13 Oct 2023

Israel-Palestine conflict: MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi says India supports sovereignty of Palestine but...

New Delhi: India described the attacks by Hamas on Israeli cities as "terror attacks." Simultaneously, it reiterated its longstanding stance, which advocates for negotiations to establish a "sovereign, independent, and viable" State of Palestine coexisting peacefully with Israel.

In his detailed remarks on the Israel-Hamas conflict, Arindam Bagchi, the spokesperson for India's Ministry of External Affairs, emphasized the universal obligation to adhere to international humanitarian law and the global responsibility to combat terrorism in all its forms.

Bagchi addressed questions regarding the situation of Palestinians in Gaza following Israel's counter-attacks in response to Hamas's unexpected strikes. He also highlighted India's efforts to repatriate Indian nationals from Israel amidst the current crisis.

India for resumption of direct negotiations

Regarding India's stance on the Israel-Palestine issue, Bagchi stressed its consistency, advocating for the resumption of direct negotiations to establish a sovereign and independent State of Palestine with secure and recognized borders, coexisting peacefully with Israel. This stance reaffirms India's support for a two-State solution to the Palestine issue.

The recent surge of hostilities between Israel and Palestine, characterized by multi-pronged attacks by Hamas and Israeli retaliation, has resulted in a significant loss of life. The international community, including countries like Germany, the United States, France, and the United Kingdom, has expressed concern and emphasized the importance of preventing further escalation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed India's support for Israel and unequivocal condemnation of terrorism during a conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This exchange followed India's limited initial response through the Ministry of External Affairs and Modi's tweets.

Bagchi emphasized the importance of observing international humanitarian law and the global responsibility to combat terrorism when discussing the broader situation.

Before the spokesperson's comments on Thursday, there were criticisms of the Indian government for not commenting on the situation of Palestinians in Gaza. Bagchi noted that India had been in contact with relevant stakeholders.

Regarding the potential impact of the crisis on the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) initiative, Bagchi did not provide a direct response but emphasized the initiative's long-term significance.

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