File photo of India’s permanent representative to the UN, ambassador TS Tirumurti
NEW DELHI: In the middle of the worst Israel-Palestinian violence in years, India expressed deep concern at clashes in Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and over eviction of Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighbourhoods. The government also called upon both sides to not do anything to change the status-quo on the ground.
India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador TS Tirumurti tweeted that in the UN security council meeting on Tuesday on the escalation in east Jerusalem, he said India was “deeply concerned at clashes and violence in Haram Al Sharif/Temple Mount” and “equally concerned about evictions in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighbourhoods.”
He said India called on both sides to avoid changing the status-quo on the ground. He added that the old city also houses Al Zawiyya Al Hindiyya — The Indian Hospice.
India also condemned rocket fire from Gaza, Tirumurti tweeted. A 30-year-old Indian woman in Israel, Soumya Santosh, was killed in a rocket attack by Palestinian militants from Gaza, as per officials. Junior minister (MEA) V Muraleedharan on Wednesday said he had spoken to the woman’s family members and assured them of all assistance. “We have condemned these attacks and the violence in Jerusalem, and urged restraint by both sides,” he said.
India also urged restraint of all parties and to adhere to Security Council resolution 2334, which reaffirms that “the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including east Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.”
The resolution also “reiterates its demand that Israel completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard.” Tirumurti also stressed the need to immediately resume direct peace talks and commitment to a two-state solution.