Pakistan expresses ‘serious concern” over Palestine situation

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has expressed ‘serious concern’ on the "grave situation" in Palestine where Israeli forces stormed a mosque and committed ‘grave human rights violations’, Islamabad said in a statement

May 15, 2021
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Pakistan

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has expressed ‘serious concern’ on the "grave situation" in Palestine where Israeli forces stormed a mosque and committed ‘grave human rights violations’, Islamabad said in a statement.

Qureshi contacted Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud on Friday to express ‘Pakistan's serious concern’, said a statement from the Foreign Office (FO).

"FM Qureshi expressed Pakistan’s serious concerns on the storming of the Al Aqsa Mosque and grave human rights violations. He condemned the continued attacks by the Israeli Defence Forces against the Palestinians, in particular innocent civilians and children, adding that the Israeli acts defied all norms of humanity and international law," said the statement, according to a Dawn report.

It added that Qureshi also recalled the Pakistan-Saudi Arabia joint statement issued during PM Imran Khan's recent visit to the country, recalling that the statement included the shared perspective of the two countries on the Palestinian issue.

"The foreign minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s full support for the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, especially their right to self-determination and establishment of their independent state with pre-1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative and relevant UN resolutions."

The Saudi foreign minister, in turn, also expressed his reservations on the "serious developments in Palestine" and briefed FM Qureshi on the initiatives being taken to address the situation.

Qureshi further welcomed Saudi Arabia's initiative to convene an emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's (OIC) executive committee at the foreign ministers' level on May 16 and assured of "Pakistan’s unequivocal support for the just cause of Palestine".

Israeli forces stormed the Al-Aqsa mosque earlier this month after Palestinians resisted forced evictions from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

In response to tear gas and shelling at Islam's third holiest site on Laylatul Qadr, rockets were fired at Israel by Hamas from Gaza, to which Israel responded by a barrage of airstrikes on Monday, which have intensified in six days since then.

Around 120 Palestinians, including dozens of children and women have been killed by Israeli forces in the past week with several neighborhoods and apartment buildings destroyed.

On Friday, Palestinians grabbed their children and belongings and fled neighborhoods on the outskirts of Gaza City as Israel unleashed a heavy barrage of artillery fire and airstrikes, killing a family of six in their home.

Israel said it was clearing a network of militant tunnels ahead of a possible ground invasion.

 (SAM)

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