New Delhi: India at the United Nations security council session expressed its “deep concern” over violence in Jerusalem and the escalating situation in Israel-Palestine and called for “an immediate de-escalation as the need of the hour” .

India’s Ambassador to United Nation T S Tirumurti said, “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 East Jerusalem and its neighbourhood”.

The violence started in Jerusalem at the Haram Al-Sharif, also known as Temple Mount during Ramzan, with the key reason being the possible eviction of Palestinians in the Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighbourhood in East Jerusalem. The area is a holy site in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The violence later spread to both West Bank and Gaza. 

Tirumurti condemned the indiscriminate rocket firing from Gaza targeting the civilian population in Israel which caused immense suffering and resulted in deaths. He paid tributes to the Indian national, Soumya Santhosh who died in the rocket firing in the city of Ashkelon. 

He said, “India has lost one of her nationals living in Israel.. we deeply mourn her demise along with all other civilians who have lost their lives in the current cycle of violence.” Tirumurti reiterated: “Strong condemnation of all acts of violence, provocation, incitement and destruction.”

Soumya Santhosh hailing from Kerala was a caregiver living in the country for many years. She died in the Hamas rocket strike and is survived by her 9-year-old son and her husband.

India’s minister of state in the Ministry of External Affairs V. Muraleedharan and Israel’s Deputy Envoy Rony Yedidia Clein were present at the Delhi airport when her mortal remains reached India.

Ambassador Tirumurti listed New Delhi’s strong support to the just Palestinian cause and its unwavering commitment to the to state solution and highlighted that the current situation underscored the need for immediate resumption of dialogue between Israel and Palestinian authorities.

In fact, the envoy pointed out, that the absence of direct and meaningful negotiations between the parties is widening the trust deficit between the parties and this will increase the chances for similar escalation in future.

Importantly, India at UNSC also explained how Jerusalem has a “special place in hearts of millions of Indians”, with the city housing an Indian hospice–Al Zawiyya Al Hindiyya.

The Hospice has been restored by the Indian government and according to legend Indian Sufi saint Baba Farid had visited the site in AD 1200, meditating at the location.

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