New Delhi, Nov 18: "Deeply concerned" at the escalation of violence between Israel and Palestine, India on Sunday, Nov 18 asked both sides to exercise maximum restraint and avoid taking any action that may further exacerbate the situation. India also said it was necessary that direct talks begin between the two sides without any further delay.
"We are deeply concerned at the steep escalation of violence between Israel and Palestine, focused around Gaza, that threatens the peace and security of that region," the official spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs said on the violence in Gaza. He also said, "It is, therefore, imperative that the situation be de-escalated urgently as the region is already undergoing turmoil. We urge both sides to exercise maximum restraint and avoid taking any action that may further exacerbate the situation."
"It may be mentioned that an emergency meeting on Palestine was held at the UN Security Council on November 14 under India's Presidency to send a strong message from the Council to those concerned to de-escalate the situation and to stop the violence immediately."
It is also necessary that direct talks begin without any further delay between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) leading to a comprehensive resolution of the Palestinian situation, he said. The Israeli army and militants in Gaza are continuing to trade fire for the last five days with no signs of abating and the causality in the strikes has reached 55, including 52 Palestinians.
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An Israeli Iron Dome missile is launched near the city of Be'er Sheva, southern Israel, to intercept a rocket fired from Gaza Saturday, Nov 17, 2012. Israel bombarded the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip with nearly 200 airstrikes early Saturday.
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A Palestinian man walks past a fire after an Israeli airstrike on a wood factory in east Jabaliya, north Gaza, Friday, Nov 16. Israel offered to suspend its offensive in the Gaza Strip on Friday during a brief visit by Egypt's premier.
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A Palestinian woman runs during clashes with Israeli security forces during a protest against the Israeli military operations in Gaza Strip near the West Bank city of Nablus, Saturday, Nov 17.
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Smoke rises after an Israeli forces strike in Gaza City, Sunday, Nov 18. The Israeli military widened its range of targets in the Gaza Strip on Sunday.
Smoke from explosion takes the shape of a mushroom
Smoke rises following an explosion after an Israeli forces strike in Gaza City, Saturday, Nov 17. Israel bombarded the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip with nearly 200 airstrikes early Saturday.