Pakistan bans New year festivities in solidarity with Gaza Strip

The Pakistani Prime Minister urged all Pakistani citizens to show solidarity with the people of Gaza and "observe simplicity" for the new year.

Anwaar ul Haq Kakar, Pakistan’s caretaker prime minister, announced on Thursday his intention to ban all New Year’s festivities across the country in solidarity with Palestine during the continued aggression on Gaza.

Pakistani broadcaster Geo News quoted the PM announcing that the government has banned all celebrations related to the New Year and urging “all Pakistanis: show solidarity with the oppressed Palestinians and observe simplicity with the dawn of the new year.”

Israeli occupation forces are carrying out destructive and brutal raids in residential areas in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. They have also opened fire on the eastern regions of the city in the south of the Gaza Strip.

The new massacres bring the total number of Palestinians killed in the ongoing Israeli aggression on Gaza to more than 21,320 martyrs and 55,603 injuries since October 7, mostly children and women.

The Israeli occupation forces heavily bombarded residential homes in Beit Lahia, al-Maghazi, and Khan Younis, which tragically killed 50 people and wounded dozens of others as the numbers are expected to climb due to the large number of people stuck under the rubble, Gaza Ministry of Health spokesperson Ashraf al-Qudra said on Thursday.

In light of the devastating massacres inflicted by the Israeli occupation on the people of the Gaza Strip, Al Mayadeen’s correspondent said a massive amount of people were missing beneath the rubble, with thousands of people wounded and requiring immediate assistance.

Guillemette Thomas serves as the Medical Coordinator for Palestine with Doctors Without Borders (MSF), overseeing the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank. Speaking to The Journal from her base in al-Quds, Thomas expressed that the current situation is unparalleled in her experience.

“It’s the first time I’m exposed to such a horrific situation, with such intense violence, and for such a long period,” she says. 

In MSF’s recent report on the situation in Gaza, it was noted that internally displaced Palestinians are enduring harsh conditions, facing “dangerously little levels of food and water.” The report highlighted instances where people are resorting to drinking saltwater, and some shelters are equipped with only one toilet for every 600 individuals.

Thomas characterized the conditions as “dire,” leading to a notable surge in diseases, infections, and dehydration. She explains that the lack of access to basic amenities like showers and toilets is contributing to the rise in various diseases, particularly diarrhea, and dehydration due to the absence of clean water.

‘Infected wounds’ 

“A high number of people with wounds have infections because they have no way to maintain proper hygiene conditions, no access to healthcare, and even the most basic injuries are becoming infected,” explained Thomas.

“They’re not living; they’re surviving. They are enduring the same conditions faced by many displaced people worldwide. What exacerbates the atrocity of this situation is that they have no means to escape the bombing, shelling, and violence, which is unique to this conflict. People are in an exceptionally vulnerable and challenging situation due to living conditions, compounded by the constant violence and threats to their lives,” Thomas emphasized.

She added, “Another issue related to the living conditions is the increase in respiratory tract infections, as they are living outside in overcrowded places, which is a factor contributing to these infections, along with skin infections.”

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