Israel-Palestine interactions provide opportunity for resumption of negotiations: India

News Network
September 30, 2021

The recent “high-level" interactions between Israel and Palestine provide a "window of opportunity” for the resumption of direct negotiations between the two sides, India has said, stressing that the UN Security Council and the international community must use this opportunity to make renewed efforts to kick-start the peace talks.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz had met on August 30, the first meeting between both sides in years.

“The recent high-level interactions between Israel, Palestine and key regional states provide a window of opportunity for the resumption of direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine,” Joint Secretary (UN Political) in the Ministry of External Affairs Prakash Gupta said.

Speaking at the Security Council briefing on the Middle East on Wednesday, Gupta stressed that the Council, the international community and the Middle East Quartet, in particular, should use this opportunity to make renewed efforts to kick-start these negotiations “as they provide the best platform” to resolve all final status issues and achieve a two-state solution.

Gupta said India stands ready to support such efforts.

Gupta said India has also “noted” the outreach efforts made between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority, as well as the announcements made by Israel to alleviate the socio-economic conditions in the West Bank.

The planned 500 million shekels ($155 million) loan to the Palestinian Authority, additional building permits for construction of Palestinian homes in Area C of the West Bank, increased work permits for Palestinians to travel to Israel for employment “are all steps in the right direction,” Gupta said.

India expressed hope that these measures would provide an impetus for further strengthening of economic and administrative relationships between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Tor Wennesland, the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, in his briefing to the Security Council also welcomed the recent high-level contacts between Israeli and Palestinian officials and steps by the Israeli Government to ease the economic pressure on the Palestinian Authority and encourage their further expansion.

“I encourage both Parties to take urgent steps that are necessary to stabiliSe the Palestinian economy and strengthen Palestinian institutions.” He urged Israelis, Palestinians, regional States and the broader international community to take practical steps that will enable the “parties to re-engage on the path to peace.”

Wennesland told Council members that Gaza requires political solutions that will see a focus on working towards advancing intra-Palestinian unity, lifting the debilitating closures in Gaza, and, ultimately, returning to a peace process that will end the occupation and create a viable two-State solution.

Gupta told the Council that India has always placed great emphasis on the socio-economic development of the Palestinian people and the strengthening of their national institutions.

“Our development partnership with Palestine is geared towards these objectives. Access to stabilized and enhanced revenues by the Palestinian Authority is a necessary precondition for Palestinian socio-economic development and institution building,” he said.

On this, New Delhi supports dialogue between Israel and Palestinian Authority to resolve outstanding issues related to the transfer of tax revenues, Gupta said.

He pointed out that the “regular and predictable” entry of construction material will facilitate the early reconstruction of Gaza.

“It is also important that the international donor community supports the reconstruction of Gaza through the Palestinian Authority. The commencement of cash assistance transfer to vulnerable Palestinian families in Gaza through the UN is an important development, as it would provide much-needed relief to these families.”

India calls for the timely transfer of aid and other essential items to Gaza to ease the humanitarian situation and facilitate early reconstruction, as well as for appropriate use of such aid.

Gupta reaffirmed India's unwavering commitment to the peaceful resolution of the Palestinian issue.

“India strongly supports a negotiated two-state solution, leading to the establishment of a sovereign, independent and viable state of Palestine, living within secure and recognised borders, side by side at peace with Israel, taking into account legitimate security concerns of all concerned parties.”

He underlined that India has consistently called for direct peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine, based on the internationally agreed framework to achieve the ultimate goal of a two-state solution.

Wennesland was presenting his briefing on the implementation of Security Council resolution 2334 (2016), covering the period from June 12 to September 27.

Gupta noted that Resolution 2334 adopted by the Security Council calls for advancing the two-state solution through negotiations, as well as for reversing the negative trends on the ground.

It also calls for preventing all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror and for both parties to refrain from provocative acts and unilateral measures.

With the resolution further emphasising the need for creating conditions for peace negotiations for advancing the two-state solution, Gupta said India appreciates the regional and international efforts, including under the auspices of the Middle East Quartet towards de-escalation and for resuming these direct negotiations.


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News Network
October 20,2021

Bengaluru, Oct 20: Once vaccinations for those aged between the age of 12- to 18-year-olds is given the green light, Karnataka is likely to vaccinate 16 and 17-year-olds first.

A member of the state's Covid-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) said that they had recommended higher-aged children be given the vaccine first, followed by children under 16 years of age. The committee also recommended identifying co-morbid children in the 16-17 age group at the earliest.

Two vaccines — Zydus Cadila's ZyCoV-D and Bharat Bioech's Covaxin — are likely to be included in India's vaccination program for children soon. While ZyCoV-D received Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) from the Drugs Controller General of India in August, Covaxin was recommended by the Subject Expert Committee close to a week ago.

