PM Modi had a talk with Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas amid ongoing war

Debjit Mukherjee: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that he had a talk with President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas amid the ongoing Israel’s war with Hamas fighters. PM Modi in a tweet on microblogging site ‘X’ said that he expressed condolences for the victims of the Al Ahli Hospital blast in Gaza.

PM Modi’s statement and communication with the Palestine chief comes amid Western leaders, including US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, queueing up to visit Israel in a bid to prevent escalation of the Israel-Hamas war.

The prime minister told the Palestine Authority President that New Delhi will continue to send humanitarian assistance for the Palestinian people.

“Spoke to the President of the Palestinian Authority H.E. Mahmoud Abbas. Conveyed my condolences at the loss of civilian lives at the Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza. 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. Reiterated India’s long-standing principled position on the Israel-Palestine issue.” PM Modi wrote on X.

Days after an explosion at a hospital in Gaza killed around 500 people, India on Thursday called for strict observance of the international humanitarian law as it expressed concern over the civilian casualties in the Israel-Hamas conflict.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, referring to Hamas’s multi-pronged attack on Israeli cities on October 7, said the international community must stand together in combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

He said around 1,200 Indians and 18 Nepali nationals have come back to India in five flights from Tel Aviv under ‘Operation Ajay’ and that the government was monitoring the situation and has decided accordingly on facilitating the return of more people.

Around 500 people were reported to have been killed on Tuesday in an 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.