General Assembly General Assembly

UN General Assembly Debate

The situation in the Middle East/Question of Palestine


Statement by Ambassador T.S. Tirumurti

Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations


20 May 2021



Thank you, Mr. President, for convening this meeting.


2. Ahead of today’s meeting, the Security Council has held two closed meetings and an open debate on the developments in the Middle East in the last ten days. In these meetings, we had expressed our deep concern over violence in Jerusalem, especially on the Haram Al Sharif / Temple Mount during the holy month of Ramadan, and about the possible eviction process in the Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighbourhood in East Jerusalem, an area which is part of an arrangement facilitated by the United Nations. We had also expressed our apprehension at the spread of violence to other parts of West Bank and Gaza.


3. We note with concern that the ongoing violence has not yet abated despite hectic diplomatic parleys and efforts by the international community.


4. We condemn the indiscriminate rocket firings from Gaza into Israel, which have caused deaths of a number of civilians. India has also tragically lost one of its nationals during this rocket fire – a caregiver living in Ashkelon in Israel. The retaliatory strikes into Gaza have also resulted in deaths and destruction. We deeply mourn the loss of the lives of innocent civilians, including the Indian national, in the current cycle of violence. We reiterate our strong condemnation of all acts of provocation, violence and destruction.


5. As we have continuously emphasized, immediate de-escalation is the need of the hour, so as to arrest this spiral of violence. We urge that any action that exacerbates tensions should be avoided, as also any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo.


Mr. President,


6. Recent incidents have once again underscored the need for immediate resumption of dialogue between Israel and the Palestinian authorities. Direct and meaningful negotiations will go a long way in building mutual trust and establishing lasting peace and stability. We believe that every effort should be made to create conducive conditions for resumption of direct talks between Israel and Palestine.


7. India continues to provide assistance, including through the supply of essential medicines and pandemic relief items to the Palestinian authorities.


8. We support all ongoing diplomatic efforts, including of the Quartet, to bring the ongoing violence to an end and to seek durable peace, in line with the vision of the two States living side by side within secure and recognized borders.


I thank you, Mr. President.