Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday thanked Narendra Modi for supporting his government’s decision to oppose a Palestinian group’s request for consultative status in United Nations institutions.
“Thank you Narendra Modi, thank you India, for your support and for standing with Israel at the UN,” Netanyahu tweeted, a week after the draft decision was introduced during a meeting of the UN body. This is the first time India has supported a United Nations resolution perceived to be pro-Israel.
The Israeli foreign ministry said on Wednesday that the United Nations Economic and Social Council had “overwhelmingly rejected” Palestinian non-governmental organisation Shahed’s request for observer status at the world body, the Hindustan Times reported. The group had allegedly not revealed its ties with militant group Hamas. The Israeli resolution was passed in a 28-14 vote on June 6, and was supported by countries such as India, United States, United Kingdom, France, and Japan.
India’s support to Israel came to light on Tuesday when Deputy Chief of Mission at the Israeli embassy, Maya Kadosh, thanked India for its support. “Thank you India for standing with Israel and rejecting the request of terrorist organization ‘Shahed’ to obtain the status of an observer in UN,” she said. “Together we will continue to act against terrorist organisations that intend to harm.”
According to Israel, though Shahed claims to deal with human rights and humanitarian matters, in practice it is a “terrorist organisation” and operates as “an arm of the Hamas terror organisation” from Lebanon, PTI reported. Several European countries also consider Hamas to be a terrorist organisation.
India has consistently supported a negotiated solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict with the aim of seeing a sovereign, independent, viable, and united state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital. In the past, India has also been proactive in generating support for the Palestinian cause.
In 2015, New Delhi did not vote on a resolution on the violence in Gaza at the United Nations Human Rights Council. It was viewed as a “significant move” in Israel and an example of the growing relations between Netanyahu and Modi. However, India had to explain to the Palestinian Authority why it had chosen to stand with Israel, which Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had “accepted and understood”.