India on Sunday called for immediate de-escalation of the situation between Israel and Palestine at a United Nations Security Council meeting. The statement came as violence continues in the region that began this month following weeks-long tension between the two sides.
At the meeting, India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations TS Tirumurti asked the two countries to immediately resume direct dialogue and said that New Delhi supports the two-state solution.
“The events of the last several days has resulted in a sharp deterioration of the security situation,” Tirumurti said. “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’s envoy urged both sides to show “extreme restraint, desist from actions that exacerbate tensions”, and refrain from trying to change the existing status quo, including in East Jerusalem and its neighbourhood. “Jerusalem has a special place in the hearts of millions of Indians, who visit the city every year,” he said. “The Old City also houses the Al Zawiyya Al Hindiyya – the Indian Hospice, which is a historic place associated with a great Indian Sufi saint Baba Farid and located inside the Old City. India has restored this Indian Hospice” he added.
Tirumurti said that India believes every effort should be made to create conducive conditions for the resumption of talks between Israel and Palestine. “In conclusion, I reiterate India’s strong support to the just Palestinian cause and its unwavering commitment to the two-state solution.”
At least 192 people, including 58 children and 34 women, have been killed in the Gaza strip since the latest series of violence began, reported Al Jazeera. Israel has reported 10 dead, including two children.