India has taken a strong stand against Israel by voting in support of a UN resolution to launch a probe into the country’s offensive on Gaza and has condemned the “disproportionate use of force”.
India joined Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa to vote for a Palestinian-drafted resolution on “Ensuring Respect for international law in The Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem”.
Supporting calls for an immediate ceasefire, India said it is “deeply concerned at the steep escalation of violence between Israel and Palestine, particularly heavy airstrikes in Gaza and disproportionate use of force on ground, resulting in tragic loss of civilian lives, especially women and children and heavy damage to property.”
Top government sources defended the statement, saying India has good bilateral relationship with Israel “but on multilateral track Israel is seen as violating international norms” and India has always voted against Israel on issues of violation of international humanitarian law.
India, the sources said, gained little by supporting Israel on this, adding that it makes no sense to support a country seen as going against international norms.
New Delhi also points out that Israel has not supporting India on any international forums. “Abstention not an option, it would have been seen as change in policy towards Palestine. We don’t want to undermine that,” said sources.