- Israeli military’s new airstrikes end more than a year of calm.
- 10 Palestinians killed as Israeli airstrikes hit Gaza.
- PM says if barbarism had a face, it would be that of Israel.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Saturday condemned Israel’s killing of Palestinians in Gaza as fresh violence continued a second day, ending more than a year of relative calm along the border.
Israel on Friday said it had launched a special operation against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, killing one of its senior commanders in a surprise daytime air strike on a high-rise building in Gaza City.
Health authorities in the enclave controlled by Hamas said 10 people had been killed by Israel’s bombardment, including a five-year-old girl, with 79 others injured. Israel’s army estimated that its operation had killed 15.
In a tweet, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said the martyrdom of 10 Palestinians, including a five-year-old girl in Gaza, is the latest act of Israeli terrorism.
“If impunity and barbarism had a face, it would have been that of Israel, which has targeted Palestinians without any care for consequences. Pakistan strongly condemns Israeli airstrikes.”
Latest spate of aggression typical of Israeli atrocities: FO
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a brief statement, said that Pakistan strongly condemns recent air strikes by Israel on Gaza that resulted in deaths including of a five-year old girl, and injuries to so many innocent Palestinians.
“The latest spate of aggression is typical of the Israeli atrocities, illegal actions and indiscriminate use of force against innocent Palestinians over the decades in complete defiance of international human rights and humanitarian laws,” the Foreign Office said.
Pakistan called upon the international community to urge Israel to put an immediate end to the “blatant use of force and flagrant violations of human rights” of the Palestinian people. “It is imperative to immediately stop the aggression,” the Foreign Office stressed.
“We renew our call for a viable, independent and contiguous Palestinian State, with pre-1967 borders, and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital being the only just, comprehensive and lasting solution of the Palestinian question, in accordance with the relevant United Nations and OIC resolutions,” the statement read.
In the occupied West Bank, the Israeli military said it had apprehended 19 Islamic Jihad members in overnight arrest raids.
Palestinian freedom fighters fired at least 160 rockets over the border, the military said, some deep into Israel toward the commercial hub Tel Aviv.
Most of the missiles were intercepted, and a few people were lightly injured when running to shelters.
Egypt, the United Nations and Qatar had begun mediating an end to the violence, according to a Palestinian official with knowledge of the efforts, “but no breakthrough yet”, the official said.
A Western-backed Palestinian Authority official condemned Israel’s attacks.
“We call on the international community to intervene and provide protection for our people,” Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh said on Twitter.
Further escalation would largely depend on Hamas, the group which controls Gaza, and whether it would opt to join the fighting.
Tensions rose this week after Israeli forces arrested an Islamic Jihad commander in the West Bank, drawing threats of retaliation from the group.
The frontier had been largely quiet since May 2021, when 11 days of fierce fighting between Israel and militants left at least 250 people in Gaza and 13 in Israel dead.
— Additional input from AFP and Reuters