India strongly condemned all acts of violence and incitement in the Gaza conflict. It called for immediate de-escalation at the first United Nations Security Council meeting held due to the surge in hostilities between Israel and Palestine entering its seventh consecutive day, which killed at least 149 in Gaza and 10 in Israel, many children included.
India urged both the State authorities to resume dialogue to find a lasting solution immediately.
According to Reuters, the virtual public meeting was held on Sunday after the ambassadors reached a compromise observing U.S. objections to a public meeting.
India’s ambassador to the U.N, TS Tirumurti, delineated the country’s position during an open debate at the U.N. Security Council early on Monday, saying that both sides should show extreme restraint and cease actions that intensify tensions.
India has found itself striding a vigilant line as the conflict escalated in recent days, given its strong relations with Israel and Arab states and its traditional support for a two-state solution, which Tirumurti reiterated.
Palestinian officials portrayed Sunday as the deadliest day since the ongoing fight with Israel began, with 42 people killed in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza. Israel’s army claimed that Hamas militants fired more than 3,000 rockets in the past week.
“Immediate de-escalation is the need of the hour to arrest any further slide towards the brink. We urge both sides to show extreme restraint, desist from actions that exacerbate tensions and refrain from attempts to unilaterally change the existing status quo, including in east Jerusalem and its neighborhood,” Mr. Tirumurti said, addressing an open debate at the U.N. Security Council.
He added, “The indiscriminate rocket firing 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 lost one of its citizens, 30-year-old Soumya Santosh from Kerala, a caregiver in Ashkelon.”
Tirumurti said the historic situation at the holy places of Jerusalem, Haram al-Sharif or Temple Mount, must be respected. Both the sides must “refrain from attempts to unilaterally change the existing status quo, including in east Jerusalem and its neighbourhood”.
Mr. Tirumurti said India supports the diplomatic attempts of the Quartet and other members of the international community, especially the countries in the region, to calm the situation, end the violence and strive for enduring peace.
The absence of trust between the parties increases as there are no direct negotiations between the two, the ambassador said.
While reiterating, Mr. Trimurthi added, India strongly supports the just Palestinian cause and its unfaltering commitment to the two-state solution. Every attempt should be made to create conducive conditions for the resumption of talks between Israel and Palestine.
António Guterres, U.N. Secretary-General, has requested an immediate end to the “utterly appalling” violence and warned that further fighting could diminish the region into an “uncontainable crisis.
U.N., Qatar, and Egypt are trying to settle a ceasefire. Mr. Tirumurti said that India had already expressed its concern over the violence in Jerusalem at closed-door meetings of the 15-member council held earlier this week.
“In both these meetings, we expressed our deep concern over the violence in Jerusalem, especially on Haram Al-Sharif/ Temple Mount during the holy month of Ramadan [Ramzan], and about the possible eviction process in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighbourhood in East Jerusalem, an area which is part of an arrangement facilitated by the U.N. We had also expressed our apprehension at the spread of violence to other parts of West Bank and Gaza,” he said.
According to local authorities, the entire death toll in Gaza now 188, including 55 children and 33 women, with 1,230 people injured.