India Votes To Keep Palestinian Group Out of UN Bodies

India voted in favour of a resolution moved by Israel at a UN body to bar a Palestinian rights organisation called Shahed being given observer status at UN institutions, with Israeli diplomats describing the move as a significant development. According to the Israeli foreign ministry, the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) “overwhelmingly rejected” Shahed’s request to obtain observer status at UN institutions.

The resolution initiated by the Israeli delegation to the UN was passed in a 28-14 vote on June 6. India, the US, the UK, France, Germany and Japan were among the 28 countries that voted in favour of the resolution, which was opposed by China, Pakistan, Egypt, Morocco and Russia.

There was no immediate word from the Indian government on the matter.

Though the vote happened on June 6, it came to light on Tuesday when Maya Kadosh, deputy chief of mission at the Israeli embassy, tweeted: “Thank you India for standing with @IsraelinUN and rejecting the request of terrorist organization “Shahed” to obtain the status of an observer in #UN. Together we will continue to act against terrorist organizations that intend to harm.”

The Israeli foreign ministry described Shahed as a Palestinian organisation based in Lebanon that “claims to deal with human rights and humanitarian issues, but in practice is an organisation that Israel has declared a terrorist organization”.

People familiar with developments said Israel considers Shahed an arm of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad Movement. They said Israel had moved the resolution after ascertaining Shahed’s links to terror groups. They added India’s vote on the matter was a good sign for bilateral relations.