Selangor Journal
Palestinians gather around residential buildings destroyed in Israeli strikes in Zahra City, amid the conflict between Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in southern Gaza City, on October 19, 2023. — Picture by REUTERS

Vote to stop the killing, Palestinian permanent observer pleads to UNGA

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 27 — Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine, says justice for the Palestinian people is the only way forward, asserting that further violence will not solve the present conflict.

Riyad, who spoke first at the emergency special session on the Israel-Gaza conflict of UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday, urged a vote to halt the ongoing violence, advocate justice over vengeance and peace over further warfare.

He said nothing can justify war crimes and crimes against humanity.

“The answer to the killing of Israelis and Palestinians is not more killing. Vote to stop the killing, vote to stop this madness. Choose justice, not vengeance. Choose peace, not more wars. Vote to put an end to almost three weeks of the worst double standards we have seen in decades.

“Why not feel a sense of urgency in ending the killing,” he asked, adding that “You are setting us back 80 years by trying to justify what Israel is doing now.”

Riyad, who emotionally narrated the tragedies endured by Palestnian families in the conflict, also highlighted that about 1,000 Palestinians were killed daily.

“We are meeting here while Palestinians in Gaza are under the bombs. You are speaking while families are being killed, while hospitals are coming to a halt, while neighbourhoods are being destroyed, while people are fleeing from one place to another with no safe place to go.

“There is no time to mourn,” he said tearfully, pointing to the rising death toll.

After Riyad, Gilad Erdan, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Israel to UN, in defending his country, said the conflict that began on October 7 and what ensued ‘has nothing’ to do with the Palestinians, the Arab-Israeli conflict or the Palestinian question.

“This is not a war with the Palestinians, Israel is at war with Hamas,” he said.

Meanwhile, UNGA president Dennis Francis on the onset said the violence in the Israel-Gaza conflict must end, and an immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire, as well as the opening of aid corridors, were essential.

Francis said he was ‘deeply disturbed and distraught’ at the events unfolding in Israel and Palestine.

“All parties to this conflict must abide by International Humanitarian Law and immediately create the necessary conditions to allow for the opening of a humanitarian corridor to the Gaza Strip,” he said, emphasising that urgently needed lifesaving assistance must reach those in need.

The Palestinian death toll from the Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip since October 7 rose to 7,028, the Health Ministry in Gaza announced on Thursday.

Gaza’s 2.3 million residents have been running out of food, water, medicine, and fuel, and aid convoys allowed into Gaza have carried only a fraction of what is needed.

— Bernama

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