India voiced Tuesday optimism concerning currentPalestinian efforts to form a national unity government, expecting resumption of the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, an Indian Foreign Ministry’s press release read.
The Indian government is closely watching current Palestinian unity government efforts”, the statement said.
The statement reiterated India’s backing of the rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to a viable Palestinian sovereign state, within agreed borders, living side by side in peace with Israel.
India also expressed concern over the Israeli digging around the Al-Aqsa mosque in east Jerusalem, calling on the Israeli authorities to preserve peace and calm in the holy city.
Spokesman of the Indian Foreign Ministry, Naftij Sarna, was quoted as saying “the old city of Jerusalem contains ancient holy sites pertaining to all heaven religions and these sites should be kept intact’.
He added that Israel should avoid any actions that would damage the holiness of such sites, which are considered a ‘common human legacy’.
India has been a close friend of the Palestinian people since the advent of the Palestinian question in 1948, when Israel occupied large parts of historical Palestine and displaced hundreds of thousands of indigenous Palestinians to refugee camps in the Gaza Strip, West Bank, Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon.