New Delhi, May 19 (PTI) Amid continued violence between Israel and Palestine and a growing number of casualties, the Congress on Wednesday said India must use its good offices as a member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) with greater determination and persuasion to bring about peace in the region.
'Both parties must abjure violence and return to peace negotiations, there being no other path to a meaningful, peaceful co-existence of Israel and Palestine,' the opposition party said in a statement.
'The Congress party expresses its satisfaction at the balanced position of the Government of India, urging immediate cessation of hostilities, but would urge the government to use its good offices as a member of the Security Council with greater determination and persuasion,' it added.
Anand Sharma, the chairman of the All India Congress Committee's (AICC) foreign affairs cell had, on May 14, called for immediate cessation of hostilities by both Israel and Hamas and urged India to proactively work towards restoring peace with the intervention of the UNSC.
'The Congress party urges for immediate cessation of hostilities by both Israel and Hamas and calls for urgent intervention of the UN Security council to restore peace.
'The issue is both moral and humanitarian. India, as a member of the UNSC, should proactively work to achieve this objective,' he had said.
The Congress said the conflict between Israel and Palestine seems to have escalated and the number of casualties is growing by the hour.
The opposition party asserted that India's historic position in support of the two-State solution with appropriate recognition of East Jerusalem as the capital of independent Palestine must indeed be underscored.
'It is sad that the intrusion by Israeli forces into the Holy Al-Aqsa mosque during Ramzan prayers ruptured the delicate peace in the region.
'Whilst the rocket attacks by the Hamas cannot be condoned despite any provocation, at the same time, the disproportionate retaliation by a much stronger, organised military is unacceptable, particularly in view of civilian casualties including many women and children,' the Congress said.
It also said the attack on media offices undermines the first principles of free flow of information.
Amongst the casualties in Israel was an Indian citizen from Kerala, Soumya Santosh, a serving nurse, a matter of national mourning for all Indians, the party noted. PTI SKC RC