The CPI(M) on Thursday called upon the Centre to sever military ties with Israel and recognise it as an "outlaw state’" after an Israeli army offensive killed several Palestinians early Wednesday.
On Wednesday, Israeli tanks shelled the locality of Beit Hanoun in the Gaza strip, a largely residential area. In the attack, which was carried out just before dawn when the victims were sleeping, 18 Palestinian civilians including nine children were killed. Of the dead, 14 were from the same family.
The Party general secretary, Prakash Karat, said that the issue of India’s relation with Israel has been raised a number of times in the last two-and-half years. "We have taken a stand on the issue that India shouldn’t have military or security ties with Israel. We have taken that stand for more than two years. The Government hasn’t listened to us,’’ Karat said, adding that it was yet to be decided whether to raise the issue at the UPA-Left coordination committee meeting on November 13.
Israel is the second largest arms supplier to India after Russia. India has signed a few large arms with Israeli arms companies including on for the Barak missiles.
``The UPA government has so far refused to face to the fact that Israel is an outlaw state which is illegally occupying and oppressing the Palestinian people,’’ a statement from the CPI (M) Politburo said on Thursday.
The statement added that the least the UPA government could do was to ``sever military and security cooperation ties’’ with Israel. ``Israel has become immune to criticism about the atrocities committed on Palestinians. The UN Security Council must immediately meet to impose sanctions on Israel,’’ CPI (M) said.
CPI (M), the largest party in the Left bloc provides crucial support to the UPA. But since the UPA came to power in May 2004, the Left bloc has been critical of the Government’s relationship with both the USA and Israel.
The Party has made it clear that it believes that India’s relationship with the US is being built at the cost of ties with other countries, like Iran. It is also compromising the promise of an independent foreign policy that was made in the Common Minimum Programme.