People in all corners of the world are taking to the streets to protest the genocide of Palestinians by Israel, currently ongoing in Gaza and the Occupied West Bank. From London to Jakarta, Washington DC to Berlin, Paris to Islamabad, and Madrid to Jakarta, people are calling for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the occupation of Palestine. Israel’s unrestrained violence in Gaza has fully exposed Israel and its abettors to the world.
In the 75 years since the Nakba, Israel has repeatedly confirmed its status as an outpost of Western imperialism. It is a genocidal apartheid state, dedicated to the extermination of the Palestinian people. At the time of writing, Israel has brutally killed more than 11,000 Palestinians, nearly half of them children, in airstrikes and later ground incursions. The casualties include 39 journalists, 101 employees of the main United Nations agency working in the Palestinian territories, countless medical staff, and an estimated 1.6 million internally displaced Palestinians in Gaza.
The way Western capitals led by the US have responded to Israel’s large-scale destruction of entire neighbourhoods, hospitals, and refugee camps, as well as its reckless killing of children has exposed them to the world.
Israel has no shame in trampling on international laws in pursuit of its Zionist ambitions, not even sparing universities, schools, refugee camps, or hospitals in its relentless bombing campaigns. Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor estimated that Israel has dropped more than 25,000 tonnes of explosives on the Gaza Strip since October 7, which is equivalent to two nuclear bombs. It is systematically creating conditions to exterminate the Palestinian people by destroying the education, health, and civic infrastructure. It refuses to allow fuel, water, and food supplies into Gaza, leaving innocent people hungry, thirsty, injured and without medical aid, all of which are war crimes. This is a textbook case of genocide. This is a crime against humanity.
The conspiracy against the Palestinians was hatched over 100 years ago during the First World War when the British government issued the Balfour Declaration in 1917 announcing its support for the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine. To placate its guilt over the mistreatment of Jews in Europe over centuries and their extermination at the hand of Nazi Germany during the Second World War, the West prepared ground for the implementation of this plan after the war ended.
In 1948, with the full support of their Western backers, Zionist militias expelled hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes and lands, which is still remembered as a catastrophe. The children and grandchildren of approximately a million Palestinians expelled from their homes and scattered in neighbouring countries, still dream of returning to their land.
In 1967, Israel occupied territories of its neighbouring countries and more Palestinian lands. It took control of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. It gradually developed settlements in occupied lands and expanded its illegal occupation. The settlements, considered illegal under international law, hinder the prospects of a two-state solution, as they fragment the continuity of a potential Palestinian state.
Gaza, often described as an open-air prison, has been subjected to severe restrictions on the movement of people and goods. Even before the war, the densely populated strip faced challenges related to basic amenities, infrastructure, and economic development. The situation led to a humanitarian crisis, prompting comparisons to a concentration camp. The dire conditions in Gaza contributed significantly to how Hamas responded to the slow burn of Israeli oppression on 7 October 2023.
The calls for an immediate ceasefire must be heard. Beyond the immediate ceasefire, the international community must redouble its efforts to end Israeli occupation and facilitate a just and lasting resolution to this issue.
Far-right governments in Israel have consistently worked to diminish the prospects of a two-state solution by gradually annexing Palestinian territories. Is it, then, hard to understand the frustration of Palestinians, who daily see their aspirations for statehood and self-determination slipping away?
The way Western capitals led by the US have responded to Israel’s large-scale destruction of entire neighbourhoods, hospitals, and refugee camps, as well as its reckless killing of children has exposed them to the world. The blood of Palestinians is as much on their hands as it is on Israel’s. The West endorsed Israel’s right to ‘self-defence.’ The truth is, as an occupying force, Israel has no right to self-defence. It is waging a war on an imprisoned population. The people of these countries understand this and are rising against their governments. It is a matter of utter shame for Israel that hundreds of thousands of Jews are joining the protests for Palestine and calling for a ceasefire.
Their calls for an immediate ceasefire must be heard. Beyond the immediate ceasefire, the international community must redouble its efforts to end Israeli occupation and facilitate a just and lasting resolution to this issue.
Pakistan has always stood up for Palestine’s right to be free and has never recognised the state of Israel. We will do everything we can to bring Israel to de-escalate. We owe it to our Palestinian brothers. They have an inalienable right to live on their land. The injustice done to Palestine over the past almost century must be corrected. Israel must return to the 1967 boundaries and make way for a Palestinian state where Palestinians can live like any other civilised nation.