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No change in stand on Palestine: Govt.

Demands for resolution on Gaza conflict turned down

July 21, 2014 11:00 pm | Updated November 17, 2021 01:10 am IST - NEW DELHI:

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj speaks in the Rajya Sabha in New Delhi on Monday.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj speaks in the Rajya Sabha in New Delhi on Monday.

The Government on Monday asserted in the Rajya Sabha that India’s policy on the Palestine issue remains unchanged but stonewalled demands for a unanimous resolution on the Gaza conflict, triggering a walkout by the Opposition.

Replying to a short duration discussion in Rajya Sabha on Monday, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj rebutted the Opposition’s call for suspension of all military purchases from Israel and raising the issue at the United Nations. “We fully support the Palestinian cause while maintaining good relations with Israel,” she said.

The Opposition’s demand for a resolution was turned down by Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien who pointed out that Rule 176, under which the discussion took place, does not provide for a resolution or motion of any kind. Another reason was the Government’s disinclination for a resolution which meant there was no consensus.

With none of their demands met, almost the entire Opposition staged a walkout

With none of their demands met, almost the entire Opposition staged a walkout.

Stating the Government’s position on the conflict in Gaza, Ms. Swaraj said peace would have been restored by now had Hamas accepted the ceasefire proposal from Egypt.

An effort to form a Unity Government by Palestine also failed as Israel refused to recognise a government supported by Hamas, even from outside, leading to a breakdown of the peace talks, she said.

Mr Sitaram Yechury’s (CPI-M) call for suspending arms purchases from Israel was met by a riposte from the External Affairs Minister who wanted to know why his party, which was supporting the UPA-1, had not made such a demand in 2008 when 1,400 Palestinians were killed and then later in 2012 when there was another spurt of violence.

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