Israel PM thanks Modi for India’s vote against Palestinian group

File photo of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Nethanyahu (l) with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R). [Image for representational purpose only]
File photo of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Nethanyahu (l) with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R). [Image for representational purpose only]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has thanked hisIndian counterpart Narendra Modi for voting in favour of a decision introducedby the Jewish state that objected to granting consultative status to aPalestinian group at the UN's Economic and Social Council.

In a rare move, India on Tuesday voted in favour of Israelin the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to deny the Palestiniannon-governmental organisation 'Shahed' the observer status, after Israel saidthe organisation did not disclose its ties with Hamas.

Thank you @NarendraModi, thank you India, for your supportand for standing with Israel at the UN, Netanyahu said in a tweet on Wednesday,almost a week after the June 6 vote.

It is the first time that India has voted on a resolution atthe UN that is being perceived as pro-Israel.

India's position on the Middle East Peace Process has beenconsistent and clear. India supports a negotiated solution resulting in asovereign, independent, viable and united State of Palestine, with EastJerusalem as its capital, living within secure and recognised borders, side byside at peace with Israel as endorsed in the Quartet Roadmap and relevant UNSCResolutions.

India has also always played a proactive role in garneringsupport for the Palestinian cause in multilateral fora.

New Delhi had abstained during a voting at the UNHRC in 2015on a resolution related to violence in Gaza which was seen as a significantmove in Israel and attributed by many to the emerging strong chemistry betweenModi and Netanyahu.

India had then explained to the Palestinian Authority thereasons for its stand and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had"accepted and understood" why New Delhi abstained then.

The ECOSOC vote, which took place at the UN, saw countriessuch as the US, France, Germany, India, Japan, the UK, South Korea and Canadapolling in favour of Israel, while China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan andothers voted against it.

The proposal made by the Palestinian NGO Shahed' to obtainobserver status in the UN was rejected by a 28-14 vote.

Maya Kadosh, deputy chief of mission at the Israel embassyin India, on Tuesday in a Tweet thanked New Delhi "for standing with@IsraelinUN and rejecting the request of terrorist organization Shahed toobtain the status of an observer in #UN. Together we will continue to actagainst terrorist organizations that intend to harm.

Kadosh mentioned that the organisation has links withHizbullah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad that was designated as terroristorganisation in 1997.

This is a good sign India was the first country to supportus amongst the Asia group, so we are very happy, she added.

A statement by Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs latersaid that Shahed' claims to be dealing with human rights and humanitarianissues, but in practice it is a terrorist organisation and operates as an armof the Hamas terror organisation based in Lebanon.

The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas has been described as aterrorist organisation by many European countries.

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