BRICS Countries Take Aim at Israel, but India Stands Ground

BRICS Countries Take Aim at Israel, but India Stands Ground

New Delhi - India seems to stand alone within the BRICS group regarding its stance on the Israel-Hamas war, as South Africa, the chair of the group, leads a strong condemnation of Israel. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who hosted the BRICS summit, characterized Israel's actions as a war crime, specifically citing the collective punishment of Palestinian civilians.

South Africa has taken further steps by referring Israel to the International Criminal Court and voting to close down the Israeli embassy, leading to Israel recalling its ambassador.

While China, Russia, and Brazil also expressed criticism of Israel, India maintained a more balanced approach, condemning both terrorism that led to the conflict and the actions in the war. Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not attend the BRICS "extraordinary meeting," and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar represented India, signaling the country's intention to follow its own stance.

During the meeting, China's President Xi Jinping called for a cease-fire and an end to what he described as collective punishment by Israel. Russia's President Vladimir Putin referred to a "humanitarian catastrophe" in Gaza, attributing the crisis to what he termed the USA's failed diplomacy. Putin called for a cease-fire, the release of hostages, and the evacuation of civilians from the Gaza Strip. Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva labeled the war a "humanitarian catastrophe" and criticized the use of "indiscriminate and disproportionate force against civilians" by Israel.

The BRICS group collectively issued a joint statement calling for the release of illegally held civilians and a humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities. The statement condemned any forced transfer or deportation of Palestinians from their land.

Additionally, six countries invited to join the BRICS group next year—Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, and the United Arab Emirates—also participated in the conference.

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