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India Condemns Civilian Casualties in Israeli Airstrike on Rafah

May 31, 2024
Gaza death toll

New Delhi: India on Thursday described as “heartbreaking” the loss of civilian lives in an Israeli strike in the southern Gaza city of Rafah and called for respecting international humanitarian law in the ongoing conflict.

Local officials in Gaza said 45 people were killed in the May 26 air strike, most of them sheltering in tents. The strike triggered massive global outrage including criticism from some of Israel’s closest allies.

“The heartbreaking loss of civilian lives in the displacement camp in Rafah is a matter of deep concern for us,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said.

“We have consistently called for protection of the civilian population and respect for international humanitarian law in the ongoing conflict,” he said.

Jaiswal was responding to a question on the situation in Gaza at his weekly media briefing.

“We also note that the Israeli side has already accepted responsibility for it as a tragic incident and announced an investigation into the incident,” he said.

On Spain, Ireland and Norway recognising Palestine in the midst of the conflict, Jaiswal said India had done that way back in the 1980s.

“India recognised Palestine way back in the 1980s. It has been our long-standing position that we support a two state solution which entails the establishment of a sovereign, viable, and independent state of Palestine within recognised and mutually agreed borders, living side by side with Israel in peace,” he said.

Israel has been continuing its military offensive in Gaza as part of its retaliation to the unprecedented attack on Israeli cities by Hamas on October 7.

Hamas killed around 1,200 people in Israel and kidnapped more than 220 others some of whom were released during a brief ceasefire.

Over 35,000 people have been killed in Gaza in the Israeli offensive, according to the Hamas-run authorities in Gaza.

India has been calling for de-escalation of the situation and creating conditions for an early resumption of direct peace negotiations towards a two-state solution to the Palestine issue.

(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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