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UN tells Israel it will suspend aid operations across Gaza without improved safety

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UN tells Israel it will suspend aid operations across Gaza without improved safety
News

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UN tells Israel it will suspend aid operations across Gaza without improved safety

2024-06-26 04:19 Last Updated At:04:20

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senior U.N. officials have warned Israel that they will suspend the world body's aid operations across Gaza unless Israel acts urgently to better protect humanitarian workers, two U.N. officials said Tuesday. The ultimatum is the latest in a series of U.N. steps demanding Israel do more to safeguard aid operations from strikes by its forces and to curb growing lawlessness hindering humanitarian workers.

A U.N. letter sent to Israeli officials this month said Israel must provide U.N. workers with a way to communicate directly with Israeli forces on the ground in Gaza, among other steps, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing negotiations with Israeli officials.

The U.N. officials said there has been no final decision on suspending operations across Gaza and that talks with the Israelis were ongoing.

U.N. spokesman Stéphane Dujarric told reporters in New York that U.N. humanitarian coordinator Muhannad Hadi had written to the Israeli military on June 17 and the U.N.’s undersecretary for security, Gilles Michaud, spoke with Israeli military officials Monday.

Dujarric called conditions for aid workers in the territory “increasingly intolerable.” But he said the U.N. was “pushing all its contacts” with the Israelis to resolve the problems and noted that “the U.N. will not turn its back on the people of Gaza.”

U.S. officials are talking with the U.N. and Israeli military to try to help resolve U.N. concerns, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters Tuesday. Asked if the U.S. had received any commitments from Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who is visiting this week to speak with Biden administration officials, Miller said, “we went through a number of specific things that we want to see resolved when it comes to the humanitarian situation and got an assurance to continue to work on those."

The Israeli army declined to comment on the U.N. warning, and the Israeli defense ministry did not respond to requests for comment. The army claims it is trying to facilitate aid shipments and accuses Hamas of disrupting them, noting Tuesday that the militant group fired a projectile at the humanitarian route near a UNICEF aid convoy.

Israel has previously acknowledged some military strikes on humanitarian workers, including an April attack that killed seven workers with the World Central Kitchen, and has denied allegations of others.

Citing security concerns, the U.N. World Food Program has already suspended aid delivery from a U.S.-built pier designed to bring food and other emergency supplies to Palestinians who are facing starvation amid more than eight months of war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

U.N. and other aid officials have complained for months that they have no way to communicate quickly and directly with Israeli forces on the ground, in contrast with the usual procedures — known as “deconfliction” — employed in conflict zones globally to protect aid workers from attack by combatants. Relief groups say Israel's procedure for coordinating aid work requires them to speak instead with an agency within the military.

In its letter to Israeli officials, the U.N. cited communication and protective equipment for aid workers as among the commitments that it wanted Israel to make good on for its aid operations in Gaza to continue, the two U.N. officials say.

Miller said taking aid from trucks and other criminal attacks were the biggest problems blocking aid delivery within Gaza right now, rather than strikes on aid workers by Israeli forces or commandeering of aid convoys by Hamas.

“And so we have been working with the U.N. and Israel to try to find a solution to that problem,” including trying to ensure that aid workers “have radios and other communications equipment so they can communicate with each other and safely move around Gaza," Miller told reporters.

The U.N. and other humanitarian organizations also complain of increasing crime in Gaza and have urged Israel to do more to improve overall security from attack and theft. The lawlessness has stymied what Israel said was a daily pause in fighting to allow aid into southern Gaza, with humanitarian officials saying groups of gunmen are regularly blocking convoys, holding drivers at gunpoint and rifling through their cargo.

On top of that, “missiles hit our premises, despite being deconflicted,” said Steve Taravella, a spokesman for the World Food Program, one of the main organizations working on humanitarian delivery in Gaza. He was not one of those confirming the U.N. threat to suspend operations across the territory. “WFP warehouses have been caught in the crossfire twice in the past two weeks.”

Humanitarian officials said conditions for civilians and aid workers have worsened since early May, when Israel launched an offensive in the southern city of Rafah, where many aid groups had their base. The operation has crippled what had been a main border crossing for food and other aid.

Aid workers trying to get shipments through the main remaining crossing, Kerem Shalom, face risks from fighting, damaged roads, unexploded ordnance and Israeli restrictions, including spending five or more hours a day waiting at checkpoints, Taravella said.

“Restoring order is crucial for an effective humanitarian response to meet soaring needs. U.N. agencies and others need a safe environment to be able to access people and scale up,” he said.

