Ravindra said India has consistently called for direct peace negotiations between the parties, which New Delhi believes is the best way to achieve the goal of a two-state solution.
India has expressed deep concern over the developments in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza, stressing the importance of the international community and the UN Security Council sending a “strong signal” against any step that impedes the possibility of lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace.
Speaking at the Security Council meeting on the Question of Palestine, India’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador R Ravindra, said India is also following developments in Masafer Yatta with concern, noting that tensions have risen over the possible legal eviction of Palestinian families.
“We remain deeply concerned about the developments in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza. Violent attacks and the killing of civilians have claimed many Palestinian and Israeli lives,” he said Monday. “Acts of destruction and provocation also continue. violence,” he said.
“All unilateral measures that unduly disrupt the status quo on the ground and undermine the viability of the two-state solution must be avoided,” he said. “It is extremely important for the international community and this Council to send a strong signal against any step that impedes the possibility of a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace,” he said.
Ravindra said India has always called for direct peace negotiations between the parties, which New Delhi believes is the best way to achieve the goal of a two-state solution. These negotiations should be based on the internationally agreed framework, taking into account the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for statehood and Israel’s legitimate security concerns.
“The absence of such direct talks on key political issues has asymmetric costs for Israelis and Palestinians and does not augur well for long-term peace in the region,” he said.
He added that India has always supported a negotiated two-state solution leading 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. He emphasized that India will continue to support all efforts to achieve a comprehensive and lasting two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and stands ready to contribute constructively to such efforts.
New Delhi also expressed appreciation for the Israeli initiative to increase the number of work permits for Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to work in Israel. “More needs to be considered to alleviate the humanitarian situation. The need of the hour is dialogue among relevant stakeholders,” he said.
India also expressed concern over the continuing precarious financial situation of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), saying the lack of funds for the Agency may adversely affect the delivery of humanitarian services to the Palestinian refugee community in Palestine and elsewhere.
At the meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee of the General Assembly for the announcement of the voluntary contribution to UNRWA, India reiterated its commitment to support the Agency through its annual financial contributions. India has already contributed $20 million in the last four years and has also pledged $5 million toward UNRWA’s program budget by 2022.