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Pakistan Slams US Veto on Gaza Ceasefire Resolution

Pakistan has strongly condemned the US for blocking a UN Security Council resolution that would have called for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire in Gaza, where Israeli airstrikes have killed more than 17,000 people, mostly women and children.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the Foreign Office said Pakistan was “deeply disappointed” that the UNSC had failed to act on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, despite the warnings of the UN Secretary-General and the appeals of the Arab nations.

The statement said Pakistan reiterated its demand for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire in Gaza, and urged Israel to stop its “barbaric attacks and inhumane siege” against the besieged enclave.

“Pakistan calls upon the UN Security Council to fulfil its primary responsibility to maintain international peace and security, and to protect the people of Gaza from an impending genocide,” the statement said.

The statement added that the continuation of Israel’s aggression in occupied Palestine would not only prolong human suffering, but also trigger a wider and more dangerous conflict in the region.

“Pakistan holds all those responsible who have contributed to the prolongation of the uninterrupted bombing of the people of Gaza,” the statement said.

The US vetoed the resolution on Friday, arguing that it would not help to end the violence and that it would leave Hamas, the Palestinian group that controls Gaza, in a position to resume its rocket attacks on Israel.

The US deputy UN representative Robert Wood said the resolution was “rushed” and “unbalanced”, and that it did not address the root causes of the conflict.

The resolution was sponsored by the United Arab Emirates. The UAE representative said he was “deeply disappointed” that the council was unable to demand a humanitarian ceasefire, and that the resolution reflected the “overwhelming consensus” of the international community.

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had convened an emergency meeting of the UNSC on Friday, after weeks of fighting that have left Gaza in ruins, with thousands of homes destroyed, hospitals overwhelmed, and water and electricity supplies cut off.

Guterres had warned that Gaza was on the brink of a “humanitarian catastrophe”, and that the “collective punishment” of the Palestinian people by Israel was “unacceptable”.

He had also called for an immediate cessation of hostilities and a political dialogue to resolve the underlying issues of the conflict.

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