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In a first, India votes in favour of Israel at UN against Palestine human rights body

New Delhi: In an unprecedented move last week, India voted in support of Israel at the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to deny observer status to a Palestinian human rights organisation named ‘Shahed’.

This is the first time India has taken a step back from its decades-old position on the two-state theory under which New Delhi sees both Israel and Palestine as separate and independent countries, seeking to bring peace in West Asia.

The vote, which took place on 6 June at the UN, saw countries such as US, France, Germany, India, Japan, UK, South Korea and Canada polling in favour of Israel, while China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and some others voted in favour of the Palestine body.

The proposal made by ‘Shahed’ to obtain observer status in the UN got rejected by a 28-14 vote.

‘First sign’

On Tuesday, Maya Kadosh, deputy chief of mission at the Israel embassy in India, tweeted, “Thank you India for standing with @IsraelinUN and rejecting the request of terrorist organization “Shahed” to obtain the status of an observer in #UN. Together we will continue to act against terrorist organizations that intend to harm.”

“This is the first time Israel had moved the proposal to reject the request made by ‘Shahed’ to grant it an observer status,” Kadosh told ThePrint.

She added that it has links with Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad that was designated as terrorist organisation in 1997.

“This is a good sign… India was the first country to support us amongst the Asia group, so we are very happy,” Kadosh said.

However, many within the diplomatic circles see India’s move as the first step towards moving away from the two-state theory, albeit gradually.

Terror organisation?

A statement by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that ‘Shahed’ claims to be dealing with human rights and humanitarian issues, but in practice it is a “terrorist organisation” and operates as “an arm of the Hamas terror organisation” based in Lebanon.

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

Israel plans to share some more intel on ‘Shahed’ and its alleged links with other terrorist organisations with ECOSOC to make its case stronger.

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