In the midst of the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, Prime Minister Narendra Modi engaged in a conversation with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. During this conversation, Prime Minister Modi expressed his condolences for the tragic loss of civilian lives at the al-Ahli hospital in Gaza. He assured President Abbas of India’s unwavering commitment to delivering humanitarian aid to the Palestinian population. Additionally, Prime Minister Modi reiterated India’s enduring and principled position on the Israel-Palestine matter.
Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister Modi conveyed, “Spoke to the President of the Palestinian Authority H.E. Mahmoud Abbas. Conveyed my condolences at the loss of civilian lives at the Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza. We will continue to send humanitarian assistance for the Palestinian people. Shared our deep concern at the terrorism, violence, and deteriorating security situation in the region. Reiterated India’s long-standing principled position on the Israel-Palestine issue.”
Notably, this marked the first instance of Prime Minister Modi engaging with Palestinian authorities since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas conflict, initiated by Hamas’ unexpected offensive into Israel on October 7.
It is worth mentioning that Prime Minister Modi also expressed solidarity with Israel and engaged in discussions with Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. On a related note, Prime Minister Modi voiced his shock and apprehension concerning the civilian casualties resulting from the ongoing conflict, particularly following an incident in which thousands of lives were reportedly lost due to an attack on a Gaza hospital. The responsibility for this attack remains unclear, although the Israeli Defense Forces attributed it to a misfired rocket from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a group categorized as a terrorist organization by both Israel and the United States.
India’s stance on the Israel-Palestine matter has drawn attention, especially after Prime Minister Modi expressed support for Israel. India maintains strategic diplomatic ties with Israel, with Prime Minister Modi being the first Indian Prime Minister to visit both Israel and Palestine. In 2017, India voted against the United States and Israel when they declared Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.
The Ministry of External Affairs in India has previously emphasized the nation’s enduring support for the establishment of a sovereign, independent, and viable Palestinian state. MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi stated, “India has always advocated the resumption of direct negotiations toward the establishment of a sovereign, independent, and viable state of Palestine, living within secure and recognized borders, side by side at peace with Israel. I think that position remains the same.”
However, it is crucial to underline that India unequivocally condemns acts of terrorism and expressed its disapproval of the Hamas attack on Israel.