Q. What is India’s policy with regard to the Israel-Palestine conflict?
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Replied by Hirak J Das

Israel-Palestine conflict is one of the core faultline in the West Asian region. Currently, the common threat emerging from Iran’s nuclear and weapons programmes as well as its regional expansion policy by supporting armed groups have shifted the faultline in the region providing impetus to Arab states to open diplomatic relations with Israel. The traditional talking points by Arab states about refugees; expansion of illegal settlements; prospect of Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as the capital has been side-lined.

India since 1947 has been an ardent supporter of the Palestinian right to self-determination and in fact it was the first non-Arab state to recognise Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO). India has provided humanitarian aid, scientific know how, food and medical aid on several occasions. On multi-lateral level, India has largely sided with the Palestinians and opposed Israel’s continued occupation and asymmetrical nature of violence.

India regarding Israel conducted low level diplomatic visits between 1950 and 1991. The level of engagement drastically improved in 1992 after India opened its embassy in Tel Aviv and over the years, engagement has expanded in the area of military goods; homeland security; agriculture; health; trade and science & technology. India in the current decade has successfully de-hyphenated its foreign policy and enjoys cordial ties with Israel and Palestine.

In light of the Abraham Accords, India is keen to engage on a trilateral level with the Gulf states and Israel including the promotion of joint production and co-production in a third country; counter terrorism and homeland security; energy security; cooperation in health and medical research, tourism, water security, disaster management and media and film industry. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, India has significantly contributed to research on testing and vaccine and scope for collaboration is likely to grow in the coming months.

Date : 21/03/2021
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