India on Thursday abstained from voting on a resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council, which proposed an investigation into the violence in Gaza, reported The Indian Express. At least 232 people, including more than 100 women and children, were killed in Gaza till Israel and Hamas entered into a ceasefire on May 21 after 11 days of violence.

The resolution was adopted as 24 countries in the 47-member council voted in favour of it. The resolution proposed setting up a commission of inquiry to look into the violations during the violence as well as the “systematic” abuses in Palestinian territories and inside Israel.

Besides India, 13 other countries abstained, including France, Japan, Netherlands, Italy, Nepal, Poland and South Korea.

The resolution proposed setting up a commission of inquiry to look into the violations during the violence as well as the “systematic” abuses in Palestinian territories and inside Israel. Pakistan, China, Bangladesh and Russia voted in favour of the resolution, while Germany, the United Kingdom and Austria were against it.

In a statement, the human rights body said the international commission of inquiry has been established to investigate violations of international humanitarian law and all alleged violations and abuses of human rights during the conflict, reported the Hindustan Times.

India’s permanent representative to the UN body, Indra Mani Pandey, said at the meeting that New Delhi welcomed diplomatic efforts of the international community and regional countries in bringing the ceasefire between Israel and the armed groups in Gaza.

“India calls on all parties to show extreme restraint, desist from actions that aggravate tensions and refrain from any further attempts to unilaterally change the existing status-quo, including in East Jerusalem and its neighbourhoods,” the representative said in a statement.

India also expressed concern at the continuing violence in Jerusalem, especially at Haram Al Sharif and other Palestinian territories.

“The indiscriminate rocket firings from Gaza targeting the civilian population in Israel, which we have condemned, and the retaliatory air strikes into Gaza in the last two weeks have caused immense suffering- and resulted in deaths, including an Indian national – a caregiver in the Israeli city of Ashkelon,” it said.

The statement also urged the international community to pay attention to provide humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population, especially in Gaza.

“India continues to provide developmental and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian Authority, including Covid-19 related assistance, bilaterally, and through our dedicated contribution to the UN,” it added.

The conflict

The current streak of violence in the region is among the worst hostilities between Israel and Palestine since 2014.

At the heart of the conflict is an Israeli Supreme Court hearing, which was due on May 10, in a long-running legal case about whether several Palestinian families would be evicted from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah, a neighbourhood near Damascus Gate that was given to Israeli settlers.

As the court hearing neared, Palestinians and Left-wing Israelis began holding larger demonstrations, saying more evictions could cause a domino effect throughout the overwhelmingly Palestinian neighbourhood.

The renewed tensions due to the case in the Supreme Court, was an extension of the long-standing conflict as Israel, which annexed East Jerusalem in 1967, sees all of the city as its Capital, while Palestinians want the eastern section as a capital of a future state. Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem is largely unrecognised internationally.

The neighbourhood is also home to Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, as well as the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest place in Islam.