New Delhi : India on Sunday conveyed its deep concern over escalation of violence between Israel and the Palestinians in the Gaza strip and called for “direct talks” to end the ongoing conflict.

India asked Israel and the Palestinian Authority to find a comprehensive solution to the conflict which broke anew on Wednesday.

“We are deeply concerned at the steep escalation of violence between Israel and Palestine, focused around Gaza, that threatens the peace and security of that region,” a spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs said.

He said there is urgent need to de-escalate the situation as the region is already undergoing “turmoil”.

“We urge both sides to exercise maximum restraint and avoid taking any action that may further exacerbate the situation,” the spokesperson said.

He said an emergency meeting on the Palestinian issue was held at the UN Security Council on November 14 under India’s presidency to send a strong message from the Council on the need to de-escalate the situation and immediately stop the violence.

“It is also necessary that direct talks begin without any further delay between Israel and the Palestinian Authority leading to a comprehensive resolution of the Palestinian situation,” the spokesperson added.

Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defence entered its fifth day on Sunday.

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