Israeli officials say the problems at Kerem Shalom are a matter of poor U.N. logistics.

Separately, the United Nations has suspended cooperation with the U.S.-built pier since June 9, a day after the Israeli military used the area around the pier in a hostage rescue that killed more than 270 Palestinians.

While U.S. and Israeli officials said no part of the pier itself was used in the raid that rescued four hostages taken by Hamas, U.N. officials said any perception in Gaza that the project was used in the Israeli military operation may endanger their aid work.

The U.N. has finished a security assessment of the pier operation following the raid but has not yet made a decision on resuming delivery of supplies arriving by sea, according to a humanitarian official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details that have not yet been released publicly.

Speaking to reporters traveling with a U.S. delegation to a gathering of defense chiefs in Botswana on Tuesday, an official with the U.S. Agency for International Development expressed optimism that aid deliveries from the pier would eventually resume.

“I think it’s a question of when the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) can provide, and the government of Israel can provide, the assurances that the U.N. is seeking on deconfliction and security right now,” said Isobel Coleman, deputy administrator of USAID, which has been working with the World Food Program on aid distribution from the pier.

Magdy reported from Cairo. AP reporters Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations, Melanie Lidman in Tel Aviv, Israel, and Lolita C. Baldor in Gaborone, Botswana contributed.

Destroyed buildings stand in the coast of the Gaza Strip as seen from the Mediterranean Sea, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Destroyed buildings stand in the coast of the Gaza Strip as seen from the Mediterranean Sea, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

A U.S. Army soldier gestures as trucks loaded with humanitarian aid arrive at the U.S.-built floating pier Trident before reaching the beach on the coast of the Gaza Strip, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

A U.S. Army soldier gestures as trucks loaded with humanitarian aid arrive at the U.S.-built floating pier Trident before reaching the beach on the coast of the Gaza Strip, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

U.S. Army soldiers stand at the U.S.-built floating pier Trident backdropped by the coast of the Gaza Strip, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

U.S. Army soldiers stand at the U.S.-built floating pier Trident backdropped by the coast of the Gaza Strip, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

FILE - Israeli soldiers look at pictures of revelers killed on Oct. 7, 2023 at the Nova music festival by Hamas militants during a cross-border attack, as they visit the site in Re'im, southern Israel near the Gaza border, Jan. 28, 2024. Senior U.N. officials have told Israel they'll suspend aid operations across Gaza unless urgent steps are taken to better protect humanitarian workers. That's according to two U.N. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing negotiations with Israeli officials. . (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)

FILE - Israeli soldiers look at pictures of revelers killed on Oct. 7, 2023 at the Nova music festival by Hamas militants during a cross-border attack, as they visit the site in Re'im, southern Israel near the Gaza border, Jan. 28, 2024. Senior U.N. officials have told Israel they'll suspend aid operations across Gaza unless urgent steps are taken to better protect humanitarian workers. That's according to two U.N. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing negotiations with Israeli officials. . (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)

MUMBAI, India (AP) — Global celebrities, business tycoons and politicians began arriving in India’s financial capital on Friday to attend the wedding of the youngest son of Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s richest man, highlighting the billionaire's staggering wealth and rising clout.

Anant Ambani, 29, is marrying his longtime girlfriend, Radhika Merchant, in what many have dubbed the wedding of the year. The celebrations are taking place at the Ambani-owned Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai and their family home and are the culmination of months of wedding events that featured performances by pop stars including Rihanna and Justin Bieber.

The four-day wedding celebrations begin with a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony on Friday, followed by a grand reception that will run through the weekend. The guest list includes former British Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Boris Johnson, Saudi Aramco CEO Amin H. Nasser, Adele, Lana Del Rey, Drake and David Beckham, according to local media. The Ambani family has not confirmed the guest list.

Television news channels showed celebrities like Kim Kardashian and professional wrestler and Hollywood actor John Cena arriving.

Police have imposed traffic diversions around the wedding venue from Friday to Monday to handle the influx of guests who will be flying into Mumbai, where heavy monsoon rains have caused flooding and flight disruptions for the past week.

The extravaganza and the display of opulence that comes with this wedding has, however, led many to raise questions about rising inequality in India, where the gap between the rich and poor is growing. The event has also sparked anger among some Mumbai residents who say they were struggling with snarled traffic.

“It affects our earnings. I don’t care much about the wedding,” said Vikram, a taxi driver who only uses his first name.

The father of the groom, Mukesh Ambani, 66, is the world’s ninth richest man with a net worth of $116 billion, according to Forbes. He is also the richest person in Asia. His Reliance Industries is a massive conglomerate, reporting over $100 billion in annual revenue, with interests ranging from petrochemicals, and oil and gas to telecoms and retail.

