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International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

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UN, Nov 29: The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is observed by the United Nations on or around 29 November each year, in accordance with General Assembly mandates contained in resolutions 32/40 B of 2 December 1977, 34/65 D of 12 December 1979, and subsequent resolutions adopted under agenda item "Question of Palestine."

 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, center, is surrounded by children in the West Bank city of Ramallah. PTI file photo

Partition Resolution:

On November 29 in 1947, the General Assembly adopted resolution 181 (II), which came to be known as the Partition Resolution. That resolution provided for the establishment in Palestine of a "Jewish State" and an "Arab State", with Jerusalem as a corpus separatum under a special international regime. Of the two States to be created under this resolution, only one, Israel, has so far come into being.

The Palestinian people, who now number more than 8 million, live primarily in the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, including East Jerusalem; in Israel; in the neighbouring Arab States; and in refugee camps in the region.

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UN General Secretary António Guterres's message:

In his message, UN General Secretary António Guterres urged Israel, Palestine and all others with influence to restore the promise and viability of the two-state solution premised on two states living side by side in peace, harmony and within secure and recognised borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of both.

"This year's International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People takes place at a time of turmoil, trouble and torment. The decades-long Palestinian struggle for self-determination, independence and a life of dignity faces numerous obstacles, including continued military occupation of Palestinian territory; ongoing violence and incitement; continued settlement construction and expansion; deep uncertainties about the peace process; and deteriorating humanitarian and economic conditions, particularly in Gaza, " said Guterres.

India's stand on Palestine:

According to Prof PR Kumaraswamy, Middle-East expert from JNU, PM Narendra Modi is merely responding to the changing Middle Eastern situation. Since the NDA came to power in May 2014, during their visits to Israel, both President Pranab Mukherjee (October 2015) and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj (January 2016) visited Palestine and paid homage to Arafat.

However, prime ministerial visit followed a different approach. During his visit to Palestine, Modi visited Ramallah for few hours. The visit indicated the perpetuation of 'continuity and change' - the phrase used when normalization took place in January 1992. Also, by hosting President Abbas in May 2017, Modi reiterated India's commitments to statehood for Palestinians. 'But by not visiting Ramallah, he is reminding Palestinians of the need to put their house in order...." according to Prof. Kumaraswamy.

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