, and oppression against innocent Palestinians are key for peace, justice, and prosperity in the region.

“I am not surprised by today’s events. What else can one expect when Israel continues to deny Palestinians their legitimate right to self-determination and statehood?

What else, after daily provocations, attacks by occupation forces and settlers, and raids on Al-Aqsa Mosque and other holy sites of Christianity and Islam?”

He said the world must recognise that durable peace requires: ending the occupation of Palestinian land, recognising the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, and upholding Palestinians’ right to independence and sovereignty.

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