Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki says Israel forcefully displaces Palestinians from the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds in an attempt to change the identity of the holy city.
The top diplomat made the comments at a special session of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, saying the Tel Aviv regime has displaced 100,000 Palestinians during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Israel has spared no effort to obliterate the Palestinian, Arab, Islamic and Christian identity of al-Quds,” Maliki said.
He said Israel is an occupying power, which has “no right” to defend itself against the inhabitants of the occupied territories, adding the regime continues its annexation policy and keeps committing crimes.
He also emphasized that Palestinians would “never stop resistance against the occupation.”
Over the past weeks, tensions have escalated in Jerusalem al-Quds amid the acts of aggression by Israeli troops and settlers, and the planned displacement of dozens of Palestinians from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds, where illegal Israeli settlers are looking to take over the properties of the Palestinian families.
The move has infuriated Palestinians and triggered several protest rallies against the occupying regime.
The Palestinian foreign minister said the international community is responsible to put an “end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories”, and to “defend persecuted Palestinians with deeds not just words.”
Maliki called on the UN to work toward ending the Israeli occupation of Palestine. He also stressed that the UN support for Palestinians would be siding with its own charter.
The top diplomat further said that the Israeli regime, which violates all agreements it has signed, has conducted long decades of oppression against Palestinians, and that its forces target the Palestinian people generation after generation.
“The end of aggression has to be followed by a political process, ending the occupation of our capital al-Quds and following the refugees' case,” Maliki added.
The Israeli military since May 10, has launched a bloody military onslaught against the Gaza Strip, razing many homes and civilian buildings to the ground in the already-besieged Palestinian territory.
According to Palestinian sources on Thursday, the death toll from Israel’s ongoing aggression against the besieged Gaza Strip rose to at least 232 Palestinians, after five more Palestinians were killed in Gaza earlier in the day. At least 65 children and 39 women are among the dead.
The Gaza-based resistance factions have been firing rockets into the occupied territories in response to the Israeli bloodshed. Tel Aviv said some 4,000 rockets have been launched from Gaza since the outbreak of the conflict.
UN chief calls Gaza 'hell on earth' for children
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described on Thursday the blockaded Gaza Strip as “hell on earth” for children, calling for rapid and unhindered aid access. He told the 193-member General Assembly that he would launch an appeal for humanitarian funding as soon as possible.
“If there is a hell on earth, it is the lives of children in Gaza today,” said Guterres.
"The hostilities have caused serious damage to vital civilian infrastructure in Gaza, including roads and electricity lines, contributing to a humanitarian emergency. Crossings into Gaza have been closed and power shortages are affecting water supplies,” he added.
Guterres also called for an immediate truce between the two sides and called on the Israeli regime to exercise maximum restraint.
The UN chief also called on Tel Aviv to halt demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinians.
“Israel has a duty to allow and facilitate rapid and unhindered access for humanitarian aid ... into Gaza,” Guterres further said.