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Dhaka calls UNSC to hold Israel accountable for war crimes

Foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday urged United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to hold Israel accountable on war crime charges for its ongoing attacks on Palestinian civilians, UN aid workers and health personnel defying international human rights laws.

Momen, now in Jeddah to join an open-ended extraordinary meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Executive Committee over the ongoing Israeli atrocities in Gaza, asked the OIC to take a lead to arrange a special UNGA meeting over the issue.

“We strongly condemn the barbaric bombing on Gaza hospital which is totally unacceptable,” he said.

Momen also supported a Gambian proposal for convening an International Peace Conference on this issue.

“We call upon the Security Council to condemn the killing of UN and other aid workers, health personnel and journalists in Gaza and hold Israel accountable for its war crimes and disrespect for international humanitarian and human rights laws,” Momen said.

According to OIC said the urgently-called special OIC meeting drew foreign ministers of the member countries to “discuss the aggression against the Gaza Strip and the deteriorating humanitarian situation, which poses a threat to the security of civilians and jeopardizes regional stability”.

Saudi Arabia is the current OIC chair.

The foreign minister said Bangladesh strongly condemned the Israeli aggression in the occupied Palestinian territory which has resulted in loss of over 3000 lives, 1/3 of whom are children.

“We strongly condemn the barbaric bombing on Gaza hospital which is totally unacceptable,” he said.

The foreign minister said the current asymmetric war waged by Israel in Gaza targeting the civilians was not only disproportionate, it tantamount to “collective punishment of Palestinians” in contravention of all fundamental principles of human rights and humanitarian law.

“We therefore call for urgent ceasefire in Gaza achieved through dialogue among all relevant parties,” he said.

The foreign minister said the humanitarian situation in Gaza had reached to all time low with Israel’s denial of humanitarian access and indiscriminate attacks on civilian infrastructure.

“We regret that the Security Council failed to adopt a resolution tabled by Russian Federation (16 October) to enable humanitarian support in Gaza and reiterate our call for immediate humanitarian assistance for the affected population,” he said.

The foreign minister said Dhaka also rejected unequivocally Israel’s call to forcibly displace the Palestinians out of their own homeland – which will further deteriorate the humanitarian situation in the entire region which tantamount to ethnic cleansing.

“No one wins by killing innocent people and the killers are surely the losers in the hearts and minds of people,” he said.

He said Bangladesh called upon the international community to address the root causes of the conflict.

Momen said that Dhaka believed an enduring solution to this recurring problem could only be achieved through realisation of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and their right to have an independent and sovereign state.

He said Dhaka believed that the international community should come together towards realizing this solution, he added.

The Bangladesh foreign minister urged entire Muslim Ummah to stand strong together and work to stop the massacre in Palestine and to ensure lasting peace.