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Rediff.com  » News » In UNGA, India votes against Israeli settlements in Palestine

In UNGA, India votes against Israeli settlements in Palestine

By Yoshita Singh
November 12, 2023 20:31 IST
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India voted in favour of five resolutions relating to the situation in the Middle East, including one that condemned Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and abstained on one resolution.

IMAGE: Smoke rises over Gaza as seen from Southern Israel, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinian group Hamas, November 10, 2023. Photograph: Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters

The Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonisation) of the UN General Assembly approved six draft resolutions on November 9 all by recorded votes, relating to the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.

 

India voted in favour of a resolution that condemns Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The draft resolution titled ‘Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the Occupied Syrian Golan' was approved by the Special Political and Decolonisation Committee (Fourth Committee) by a recorded vote of 145 in favour, 7 against and 18 abstentions.

Those voting against the resolution were Canada, Hungary, Israel, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru and the United States.

India was among the 145 nations that voted in favour of the resolution along with Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, France, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, Russia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the UK.

By the terms of the resolution, the Assembly would condemn settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan and any activities involving the confiscation of land, the disruption of the livelihood of protected persons, the forced transfer of civilians and the annexation of land, whether de facto or through national legislation.

India abstained on a draft resolution ‘Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories'.

The resolution was approved by a recorded vote of 85 in favour to 13 against, with 72 abstentions.

This resolution “deplores those policies and practices of Israel that violate the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories, as reflected in the report of the Special Committee covering the reporting period.”

The resolution also “Expresses grave concern about the critical situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as a result of unlawful Israeli practices and measures, and especially condemns and calls for the immediate cessation of all illegal Israeli settlement activities and the construction of the wall, the lifting of the blockade of the Gaza Strip, as well as the complete cessation of the excessive and indiscriminate use of force and military operations against the civilian population..."

Another draft resolution that India voted in favour of was ‘The occupied Syrian Golan' which was approved by a recorded vote of 146 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 23 abstentions.

The resolution would call upon “Israel to desist from changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan and in particular to desist from the establishment of settlements.”

It would also call upon Israel to desist from imposing Israeli citizenship and Israeli identity cards on the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan, and from its repressive measures against the population of the occupied Syrian Golan.

India voted in favour of a resolution 'Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East'. This draft resolution was approved by a recorded vote of 160 in favour to 4 against (Canada, Israel, Federated States of Micronesia, United States), with 7 abstentions (Cameroon, Guatemala, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Uruguay, Vanuatu).

It would have the Assembly express its deep concern about the extremely critical financial situation of UNRWA and attempt to discredit the Agency despite its proven operational capacity and consistent implementation of its mandate.

It expressed grave concern about the extremely difficult socioeconomic conditions being faced by the Palestine refugees in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the refugee camps in the Gaza Strip, as a result of the recurrent military operations, continuing prolonged Israeli closures, the construction of settlements and the wall.

India also voted in favour of the draft resolution titled “Assistance to Palestine refugees”. Approved by a recorded vote of 161 in favour to 1 against (Israel), with 11 abstentions, the resolution would affirm the necessity for the continuation of the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. 

India then voted in favour of a draft resolution titled “Palestine refugees' properties and their revenues.

The resolution was approved by a recorded vote of 156 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, United States), with 8 abstentions (Cameroon, Guatemala, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, South Sudan, Togo and Vanuatu).

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Yoshita Singh in United Nations
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