The Ambani family owns, among other assets, a 27-story family compound in Mumbai worth $1 billion. The building contains three helipads, a 160-car garage and a private movie theater.

Ambani’s son, Anant, oversees the conglomerate’s renewable and green energy expansion. He also runs a 3,000-acre (about 1,200-hectare) animal rescue center in Gujarat state’s Jamnagar, the family’s hometown.

The bride, Radhika Merchant, 29, is the daughter of pharmaceutical tycoon Viren Merchant and is the marketing director for his company, Encore Healthcare, according to Vogue.

Ambani’s critics say his company has relied on political connections during Congress party-led governments in the 1970s and '80s and under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rule after 2014.

The Ambani family’s pre-wedding celebrations have been lavish and star-studded.

In March, they threw a three-day prenuptial bash for his son with 1,200 guests including former world leaders, tech tycoons and Bollywood megastars, and performances by Rihanna, Akon and Diljit Dosanjh, a Punjabi singer who shot to international fame when he performed at Coachella. The event was also attended by tech billionaires Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates.

It was the start of lavish monthslong pre-wedding celebrations that have grabbed headlines and set off a social media frenzy.

In May, the family took guests on a three-day cruise from Italy to France which included Katy Perry singing her hit song “Firework” and a performance by Pitbull, according to media reports.

The family also organized a mass wedding for more than 50 underprivileged couples on July 2 as part of the celebrations.

Last week, Justin Bieber performed for hundreds of guests at a pre-wedding concert which included performances by Bollywood stars Alia Bhatt, Ranveer Singh and Salman Khan.

Ambani also made headlines in 2018 when Beyoncé performed at pre-wedding festivities for his daughter. Former U.S. Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry were among those who rubbed shoulders with Indian celebrities and Bollywood stars in the western Indian city of Udaipur.

In this photo provided by Reliance Industries, Anant Ambani, left, the son of billionaire Mukesh Ambani, holds hands with Radhika Merchant during their wedding ceremony at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 12, 2024. (Reliance Industries via AP)

In this photo provided by Reliance Industries, Anant Ambani, left, the son of billionaire Mukesh Ambani, holds hands with Radhika Merchant during their wedding ceremony at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 12, 2024. (Reliance Industries via AP)

Indian cricketer Jasprit Bumrah poses for a photograph with his wife Sanjana Ganesan at the wedding of Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 12, 2024. (AP Photo /Rajanish Kakade)

Indian cricketer Jasprit Bumrah poses for a photograph with his wife Sanjana Ganesan at the wedding of Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 12, 2024. (AP Photo /Rajanish Kakade)

Indian former cricketer Gautam Gambhir poses for a photograph with his wife Natasha Jain at the wedding of Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 12, 2024. (AP Photo /Rajanish Kakade)

Indian former cricketer Gautam Gambhir poses for a photograph with his wife Natasha Jain at the wedding of Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 12, 2024. (AP Photo /Rajanish Kakade)

Indian actor Shahid Kapoor poses for a photograph with his wife Mira Rajput as they arrive at the wedding of Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 12, 2024. (AP Photo /Rajanish Kakade)

Indian actor Shahid Kapoor poses for a photograph with his wife Mira Rajput as they arrive at the wedding of Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 12, 2024. (AP Photo /Rajanish Kakade)

Former Indian cricketer MS Dhoni poses for a photograph with his wife Sakshi and daughter Ziva Singh as they arrive at the wedding of Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 12, 2024. (AP Photo /Rajanish Kakade)

Former Indian cricketer MS Dhoni poses for a photograph with his wife Sakshi and daughter Ziva Singh as they arrive at the wedding of Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 12, 2024. (AP Photo /Rajanish Kakade)

Indian actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan poses for a photograph with her daughter Aaradhya as she arrives at the wedding of Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 12, 2024. (AP Photo /Rajanish Kakade)

Indian actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan poses for a photograph with her daughter Aaradhya as she arrives at the wedding of Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 12, 2024. (AP Photo /Rajanish Kakade)

Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan arrives at the wedding of Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 12, 2024. (AP Photo /Rajanish Kakade)

Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan arrives at the wedding of Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 12, 2024. (AP Photo /Rajanish Kakade)

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair poses for a photograph with his wife Cherie Blair at the wedding of Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 12, 2024. (AP Photo /Rajanish Kakade)

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair poses for a photograph with his wife Cherie Blair at the wedding of Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 12, 2024. (AP Photo /Rajanish Kakade)

