Palestinian UN envoy warns of existential threat against his nation
The Palestinian foreign minister Riyadh al-Maliki has warned of existential threat challenging the Palestinian nation urging for international protection for Palestinians.
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Addressing a UN Security Council meeting on the situation in Gaza, Riyad al-Maliki said Israel does not seek security but wants to eliminate any chance for the creation of a Palestinian state.
“If it was, it would choose peace,” he said, adding that Israel, and this Israeli cabinet specifically considers that the strategic threat it is confronted with is Palestinian statehood.
"Our people are faced with an existential threat. Make no mistake about it. With all the talk about the destruction of Israel, it is Palestine that is facing a plan to destroy it, implemented in broad daylight," the UN website quoted him as saying.
The protection of Palestinians cannot be ensured by the occupying forces who are complicit in these crimes, he said.
“We need international protection and international action to end impunity so as to prevent the recurrence of these crimes that occur daily and in broad daylight,” he said. “What our people are enduring now is the result of the international community’s failure to provide such protection and accountability.”
He said the world must also put an end to the impunity of the Israeli regime and prosecute it over its war crimes.
Maliki said Israel is trying to intimidate those criticizing it and defending the rule of international law across the globe, including governments that consider themselves allies of Israel, the UN secretary general and UN agencies, human rights, and humanitarian organizations.
He touched on the ongoing Gaza truce, saying it must become a permanent ceasefire to put an end to Israeli atrocities.
"The truce must become a ceasefire, a permanent ceasefire. The massacres cannot be allowed to resume," Maliki told the council.
“This is not a war,” he said. “This is a carnage that no one can justify. It must be brought to an end.”
“Over 15,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israel. Over 10,000 of them are women and children. They have been killed by Israel. They did not lose their life; it was taken away. No one is safe in Gaza, not the children, not the doctors, not the humanitarian personnel, not the journalists, not the UN staff.
They were killed at an unprecedented pace in modern history,” he said.
“Gaza has a very special place in our national history,” he said. “Its name today is how many people spell Palestine around the world. It cannot be erased. Our people cannot be uprooted from it. Its Palestinianness cannot be altered. There is no Palestine without Gaza. Gaza bleeds, Gaza suffers, Gaza aches, but Gaza lives. And Palestine lives. Free Palestine. That is the only path to peace.”
He said the siege on Gaza must also be ended and the people of the coastal strip must be allowed to return to their homes.
The ongoing truce in the latest conflict between Israel and Hamas was scheduled to expire early Thursday after a six-day pause in the fighting, which has seen 60 Israeli captives and 180 Palestinian prisoners released.
The truce has brought a temporary halt to the Israeli war on Gaza, which started on October 7 after Hamas’s surprise operation that caught the regime flat-footed.
Israel's air and ground campaign in Gaza has killed over 15,000 people, mostly civilians, and reduced large parts of the north of the territory to rubble.