Modi speaks to Palestinian leader Abbas, condoles Gaza hospital strike deaths
In a phone conversation, Modi shared with Palestinian National Authority president Mahmoud Abbas India’s “deep concern” over terrorism, violence and deteriorating security situation in the region.
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas (L) and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi in May 2017. (Photo by PRAKASH SINGH/AFP via Getty Images)
INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi on Thursday (19) conveyed his condolences to Palestinian National Authority (PNA) president Mahmoud Abbas over the deaths of civilians at a hospital in Gaza and reiterated India’s long-standing “principled position” on the Israel-Palestine issue.
In a phone conversation, Modi, at the same time, shared with Abbas India’s “deep concern” over terrorism, violence and deteriorating security situation in the region.
He told the PNA president that New Delhi will continue to send humanitarian assistance for the Palestinian people.
“Spoke to the President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas. Conveyed my condolences at the loss of civilian lives at the Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza,” Modi said on X.
“We will continue to send humanitarian assistance for the Palestinian people. Shared our deep concern at the terrorism, violence and deteriorating security situation in the region,” he said. “Reiterated India’s long-standing principled position on the Israel-Palestine issue,” the prime minister added.
Around 500 people were reported to have been killed on Tuesday (17) in the explosion on the al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza, triggering strong international condemnation. Palestinian authorities blamed Israeli air strikes for the explosion at the hospital while Israel said it was caused by a misfired rocket launched from Gaza by militant group Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that Abbas received the phone call from Modi, during which the two leaders discussed the latest developments in Palestine and the importance of an immediate end of the Israeli aggression on Gaza. It said Abbas emphasised the urgent need to halt “acts of aggression and the ongoing blockade in the Gaza Strip”.
The report said Abbas stressed the importance of delivering humanitarian aid, medical supplies, food, and ensuring access to water and electricity to the Palestinian people in Gaza.
The Palestinian leader underlined that the policies, programs, and decisions of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) represent the legitimate and sole representation of the Palestinian people, the Wafa report said.
He reiterated that security and peace could only be achieved through the implementation of the two-state solution based on international legitimacy, it said.
The report said Modi, in turn, reaffirmed India’s unwavering support for peace based on international law and expressed his solidarity with the Palestinian people during these trying times. He emphasized the importance of returning to negotiations and dialogues to achieve a lasting peace in the region, it said. Modi on Wednesday had expressed shock at the loss of lives in the attack on the Gaza hospital and that those involved in civilian casualties in the ongoing conflict should be held responsible.
“Deeply shocked at the tragic loss of lives at the Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza. Our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, and prayers for speedy recovery of those injured,” Modi said on X.
“Civilian casualties in the ongoing conflict are a matter of serious and continuing concern. Those involved should be held responsible,” he said.
(With PTI inputs)