New Delhi, Nov 29: The demolition of Palestinian houses by Israeli forces have doubled this year as compared to 2015, UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon said today, terming the on-going situation in Gaza "a humanitarian emergency," which is fuelling tension and conflict throughout the Middle East.
Expressing concern over the deteriorating situation, the UN chief regretted that conflict in other parts of the world was also diverting the attention of international community from the Israel-Palestine issue, which is making "matters worse" with prospects of a two-nation solution slipping away out of reach.
He said the international community must make it clear that it remains committed to helping the two sides to rebuild trust and create conditions for meaningful negotiations.
The UN Secretary General's message was read by Rajiv Chandran, national information officer at the UN information centre here, on the occasion of 'International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian People'.
The day is observed by the United Nations on or around November 29 each year, in accordance with General Assembly mandates contained in resolutions adopted under agenda item "Question of Palestine."
"Gaza remains a humanitarian emergency, with 2 million Palestinians struggling with crumbling infrastructure and a paralysed economy, and tens of thousands still displaced, awaiting reconstruction of homes destroyed by conflict," Ban said.
Adnan Abu Haija, Ambassador of the State of Palestinian, said the incumbent Israeli government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not serious about the peace process.
B Bala Bhaskar , Joint Secretary (West Asia and North Africa) in the Ministry of External Affairs, said India's empathy with the Palestinian cause and its friendship with the people of Palestine have become an integral part of our time tested foreign policy.
Bhaskar said India was the first non-Arab state to recognise PLO as a sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people in 1974.
India was the first country to recognise the state Palestine in 1988 and in 1996 India opened its representative office in Gaza which later shifted to Ramallah in 2003.
"India has always played a pro-active role for garnering support for the Palestine cause in multilateral fora," Bhaskar said. "India also voted in favour of Palestine as a full-member of UNESCO at the United Nations on November 29, 2012," he said.