But India yesterday stated that "there is no change in New Delhi's long-standing position on support to the Palestinian cause".

The Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson said that India's reason for abstention in the resolution A/HRC/29/L.35 was the reference to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

"India is not a signatory to the Rome Statute establishing the ICC. In the past also, whenever a Human Rights Council resolution made a direct reference to the ICC, as happened in the Resolutions on Syria and North Korea, our general approach had been to abstain. We have followed the same principle in our voting on today's Resolution,"  spokesperson Vikas Swarup  said.

Forty-one of the 47 UNHRC council members voted in favour of the resolution, including the eight sitting EU members: France, Germany, Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Latvia and Estonia. One country -- US --- voted against the resolution. India, Kenya, Ethiopia, Paraguay and Macedonia abstained.

An Israeli daily said: "The fact that India abstained reflects a significant policy change by Delhi; traditionally, India voted in favour of all anti-Israel resolutions in UN institutions. Friday's abstention was another sign of warming ties between India and Israel since the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014."

Officials at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Office expressed their appreciation for the 'principled' American position in opposing the 'hypocritical condemnation' by the UNHRC.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to visit Israel this year, in the first such by an Indian Prime Minister.

In the 50-day war last summer, more than 2,100 Palestinians were killed. Israel put the number of its dead at 67 soldiers and six civilians.

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