India calls for immediate end to violence in Gaza

November 18th, 2008 - 12:22 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 17 (IANS) Deploring the escalation in violence in the Gaza Strip, India Monday called for “an immediate end” to the fighting that has spawned a humanitarian catastrophe in the Hamas-ruled province. “The government of India condemns the recent upsurge of violence in the Gaza Strip and remains concerned at the adverse effects of the closure of access points into the Strip on the prevailing humanitarian situation,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said in a statement.

“There can be no justification for the denial of essential supplies, including such as food and fuel, to the civilian population of the Gaza Strip numbering over 700,000 persons,” he said.

“The government of India urges an immediate end to violence and hopes that peace will be restored urgently and that immediate steps will be taken to ensure that basic humanitarian principles are observed,” he underlined.

The spokesperson underlined New Delhi’s hope that the situation “will not be allowed to aggravate further.”

New Delhi’s strong condemnation of recent violence in Gaza, home to 1.4 million Palestinians, comes on a day when Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is on a three-day visit to India.

The peace process in the Middle East and the situation in Gaza will figure prominently in discussions between Prime Minister Mahmohan Singh and Mubarak Tuesday.

Three days ago, violence flared again around Gaza as Israel tightened its blockade around the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

Israel also blocked shipments of EU-funded fuel essential supplies to Gaza after a spike in rocket attacks by Palestinian militants on the country’s southern communities.

The UN, the European Union and non-governmental organizations, including Amnesty International, have pressed Israel to allow in food convoys and to resume supplies of fuel.

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