ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani on Tuesday condemned Israel for relentlessly bombing Rafah, a Palestinian city in the southern Gaza Strip, where it killed about 70 people, including women and children, while carrying out what it described as a rescue operation to free two Israeli-Argentine hostages.
Israel besieged Gaza and launched airstrikes after a surprise attack was initiated by Hamas on Oct. 7 in response to the deteriorating condition of Palestinian people living under Israeli occupation.
The international community widely condemned the administration of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for launching a disproportionate response to the Hamas attack that killed about 1,200 people before the Palestinian group took around 250 hostages.
In recent weeks, nearly 1.4 million Palestinians fled to Rafah to escape Israel-Hamas fighting. Many of these people have lost their homes and dozens of family members in Israeli airstrikes that have left much of the Gaza Strip uninhabitable.
“Israel’s recent bombing and offensive in Rafah is deplorable and a grave violation of international law and human rights,” Jilani said in a social media post. “Pakistan condemns these acts of violence against innocent Palestinians and calls for an immediate ceasefire. The world cannot afford to look away.”
Pakistan and much of the rest of the world community have been consistently demanding a ceasefire by Israel, though the Netanyahu administration has been supported by the United States and its European allies to continue military operation.
The Palestinian death toll from the war has surpassed 28,000, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza, with more than a quarter of Gaza’s residents starving.