ISLAMABAD: Army chief General Syed Asim Munir condemned Israel for its “unabated violence and indiscriminate killing” in Gaza on Tuesday during his meeting with the Palestinian ambassador to Pakistan, Ahmad Jawad Rabei, the army’s media wing said.
Munir’s meeting with the Palestinian ambassador takes place as Israel continues to pound Gaza with air strikes. On late Monday, the Israeli military said it was preparing for “unrelenting attacks” to dismantle Hamas in Gaza. Israel has killed at least 5,000 Palestinians since Oct. 7 in air strikes it says is in response to an attack launched by Hamas’s military wing two weeks ago.
During the meeting at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, Munir expressed condolences over the loss of Palestinian lives in Gaza, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.
“COAS [chief of army staff] expressed grave concern over unabated violence and willful, indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians by the Israeli Defense Forces in the war,” the army’s media wing said. Munir said incessant attacks on Palestinian population, schools, hospitals, aid workers and the forced exodus of civilians were “manifest crimes” against humanity.
He called for an immediate end to hostilities in the Middle East, the opening of a humanitarian corridor to Gaza and protection of Palestinian civilians, the ISPR said.
On Oct. 9, Israel announced a “total” blockade of the already besieged Gaza Strip, causing over 2.3 million people in the territory to run short of basic food and medical items. A convoy of humanitarian aid trucks delivered water, food and medicine to the Gaza Strip on Monday — the third since aid began flowing on Saturday — but the United Nations said fuel was not included and reserves will run out within two days.
The UN has said desperate Gazans also lack places to shelter from the unrelenting pounding that has flattened swathes of the Hamas-ruled enclave.
“Pakistan believes that the fresh spate of violence in Gaza is the result of unabated repression, continued human rights violations and state-sponsored sacrilege of Al Aqsa mosque,” the army chief was quoted as saying.
“Conflating this war with terrorism would be naive; taking a narrow and self-serving view of the issue as an isolated attack, obscures brutal oppression spanning decades that has led to this outcome.”
Munir called on the international community to mobilize and put an end to the human tragedy in Gaza brought about by Israel’s disproportionate use of force. He urged the world to desist from “encouraging” Israel to continue with its atrocities in Palestine.
Pakistan does not recognize Israel and has consistently called for the creation of an independent Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 borders, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.