Modi welcomes deal to release Israeli hostages

The summit was attended by 22 heads of government, though some leaders were not present.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File Photo | PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while welcoming a deal to release 50 Israeli hostages, during his address at the virtual G20 summit on Wednesday, asserted that killings of innocents, especially children and women, is not acceptable.

He made seven observations on the Israel-Hamas conflict, which included zero tolerance on terrorism, expediting humanitarian aid, need for regional stability and pursuing dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the conflict. “When I proposed this virtual summit, there was no anticipation of what the global situation would be like today. New challenges have arisen in the last months.

The situation of insecurity and instability in the West Asia region is a matter of concern for all of us... The death of civilians, wherever they happen, is condemnable,’’ he said. The summit was attended by 22 heads of government, though some leaders were not present.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, Japanese PM Fumio Kishida, Australian PM Anthony Albanese took part, while Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden skipped it. In his address, Put i n launched a broadside over the Gaza conflict.

“Russia has never refused peace negotiations in Ukraine. I understand that this is war and the loss of life cannot but shock. But isn’t the extermination of civilian population in Gaza shocking? Isn’t it shocking that doctors have to perform operations on children without anaesthesia?

Isn’t it shocking that the UNSC said that Gaza has turned into a huge children’s cemetery?’’ he said. Modi also spoke about the negative effects of artificial intelligence and made a strong pitch for its global regulation. India, he added, will host a Global AI Partnership Summit next month.

Four-day Gaza truce begins today

  • 4-day Israel-Hamas ceasefire begins at 1.30 pm IST on Thursday
  • 130 Palestinian women and children to be freed in exchange for 50 Israeli hostages
  • Truce could be extended by a day for each additional release of 10 Israeli hostages
  • Hundreds of trucks carrying humanitarian aid and fuel would be allowed to enter Gaza
  • Egypt, Qatar, US helped mediate the deal between Israel and Hamas 

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