New Delhi: In an oblique criticism of Israel's offensive in Gaza, India on Wednesday said "disproportionate use of force" was completely unacceptable and demanded immediate deescalation of the conflict in the region.

Against the backdrop of criticism that India was muted in its response to the latest conflict in Gaza, external affairs minister Salman Khurshid told reporters that "we did say categorically that the disproportionate use of force is unacceptable.

"It is a very sad and tragic escalation of violence that cost the loss of some innocent lives particularly women and children." He also reaffirmed India's commitment to an independent state of Palestine.

Khurshid said India considers the violence "completely unacceptable and would urge that peace must be restored immediately and whatever efforts were being made for peace and deescalation of violence takes place, India would support categorically."

India expects and hope that "this is what would happen and would want to make it clear that our support to the Palestinian cause remains undiluted," he said.

The minister said India would reconfirm the support that Palestine deserves an independent sovereign state with Jerusalem as its capital and the country was firm on that position.

But at the same time, he said, it was important right now that deescalation takes place and peace returns and that disproportionate use of force that was being inflicted is something that is totally unacceptable.


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