India abstains from voting on resolution at UNHRC on Gaza violence

The resolution, pushing for an inquiry into the violence, was adopted on May 27 as 24 voted in favour and 9 voted against the resolution


India was among the 14 member countries who abstained from voting for a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council proposing to set up a Commission of Inquiry into the many violations during the Gaza violence. Nevertheless, the resolution was adopted in Geneva as 24 member countries voted in favour.

The resolution was adopted on May 27, at a one-day special session of the Human Rights Council on the “grave human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem”. The council has decided to establish an international commission of inquiry to investigate in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel all alleged violations of international humanitarian law and all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law leading up to and since 13 April 2021, and all underlying root causes of recurrent tensions, instability and protraction of conflict, including systematic discrimination and repression based on national, ethnic, racial or religious identity. 

The countries that voted in favour included China, Indonesia, Mexico, Philippines, Bangladesh, Pakistan, few African countries and so on. Those who voted against included Austria, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Czech Republic, Germany, Malawi, Marshall Islands, United Kingdom and Uruguay. Those who abstained from voting included India, Brazil, France, Italy, Japan, Netherlands and so on.

About 242 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli Security Forces (the ISF) in strikes on Gaza, including 63 children. Thousands of others have been injured while it is estimated that over 74,000 Palestinians have been displaced. Two main issues led to the rise in tensions. The imminent evictions of Palestinian families and their forced displacement in the neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem, to make way for settlers; and the ISF deployment at the Al Aqsa compound, restricting access to thousands of  worshippers during the last days of Ramadan.

India has dropped its historic commitment to the PAlestinian cause, evident in its ommission of description such as  “just Palestinian cause” in its statement at the UNHRC on May 27. India’s support to Palestine was consistent and evident in Indian statements at the UN (and internationally) in the past. This signals a slight nuanced shift away from Palestine, and towards Israel, reported Indian Express.

In its statement at the UNHRC in Geneva India in 2021 said that it “welcomes diplomatic efforts of the international community and regional countries that have resulted in bringing a ceasefire between Israel and armed groups in Gaza”.


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