Hamas-Israel conflict: India once again calls for de-escalation of situation

Hamas-Israel conflict: India once again calls for de-escalation of situation

New Delhi, Nov 16 (PTI) With Israel continuing its military offensive in Gaza in retaliation to last month's attacks by Hamas, India on Thursday once again called for de-escalating the situation and underlined the need for observing international humanitarian law in the face of increasing civilian casualties in the conflict.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at his weekly media briefing that India is looking at sending more humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people.

Israel has been carrying out a massive military operation in Gaza following the unprecedented and multi-pronged attacks on Israeli cities by Hamas militants on October 7.

Asked about New Delhi's view on Israeli troops undertaking an operation at the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, Bagchi said the issue is not about one particular facility and that India has always underlined the need for following international law.

'The issue is not about one facility or a specific facility. India has always underlined the need for civilian casualties to be avoided, for humanitarian law to be observed, and to encourage any efforts to provide humanitarian relief to those caught in the conflict,' he said.

'We have also, on the larger issue, talked about efforts to de-escalate the situation, deliver humanitarian assistance, our concern at the humanitarian (situation and) increasing civilian toll,' he said.

Israel continued its operation at the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on Wednesday night. Israel has been maintaining that the hospital was being used as a base by Hamas.

Hamas killed around 1,400 people in Israel and kidnapped more than 220 others. Around 11,500 people have been killed in Gaza in the Israeli offensive, according to the Hamas-run authorities in Gaza.

There has been mounting criticism of Israel for the death of a large number of civilians including women and children in Gaza in its military operations.

'We had also talked about how India had sent 38 tonnes of humanitarian relief materials. We are looking to send more assistance,' he said.

Bagchi noted that India strongly condemned the attacks by Hamas on Israel.

'We had also strongly condemned the horrific terrorist attack on October 7 and our zero tolerance for terrorism and the need for immediate and unconditional release of the hostages,' he said. PTI MPB ZMN

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