Courtsey-FOX News

“It would exacerbate polarisation and embolden extremists everywhere,” he warned.

Guterres said that 1,200 Israelis and others “were killed in the horrific terror attacks launched by Hamas against Israel, with over 250 people taken hostage” at the start of the conflict.

“Nothing can justify deliberate killing, injuring, kidnapping of civilians, the use of sexual violence against them — or the indiscriminate launching of rockets towards civilian targets,” he said.

The counter-operations launched by Israel have “been heartbreaking and catastrophic for Palestinian civilians in Gaza” where more than 25,000 people, mainly women and children, have reportedly been killed”, he said, reiterating his call for a ceasefire.

Ravindra said that India has “strongly condemned the death of civilians” in the Israel-Hamas conflict which has led to “an alarming humanitarian crisis”.

“There can be no justification for terrorism and hostage-taking,” he said.

India “has a long-standing and uncompromising position against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations”, he said.

Ravindra said that India reiterates “the demand for their immediate and unconditional release” of all hostages taken by Hamas.

He reiterated India’s backing for a two-state solution “where the Palestinian people are able to live freely in an independent country within secure borders with due regard to the security needs of Israel”.

That is the only way for “an enduring peace that the people of Israel and Palestine desire and deserve”, he said.

US Under Secretary of State Uzra Zeya said that President Joe Biden believes that a two-state solution is “the only path to a durable peace, as well as the only guarantor of a secure and democratic Israel”.

Zeya, who is of Indian descent and the highest-ranking Muslim in the Stage Department, said, “A stronger, reformed and revitalised Palestinian Authority that can more effectively deliver for its own people in both the West Bank and Gaza must also be part of the equation”.

Strongly denouncing the Hamas assault on Israel, she said that “we lament” that Russia, which has veto powers, has blocked efforts in the Council to condemn the Hamas terrorist attack..

Facing a tide of criticism of Israel, some of that directed against the US, Zeya also had strong words for Israelis.

“We continue to convey to Israeli leaders that they need to do more to protect civilians and take feasible precautions to minimize civilian harm, in line with international humanitarian law,” she said.

She said the US is “deeply troubled” by the “unprecedented levels of violence by extremist settlers” from Israel and “we condemn killings of Palestinian civilians and we urge Israel to prevent and investigate settler violence, as well as hold perpetrators accountable”.

Outlining the calamitous outcomes of the Israeli attacks on Gaza, Palestine’s Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said, “There are two choices — a spreading fire or a ceasefire”.

He asked that Palestine should be made a full member of the UN, upgraded from its present observer status that does not give it a vote in the General Assembly.

That was echoed by several ministers.

Malaysia Foreign Minister Mohamad Hassan said Palestine should no longer be treated as a “second-class citizen”.

Israel’s Gilad Erdan said that the UN was ineffective in dealing with the problems of the Middle East, offering “aspirin for cancer” instead of going to the root cause of the malaise.

He said “Israelis will face another attempted Holocaust” from the cease-fire demanded by some Council members as it will enable Hamas to regroup and rearm.