India on Friday abstained from voting on a United Nations General Assembly resolution for “immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce” between Israeli forces and Hamas militants in Gaza.

The resolution, which also sought a continuous supply of aid to civilians in Gaza, was adopted with 120 votes in favour, 14 against and 45 abstentions.

The vote came in the backdrop of Israel stepping up its ground and aerial strikes in Gaza as the military said it was expanding ground operations in the region, reported The Associated Press. Israel has also knocked out the internet and communication services, cutting off 2.3 million people from contact with each other as well as the world.

Paltel, the Palestinian telecom provider, said that the bombings have completely disrupted the internet as well as telecom services. Some satellite phones, however, are continuing to function. The cutoff means that international media and aid agencies have also lost communication with the civilians.

At the voting besides India, those who abstained from voting on Friday include Australia, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Sweden, Italy and Japan.

The United States, Israel, Hungary and Austria were among those that voted against the resolution, which did not make any mention of the attack on Israelby Palestinian militant group Hamas on October 7. The attack killed over 1,400 Israelis. Soon after, Israel announced a siege of the Gaza Strip. The relentless Israeli offensive since then has resulted in the deaths of over 7,000 people in Gaza.

India, however, supported an amendment to the resolution proposed by Canada to condemn the “terrorist attacks by Hamas” and the taking of hostages. The amendment was not adopted as it failed to receive a two-thirds majority. It received 85 votes in favour, 55 against and 23 countries abstained.

On October 12, India reiterated its longstanding position supporting the establishment of an independent Palestine. The Indian government had described the cross-border assault by Hamas on Israel as a “terrorist attack”.

While abstaining from the vote on Saturday, India said that the October 7 attack was shocking and called on Hamas to immediately release hostages.

India’s Deputy Permanent Representative Ambassador Yojna Patel said that India was “deeply concerned at the deteriorating security situation” and the loss of civilian lives in the conflict. “The escalation of hostilities in the region will only exacerbate the humanitarian crisis,” Patel said. “It is necessary for all parties to display the utmost responsibility.”

She added: “Casualties in Gaza are a continuing concern and the crisis needs to be addressed.”

The resolution that was adopted was brought by Jordan and supported by 40 countries, including Egypt, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. It also called for the “immediate and unconditional release” of all civilians held captive.

Also read:

Israel-Hamas: Conflict at time of new geopolitical divisions could worsen economic outlook

Can international law be used to prosecute Israel and Hamas for their alleged attacks on civilians?