New Delhi: The Congress Thursday made another course-correction in its stance on the ongoing crisis in the Middle East, condemning Hamas’s attack on Israel while reiterating its support for the people of Palestine.
With this, the party has revised its stand on the Israel-Hamas war after the Congress Working Committee (CWC) resolution skipped any mention of Hamas’s attack on 9 October, and marks a return to the party’s original stand spelt out by its communications chief Jairam Ramesh.
“The indiscriminate bombing on the hospital in Gaza and residential areas resulting in the loss of hundreds of lives of innocent men, women and children is both unjustifiable and a grave humanitarian tragedy for which the perpetrators must be held accountable,” Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge said in a statement on X Thursday. “On October 8th 2023, the Indian National Congress had condemned the brutal attacks by Hamas on the people of Israel. Also unacceptable are the indiscriminate actions by Israel’s military forces in civilian areas, that includes a siege of the Gaza Strip and bombings in it.”
He also said that efforts must be made so that the “aspirations of the Palestinian people are fulfilled and the security concerns of Israel are also ensured.”
“The Indian National Congress reiterates its long-standing support for the rights of the Palestinian people. The aspirations of the Palestinian people for a life of dignity, self-respect and equality in a sovereign state of their own is long-standing and perfectly legitimate”, he added.
Stating that these aspirations of the Palestinian people have been routinely denied, Kharge once again called for an “immediate cease-fire”.
The Congress has been going back and forth on its stance on the Israel war since it began. First, Ramesh had tweeted on 8 October, about the “brutal attack” on the people of Israel, while also talking about the “legitimate aspirations” of the Palestinian people.
The CWC resolution on 9 October, however, did not mention Israel or Hamas at all. It referred to the “war in the Middle East”. It condemned the loss of lives while reiterating the party’s support to the people of Palestine to have “land, self-government” and to “live with dignity and respect”.
During the CWC meeting, certain Congress leaders had said that Ramesh’s statement did not reflect the party’s long-standing support for the people of Palestine since the time of Indira Gandhi.