India abstained in the United Nations General Assembly resolution on Israel-Hamas conflict. Know why

 

India Deputy Envoy to UN Yojna Patel
India Deputy Envoy to UN Yojna Patel

Jordan proposed a resolution for an “immediate, durable, and sustained humanitarian truce” between Israeli forces and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

The resolution was adopted by an overwhelming majority of 120 members while 14 voted against and 45 abstained.

The Republic of India decided not to vote in the UN General Assembly resolution that called for an immediate humanitarian truce in the Israel-Hamas war.

India gave the reason for its abstention saying that the resolution did not mention Hamas and that the UN needs to send a clear message against terror.

"We hope that the deliberations of this assembly will send a clear message against terror and violence and expand prospects for diplomacy and dialogue while addressing the humanitarian crisis that confronts us," said India's Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Yojna Patel.


The draft resolution had called for an immediate truce in the conflict and unhindered humanitarian access in the Gaza Strip, which has been the target of Israel's airstrikes.

Israel launched a massive counter-offensive after 1,400 people were killed in a surprise attack by Hamas on October 7.


Condemning the attacks, India said that they deserve condemnation, hinting at the omission of the word "Hamas" from the resolution.

"The terror attacks in Israel on 7th October were shocking and deserve condemnation. Our thoughts are also with those taken hostages. We call for their immediate and unconditional release. Terrorism is a malignancy and knows no borders, nationality, or race. The world should not buy into any justification of terror acts. Let us keep aside differences, unite, and adopt a zero-tolerance approach to terrorism," Ms Patel said.


India also said it is deeply concerned at the deteriorating security situation in the region and urged all parties to de-escalate.

"India is deeply concerned at the deteriorating security situation and the astounding loss of civilian lives in the ongoing conflict. The escalation of hostilities in the region will only exacerbate the humanitarian crisis. All parties must display the utmost responsibility," Ms Patel said.


She noted that India has always supported a "negotiated two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine."

Ms Patel said that India urges the parties to de-escalate, eschew violence, and work towards creating conditions for an early resumption of direct peace negotiations.


The remarks came at an emergency UNGA session to vote on the draft resolution submitted by Jordan. The resolution was overwhelmingly adopted with 120 nations voting in its favour, 14 against it, and 45 abstaining.


Besides India, countries that abstained included Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Ukraine and the UK.

India, instead, lent support to an amendment proposed by Canada seeking condemnation of Hamas and the terror attacks carried out in Israel.


The amendment sought a paragraph to be added in the resolution stating that the general assembly "unequivocally rejects and condemns the terrorist attacks by Hamas that took place in Israel starting on 7 October 2023 and the taking of hostages, demands the safety, well-being and humane treatment of the hostages in compliance with international law, and calls for their immediate and unconditional release."


The amendment though did not get the number of votes required to be adopted.

The US also expressed outrage at the resolution not naming Hamas and called it an "omission of evil". Before the vote, the US also voiced its displeasure over the word "hostage" not being part of the resolution.


"This resolution makes no mention of the innocent people – including citizens of many of you in this room – many of you here today who have citizens who are being held hostage by Hamas and other terrorist groups," US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said.

The resolution comes as Israel is making a living hell in Gaza in retaliation for the October 7 attacks that killed around 1400 Israelis.

Till now, around 7,000 have been killed in Gaza. Reports have come that the Hamas militants are hiding in underground tunnels below the Gaza Strip and working from the offices there. 

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