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India supports two-state solution for Palestine

May 2, 2024
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NEW DELHI: India has backed Palestine’s bid for full membership in the United Nations, which was rejected by the US last month, will be revisited and its efforts to join the global organization will be supported.
In a vote on a draft resolution recommending “that the State of Palestine be admitted to membership in the United Nations” to the 193-member UN General Assembly, the 15-nation Security Council failed to adopt the resolution due to a veto by the US.

The resolution received 12 votes in favor, with Switzerland and the UK abstaining. To pass, the draft resolution needed at least nine Council members voting in its favor, without any vetoes from its five permanent members – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, stated, “While we have noted that Palestine’s application for membership at the United Nations was not approved by the Security Council because of the aforesaid veto, I would like to state here at the very outset that in keeping with India’s long-standing position, we hope that this would be reconsidered in due course and that Palestine’s endeavor to become a member of the United Nations will get endorsed.”

India was the first non-Arab country to acknowledge the Palestine Liberation Organization as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people in 1974. In 1988, India was also among the first nations to recognize the State of Palestine, and in 1996, it established its Representative Office to the Palestine Authority in Gaza, later relocating it to Ramallah in 2003.

Palestine currently holds “non-member observer state” status at the UN, granted by the General Assembly in 2012. This status allows Palestine to participate in UN proceedings but not vote on resolutions. The Holy See, representing the Vatican, is the only other non-member Observer State at the UN.

Kamboj emphasized that India’s leadership has consistently maintained that a two-state solution, achieved through direct and meaningful negotiations between Israel and Palestine on final status issues, is the only way to achieve lasting peace.
She stated, “India is committed to supporting a two-state solution where the Palestinian people can live freely in an independent country within secure borders with due regard to the security needs of Israel.”

To reach a lasting solution, Kamboj urged all parties to create conditions conducive to the resumption of direct peace negotiations as soon as possible.

On April 2, Palestine requested that the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, reconsider its application for full UN membership. For a State to be granted full UN membership, its application must be approved by both the Security Council and the General Assembly, with a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting required for admission.

Kamboj noted that the ongoing conflict in Gaza, which has lasted over six months, has led to an increasing humanitarian crisis and the potential for growing instability in the region and beyond.
Reiterating India’s stance on the conflict, Kamboj said that the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has resulted in a large-scale loss of civilian lives, particularly women and children, and an unacceptable humanitarian crisis. India has strongly condemned the civilian deaths in the conflict.

Kamboj emphasized that it is crucial to immediately scale up humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza to prevent further deterioration of the situation, urging all parties to work together in this effort. She added that India has provided humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people and will continue to do so.

According to data from Gaza’s Ministry of Health, cited by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), at least 34,568 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza and 77,765 Palestinians injured from October 7, 2023, to the present. OCHA reported that between the afternoons of April 28 and May 1, two Israeli soldiers were reported killed in Gaza.

The Israeli military stated that since the beginning of the ground operation, 262 soldiers have been killed and 1,602 soldiers have been injured in Gaza.

Additionally, over 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals, including 33 children, have been killed in Israel, mostly on October 7, when Hamas attacked Israel. As of May 1, Israeli authorities estimate that 133 Israelis and foreign nationals, including fatalities whose bodies are being withheld, remain captive in Gaza.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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