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India concerned over aerial attack on Iran consulate in Damascus, asks Israel to ensure safety of Indian citizens

New Delhi refrained from condemning Israel for the attack but sent out a message to Israel by stressing that all parties should avoid flouting commonly accepted norms of international law.
nirban Bhaumik
Last Updated : 04 April 2024, 18:45 IST
Last Updated : 04 April 2024, 18:45 IST

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New Delhi: India on Thursday expressed concern over the recent attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, the capital of Syria, and expressed distress over escalating tensions in West Asia.

New Delhi refrained from condemning Israel for the attack which Iran has already blamed on the West Asian Jewish nation. India, however, sent out a message to Israel by stressing that all parties should avoid flouting commonly accepted norms of international law. It took note of escalating tensions in West Asia and asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to ensure the safety of the construction workers being recruited from India to work in Israel.

“We have noted with concern the attack on Iranian diplomatic premises in Syria on April 1,” Randhir Jaiswal, the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), told journalists in New Delhi without commenting on the perpetrator of the strike that killed seven Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) personnel.

“India is distressed at the escalating tensions in West Asia, and their potential to fuel further violence and instability,” the MEA spokesperson said in response to a query from a journalist.

New Delhi had condemned the terrorist attacks carried out in southern Israel on October 7. Hamas terrorists carried out the attack, killing 1,400 Israelis, and taking over 220 hostage. Israel had then retaliated with aerial attacks and ground offensives in the Gaza Strip, killing over 32,000 Palestinians and injuring over 75,000 more, besides demolishing residential buildings, hospitals, and universities, and displacing hundreds of thousands of people.

India had expressed concerns over civilian casualties and reminded Israel that it had an obligation to follow international humanitarian law while responding to the attacks by Hamas.

New Delhi on Thursday once again subtly sent a message to Israel. “We urge all parties to avoid actions that go against commonly accepted principles and norms of international law,” the MEA spokesperson said.

Even as the conflict rages on, 64 construction workers from India left for Israel earlier this week.

Israel’s construction industry has been purportedly looking for workers from India to replace their Palestinian counterparts, who have been denied work permits since the conflict began.

“The first batch of people under the G2G (government-to-government) agreement have gone to Israel. For us, their safety of course is very important. We have urged the Israeli authorities to do their best to take care of their safety and their well-being. It is of prime importance,” Jaiswal said on Thursday.

After a missile fired from Lebanon killed one and injured two other Indians in northern Israel, New Delhi’s diplomatic mission in Tel Aviv had early last month urged the country’s citizens in the West Asian Jewish nation to move to safer areas.

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Published 04 April 2024, 18:45 IST

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