Asia - Pacific

Pakistan's military expresses 'unequivocal' diplomatic, moral support to Palestinians

Army chief's statement comes amid growing domestic anger over killing of civilians in Gaza

Amir Latif Arain  | 17.10.2023 - Update : 17.10.2023
Pakistan's military expresses 'unequivocal' diplomatic, moral support to Palestinians

KARACHI, Pakistan

Pakistan's army chief on Tuesday said that Islamabad will continue to support Palestinians in their struggle to end the "unlawful occupation of their territories and Muslims’ sacred places.”

“The Palestinian people have unequivocal diplomatic, moral, and political support of the Pakistani nation and we will continue to support the principled stance of our brethren for enduring resolution of the Palestinian issue and end to the unlawful occupation of their territories and Muslims’ sacred places, ” Gen. Asim Munir said while addressing a corps commanders’ meetings at the army headquarters in the northeastern garrison city of Rawalpindi.

The commanders’ meeting viewed "with concern the developments taking place in the Gaza-Israel war and the enormous human cost being imposed on the innocent civilians due to the disproportionate use of force by Israel," said a statement from the army's media wing.

The army chief's statement coincided with growing domestic anger and Islamabad's intensified diplomacy seeking an end to the killing of civilians in Gaza and the large-scale displacement of Palestinians.

A day earlier, Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said Islamabad has decided to immediately dispatch humanitarian relief assistance to Gaza, to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinians.

In a statement, the ministry said Islamabad is coordinating with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, relevant UN agencies, the government of Egypt, and Pakistan missions abroad to finalize modalities of aid delivery.

Eleven days into the conflict with Palestinian group Hamas, Israel's bombardment and blockade of the Gaza Strip has continued, with over one million people displaced – almost half of Gaza's total population, according to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

The fighting began when Hamas on Oct. 7 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. It said the incursion was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and increased violence by Israeli settlers.

The Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

Israel's response has extended into cutting water and electricity supplies to Gaza, further worsening the living conditions in an area that has reeled under a crippling siege since 2007.

According to an unofficial tally, more than 2,800 Palestinians, including 750 children, have been killed in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, while the death toll from such Israeli attacks in the West Bank has reached 60.

At least 1,400 Israelis have been killed in the ongoing armed conflict.

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