India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador TS Tirumurti made it clear during his opening remarks that India strongly supports the Palestine cause and that “the events of the last several days have resulted in a sharp deterioration of the security situation”.
He also called for an “immediate de-escalation” of hostilities.
The envoy added: “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 neighbourhood.”
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that the military operation against Palestinian Hamas militants in Gaza will continue “with full force.” He threatened: “We are acting now, for as long as necessary, to restore calm... it will take time.”
The UN Secretary-General António Guterres called the violence “utterly appalling” and appealed for the fighting between Israel and Palestine to end immediately.
Mr Tirumurti at the UN Meeting on Sunday condemned the rocket firings from Gaza as well. He said that the “retaliatory” strikes into Gaza have caused immense suffering and deaths. “These incidents have once again underscored the need for immediate resumption of dialogue between Israel and Palestinian authorities. The absence of direct and meaningful negotiations between the parties is widening the trust deficit between the parties,” he said.
In India, some people had been trying to trend #IndiaWithIsrael on Twitter. India’s statement at the UNSC virtual meet comes as a surprise to them.
Anil Trigunayat, a former diplomat told India Today that the statement was very “well-crafted” and one that “took into account a balanced historical perspective of the Israel-Palestine conflict and the ongoing attacks and counter-attacks by Hamas and Israeli forces.”
An Indian national, Soumya Santosh — who worked as a caregiver in Ashkelon in Israel — was also killed in a rocket attack by Hamas, according to Indian officials.
The death toll in Gaza since the latest series of violence began is nearing 200, Al Jazeera reported. It said that Israel has reported 10 dead, including two children.
This article was amended on 2 June 2021. It previously referred to ‘right-wing trolls … trying to trend #IndiaWithIsrael on Twitter’. We accept that this was an inaccurate generalisation that conflated fact with comment, and apologise for any offence this might have caused.