Kamboj’s remarks come after the United States vetoed a resolution proposed by Russia in the UN Security Council calling for the immediate suspension of hostilities in the Gaza Strip on December 22, 2023. The death count of 23,000 Palestinians in Gaza has caused international alarm.
NEW YORK: India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ruchira Kamboj on Tuesday said the loss of civilian lives in the ongoing Israel-Hamas was “clearly unacceptable” and New Delhi is in constant touch with leaders of Israel and Palestine in this regard, while reiterating its “clear and consistent” message for de-escalation of the conflict and early restoration of peace and stability.
“The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has led to a large-scale loss of civilian lives, especially women and children, and has resulted in an alarming humanitarian crisis. This is clearly unacceptable and we have strongly condemned the death of civilians,” Kamboj told the UN General Assembly.
The Indian Ambassador reiterated New Delhi’s longstanding message that the October 7 attacks by Hamas on Israel deserved “our unequivocal condemnation” and that India has a zero-tolerance approach towards terrorism. She also raised India’s demands for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.
“The message that India has conveyed since the start of this conflict is clear and consistent. It is important to prevent escalation to ensure continued delivery of humanitarian aid and to work towards an early restoration of peace and stability. A peaceful resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy is the only way forward,” she said.
US vetoed resolution on Gaza
Kamboj’s remarks come after the United States vetoed a resolution proposed by Russia in the UN Security Council calling for the immediate suspension of hostilities in the Gaza Strip on December 22, 2023. The Council then adopted a watered-down resolution by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that demanded scaling up humanitarian assistance throughout Gaza.
US Deputy Ambassador Robert Wood called the Russian-proposed amendment to a December 22 Security Council resolution which it vetoed “disconnected from the situation on the ground” and said it was “striking” that those urging an end to the conflict have made very few demands of Hamas
India took note of the adoption of the Security Council resolution aimed towards scaling up humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza and commended UAE’s “able leadership” in piloting the text. Kamboj said India has voiced its views on the conflict in multilateral fora such as the G20, BRICS and at the Voice of the Global South Summit in November 2023, reiterating its long-standing and principled position on the issue.
Kamboj told the General Assembly that India has so far provided 70 tonnes of humanitarian aid, including 16.5 tonnes of medicine and medical supplies in two tranches to the people of Palestine. India has also provided five million dollars, including the 2.5 million dollars it provided in December to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
“We firmly believe that only a two-state solution achieved through direct and meaningful negotiations between both sides on final status issues will deliver an enduring peace that the people of Israel and Palestine desire and deserve,” she said at the UNGA session.
As member states addressed the plenary, dozens of rabbis demonstrated on the balcony inside the Security Council chambers and disrupted the General Assembly plenary session to demand that the US stop preventing the UN from taking urgent action for an immediate, permanent ceasefire in Gaza.