Palestine miffed with India's abstention at UNHRC vote; FM Riad writes to EAM

New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaWritten By: Sidhant SibalUpdated: Jun 02, 2021, 05:50 PM IST
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In the letter, seen by WION, the Palestinian minister expressed 'concern' over the 'position taken by India' at the human rights council's special session

A miffed Palestine has raised its concern with India's abstention at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution that called for a probe into violence in Gaza. The resolution saw India among the 14 countries abstaining on the issue of the probe. 

The matter was raised by Palestinian foreign minister Dr Riad Malki with India's External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar in a letter.

In this letter, seen by WION, he expressed "concern" over the "position taken by India" at the human rights council's special session.

"The Republic of India missed an opportunity to join the international community at this turning point, (both) crucial and long over due on the path to accountability, justice and peace," he said. "Your abstention stifles the important work of human rights council at advancing human rights for all peoples, including those of the Palestinian people."

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The resolution "ensuring respect for international human rights law and humanitarian law in occupied Palestinian territory including East Jerusalem and in Israel", was adopted with 24 countries voting in favor and nine against at the 47 members strong Geneva-headquartered UN body.

Malki highlighted that "the resolution is not an aberration to the human rights council. It is a by-product of extensive multilateral consultations. It is the consolidation of years and thorough investigations into and reporting on Israel's grave violations by states, UN experts, human rights treaty bodies and international organizations, without accountability measures".

India had welcomed the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas at UNHRC, which was announced last month after 11 days of violent clashes from both sides. The situation escalated after violence in Jerusalem and the possible eviction of Palestinians in the Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighborhood. During the clashes, over 200 Palestinians died in Gaza and 10 Israelis.

The FM pointed out in the letter to EAM that the "root causes of the injustice that befell the Palestinian people, the decade long dispossession, displacement, colonization, oppression of the Palestinian people and the denial and violation of their every human rights by Israel, the occupying power, must be prioritized".

He also added that if the same is not dealt with on priority "the situation will not only remain volatile but will continue deteriorating with far-reaching and grave repercussions".

The letter by Palestine's FM to EAM was sent on the May 30 — three days after India abstained from the vote at the UNHRC. Other countries that abstained included Bahamas, Brazil, Denmark, Fiji, France, Italy, Japan, Nepal, Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Togo and Ukraine.