New York, 27 April 2022 (TDI): During the United Nations Security Council Open Debate on “the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine Question,” the Permanent Representative and Ambassador of Pakistan gave a statement.

Following is the text of the statement:

Mr. President,

Pakistan welcomes the convening by the UK Presidency of this open debate on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question. We express our grave concern on the latest developments in the occupied Palestinian territories.

In recent weeks, Israeli forces have killed dozens and injured hundreds of Palestinians in the occupied Jerusalem through raids and use of tear gas by drones against innocent worshippers in the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque.

These assaults coming as they do during the holy month of Ramadan are egregious violations of humanitarian norms and human rights laws, says a press release received here today from New York. Mr. President,

On 15 April 2022, the OIC Group in New York in its statement on the situation condemned the intrusions by the Israeli occupation forces and extremist settlers into the sacred Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif, which were marked by acts of aggression on worshipers and in violation of the sanctity of the mosque and worship rites therein;

Warned of the dire implications of such reckless aggravation of religious sensitivities, which risk further destabilization of this fragile situation that could gravely impact regional and international peace and security;

Demanded the immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces from Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif; the immediate release of all detained worshippers; and an end to all of these violations;

Reiterated their absolute rejection of any attempts to alter the historical and legal status quo in the Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, including the Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif; and Called on the international community, most notably the UN Security Council, to ensure protection for Palestinian civilians.

Mr. President,

These recent actions by Israeli forces are a disturbing codicil to the Israeli aggression against the Holy Al Aqsa Mosque in May last year, which inflamed tensions and triggered the most serious outbreak of hostilities between Palestinians and Israel in several years.

Pakistan believes that there is no question in anybody’s mind that Israel’s actions in the occupied Palestinian lands – the seizure of land and properties for Israeli settlements; the violence against unarmed Palestinian children, women and men; the blockade of Gaza; and the desecration of Holy Al-Aqsa – are of these all grave violations of Security Council resolutions and international law, including humanitarian law.

Second, there is no moral, legal or political equivalence between Israel, the occupying State, and the occupied and oppressed Palestinian people. The Palestinian struggle for self-determination and implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions is legitimate; the Israeli repression of the occupied Palestinian people is illegitimate; Third, the perpetuation of Israeli occupation will not bring peace to the Holy Land.

If history is a guide, even if they are dispossessed and disempowered by Israel, every succeeding generation of Palestinians will persist in seeking their freedom and fundamental rights, including their right to self-determination; and Lastly, the two-State formula, involving the establishment of a sovereign, contiguous and viable Palestinian State, living side by side with Israel within recognized and accepted pre-1967 boundaries with Al Quds al Sharif as it capital offers the only solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. A peace process to achieve this objective must be revived.

I thank you.