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Pakistan: Israel’s Gaza offensive aims to erase ‘idea of Palestine’

ISLAMABAD(Palestine Foundation Information Center)Pakistan’s top diplomat at the United Nations said on Tuesday Israel’s war on Gaza was not to destroy Hamas following a surprise attack launched by the group in October but to erase the “idea of Palestine” as the UN General Assembly passed a resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian cease-fire.

Israel resorted to airstrikes and initiated a ground offensive in Gaza after the Oct. 7 attack that killed 1,200 people and was described by Hamas as a response to the deteriorating condition of Palestinian people living under Israeli occupation.

According to Gaza’s health ministry, more than 18,000 Palestinians have been killed and nearly 50,000 wounded in Israel’s attacks which also targeted hospitals and residential neighborhoods.

Prior to the UN General Assembly vote, US President Joe Biden, whose administration has fully backed the war on Gaza, told a fundraising event for his 2024 re-election campaign that Israel was losing international support because of “indiscriminate bombing that takes place.”

“Israel’s goal is not only to erase Hamas,” Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations Ambassador Munir Akram said while addressing the world body. “This is a war against the Palestinian people. Israel’s goal is to erase not only a people but the entire idea of Palestine.”

The United States, which previously vetoed a call by the UN Security Council for cease-fire, tried to amend the text of the General Assembly resolution with Austria to condemn “the heinous terrorist attacks by Hamas” but could not find enough support.

Ambassador Akram argued against the amendment, saying any blame “has to be placed on both parties, especially on Israel.”

“When you deny people freedom and dignity, when you humiliate and trap them in an open-air prison where you kill them as if they were beasts, they become very angry and they do to others what was done to them,” he said. “Therefore, for Austria and my friend from the United States to blame Hamas in their amendments is not equitable.”

The Pakistani diplomat noted over 80 percent of Gaza’s population had been driven out of their homes while thousands were missing and buried under the rubble.

“Is this any form of legitimate self-defense,” he wondered, asking the UN members to see the “one-sided slaughter that is taking place” while trying to put an end to it.

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