India was among the first countries to recognise Palestine as a state in 1988; continues to support two-state solution for peace in Middle East



Even as the situation in Gaza continues to worsen with each passing day, Israel shows no signs of stepping back from its military operations. But global opinion seems to be shifting. While the United States remains steadfast in its support for Israel, many other Western nations this week stepped up the ante. Ireland, Norway and Spain formally recognised the State of Palestine, setting in motion pressure on other nations, especially in Europe to follow suit.

Since the horrific terrorist attacks of October 7 last year, when Hamas and several Palestinian militant groups from the Gaza Strip carried out armed incursions on southern Israel, India has condemned the actions of Hamas. But it has also consistently reiterated its support for a ‘two-state solution’, where the people of Palestine can live freely and safely side by side with Israel.
Sources in diplomatic circles said that India, which recognised the State of Palestine in 1988, doesn’t need to prove anything today. India was among the first countries to recognise Palestine as a state; New Delhi has a full-fledged Palestinian embassy which was built with India’s support, sources pointed out.

It is also reliably learnt that India is unlikely to come out and make any public statements in this regard even as European nations declare their support for a Palestinian State.

People familiar with the matter refer to the recent vote in the United Nations General Assembly earlier this month when India voted in favour of recognising Palestine as a full member. Of the 193 members in the United Nations General Assembly, 143 members voted in favour of Palestine joining the UN – something only states can do. The resolution was later vetoed in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) by the United States. It nevertheless shows how world opinion is leaning more in favour of Palestine today.

It is expected that in the coming days more countries, especially from Europe, are also likely to come out and recognise a Palestinian State. Israel’s reaction to the recognition by Norway and Ireland has been furious and it has recalled its ambassadors posted there.

As the conflict in Gaza rages on, eyes will be on a world that is getting increasingly divided on the issue. With the US firmly behind Israel, and many other nations in Asia, Africa and now Europe coming out in support of Palestine, the rules of the game are likely to change. India, in the meantime, will continue to balance its cordial ties with Israel while staying committed to a Palestinian state, and in the long run, to a ‘two-state solution’ for lasting peace in the region. – Simran Sodhi is Executive Editor of


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