25 Oct 2023

Israel-Palestine war: India concerned over loss of civilian life; Israel says ready to invade Gaza

India has expressed deep apprehension regarding the deteriorating security conditions and the significant loss of civilian lives in the ongoing Israel-Palestine war. They have called upon both parties to collaborate in establishing the necessary conditions for peace and recommencing direct negotiations by means of de-escalation and cessation of violence.

India's Deputy Permanent Representative at the United Nations, Ambassador R. Ravindra, conveyed these concerns during the Security Council meeting concerning the Middle East situation on Tuesday. 

Ravindra emphasized, "India is profoundly troubled by the worsening security situation and the substantial loss of civilian lives in the ongoing conflict. The escalating humanitarian crisis is equally distressing." Every possible effort should be made to establish a conducive environment for the resumption of the negotiations, he said.

India has supported a negotiated two-state solution

India has consistently supported a negotiated two-state solution for the Israel-Palestine issue. This solution aims to lead to the establishment of a sovereign, independent, and viable Palestinian state, living alongside Israel in peace within secure and recognized borders, while taking into account Israel's legitimate security concerns. 

Ravindra reiterated the need for the early resumption of direct peace negotiations to achieve this goal. He also welcomed the efforts of regional and global actors working towards restoring normalcy and reaffirmed India's strong commitment to achieving a just, peaceful, and enduring resolution to the Israel-Palestine issue.

Ready to invade Gaza

Meanwhile, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced on Tuesday that their ground forces positioned along the southern border were prepared for a potential incursion into Gaza. During a briefing at the country's southern border, IDF Chief-of-Staff Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi stated, "I want to be clear, we are ready for an invasion." 

He mentioned that the IDF was in the process of determining the precise timing for a ground invasion of Gaza in coordination with the country's political leadership.

Regarding the delay in launching a counter-invasion of Gaza following the Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7, General Halevi explained, "At this stage, there are tactical and strategic factors allowing us more time to enhance our readiness and utilize every available minute to be better prepared." 

'We are intensifying attacks on the enemy'

He emphasized that as time passed, they were intensifying their attacks on the enemy, targeting its fighters, commanders, infrastructure, and gathering more intelligence for future operations.

General Halevi also noted, "We are keeping [the enemy] in tension," suggesting that the longer Hamas waited for an Israeli invasion, the more stressed it would become. Meanwhile, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) reported that, with intelligence provided by the Shin Bet, they had successfully thwarted terrorists from the Hamas organization.

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