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On May 27 2021, India missed the voting against Israel at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on the resolution of the recent conflict between Israel and the Gaza Strip. UNHRC made the resolution in an attempt to probe an investigation by the Commission of Inquiry into the violation of International law committed by Israel recently.
On May 30, Palestine’s Foreign Minister Dr Riad Malki, in a powerful letter to India’s External Affairs Minister has said that the resolution which was titled “Ensuring respect for international human rights law and humanitarian law in Occupied Palestinian Territory including East Jerusalem and in Israel” is a product of multilateral negotiation of a very long time.
The resolution was, at first, adopted by 24 nations. India is among the 14 nations that have abstained from voting against Israel. Nine of the members have voted against Israel. According to Dr Malki, “The Republic of India missed an opportunity to join the international community at this turning point, both crucial and long overdue, on the path to accountability, justice and peace”.
Although, India’s Permanent Representative, TS Tirumurti, has expressed the country’s support towards the “Just Palestinian cause”. On May 17, an Indian citizen died in a bombing by Hamas from Gaza. The Indian government strongly condemned the loss of the citizen’s life abroad. However, the Indian Government’s actions and diplomatic stands don’t intersect with each other giving mixed signals to the UNHRC, Israel, and Palestine.
In July 2014, a similar resolution was adopted in view of the violence committed by Israel through airstrikes on Palestine in the Gaza strip. Over 2,300 people lost their lives in those attacks. It is especially shocking to see India’s absence from the voting process now, given that in July 2014, India voted against Israel in a similar resolution at the UNHRC.
However, the Indian Government has always maintained that apparently, they decided to stay away from the voting process at UNHRC to form a balance in its support towards the “just Palestinian cause” and its developing relations with Israel.
India’s absence has not been viewed lightly by the Palestinian Government who have come out and spoken about this issue from their point of view. They stated that the citizens of Palestine had been deprived of the justice of international law. They claimed that the “root cause of the injustice” against the citizens of Palestine was “dispossession, displacement, colonisation” by Israel.