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Gaza rocks parliament


New Delhi, July 18 (IANS) The Rajya Sabha was disrupted again Friday as the opposition continued to create a ruckus demanding a discussion on the ongoing Israel-Palestinian conflict in the Gaza Strip.

The issue was raised in the lower house as well by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which staged a walk out demanding a debate.

In the upper house, members kept pressing for a debate on the situation in Gaza immediately, even as the government insisted that it has been listed

or Monday.

The opposition leaders have been accusing the government of keeping quiet on the crucial issue, after government blocked the debate Wednesday, saying rules did not allow “discourteous reference” towards “friendly nations”.

The upper house lost its Question Hour to disruptions Friday, and saw as many as three adjournments before lunch, finally being adjourned till 2.30 p.m. on the issue. It took up Private Members’ Business after that.

The Private Members’ Business is usually not disrupted as it is not part of the government business and consists of resolutions or legislations that members draft.

Talking to reporters outside parliament later, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Prakash Javadekar accused the opposition of politicising the issue.

“The government is ready to discuss the matter Monday and this has been conveyed to the Business Advisory Committee. Opposition should not politicise the issue,” Javadekar said.

In th

he Lok Sabha, the PDP members raised the issue even as the house took up the Question Hour.

PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti continued to raise slogans demanding a discussion. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan rejected her appeal saying that the member had not given any notice in advance.

The agitating PDP members later staged a walk out.

This was the third day of disruptions on the issue in the upper house, which was also raised in Lok Sabha Tuesday.

Gaza is a small Palestinian region on the Mediterranean Sea that borders Egypt and Israel. It covers 360 square kilometres and is densely populated with about 1.8 million people.

According to reports, at least six Palestinians were killed Friday including a five-month-old infant, hours after Israel announced it had started a ground operation in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

On July 8, Israel started an all-out aerial operation, dubbed “Protective Edge”, to stop rocket fire from Gaza.

So far, 246 Palestinians have been killed and more than 1,850 others injured in the operation.


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