General Assembly Security Council

UNSC Open Debate on the Middle East

(24 October 2023, 1000 hrs)


Mr. President



I would like to thank you for organizing this Open Debate on Middle East today, which comes at a crucial time.


2. India is deeply concerned at the deteriorating security situation and large-scale loss of civilian lives in the ongoing conflict. The mounting humanitarian crisis is equally alarming. The escalation of hostilities in the region has only exacerbated the dire humanitarian situation and has once again underscored the fragile nature of the ceasefire.


2. The terror attacks in Israel of 07 October were shocking and we condemn them unequivocally. Our Prime Minister was one of the first global leaders to have conveyed his condolences for the loss of lives and prayers for the innocent victims and their families. We stood in solidarity with Israel at their moment of crisis, when they were facing these terror attacks.


3. We have also expressed deep shock at the tragic loss of lives at the Al Ahli hospital in Gaza, where several hundreds of civilian causalities have occurred and thousands injured. Our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and prayers for speedy recovery of the injured. Our Prime Minister clearly spelt out that those involved must be held responsible.


4. Civilian casualties in the ongoing conflict are a matter of serious and continuing concern. All parties must protect civilians, especially women and children. The unfolding humanitarian crisis needs to be addressed. We welcome the efforts of the international community for de-escalation and delivery of humanitarian goods to the people of Gaza. India has sent 38 tonnes of humanitarian goods including medicines and equipment to the people of Palestine.


5. We also urge the parties to work towards creating conditions necessary for peace and for restarting of direct negotiations between the parties, including through eschewing violence and de-escalation.


6. India has always supported a negotiated Two-State solution to the Israel-Palestine issue leading to the establishment of a sovereign, independent and viable State of Palestine living within secure and recognized borders, side-by-side in peace with Israel, taking into account the legitimate security concerns of Israel. Towards this, we reiterate the need for an early resumption of direct peace negotiations.


7. We also continue to support the Palestinian people through our bilateral development partnership which covers wide range of sectors including health, education, women’s empowerment, entrepreneurship and information technology. We are also supporting grass root Palestinian institutions in their developmental initiatives. We have also supported UNRWA over decades for its humanitarian services. In these challenging times, India will continue to send humanitarian assistance to the people of Palestine.


Mr. President


8. The current escalation has once again underscored the need for immediate resumption of credible direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine. Every effort must be made to create conducive conditions for resumption of these talks. We welcome all efforts of regional and global players aimed towards restoring normalcy.


9. To conclude, let me reaffirm India’s firm commitment to achieving a just, peaceful and lasting solution to the Israel-Palestine issue. I thank you Mr. President.