Israel must stop building settlements on occupied lands: Pakistan

International Press Releases

Islamabad: Reiterating its support to the Palestinians’ right to self-determination, Pakistan Tuesday called on Israel to cease all settlement activity on occupied Palestinian territories to promote peace in the Middle East, says a press release received here today from United Nations.

“We also call for complete lifting of the blockade in Gaza,” Tahir Hussain Andrabi, the Pakistani delegate, to told the General Assembly’s Fourth Committee, which deals with special political decolonization matters.

He was speaking in a debate on the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories.

The Pakistani delegate said that the report had documented the state of human rights of the Palestinians and other Arab peoples in the occupied territories. The situation was characterized by violation of the Palestinian people’s rights to self‑determination, freedom of movement, education, commerce, and religion.

The Special Committee, he said, had also detected an alarmingly high level of impunity enjoyed by the occupation forces. The brunt of that impunity was especially felt by the vulnerable segments of the society like women, children, and refugees, and ending it was important for building an environment of trust and confidence.

Andrabi said Palestinian heritage was also being destroyed by changing the status of age‑old cemeteries, mosques and churches. Pakistan called on the Israeli authorities to meet their international obligations and cease all settlement activity.

He said that denial of the Palestinian’s right to self‑determination was at the heart of the Arab‑Israeli conflict. The application of the United Nations membership was an expression of the inalienable right to self‑determination, and Pakistan supported Palestine in that endeavour.

For lasting peace in the Middle East, he said, progress on Syria‑Israel and Lebanon‑Israel tracks was also necessary. Living conditions in the occupied Syrian Golan had been affected by inequitable water distribution, discrimination against local workers and high rates of taxation.

Israel must withdraw completely from Lebanese land and the Syrian Golan in compliance with relevant General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, the Pakistani delegate said. Pakistan wanted peace for all inhabitants of the Middle East, regardless of religion, ethnicity, or nationality.

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Haji Ahmed Malik
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