Government has rejected opposition’s demand of resolution on Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza. Opposition parties condemned the violence in Gaza and pressed for adoption of a resolution by the Rajya Sabha against it besides demanding suspension of all military purchases from Israel as the House took up a discussion over the matter ending a week-long deadlock.
Initiating a discussion on the ‘Unprecedented spurt in violence in Gaza and West Bank area of Palestine causing death of scores of civilians’, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad slammed the government over the delay in discussing the issue questioning whether it has made any change in the country’s foreign policy towards Palestine.
Condemning the “genocide” in Palestine by Israeli forces, Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) demanded “immediate suspension of all military purchases from Israel”. Noting that Israel is the biggest supplier of arms and ammunition to India, Yechury said the profit earned from it is being spent by Israel in carrying out such “genocides”.
The member said India cannot be a silent spectator and a resolution should be brought in the House to condemn it.UN Security Council has condemned it and US Secretary General has termed it atrocious, he said.
Sharad Yadav (JD-U) supported Azad’s argument that India has its economic interests in West Asia and said a discussion on the issue should not have been delayed.
The decision to hold a short duration discussion on the issue for one-and-a-half-hour was later extended to two-and-a-half-hour with the consent of members from both sides in the House.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien that she has no problem with it and time should be extended if members want to speak.
Her remarks came soon after another Union Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot, responding to Opposition members’ demand for time extension, said the time decided at the meeting should be adhered to.
Rejecting opposition demand for a resolution, Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien said the Rule 176 under which the discussion took place does not provide for a resolution or motion of any kind.
No change in India’s policy on Palestine: Swaraj
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that India’s policy on Palestine issue remains unchanged; government refused to take sides over the Gaza conflict as it said Israel and Palestine should have peace talks and forestalled a resolution in Rajya Sabha which was demanded by the opposition.
The House should not be divided but rather send out a joint message that wherever there is violence, it is condemnable and both Israel and Palestine should accept Egypt’s offer of peace talks, she said.