While clearing its official stand on the Israel-Palestine conflict, India on Sunday, 16 May told the United Nations that it condemned the attacks by Hamas on Israel, at the same time also discouraged the “retaliatory” attacks by Israel that have led to the loss of life and property in Gaza.
Speaking at the UN Security Council debate, India’s Permanent Representative to UN, Ambassador TS Tirumurti said that the situation must not escalate to the brink.
“The indiscriminate rocket firings from Gaza targeting the civilian population In Israel, which we condemn and the retaliatory strikes into Gaza have caused immense suffering and resulted in deaths including women and children. India has also lost one of its nationals in this rocket fire,” he said, a statement being seen by many as India not supporting Israel openly as was expected.
“We reiterate our strong condemnation of all acts of violence, provocation, incitement, and destruction. Immediate de-escalation is the need of the hour so as to arrest any further slide towards the brink. We urge both sides to observe extreme restraint,” he said, adding that neither sides should “unilaterally change the existing status quo including in East Jerusalem and its neighbourhood.”
Tirumurti expressed deep concern over the violence in Jerusalem during the holy month of Ramadan and about the “possible eviction process in Sheikh Jarrah and Siwan neighbourhood in East Jerusalem” along with “apprehension over the spread of violence to other parts of the West Bank in Gaza.”
Netanyahu Thanks Several Nations, Snubs India in Tweet
Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday took to Twitter to thank several nations who expressed support while tweeting out their flags, wherein the flag of India was missing.
Considering the bonhomie between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Netanyahu, several saw this as a snub to India by the Israeli PM.
Worst Escalation Since 2014
The Security Council on 7 May held a high-level debate on the need to uphold multilateralism and all council members came out in support of it. However, just days later, the US, an ally of Israel, blocked the proposal for a Friday Security Council meeting.
This week's violence in the Gaza Strip is the worst since 2014, and this happened amid rising Israeli-Palestinian violence in East Jerusalem, which resulted in clashes at the holy site.
Israel on Sunday told the UN Security Council that the recent deadly violence was premeditated by Hamas, urging condemnation of the militants during a session on the crisis.
“It was completely premeditated by Hamas in order to gain political power,” said Israel's ambassador to the world body, Gilad Erdan, reported Reuters.
Hamas, the militant group that rules Gaza, had fired rockets after warning Israel to withdraw from the site, triggering retaliatory air strikes. The Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip says the Israeli response has resulted in 119 deaths and 830 injuries and eight deaths have been reported in Israel.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres termed the tensions as the "most serious escalation” in Gaza and Israel in years.
The Associated Press' (AP) top editor on Sunday called for an independent investigation into the Israeli airstrike that targeted and destroyed a building housing the AP, Al-Jazeera and other media publications, saying the public deserves to know the facts.