India has sent 38 tonnes of food and critical medical equipment to the Gaza Strip, reeling under Israel’s blistering retaliatory bombings, Ambassador R Ravindra, the Deputy Permanent Representative (DPR) to the United Nations said while representing India at the UN Security Council’s open debate on the “situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question”.
“India sent 38 tonnes of humanitarian goods, including medicines and equipment, to the people of Palestine. We also urge the parties to work towards creating conditions necessary for peace and for restarting direct negotiations, including through de-escalation and issuing violence,” Mr Ravindra said.
“The escalation of our utilities in the region has only exacerbated the dire humanitarian situation,” he said, adding, “It has once again underscored the fragile nature of the ceasefire.”
“In these challenging times, India will continue to send humanitarian assistance to the people of Palestine,” he said.
Gaza has reported massive casualties as Israel continues to bomb the coastal enclave from where Hamas launched the October 7 Sabbath attack, firing a barrage of over 5,000 rockets at Israel.
Noting that India has condemned the terror attack unequivocally, the deputy permanent envoy to the UN said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was one of the first global leaders to convey his condolences over the loss of lives and “prayers for the innocent victims and their families”.
“We stood in solidarity with Israel at their moment of crisis when they were facing these terror attacks,” he added.
“We have also expressed deep shock at the tragic loss of lives at the Al Hali hospital in Gaza, where several hundreds of civilian casualties have occurred and thousands injured. Our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured,” he said.
Outlining that PM Modi said that those involved in the attack “must be held responsible”, R Ravindra said India is deeply concerned about the deteriorating security situation and the massive loss of civilian lives in the ongoing war. “The mounting humanitarian crisis is equally alarming.”
Welcoming the resumption of the movement of aid into Gaza, R Ravindra said, “The unfolding humanitarian crisis needs to be addressed. We welcome the efforts of the international community for de-escalation and delivery of humanitarian goods to the people of Gaza.”
The deputy envoy reaffirmed India’s support for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine issue and said this could lead to the establishment of a sovereign, independent, and viable state of Palestine, living within secure and recognized borders, side by side in peace with Israel, taking into account the legitimate security concerns of Israel.
“We reiterate the need for an early resumption of direct peace negotiations. We also continue to support the Palestinian people through our bilateral development partnership, which covers a wide range of sectors including health, education, women’s empowerment, entrepreneurship, and information technology,” R Ravindra said.
He said the current escalation of the conflict has underscored the need for immediate resumption of credible and direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine.
“Every effort must be made to create conducive conditions for the resumption of these talks. We welcome all efforts of regional and global players aimed towards restoring normalcy,” he said.
(With input from ANI)