This Article is From Oct 19, 2023

"Shared Our Deep Concern...": PM Modi Speaks To Palestinian President

In his post, PM Narendra Modi said, "We will continue to send humanitarian assistance for the Palestinian people"

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken to the President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas to convey his condolences about the loss of lives after the bombing of Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza. Hundreds of people have died at the hospital on Monday, triggering protests across the Arab world and a string of denials from Israel, which has been blamed for the rocket attack.

Health authorities in Gaza, which is under Hamas control, said the explosion killed between 200 and 300 people at the hospital and was caused by an Israeli air strike in retaliation for the Islamist group's October 7 attack.

"Spoke to the President of the Palestinian Authority H.E. Mahmoud Abbas. Conveyed my condolences at the loss of civilian lives at the Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza. We will continue to send humanitarian assistance for the Palestinian people. Shared our deep concern at the terrorism, violence and deteriorating security situation in the region. Reiterated India's long-standing principled position on the Israel-Palestine issue," PM Modi posted on X, formerly Twitter, today.

This was PM Modi's second post in support of Palestinians, whose cause has received Indian support traditionally.But lately, India and Israel have also strengthened bilateral ties, especially after PM Modi's visit to the Jewish nation in 2017.  At the time, he did not go to Ramallah to meet the Palestnian leadership -- pushing many to deduce a turning point.

This time, in a social media post on Tuesday, PM Modi said he was "deeply shocked" by the deaths in the attack and extended his condolences to the families of those killed.

Israel has blamed a Palestinian group for the attack, questioning everything from evidence of deaths, bomb craters and images from the demolished hospital. Israel's ally US has said its initial findings indicate that Israel is not responsible for the bomb attack.

US President Joe Biden, who is currently on a visit to Israel, has said an "errant rocket" fired by a "terrorist group" caused a devastating explosion at the Gaza hospital.

Mr Biden's scheduled visit to Jordan on Tuesday was cancelled after the bombing, derailing US efforts to mobilise Arab support for Israel's "right to defend itself".