The United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday held a moment of silence in memory of the “innocent lives” lost in the “occupied Palestinian territory and elsewhere,” while failing to honor those who died in Israel when attacked by troops in Palestine.
Ambassador Zaman Mehdi, the deputy permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN in Geneva was seen in a post by the UN on X, formerly known as Twitter, speaking to members of the Human Rights Council just before a moment of silence.
“On behalf of the IOC member states, we express our deep concerns over the loss of innocent lives in the occupied Palestinian territory and elsewhere,” Mehdi said. “Regrettably, this huge loss of lives and unabated violence is a sad reminder of more than seven decades of illegal foreign occupation, aggression and disrespect for the international law, including UNESCO resolutions.”
He went on to say the 16 years of what he termed illegal blockage of Gaza continued to raise questions over the applicability of international law and fundamental freedoms of the innocent civilian population. As a result, efforts to normalize the area is “breeding violence,” Mehdi said.
“In this context, the so-called declaration of war and attacks on civilian population and their properties is deeply distressing,” he said. “We remain concerned about the human cost of the escalating situation.”
A video of the moment of silence showed all members of the Human Rights Council standing, despite omitting the innocent lives of those lost in Israel.
US Permanent Representative to the Human Rights Council, Michèle Taylor also requested a moment of silence on Monday, asking to commemorate the lives of people killed in the Hamas attack on Israel.
Taylor said, with a “heavy heart,” that the calamity on Oct. 7, 2023, and the days since resulted in the deaths of “hundreds and hundreds of innocent civilian lives lost,” and the count continues to go up.’
She also said thousands were injured and more than a hundred men, women, children, people with disabilities and elderly individuals were kidnapped.
“The United States unequivocally condemns these heinous acts of terrorism. We extend our deepest condolences to the families affected and express our solidarity with the people and government of Israel in these trying times,” Taylor said before requesting a moment of silence from the council.
“As we stand in silence, let us reaffirm our collective commitment to promoting peace, justice, and human rights across the globe, and let our silence resound as a united stand against terrorism and violence.”