Jaishankar reiterates two-state solution for Israel-Palestine issue

"There cannot be any defence of it. There cannot be any caveats to it. I think we need to call that out, which we did, very unambiguously," he said.

Singapore: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday reiterated the two-state solution to resolve the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict and said there are “very serious efforts” underway to bring about a permanent solution to the issue.

However, the Minister declined to elaborate on what those efforts are as he said, he cannot speak about it publically, but said, “We (India) are very, very supportive of the efforts of a few countries who are working right now to find a way out of the present situation.”

Jaishankar, who is on a three-day visit to Singapore, was speaking at the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) of the National University of Singapore (NUS).

MS Education Academy

He was answering questions after a lecture on his book Why Bharat Matters’ when he was asked about his reading of the situation in Israel and Palestine and because India is friendly on both sides, how it visualises the situation in next couple of years and what could be a possible long term solution.

To start with, Jaishankar said, India is very clear that what happened on October 7 (last year) was “terrorism.”

“There cannot be any defence of it. There cannot be any caveats to it. I think we need to call that out, which we did, very unambiguously,” he said.

It was on October 7, 2023, that Hamas militants from the Gaza Strip attacked Israel through land, sea and air routes killing at least 1,200 Israelis and taking hostage another 230. Media reports suggested 30 of them are still held hostage.

The unprecedented attack prompted Israel to launch an all-out attack on Gaza Strip that has killed, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza, nearly 32,000 Palestinians, two-thirds of them women and children.

Commenting on how Israel is responding, Jaishankar said, India has taken a view that “(in case of) any response, the care has to be taken about civilian casualties; international humanitarian law needs to be observed.”

There has been mounting international pressure on Israel for a ceasefire, especially because of the holy Ramazan month, but it has declared to take it to the end.

“We are in a situation today where clearly, the need is to find a way of delivering humanitarian aid to a civilian population on a sustainable basis. But beyond that, I think there is a larger, longer-term issue really,” the minister said.

“What do you do on a more permanent basis?” he said, and immediately answered himself: “And we are very clear that we have to find a two-state solution.”

He also described how India “manages relationships” with both Israel and Palestine.

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