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Israel – Hamas Conflict UPSC NOTE

 Israel-Hamas conflict

  • The Israel-Hamas conflict is a long-standing and complex conflict between Israel.

  • A country in the Middle East, and Hamas, a Palestinian organization

  • The conflict is characterized by political, territorial, and religious tensions.

  • Hamas, or the Islamic Resistance Movement, is considered a terrorist organization by several countries, including the United States, the European Union, Israel, and others. 

  • It was founded in 1987 and is a Palestinian militant group that controls the Gaza Strip

Why did the Indian government abstain?

  • In particular, government sources said that UNGA resolution (A/ES-10/L.25) lacked an “explicit condemnation.

  • October 7 terror attacks by Hamas, in which 1,405 Israelis were killed, and about 240 were taken as hostages by Hamas militants. 

  • The UNGA resolution did condemn acts of violence against Palestinian and Israeli civilians “including terrorism”, and also called for the immediate unconditional release of the hostages. 

  • However, India had wanted more, voting in favour of an amendment authored by Canada.

  • Significantly, none of the government’s own formal statements since October 7, including India’s “Explanation of Vote” delivered after the resolution was passed.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s conversations with foreign leaders since the attacks referred to Hamas. 

  • New Delhi has also not as of yet designated Hamas a terror group, something Israeli Ambassador to India Naor Gilon has demanded.

Is India’s vote a break from the past?

  • India’s vote on the UNGA resolution is no doubt a break from its past voting record at the United Nations. 

  • India voted against the partition of Palestine and the creation of a separate state of Israel in 1948.

  • The first non-Arab state to recognise the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) as the representative of the people.

  • Also recognise Palestine in 1988, and consistently voted against Israel at the United Nations. 

  • 1990s, especially once India established full diplomatic ties with Israel, its votes at the UN grew more nuanced. 

  • Abstaining votes that directly criticised Israel, or called for international tribunals on its treatment of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories of West Bank and Gaza.

  • In December 1991, just weeks before India and Israel opened their embassies, India was part of a majority that voted at the UNGA.

  • To revoke an earlier resolution that equated Zionism with “racism and racial discrimination”. 

What does India’s stand signify?

  • India’s abstention at the UNGA was welcomed by Israel. 

  • They would have wanted India to vote against the resolution, as U.S., the U.K., and Israeli allies. 

  • Among countries that abstained were India’s other Quad partners Australia and South Korea, and NATO members, including Canada and European countries. 

  • The large majority of 120 countries that voted for the resolution were India’s South Asian neighbours, including Bhutan, ASEAN,BRICS ,Arab and most countries of the ‘Global South’. 

  • If India’s abstention is a signal of a decided shift in favour of Israel for future votes, it is clear which groupings India would find itself closer to.

  • Some have pointed out that India’s abstention is not as much a sign of its commitments to any policy.

  • In order to keep a “tightrope balance” between conflicting sides, both of which India has close ties to. 

  • In that sense over the past decade, India has consistently abstained from all resolutions critical of Russia’s operations in Ukraine both in 2014 and 2022.

  • A 2016 resolution calling for a ceasefire by Syria, all resolutions from 2017-2022 that condemned the Myanmar military junta for the expulsion of Rohingya.

  • This would explain India’s stand last month at the UNGA as more of a decision not to antagonise either side in an increasingly polarised world.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Israel – Hamas Conflict UPSC NOTE
Israel – Hamas Conflict UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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