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New York [US], August 9 (ANI): Expressing grave concern over the recent escalation across the Gaza Strip, India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ruchira Kamboj said that the international community must keep providing humanitarian assistance to the civilian population in Gaza.

"The delivery of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza must continue to remain the focus of the international community," the envoy said during a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meet on the situation in Gaza.

Her remarks came as airstrikes were carried out across the Gaza Strip under Israel's operation Breaking Dawn against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad where the hostilities have contributed to a humanitarian emergency.

She said that the latest escalation has, once again, caused immense suffering and resulted in the loss of precious civilian lives, including children, and has left several injured and traumatized.

"We extend our deepest condolences to all those affected and their families."Notably, hundreds of buildings and homes have been destroyed or damaged, leaving thousands of Palestinians homeless following the escalation in the situation.

The envoy noted that India supports the diplomatic efforts of the UN and members of the international community, the countries in the region, especially Egypt, that has led to a ceasefire, to calm the situation further and seek to achieve durable peace.

Moreover, the UN envoy urged all parties to de-escalate the situation to ensure that this does not spiral out of control.

Kamboj highlighted that the recent developments can also challenge the incremental gains made in the last year in addressing Gaza's humanitarian and economic situation.

The envoy expressed concern that after a year of relative calm, tensions have risen again in Gaza. "It is a matter of grave concern that the violence has not completely subsided despite hectic diplomatic parleys, development initiatives and efforts by the international community to hold the fragile ceasefire negotiated last May," she stated.

Kamboj stressed that even as this Council focuses on the cessation of hostilities in Gaza, India underlines the urgent need for resuming dialogue between Israel and Palestine for a two-State solution.

"The absence of direct and meaningful negotiations between the two parties will only widen the trust deficit, which, in turn, increases the chances for similar escalations in the future," she said during the UNSC meeting.

She pointed out that long-term peace in Israel and Palestine can be achieved only through a negotiated two-state solution leading to the establishment of a sovereign, independent and viable State of Palestine living within secure and recognized borders, side by side, at peace with Israel, taking into consideration the legitimate security needs of Israel.

India has consistently called for the resumption of direct peace negotiations between the parties, which is the best path towards achieving the goal of a two-state solution, she concluded adding that the UN and the international community must prioritize the revival of these negotiations. (ANI)

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