Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to land in Israel on July 4 on a three-day visit, the first by an Indian prime minister to the Jewish state.News agencies reported that PM Modi three-day visit will begin on July 4 and he will meet his counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, the same evening.
PM Modi will on July 5 address the Indians in Israel who have launched a website for his trip. About 80,000 Indian Jews belonging to four different communities – Bene Israel, Cochinis, Baghdadis and Bnei Menashe – live in Israel.
Modi’s ascendance to power in New Delhi generated a lot of euphoria in Israel as he was popular here for maintaining close ties with Tel Aviv during his tenure as Chief Minister of Gujarat. He had also visited Israel in October 2006. One of the things that have been particularly discussed widely in the Israeli media is the “close chemistry” between Modi and Netanyahu.
Netanyahu often calls Modi “my friend” and in a recent tweet said that people of his country were eagerly waiting for his “historic” visit. The two leaders have already met twice on foreign soil on the sidelines of UN related events and are said to be constantly in touch with each other over the phone.
Last month, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited Delhi and was assured by PM Modi that “India has been unwavering in its support of the Palestinian cause.”
In 2015, India abstained from a UN vote on Israel’s offensive on Gaza the previous year but Delhi said that its decision was based on problems with the text of the resolution. 41 countries voted in favour of the resolution against Israel, while only the US voted against it.