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India Abstains from UN Vote Calling for Arms Embargo on Israel, Gaza Ceasefire

The UN Human Rights Council's resolution was, however, adopted after 28 member states voted in its favour, 6 voted against and 13 abstained.
The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Photo: United Nations Photo/Flickr CC BY NC ND 2.0

New Delhi: India on Friday, April 5, abstained from a resolution by the UN Human Rights Council that called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and an arms embargo on Israel. It demanded that Israel immediately lift its illegal blockade on the strip.

Titled ‘Human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the obligation to ensure accountability and justice’, the resolution was adopted by the Geneva-based Council with a vote of 28 in favour, six against and 13 abstentions.

Besides India, France, Japan, Netherlands, and Romania among others abstained. Argentina, Bulgaria, Germany, and the US voted against the resolution. Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, China, Indonesia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Maldives, Qatar, South Africa, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam voted in favour of the resolution.

Among the resolution’s provisions was an arms embargo: “Calls upon all States to cease the sale, transfer and diversion of arms, munitions and other military equipment to Israel, the occupying Power, in order to prevent further violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights, and to refrain, in accordance with international norms and standards, from the export, sale or transfer of surveillance goods and technologies and less-lethal weapons, including “dual-use” items, when they assess that there are reasonable grounds to suspect that such goods, technologies or weapons might be used to violate or abuse human rights, and recalls the order of the International Court of Justice of January 26, 2024, determining that there is a plausible risk of genocide in Gaza.”

The resolution demanded “Israel, the occupying Power, end its occupation of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem.”

It also emphasised that all efforts to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be in accordance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law and relevant United Nations resolutions, PTI reported.

It also called for an “immediate ceasefire in Gaza, for immediate emergency humanitarian access and assistance, in particular through crossings and land routes, and for the urgent restoration of basic necessities to the Palestinian population in Gaza.”

The resolution specifically called on Israel to immediately lift its illegal blockade on the Gaza Strip and all other forms of collective punishment and siege.

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