UNITED NATIONS - Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Caucus of the Security Council, on Wednesday voiced “grave concern” over the death of a Palestinian in Israeli custody, and called for a transparent probe into the “tragic incident”.

Arafat Jaradat’s death on Saturday sparked off global concern, heightening tensions between Israel and Palestine. He was arrested by Israeli security forces on February 18.

In a statement approved by the NAM Caucus and read out to reporters by Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Masood Khan, the movement called for an “independent and impartial investigation” into the death of the Palestinian prisoner.

“The members of the NAM Caucus of the Security Council call for full respect of the international human rights and humanitarian law obligations towards all Palestinian prisoners and detainees being held by Israel, the occupying power,” the statement said. The Caucus members “also call for immediate efforts by all concerned parties to defuse the current tense situation in order to avert further destabilization, to preserve calm, and to salvage the prospects for reviving peace negotiations towards the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” it added. The current NAM Caucus of the UN Security Council consists of Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Morocco, Pakistan, Rwanda and Togo, all NAM countries elected to the Council are rotating members.

NAM, with 120 member states as of 2012, was founded in the former Yugoslavia in 1961. Now the NAM countries represent nearly two-thirds of the UN members and contain about 55 per cent of the world population.