India, the United States, and several other countries have called for calm and restraint amid escalating tensions and violence between ISRAEL and Palestinian militants.
At the UN Security Council meeting, India expressed deep concern at the clashes and violence in Jerusalem and called on both sides to avoid changing the status-quo on the ground.
India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador TS Tirumurti stressed the need to immediately resume direct peace talks and commitment to a two-state solution US President Joe Biden has also called for de-escalation of the deadly violence that has claimed dozens of lives.
He however added that Israel has a right to defend itself if it is attacked by thousands of rockets.
Dozens of people have been killed in clashes and airstrikes, when the violence broke out, including a 30-year-old Indian woman in Israel who was killed in a rocket attack by Palestinian militants from Gaza.
On The Big Picture, we will analyse with experts what has led to the current escalation in this decades-old conflict? Has the ongoing violence raised fears of a war-like situation and what is the way ahead for peace in the region.
Edited Excerpts from the debate
What is exactly happening in Israel and Palestine?
Tensions are often high between Israel and Palestinians living in East Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank.
Gaza is ruled by a Palestinian militant group called Hamas, which has fought Israel many times.
Israel and Egypt tightly control Gaza's borders to stop weapons getting to Hamas.
What is Hamas?
Hamas is a militant group, which is also responsible for administering the Gaza Strip.
Its legitimacy largely rests on its resistance credentials, which means the movement routinely feels obligated to demonstrate its capacity to confront perceived Israeli aggression.
Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank say they're suffering because of Israeli actions and restrictions. Israel say it is only acting to protect itself from Palestinian violence.
Things have escalated since the start of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan in mid-April 2021, with nightly clashes between police and Palestinians.
The threatened eviction of some Palestinian families in East Jerusalem has also caused rising anger.
What are the major unresolved issues?
There are a number of issues which Israel and the Palestinians cannot agree on. These include
What should happen to Palestinian refugees?
Whether Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank should stay or be removed?
Whether the two sides should share Jerusalem?
Whether a Palestinian state should be created alongside Israel?
Peace talks have been taking place on and off for more than 25 years, but so far have not solved the conflict.
Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its capital, a status not generally recognised internationally.
Palestinians want East Jerusalem - captured by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, as the capital of a future state.
The recent happening shows that the situation is not going to be sorted out any time soon. Only a peace deal between both sides can resolve complex issues.
What is the bone of contention?
Britain took control of the area known as Palestine after the ruler of that part of the Middle East, the Ottoman Empire, was defeated in WW1.
The land was inhabited by a Jewish minority and Arab majority.
Tensions between the two peoples grew when the international community gave Britain the task of establishing a "national home" in Palestine for Jewish people.
For Jews, it was their ancestral home, but Palestinian Arabs also claimed the land and opposed the move.
Between the 1920s and 40s, the number of Jews arriving there grew, with many fleeing from persecution in Europe and seeking a homeland after the Holocaust of WWII.
Violence between Jews and Arabs, and against British rule, also grew.
In 1947, the UN voted for Palestine to be split into separate Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem becoming an international city.
That plan was accepted by Jewish leaders but rejected by the Arab side and never implemented.
Creation and Division
In 1948, unable to solve the problem, British rulers left and Jewish leaders declared the creation of the state of Israel.
Many Palestinians objected and a war followed. Troops from neighbouring Arab countries invaded.
Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were forced out of their homes in what they call Al Nakba, or the "Catastrophe".
By the time the fighting ended in a ceasefire the following year, Israel controlled most of the territory.
Jordan occupied land which became known as the West Bank, and Egypt occupied Gaza.
Jerusalem was divided between Israeli forces in the West, and Jordanian forces in the East.
Because there was never a peace agreement - each side blamed the other - there were more wars and fighting in the decades which followed.