India called for an immediate de-escalation of the situation between Israel and Palestine at the first public United Nations Security Council meeting held since the current surge in hostilities between the two parties entered its seventh day, killing at least 149 people in Gaza and 10 in Israel, including many children.
The virtual public meeting was held on Sunday after diplomats reached a compromise following U.S. objections to a public meeting, Reuters reported.
“Immediate de-escalation is the need of the hour, so as to arrest any further slide towards the brink. We urge both sides to show extreme restraint, desist from actions that exacerbate tensions, and refrain from attempts to unilaterally change the existing status-quo, including in East Jerusalem and its neighbourhood,” India’s Permanent Representative and Ambassador to the U.N. , T.S. Tirumurti, told the Security Council on Sunday.
“The indiscriminate rocket firings from Gaza targeting the civilian population in Israel, which we condemn, and the retaliatory strikes into Gaza, have caused immense suffering and resulted in deaths,” Mr Tirumurti said, adding that India had lost one of its citizens, a caregiver in Ashkelon (30 year old Soumya Santosh from Kerala).
The trust deficit between Israel and Palestinian authorities was increasing, as there were no direct negotiations between the two, the ambassador said.