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July 7, 2015 2:41 pm

Report: Palestinians Saddened by India Abstention From UNHRC Resolution Condemning Israel

avatar by Eliezer Sherman

The Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room, used by the United Nations Human Rights Council, in the Palace of Nations (Geneva). Photo: Wiki Commons.

The United Nations Human Rights Council. Photo: Wiki Commons.

India’s decision to abstain from the U.N. Human Rights Council vote last week over a resolution condemning alleged Israeli war crimes saddened the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian ambassador in New Delhi said on Monday.

Though the resolution passed by a wide margin of 41 votes, with each of the eight sitting European members voting in favor, Palestinian envoy Adnan Abu Alhaija said the Palestinians were “shocked” at India’s decision to abstain, attributing the decision to New Delhi’s “burgeoning military relations with Israel.”

“The Palestinian people and leaders were very happy with the U.N. resolution, but the voting of India has broken our happiness,” Alhaija told The Hindu.

While many have said India’s abstention underlined warming relations between the South Asian nation and Israel, India insisted it abstained from voting at the U.N. because it doesn’t back resolutions that refer nations to the International Criminal Court as it is not a signatory to the Rome Statute that set up the ICC, according to The Hindu. Alhaija called these statements “unconvincing” because other non-signatories, such as Russia and China, voted in favor of the resolution.

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Alhaija said India’s abstention amounted to a “clean-break from the ethos” of the major non-alignment bloc at the U.N. of which India is a leader.

India was one of five countries to abstain last Friday — the others were Ethiopia, Paraguay, Macedonia and Kenya.


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