NEW YORK: Pakistan has welcomed the announcement of a ceasefire in Gaza as an 11-day crisis has left at least 232 Palestinians dead in Israeli air strikes.
“Pakistan welcomes the announcement of a ceasefire,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said in a tweet Friday.
“This is the power of collective, unified action; this is the effort of every person and every nation, together for a just cause.”
The foreign minister also prayed for abiding peace for the Palestinians. “May this ceasefire be the 1st step towards peace in Palestine,” he said.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Israel’s occupation of Palestine must end and illegal settlements and the apartheid-like regime imposed in the occupied territories must be dismantled.
He also underscored the need for implementation of the United Nations resolution for the establishment of an independent and contiguous Palestinian State with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital
The Pakistani foreign minister is in New York where he, along with the foreign ministers of Turkey, Palestine and Tunis, attended an emergency session of United Nations General Assembly on Palestine crisis.
‘Israel be held accountable for crimes against humanity’
Reacting to the development, Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said “this is a baby first step by the US to realising Palestinian rights”.
“Ceasefire is a welcome start but what is needed is the fulfilment of UN commitment to a Palestinian state & Israel being held accountable for crimes against humanity carried out against the Palestinians,” she added.
Israel and Hamas announced a ceasefire after they agreed to an Egyptian-brokered proposal. Palestinian groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad also confirmed the development.
A statement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said the security cabinet “unanimously accepted the recommendations to accept an Egyptian initiative for an unconditional ceasefire.
In a televised address, US President Joe Biden said both sides agreed the truce would begin immediately.
At least 232 Palestinians, including 65 children, have been martyred in 11 days of Israeli brutal and barbaric bombardment.