United Nations: India has said the current crisis in Gaza can be resolved through a negotiated political settlement and dialogue remains the "only viable option" to effectively address issues confronting the region and its people.
"We endorse completely Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's statement this morning that a crisis such as the one we see in Gaza can only be resolved through a negotiated political settlement with the required political will and leadership of the negotiating parties," India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Asoke Mukerji told the UN General Assembly.
A 72-hour ceasefire between Israel and Hamas came into effect on Tuesday and has brought relief to millions on both sides after one month of fighting killed nearly 1,900 Palestinians and 67 people in Israel, mostly soldiers.
Mukerji said India followed the current situation in Gaza with a "great deal of concern" and supports all efforts to sustain the ceasefire.
He said India believes that a sustainable ceasefire will be linked to the resumption of the peace process for a comprehensive resolution of the Palestinian issue.
"India remains firmly convinced that dialogue remains the only viable option that can effectively address the issues confronting the region and its people," he said.
The special session was convened yesterday amidst the 72-hour ceasefire, which has been in effect since August 5.
Addressing the 193-nation General Assembly, Ban Ki-moon said the United Nations is ready to help rebuild Gaza for the last time as the "senseless cycle of suffering in Gaza and the West Bank, as well as in Israel must end."
He said both the Israelis and the Palestinians are putting all of the international community's citizens "always at unease and concerned, looking helplessly at many people being killed."
"Do we have to continue like this: build, destroy, and build and destroy? We will build again - but this must be the last time to rebuild. This must stop now. They must go back to the negotiating table. We must not repeat this periodically," he said.
India, as a founder member of the UN, strongly deplores any act of violence or threat of violence directed towards the world body, Mukerji said.
"We support strongly call for investigating, prosecuting and bringing to justice the perpetrators of such acts. This is the only way to uphold the credibility of the United Nations, based on the rule of law," he said.
He said India had consistently held that the blockade of Gaza that adversely affects essential services, economic activities and infrastructure development must be lifted.