As Israeli aerial bombardment of the besieged Gaza Strip continues, Pakistan on Friday put its weight behind a proposal to deploy a protection force in Palestine, Anadolu reports.
“We need to consider ways to prevent a recurrence of this slaughter,” Foreign Minister Munir Akram told the UN General Assembly.
The foreign ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation “have proposed deployment of a protection force to safeguard Palestinian civilians in the Gaza and perhaps also in the West Bank,” he said.
“We should give serious consideration” to the proposal, Akram told the world body.
“The Israeli killing machine must be stopped in Gaza and the West Bank.”
The veteran diplomat also slammed Israel’s attacks on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who this week condemned Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks but also said they did not come from nowhere, urging the General Assembly to “stand behind him.”
“We are repelled by the crude and disrespectful Israeli response to the secretary-general’s circumspect and valid views. The General Assembly should collectively reject these insulting remarks and reaffirm our full confidence in the secretary-general,” Akram said.
The conflict in Gaza began on Oct. 7 when the Palestinian group Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood – a multi-pronged surprise attack that included a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel by land, sea, and air
Hamas said the incursion was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and growing violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians
The Israeli military then launched a relentless bombardment of Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, with a ground operation widely expected, despite warnings of its possible dire impact.
Nearly 8,800 people have been killed in the conflict, including at least 7,326 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis. Some 70% of the deaths in Gaza are women and children, according to official figures.