Karnataka has so far vaccinated 66.76 per cent of its adult population with the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and 33.23 per cent of its adult vaccination has received the second dose.


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News Network
October 16,2021


British Member of Parliament David Amess, 69, has died after being stabbed several times during a meeting with his constituents at a church in eastern England. A 25-year-old suspect has been arrested.

Reports said a man walked into Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, south Essex, where Amess was holding a surgery with locals on Friday and attacked the politician.

“He was treated by emergency services but, sadly, died at the scene,” police said. “A 25-year-old man was quickly arrested after officers arrived at the scene on suspicion of murder and a knife was recovered.”

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police has said that the murder Amess has been declared as a “terrorist incident”, with the investigation being led by its Terrorism Command, the agency said in a statement posted on social media.

 Detectives said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident. There was no detail about the motivation for the attack but the chief constable of Essex police later said counterterrorism officers are leading the investigation.

“The investigation is in its very early stages and is being led by officers from the specialist counterterrorism command,” Ben-Julian Harrington told reporters.

“It will be for investigators to determine whether or not this is a terrorist incident.”

Colleagues from across parliament expressed their shock and sorrow and paid tribute to Amess, who held regular meetings with voters on the first and third Fridays of the month, saying he was diligent in his duties to his local area. Amess leaves behind a wife and five children.

Flags in Downing Street were lowered in tribute.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he and his cabinet were “deeply shocked and heart-stricken”.

“David was a man who believed passionately in this country and in its future, and we’ve lost today a fine public servant and a much-loved friend and colleague,” Johnson said.

The prime minister would not say whether the attack meant politicians needed tighter security, saying, “We must really leave the police to get on with their investigation.”

Amess has been a member of parliament for Southend West, which includes Leigh-on-Sea, since 1997, but has been a lawmaker since 1983.

He was a well-liked member of parliament, best known for his ceaseless campaign to have Southend declared a city.

His website lists his main interests as “animal welfare and pro-life issues”.

Violence against British politicians is rare, but two other British lawmakers have been attacked this century during their “surgeries”, regular meetings where constituents can present concerns and complaints.

In June 2016, Labour Party lawmaker Jo Cox was fatally stabbed and shot in her northern England constituency. A member of the far right was convicted of her murder.

In 2010, Labour lawmaker Stephen Timms survived a stabbing in his constituency office.

Jacqui Smith, chair of the Jo Cox Foundation, said in a statement on Twitter that Amess’s death is a “tragic loss for those who knew and loved Sir David”.

“I knew him as a generous and dedicated colleague in Parliament. Public life must be safe for those we ask to serve in our democracy – that is a responsibility for us all.”

Leader of the Labour Party Keir Starmer said on Twitter that David was a “dedicated public servant”.

“Informed by his faith, David had a profound sense of duty, that I witnessed first hand in parliament,” Starmer said.

“We will show once more that violence, intimidation and threats to our democracy will never prevail over the tireless commitment of public servants simply doing their jobs.”

Chris Doyle, the director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding – who knew both Amess and Cox – said that the killing of Amess would have a “chilling effect on British politics – the way in which you get that vital interchange between an elected member of parliament, part of the legislature, and the constituents that they represent.”

“There are 650 British MPs that will now be thinking ‘that could have been me’,” he said.

“They will be looking over their shoulders, they will be thinking ‘how can we improve our security. But above all of course the main sentiment is for David’s family and friends – to have lost him in such a way is just beyond belief.”

British lawmakers are protected by armed police when they are inside Parliament, but have no such protection in their constituencies. Amess published the times and locations of his open meetings with constituents on his website.

“Questions are rightly being asked about the safety of our country’s elected representatives and I will provide updates in due course,” Home Secretary Priti Patel said on Friday. 


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News Network
October 19,2021

Mangaluru, Oct 19: Two separate incidents of stabbing have been reported from Ullal and Konaje areas of Mangaluru taluk in last 24 hours. 

A youth was stabbed near Chota Mangaluru road in Ullal today (October 19).

The injured, identified as Harish, proprietor of a gas repair shop, was rushed to a hospital in Thokottu after the attack.

It is suspected that Vishal, a resident of Uliya in Ullal, committed the offence over personal reasons. Police have launched manhunt to nab the suspect.

In a separate incident, BJP activist was attacked by some miscreants at Konaje last night.

It is said that three persons riding a motorbike attacked Prakash Shetty (38), former member of Konaje gram panchayat. 

Prakash Shetty was returning home along with a friend, Manjunath, by a motorbike when the miscreants who came on their bike, swung a sabre at Prakash, it is learnt. He suffered minor injuries on his hand. 


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