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Israel should have been very mindful of civilian deaths: EAM

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NEW DELHI: While he reiterated India’s condemnation of

Hamas

‘ October assault on Israel as an act of terrorism, foreign minister S

Jaishankar

also said Saturday that Israel should have been “very mindful” of

civilian casualties

in its response. He also said Israel has an international obligation to observe humanitarian law.
The minister was speaking alongside his US counterpart Antony Blinken at an event on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference. Calling for a “permanent fix, a long-term fix” to resolve the conflict, the minister said India has long believed in the two-state solution which is now backed with greater urgency by many other countries. Explaining New Delhi’s position on conflict, he said there are different dimensions to it, and broadly classified them into four points. “Number one – we must be clear that what happened on October 7 was terrorism; no caveats, no justification, no explanation. It was terrorism,” he said.
“Number two, as Israel responds, it is important that Israel should have been very mindful of civilian casualties. It has an international obligation to observe humanitarian law,” he said.
The external affairs minister, mentioning point number three said the return of hostages today is imperative.

“Number four – There is a need for a humanitarian corridor, a sustainable humanitarian corridor to provide relief. And eventually, there has to be a permanent fix, a long-term fix. Otherwise we are going to see a recurrence,” he said.
The external affairs minister also highlighted India’s long-held position on the Palestine issue. “Certainly India has long believed in a two-state solution. We have maintained that position for many decades and, I think, today many more countries in the world feel not just that the two state solution is necessary, but it is more urgent than it was before,” he said.
Israel has been continuing its military offensive in Gaza as part of its retaliation to the unprecedented attack on Israeli cities by Hamas on October 7.
Hamas killed around 1,200 people in Israel and kidnapped more than 220 others some of whom were released during a brief ceasefire.

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