FM Jilani: Pakistan Ready to Airlift Gaza Victims, Establish Health Facility

Pakistan has expressed its readiness to provide humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians who have been suffering from the Israeli aggression and siege in Gaza, the caretaker foreign minister said on Friday.

Jalil Abbas Jilani, who was responding to a calling attention notice in the Senate, said that Pakistan had offered to airlift the injured Palestinians and bring them to Pakistan for treatment. He said that this offer had been conveyed to Jordan and Egypt, the two countries that have been mediating the ceasefire talks between Israel and Hamas.

However, he said that there were some problems and challenges in delivering the aid to Gaza, as Israel’s permission was also needed. He said that Egypt had informed Pakistan that Israel also scrutinized the injured to make sure that no Hamas member was taken away.

Jilani also said that Pakistan had proposed to establish a hospital in Gaza, but the situation in the besieged territory was not conducive for any country to set up a health facility. He cited the example of Indonesia, whose hospital in Gaza had been destroyed by the Israeli bombardment.

The foreign minister said that Pakistan was among the few countries that had played an active role in putting pressure on Israel to stop its aggression and to resolve the Palestinian issue. He said that Pakistan had participated in the recent meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Jeddah, where it was among the eight countries that helped produce a consensus document.

He also said that Pakistan had contributed to the passage of the United Nations resolution floated by Jordan, which condemned the Israeli attacks and called for the protection of civilians and the lifting of the blockade on Gaza. He said that he had received calls from 10 to 15 foreign ministers who appreciated Pakistan’s role in developing consensus.

Jilani said that the support that the Palestinians had received in Europe and the US showed that the Israeli and Western narrative had failed. He said that the Palestinian issue had come to the center stage because of what had happened in the last month.

The foreign minister’s remarks came as the Israel-Hamas truce came into effect on Friday after more than a month of violence in Gaza that killed over 14,000 people, mostly civilians, including children and women. The truce involved a comprehensive ceasefire in north and south Gaza, the release of 13 Israeli women and child hostages by Hamas later in the day and the flow of aid into the devastated Palestinian enclave.

Israel had launched its devastating invasion of Gaza after gunmen from Hamas burst across the border fence on October 7, killing 1,200 people and seizing about 240 hostages, according to Israeli tallies. Hundreds of thousands of Gaza’s 2.3 million people had fled their homes to escape the violence, but conditions had become more desperate.

Pakistan has been a staunch supporter of the Palestinian cause and has repeatedly condemned the Israeli aggression and occupation. Pakistan has also been providing humanitarian and diplomatic assistance to the Palestinians over the years.

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