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ISLAMABAD: Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in the National Assembly Monday joined hands to put their weight behind Palestine and passed a unanimous resolution in denunciation of the Israel’s terrorism on unarmed Palestinians. At the NA session presided over by Speaker Asad Qaiser, the House expressed “deep concern over the increasing violence and brutality perpetrated against the Palestinian people by the Israeli apartheid regime.”

It condemned the “systematic and institutionalized oppression and domination of the Palestinian people by the apartheid Israeli regime.”

The resolution strongly denounced the “systematic and brutal disenfranchisement, exclusion and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.”

It denounced the attacks by the ‘apartheid Israeli regime’ on worshippers in al Aqsa Mosque during Ramazan and attempts to stop the Azaan.

The resolution denounced and rejected the continuing practice of expanding settlements through forced evictions by the apartheid regime, which are in violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

It extended support to the Palestinian people in their struggle for their right to self-determination. It denounced the “practice of dehumanizing and delegitimizing the Palestinian struggle for self- determination through the use of terminology, by governments and media, attributing responsibility for the war crimes to victims of those war crimes.”

The resolution reaffirmed and expressed Pakistan's unwavering political, diplomatic and moral support to the brave and resilient Palestinian people and conveyed prayers and condolences to bereaved Palestinian families and prays for the recovery of injured.

It condemned the deliberate destruction of buildings housing local and international media outlets in Sheikh Jarrah and Jerusalem, “carried out with the intent to erase evidence of the genocide being committed against the Palestinian people.”

The resolution reaffirmed Pakistan's unwavering support for the realization of the right to self-determination and other fundamental rights of the Palestinian people as well as for the two-State solution, “based on the pre-1967 borders, and a free, secure, viable, independent and contiguous State of Palestine, with Al-Quds Al Sharif as its capital.”

It recalled relevant resolutions introduced by Pakistan in the United Nations regarding Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), especially the seminal UNSC Resolution 271, which was adopted after the incident of burning of the Al-Aqsa mosque in 1969.

The resolution called upon the UN

a) Security Council to take necessary action under Chapter VII of the UN Charter to bring to an end the ongoing crimes against humanity being perpetrated against the Palestinians.

b) Ensure Israel's compliance with resolutions of the UN Security Council, United Nations General Assembly and the Human Rights Council, reaffirming the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people.

c) Ensure Israel's compliance with the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and its Additional Protocol 1.

d) Ensure Israel immediately halts its aggression which has violated the sanctity of Al Aqsa Mosque, a holy site for more than 1.5 billion Muslims, and respect their freedom to worship and allow unfettered access to Muslims to repair any damage done to the religious holy site by Israel's criminal actions.

e) To establish an independent inquiry tribunal to investigate the crime of genocide by the Apartheid Israeli regime against the Palestinian people.

It called upon the international community to take immediate cognizance of and action against the ethnic cleansing, genocide and forced displacement of the Palestinian people; and to establish international protection mechanism for the Palestinian people. It demanded that the international community ensure accountability for all past and present grave human rights violations and crimes against humanity being perpetrated against the Palestinians through fair, impartial and independent accountability and trials.

The resolution called upon the OIC to take immediate decisive steps for the protection and safety of the Palestinian people, and to break the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza in order to provide humanitarian assistance.

Earlier, the NA suspended its routine agenda to take up the plight of the Palestinians who are faced with state sponsored terrorism by Israel for over a week.

Speaking on the floor of the House, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi expressed his “deepest sorrow and condolences for the innocent victims of lethal attacks by Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) in Gaza and the West Bank.” He condemned IDF’s continuous and indiscriminate attacks that had resulted in martyrdom of more than 140 Palestinians including 39 children and 22 women, and injured more than 1,000. He announced to observe the coming Friday as a day of solidarity with the people of Palestine and to condemn Israeli aggression against them.

He said Pakistan strongly raised its voice at the OIC and other world forums, including during interaction with world leaders, against Israeli barbarism “on Muslim brothers and sisters of Palestine.”

The foreign minister said a meeting of the foreign ministers of European Union is taking place today (Tuesday) and it is hoped that the forum will raise its voice for the sake of humanity and to protect fundamental human rights of the Palestinians.

Earlier, Leader of the Opposition in NA Shehbaz Sharif demanded of the government to observe upcoming Friday as Al-Quds Day to express solidarity with the people of Palestine.

He urged the House to pass a unanimous resolution to condemn Israeli aggression and text of the resolution should be shared with the United Nations mission in Islamabad. Sharif proposed that relief goods should immediately be dispatched through OIC and the Red Crescent to help the oppressed Palestinians.

Former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf from Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) said practical measures are required to support Palestine “instead of delivering speeches and relying on mere verbal rhetoric.”

He said “Turkey wants practical measures against Israel. Other countries should support it. It’s high time to bring an end to Israel’s Zionist aggression, the sooner the better.”

Ashraf also came down hard on international community, especially the UN, for their failure to resolve Palestine and Kashmir issue by ensuring the right to self-determination to the people of Palestine and Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

Other lawmakers from different political parties also shared their views on the occasion in strong condemnation of Israel.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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