India abstains from the vote on the Gaza ceasefire and arms embargo against Israel in the UN Human Rights Council.

World News

On April 5, India abstained from voting on a resolution passed by the 47-member Human Rights Council that demanded that Israel immediately declare an end to hostilities in Gaza and that all nations impose an arms embargo.

Although India abstained from voting on any HRC resolutions that demand “accountability,” it did support three other resolutions that denounced Israel for violating Palestinians’ human rights, denounced Israel’s occupation of the Syrian Golan, and supported the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. Pakistan presented all four resolutions to the HRC in Geneva on behalf of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation.

The decision on Friday was important since it came after Israel launched a military attack on the Iranian Embassy in Damascus, which India had expressed “concerns” about, and killed seven humanitarian relief workers in Gaza. The Ministry of External Affairs did not provide an explanation for the vote, but it is assumed that it was in line with its vote at the UN General Assembly in October 2023 and previous abstentions on resolutions of a similar nature. This is because the HRC resolution (A/HRC/55/L.30) denounced Israel’s killing of over 33,000 Palestinians, its blockade of food and humanitarian aid into the region, and its “forcible transfer” of civilians from one area of Gaza to another during the previous six mo

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After giving a speech that was met with criticism by the Israeli Ambassador for failing to name Hamas and denounce the October 7 assaults that claimed 1,200 Israeli lives, she protested by leaving the plenary session.

The final resolution condemned Israeli actions that “may amount to ethnic cleansing,” called for a “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza, demanded that Israel “immediately lift its illegal blockade on the Gaza Strip and all other forms of collective punishment and siege,” and mentioned the “starvation of civilians” by the Israeli forces. Calling on all states to “cease the sale, transfer and diversion of arms, munitions and other military equipment to Israel,” it also pushed for punitive actions.

Three other resolutions, titled “Right of the Palestinian people to self-determination,” “Human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan,” and “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan,” were also approved by large majorities with the support of India’s vote.

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