Islamabad: Pakistan has underscored the need for intensified efforts to resolve the ‘core issue’ of Palestine for Middle East peace, saying now is the time for a strong UN Security Council signal to Israel to stop â€œland grabbingâ€ in occupied Palestinian territory.
‘With the continuation of the Israeli settlement activity, hope for the Palestinians to have a viable State of their own is fading fast,’ Pakistan Ambassador to the UN, Abdullah Hussain told a high-level meeting of the 15-member Council.
The meeting was chaired by the British Foreign Secretary and attended by the Foreign Ministers of France, Guatemala, Russia, Portugal and Germany, as well as the US Secretary of State.
‘Denial of the Palestinian right to self-determination is at the heart of unrest in the region,’ he said, while reaffirming Pakistan’s full support to their just struggle for statehood and U.N, membership, according to a statement received here on Tuesday from Pakistanâ€™s UN mission.
‘For lasting peace in the Middle East, progress on Syria-Israel and Lebanon-Israel conflicts is necessary as well,’ the Pakistani envoy added. ‘Israel must withdraw completely from occupied Lebanese land and the Syrian Golan, in compliance with relevant General Assembly and Security Council Resolutions.’
Noting that the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory is becoming increasingly volatile, Haroon said, ‘Factors like ever increasing settlement activity as well as settler violence, continued blockade of Gaza, diminishing economic prospects for the population, vandalization of the holy sites, plight of the Palestinian prisoners etc mean that people are at tenterhooks.’
He said the Arab Spring would never be complete without peace between Arabs and Israelis, he said. The Pakistani envoy regretted that the Security Council had not produced any cogent decision. The biggest challenge of the Middle East remained the Palestinian question, and the Palestinian people must benefit from the Arab Spring.( KMW NEWS)