‘Heartbreaking loss of civilian lives’: India on Israeli strike in Rafah, calls for respect of humanitarian law

  • India also called for the protection of civilians and respect for international humanitarian law in Israel's war on Palestinians.

Livemint
First Published30 May 2024
Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, Gaza Strip
Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, Gaza Strip(AP)

Days after an Israeli attack in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, that killed 45, India described the loss of lives as “heartbreaking”, while reiterating its position on the Israel-Gaza war. India also called for the protection of civilians and respect for international humanitarian law in Israel's war on Palestinians.

Addressing a press conference, MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said, “The heartbreaking loss of civilian lives in the displacement camp in Rafah is a matter of deep concern. We have consistently called for the protection of the civilian population and respect for international humanitarian law in the ongoing conflict.”

India also recognised the Israeli statement on the Rafah airstrikes and said, “We also note that the Israeli side has already accepted responsibility for it as a tragic accident and announced an investigation into the incident.”

WHAT HAPPENED IN RAFAH?

At least 45 persons, mostly women and children, sheltering in tents were killed in Israeli airstrikes, triggerring massive global outrage.

Also Read | With ‘All eyes on Rafah’, where are millions of Palestinians fleeing amid Israeli strikes?

On Spain, Ireland and Norway recognising Palestine in the midst of the conflict, the MEA spokesperson said India had done that way back in the 1980s.

"India recognised Palestine way back in the 1980s. It has been our long-standing position that we support a two state solution which entails the establishment of a sovereign, viable, and independent state of Palestine within recognised and mutually agreed borders, living side by side with Israel in peace," Randhir Jaiswal said.

As part of its retaliation against the October 7 attack by Hamas militants, killing around 1200 and kidnapping more than 200 civilians, the Netanyahu-led government has been continuing its military offensive.

Ever since the attack on the Israeli territory, over 35,000 people have been killed in Israeli airstrikes. India has been calling for de-escalation of the situation and creating conditions for an early resumption of direct peace negotiations towards a two-state solution to the Palestine issue.

(With agency inputs)

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