On October 7th, the Palestinian fighter group Hamas launched its largest-ever attack on Israel, resulting in the loss of over 1,000 lives. In response, Israel launched deadly airstrikes and imposed a "total siege" on Gaza, initiating evacuations in anticipation of a ground invasion. Human rights organizations have expressed concerns that such actions may be considered war crimes. As a result, over a million people have been displaced from their homes, facing critical shortages of water and the imminent collapse of healthcare facilities.
Prominent Hollywood figures, including Tilda Swinton, Steve Coogan, Miriam Margolyes, Charles Dance, Maxine Peake, and Peter Mullan, have signed an open letter calling for a ceasefire in Gaza in response to the Israel-Hamas conflict.
The letter accuses the government of tolerating and aiding war crimes. The signatories also include directors such as Mike Leigh, Asif Kapadia, and Michael Winterbottom, as well as actors Sam Heughan, Josie Long, and Frankie Boyle. The letter emphasizes the need to end the suffering in Gaza and calls for an immediate ceasefire and the unhindered entry of humanitarian aid.
“We are witnessing a crime and a catastrophe. Israel has reduced much of Gaza to rubble and cut off the supply of water, power, food and medicine to 2.3 million Palestinians. In the words of the UN’s undersecretary for humanitarian affairs, ‘the spectre of death’ is hanging over the territory. Gaza is already a society of refugees and the children of refugees.
"Now, in their hundreds of thousands, bombarded from air, sea and land, Palestinians whose grandparents were forced out of their homes at the barrel of a gun are again being told to flee – or face collective punishment on an unimaginable scale. Dispossessed of rights, described by Israel’s minister of defence as “human animals”, they have become people to whom almost anything can be done.
"Our governments are not only tolerating war crimes but aiding and abetting them. There will come a time when they are held to account for their complicity. But for now, while condemning every act of violence against civilians and every infringement of international law whoever perpetrates them, our obligation is to do all we can to bring an end to the unprecedented cruelty being inflicted on Gaza.
"We support the global movement against the destruction of Gaza and the mass displacement of the Palestinian people. We demand that our governments end their military and political support for Israel’s actions.
"We call for an immediate ceasefire and the opening of Gaza’s crossings to allow humanitarian aid to enter unhindered.”
Other stars listed as signatories on the letter include playwrights Tanika Gupta and Abbie Spallen, artist Poppy Jackson and photographer Emily Rose.
Pakistani rupee remains stable against US dollar and other currencies in the open market on February 22, 2024 (Thursday)
In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.6 for buying and 282.4 for selling.
Euro comes down to 300.2 for buying and 303.2 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 350.6 for buying, and 354.1 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.2 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.45.
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