Palestine’s Ambassador to India has urged the Narendra Modi government to throw its weight behind the Palestinian cause, a day after US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“There is an urgent need for positive intervention from members of the international community, in particular India and European countries, to protect the Palestinian people and to curb Israel’s violations and end its impunity,” Adnan Abu Alhaijaa, Palestine’s envoy to India, told National Herald in a statement.
Alhaijaa said that America’s unilateral decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel had “eliminated the possibility of establishing the Independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
“The decision is a death blow to the chances of peace and stability,” the diplomat added.
President Trump’s announcement on Wednesday also sets in motion the process of moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
"I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel," Trump said at the White House on Wednesday.
The announcement sparked protests in the Gaza Strip, with news channels reporting that hundreds of Palestinians had taken to streets in condemnation of the US President.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that the US could no longer be a mediator in the Israel-Palestine peace process, as he refused to acknowledge America’s decision.
Palestinian leaders called for ‘three days of rage’ on Wednesday to protest the move. Demonstrations are expected in Palestine and other countries with sizable Palestinian diaspora. Al-Jazeera reported that a protest was also held in Lebanon’s capital Beirut, hours after Trump made the landmark announcement.
While the current Indian administration has maintained that its stand on the Israel-Palestine dispute remains unchanged, two recent statements by Prime Minister Narendra Modi have failed to make a mention of East Jerusalem as capital of the Palestinian state, unlike until 2016.
“Prime Minister Modi’s statement on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People didn’t mention East Jerusalem. Likewise, East Jerusalem was missing from the joint statement issued by Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu and PM Modi during latter’s visit to Israel earlier this year,” Zikr-ur-Rahman, India’s former envoy to Palestine, told National Herald.
Rahman, however, said that supporting an independent Palestine remained an “integral part of India’s foreign policy.”
“In my own assessment, the current Indian government doesn’t want to antagonise Israel. That is why we are seeing these carefully-worded statements coming out of the Prime Minister’s office,” Rahman said.
Rahman reckons that PM Modi making a statement on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People was proof enough that India’s policy has remained consistent under the current government.
Rahman added, “No statement was made by the US. At least PM Modi expressed India’s support for an independent Palestinian state.”
Ministry of External Affairs (MoE) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Thursday was quoted as saying by NDTV that India’s position on Palestine remained “independent and consistent.”
Kumar said, “It is shaped by our views and interests, and not determined by any third country.”