India abstained from UN vote on Israel-Hamas conflict in ‘absence of all elements of its approach’

United Nations: India is concerned over the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Gaza but at the same time strongly considers that there can be no equivocation on terror, sources said on Saturday explaining New Delhi’s decision to abstain on a UN General Assembly resolution that called for a humanitarian truce in the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The resolution did not include any explicit condemnation of the October 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas, they said, adding India abstained in the vote in the absence of all elements of its approach not being covered in the final text of the resolution.

The UN General Assembly on Friday adopted a resolution that called for an “immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce” between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

“The Resolution in the UNGA did not include any explicit condemnation of the terrorist attacks of October 7. An amendment was moved to include this aspect, before the vote on the main resolution,” said a source.

India voted in favour of the amendment and it obtained 88 votes in favour but not the requisite two-thirds majority, it said. “In the absence of all elements of our approach not being covered in the final text of the resolution, we abstained in the vote on its adoption,” the source said.

The sources said India’s decision on the resolution was guided by its “steadfast and consistent position” on the issue and its explanation of the vote reiterated this comprehensively and holistically. Referring to the attacks on Israel by Hamas, the sources said there can be “no equivocation on terror”.

They said India’s ‘Explanation of Vote’ (EOV) categorically stated that the “terror attacks in Israel on October 7 were shocking and deserve condemnation.” Explaining New Delhi’s vote, India’s Deputy Permanent Representative, Yojna Patel, said: “Our thoughts are also with those taken hostages. We call for their immediate and unconditional release.”

The sources said the EOV strongly conveyed India’s concerns on the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Gaza. “Casualties in the ongoing conflict in Gaza are a telling, serious, and continuing concern. Civilians, especially women and children are paying with their lives.” Patel said in the EOV.

“This humanitarian crisis needs to be addressed. We welcome the international community’s de-escalation efforts and delivery of humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza. India too has contributed to this effort,” she said. Patel said India is “deeply concerned at the deteriorating security situation and astounding loss of civilian lives in the ongoing conflict.”

“The escalation of hostilities in the region will only exacerbate the humanitarian crisis. All parties must display the utmost responsibility.” India also stressed its consistent stand on Palestine.

India has always supported a negotiated Two-State solution to the Israel-Palestine issue leading to the establishment of a sovereign, independent and viable State of Palestine living within secure and recognized borders, side-by-side in peace with Israel,” Patel said. “For this, we urge the parties to de-escalate, eschew violence and work towards creating conditions for an early resumption of direct peace negotiations,” she said.