Tide turning against Israel, says FM Qureshi in CNN interview

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NEW YORK: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday night stated that the “tide was turning” against Israel as it was losing the media war despite its connections.

The foreign minister was speaking to CNN where he lashed out at Israel for its state-sanctioned massacre in Gaza, where nearly 250 Palestinian men, women and children have been killed in less than two weeks.

The minister said a ceasefire was inevitable since Israel “is losing out”.

“I am convinced, the tide is turning. I am convinced the public pressure, the pressure of public opinion mounting and the ceasefire is inevitable. Israel is losing out. They are losing the media war despite their connections,” he said before the truce was announced by Israel.

On this, the CNN anchor attempted to paint Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s comments as “anti-Semitic”.

When asked to explain what he meant, the foreign minister said Israel had a lot of influence on the global media, adding that its narrative received a lot of coverage.

Quershi said the video clips shared by citizen journalists showing Israeli violence had jolted the world prompting the people in London, Madrid, Michigan, Sydney, Chicago and capitals of European nations to demand an immediate end to that “insanity”.

“They are calling for an immediate ceasefire,” he said.

Qureshi said the UN Security Council had failed to issue a consensus statement. The UN General Assembly gave a clear message to the UNSC that it was their prime responsibility to ensure peace and security.

He said the situation could only be avoided by pursuing the two-state solution by adhering to the UNSC resolutions. The peace between Palestine and Israel could be achieved only through the two-state solution by negotiations with a ceasefire being the first step.

“This insanity must come to an end. We must promote dialogue. We must sit and talk and we must promote peace,” the foreign minister stressed.

Kashmir dispute

The top Pakistani diplomat cited the issue of occupied Kashmir, saying that Indian atrocities in the region were also not being covered as they should be, by the international media.

“Look at the atrocities that have been committed in Kashmir. Does the world talk about it? How many people have talked about it? Let’s be fair. Let’s have a fair assessment or how much coverage have that got,” he said.

Pakistan’s COVID-19 handling ‘reasonably well’

On the coronavirus situation, the minister praised Prime Minister Imran Khan, saying that his able leadership made it possible for Islamabad to tackle the crisis “reasonably well”.

He said India was reeling from the coronavirus pandemic and Pakistan, as a responsible neighbour, had offered to help New Delhi in its time of crisis but had not received any response.

It is important to note that the interview was given by the foreign minister before the ceasefire between Hamas and Israel was announced. 

Israel-Hamas ceasefire comes into force

A highly anticipated ceasefire between Israel and Hamas that runs the Palestinian Gaza Strip officially came into force early Friday at 2:00am (2300GMT Thursday).

Only celebratory gunfire was heard on Gaza streets, AFP journalists said as truce came into effect three hours after the decision was made by Netanyahu’s cabinet.

Earlier, Israel had announced a ceasefire to bring to a close an 11-day military operation in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office had issued a statement on Thursday that said his Security Cabinet has unilaterally approved the ceasefire proposal put forward by Egypt.

“The political leaders emphasized that the reality on the ground will be that which determines the future of the campaign,” the statement said.

The Egyptian-mediated decision came as the Israeli premier was under increased pressure from the US to halt the offensive.

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