Gaza violence: India backs Palestine in UNHRC vote

AsokeAmid the festering violence and mounting casualties in Gaza, India has voted in support of a UN Human Rights Council resolution to probe Israel’s offensive in the region.

In the 47-member council, 29 countries voted in support of the resolution while 17 nations abstained. Israel’s long term ally, the US, was the only nation to vote against the resolution.

“We remain hopeful that a sustainable ceasefire will be reached between the two sides, linked to the resumption of the peace process, for a comprehensive resolution of the Palestinian issue,” said India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Asoke Mukerji.

Earlier, India joined other BRICS nations at the sixth summit in Fortaleza to vote for a Palestinian-drafted resolution on “Ensuring Respect for international law in The Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jersusalem”.

In the summit declaration, BRICS has also taken a tough stance against Israel, and called for a negotiated settlement on the issue.

Israel and Hamas have been engaged in fierce fighting since July 8. The conflict has killed over 582 Palestinians, including 145 children. While Israel has lot 27 Israeli soldiers and 2 civilians.

The ongoing crisis in Palestine had put New Delhi in a tricky situation  as it juggled its relations between Israel and Palestine. While the government insists that its policy on the Palestine issue has not changed, the Opposition has been pressing vociferously to condemn Israel’s role in the crisis and even take action against it.

In a delicate balancing act, India, while supporting the Palestinian cause, has maintained strong ties with Israel, which has emerged as a key arms supplier.

On July 10, Syed Akbaruddin, the spokesperson of India’s external affairs ministry, had expressed India’s balanced approach to the issue by criticising the heavy air strikes in Gaza while also singling out the rocket attacks by Hamas.  “India is alarmed at the cross-border provocations resulting from rocket attacks against targets in parts of Israel,” he added.

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