India stands with Palestinian cause but condemns attack that killed Indian nursetext_fields
United Nations: While taking a stand with the Palestinian cause, the Indian Permanent Representative to the UN, TS Tirumurti, condemned the rocket attack from Gaza that killed an Indian nurse in Israel.
Soumya Santosh hailing from Kerala was killed in Ashkelon inside Israel by the rocket launched reportedly by the Hamas organisation from Gaza last week.
Addressing the UN Security Council, Tirumurti mourned the death of Soumya and other people who lost their lives in the current cycle of violence.
"The indiscriminate rocket firings from Gaza targeting the civilian population in Israel, which we condemn, and the retaliatory strikes into Gaza, have caused immense suffering, and resulted in deaths," he added.
As the situation in the Israel-Palestine-Gaza region spiralled into a violent crisis, the council was forced to conduct a rare virtual session to analyse the situation.
Tirumurti called for an immediate de-escalation of the situation to stop "any further slide to the brink" and the resumption of dialogue between the parties to the conflict.
He reiterated India's unwavering commitment to the two-State solution and condemned all acts of violence, provocation, incitement, and destruction from both parties.
He announced that Jerusalem has a special place in the hearts of Indians and added that attempts should not be made to change the status quo in East Jerusalem and its neighbourhood.
The holy places in Jerusalem, including the Haram Al-Sharif, also known as the Temple Mount, that is sacred to Muslims, should be protected, he added.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also condemned the attacks in Israel-Gaza and said: "Fighting must stop. It must stop immediately. Rockets and mortars on one side and aerial and artillery bombardments on the other must stop. I appeal to all parties to heed this call."
"It has the potential to unleash an uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis and to further foster extremism, not only in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel but in the region as a whole," he warned.
He also called out the Israeli bombing of the offices of the US news agency Associated Press and Qatari TV network Al Jazeera in Gaza City.
"Journalists must be allowed to work free of fear and harassment." He said.
Meanwhile, Biden is facing a split in his own party over his Israel policy with a vociferous group of Democrats condemning his acts even as many in the party continue their strong support for Israel. Biden was also responsible for blocking the council meeting on Friday, after which it was forced by other members to convene a meeting on Sunday.
Nevertheless, US Permanent Representative Linda Thomas-Greenfield informed that "the United States has been working tirelessly through diplomatic channels to try to bring an end to this conflict" and is "intensively engaged with Israeli, Egyptian, and Qatari officials, as well as the Special Coordinator (of the UN, Tor Wennesland) and his team -- all of whom are working to define and establish conditions for a sustainable calm".
"Critically, all parties need to uphold and respect the historic status quo at the holy sites," she said.
"We've also been alarmed by violence impacting journalists and medical personnel, whose roles are crucial and must be protected and respected." She added without taking any sides on the attacks.