International

For the first time, India votes for Israel at UN against Palestine human rights body, ditches decades long position

India last week, for the first time, voted in support of Israel at the United Nation’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to deny observer status to a Palestinian human rights organisation named ‘Shahed’.

India has previously held a position on the two-state theory under which New Delhi sees both Israel and Palestine as separate and independent countries, seeking to bring peace in West Asia.

This is the first time India has taken a U-turn from this established position.

The vote, which took place on June 6 at the UN, saw countries such as US, France, Germany, India, Japan, UK, South Korea and Canada polling in favour of Israel, while China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and some others voted in favour of the Palestinian body.

The proposal made by ‘Shahed’ to obtain observer status in the UN got rejected by a 28-14 vote.

On Tuesday, Maya Kadosh, deputy chief of mission at the Israel embassy in India, tweeted, “Thank you India for standing with @IsraelinUN and rejecting the request of terrorist organization “Shahed” to obtain the status of an observer in #UN. Together we will continue to act against terrorist organizations that intend to harm.”

A statement by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that ‘Shahed’ claims to be dealing with human rights and humanitarian issues, but in practice it is a “terrorist organisation” and operates as “an arm of the Hamas terror organisation” based in Lebanon.

The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas has been described as a terrorist organisation by many European countries.

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