Bollywood actor couple Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt pose for a photograph at the wedding of Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 12, 2024. (AP Photo /Rajanish Kakade)

Bollywood actor couple Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt pose for a photograph at the wedding of Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 12, 2024. (AP Photo /Rajanish Kakade)

Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan poses for a photograph with his wife Gauri at the wedding of Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 12, 2024. (AP Photo /Rajanish Kakade)

Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan poses for a photograph with his wife Gauri at the wedding of Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 12, 2024. (AP Photo /Rajanish Kakade)

American actor and musician Nick Jonas arrives with his wife Priyanka Chopra at the wedding of Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 12, 2024. (AP Photo /Rajanish Kakade)

American actor and musician Nick Jonas arrives with his wife Priyanka Chopra at the wedding of Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 12, 2024. (AP Photo /Rajanish Kakade)

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani, center, takes his son Anant Ambani by the hand as they walk with Nita Ambani, right, at the wedding of Anant and Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 12, 2024. (AP Photo /Rajanish Kakade)

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani, center, takes his son Anant Ambani by the hand as they walk with Nita Ambani, right, at the wedding of Anant and Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 12, 2024. (AP Photo /Rajanish Kakade)

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani, third left, stands with his family members from L to R, son Akash, son Anant, wife Nita, daughter Isha and daughter-in-law Shloka at the wedding of his son Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 12, 2024. (AP Photo /Rajanish Kakade)

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani, third left, stands with his family members from L to R, son Akash, son Anant, wife Nita, daughter Isha and daughter-in-law Shloka at the wedding of his son Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 12, 2024. (AP Photo /Rajanish Kakade)

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani poses for a photograph with his family members from L to R, son Akash, daughter-in-law Shloka, daughter Isha and son-in-law Anand Piramal at the wedding of his son Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 12, 2024. (AP Photo /Rajanish Kakade)

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani poses for a photograph with his family members from L to R, son Akash, daughter-in-law Shloka, daughter Isha and son-in-law Anand Piramal at the wedding of his son Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 12, 2024. (AP Photo /Rajanish Kakade)

American actor and professional wrestler John Cena arrives at the wedding of billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 12, 2024. (AP Photo /Rajanish Kakade)

American actor and professional wrestler John Cena arrives at the wedding of billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 12, 2024. (AP Photo /Rajanish Kakade)

People walk past the Antilia mansion, house of billionaire Mukesh Ambani, while it is lit up ahead of his son Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant's wedding in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, July 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

People walk past the Antilia mansion, house of billionaire Mukesh Ambani, while it is lit up ahead of his son Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant's wedding in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, July 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

The Antilia mansion, house of billionaire Mukesh Ambani is lit up ahead of his son Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant's wedding in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, July 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

The Antilia mansion, house of billionaire Mukesh Ambani is lit up ahead of his son Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant's wedding in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, July 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

Workers decorate the venue ahead of billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani's wedding to Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Thursday, July 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

Workers decorate the venue ahead of billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani's wedding to Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Thursday, July 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

Workers decorate the venue ahead of billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani's wedding to Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Thursday, July 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

Workers decorate the venue ahead of billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani's wedding to Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Thursday, July 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

Workers decorate the venue ahead of billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani's wedding to Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Thursday, July 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

Workers decorate the venue ahead of billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani's wedding to Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Thursday, July 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

People walk past the venue decorated with lights ahead of billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani's wedding to Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Thursday, July 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

People walk past the venue decorated with lights ahead of billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani's wedding to Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Thursday, July 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

FILE - Chairman of Reliance Industries Limited Mukesh Ambani, third left, poses with his family members and underprivileged couples during a mass wedding organized by him as the part of pre-wedding celebrations of his youngest son, Anant Ambani, in Mumbai, India, Tuesday, July 2, 2024. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool, File)

FILE - Chairman of Reliance Industries Limited Mukesh Ambani, third left, poses with his family members and underprivileged couples during a mass wedding organized by him as the part of pre-wedding celebrations of his youngest son, Anant Ambani, in Mumbai, India, Tuesday, July 2, 2024. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool, File)

FILE - Anant Ambani, left, and Radhika Merchant pose for photographers during their pre-wedding ceremony in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 5, 2024. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade, File)

FILE - Anant Ambani, left, and Radhika Merchant pose for photographers during their pre-wedding ceremony in Mumbai, India, Friday, July 5, 2024. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade, File)

People walk past the venue decorated with lights ahead of billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani's wedding to Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Thursday, July 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

People walk past the venue decorated with lights ahead of billionaire Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani's wedding to Radhika Merchant at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India, Thursday, July 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

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