India had abstained on a similar resolution that called for an immediate humanitarian truce in the Israel-Hamas conflict in October.
India on Tuesday voted in favour of a draft resolution in the United Nations General Assembly that demanded an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict as well as the unconditional release of all hostages.
The resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire was sponsored by several countries, including Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Palestine, among others. Ten countries including the United States and Israel voted against it, while 23 abstained.
“It’s a historic day in terms of the powerful message that was sent from the General Assembly,” Palestinian envoy to the United Nations Riyad Mansour said as quoted by news agency AFP.
The draft resolution did not mention Hamas, prompting the US, Israel’s strongest ally, to propose an amendment to the draft with the paragraph: “Unequivocally rejects and condemns the heinous terrorist attacks by Hamas that took place in Israel starting 7 October 2023 and the taking of hostages.”
India voted in favour of this amendment.
“India has voted in favour of the resolution just adopted by the General Assembly. The situation that this August body has been deliberating upon has many dimensions. There was the terrorist attack in Israel on 7 October and the concern for the hostages taken at that time. There is an enormous humanitarian crisis and a large-scale loss of civilian lives, especially of women and children. There is the issue of observing international humanitarian law in all circumstances. And there is the endeavour to find a peaceful and lasting two-state solution to the longstanding Palestine question,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ruchira Kamboj, said.
Ms Kamboj said India welcomes the unity shown by the international community to find common ground to address the grave implications of the war in the region.
“Our challenge, in this extraordinarily difficult time, is to strike the right balance. The gravity and complexity of what the international community faces are underlined by the secretary general invoking Article 99 of the Charter of the United Nations. We, therefore, welcome the fact that the international community unity has been able to find a common ground to address the multiple challenges facing the region right now,” she said.
India had abstained on a similar resolution that called for an immediate humanitarian truce in the Israel-Hamas conflict in October. Despite abstaining, India had called for unhindered humanitarian access in the Gaza Strip.
The UN General Assembly vote yesterday comes days after the US vetoed a similar resolution in the UN Security Council. The UNSC resolution tabled by the United Arab Emirates and supported by over 90 member states received 13 favourable votes, while the United Kingdom abstained.
Over 1,200 Israelis, mostly civilians, were killed after Hamas launched a sensational land-sea-air assault on October 7. In retaliation, Israel pounded the Gaza Strip – a Hamas stronghold – with airstrikes, killing over 18,000 people, 70 per cent of whom are said to be women and children, in the densely populated Palestinian enclave.