FM Qureshi Makes Fiery Speech At UNGA, Calls For Deployment Of International Protection Force In Palestine

ImageOn Thursday, the Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, urged the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to deploy a global protection force to safeguard Palestinians against Israeli oppression and take urgent steps against the apartheid State of Israel.

“We should establish an international protection force that was designated in the General Assembly resolution ES10/20 and as necessitated by the Islamic Summit Conference on the 18th of May 2018,” Qureshi said while addressing an emergency UNGA session in New York.

On Wednesday evening, the foreign minister reached New York on a Palestine peace mission to attend a UNGA emergency meeting called by the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) and the Arab League.

Qureshi called upon the UNGA to take tangible steps to protect Palestinians and hold Israel accountable for its “war crimes.”

“If the Security Council cannot agree to send the protection force, a coalition of the willing can be created to provide at least civilian witnesses to monitor a suspension of hostilities and oversee the provision of humanitarian help to Palestinians,” he said. 

“Israel’s crimes against humanity should not escape answerability,” he added.

“There should be no exception for violation of international law.” 

So far, over 50,000 Palestinians have been declared homeless in the Gaza Strip, where they face a shortage of water, food, and health services.

The foreign minister pressed the global community to mobilize all possible humanitarian assistance for the Palestinians in Gaza and other regions of the occupied territories.

“Israel must clear all access points to Gaza to ensure appropriate and urgent delivery of international assistance,” he said.

“The voice of Palestinians cannot and will not be quieted.”

“It is horrifying that the Security Council has been incapable of exercising its primary responsibility for the preservation of international peace and security,” Qureshi said, adding that the Council had even failed to demand a cessation of hostilities.

“Those stopping the Council from doing so bear a heavy responsibility,” he added.

Qureshi said the global community must not fail the Palestinian people at such a critical juncture.

“Our priority must be to halt the Israeli aggression,” he noted.

“Let’s be clear: there’s no military equivalence between the beleaguered and occupied Palestinian people and the Israeli war machines.”

“This is a ‘war’ between a military occupier and an occupied people,” Qureshi said.

The minister said there was a need to implement the Security Council and UNGA resolutions for a “viable, independent and contiguous Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

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