INDIA-PALESTINE

The relation between India and PLO (Palestine Liberation Organisation) were first established in 1974.

India – Palestine relation is one of the oldest relations in the history of Indian diplomacy.

This relationship has largely influenced in the independence struggle against British colonialism.

India recognized Palestine’s statehood on 18th November 1988.

The “Palestinian Declaration of Independence” is a statement written by the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish and proclaimed by Yasser Arafat on 15th November 1988.

INDIA-PALESTINE
YASSER ARAFAT

 

India was the first non-Arab country to contemporaneously recognize the Palestine Liberation Organisation authority as the “sole” legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

PLO office was set up in the Indian capital in 1975, with full diplomatic relations established in March 1980.

India opened a Representative Office in Gaza (Palestinian city) on 25th June 1996.

 Palestine Overview  

The present president of Palestine is Mahmoud Abbas.

INDIA-PALESTINE
MAHMOUD ABBAS

Palestine was officially known as the state of Palestine. It is a sovereign state in the Middle East. Its administrative center is located in Ramallah. 

But Palestine always demanded East Jerusalem as its designated capital to be recognized.

INDIA-PALESTINE
Map Of Palestine

Also, Palestine keeps claiming for the West Bank (bordering Israel and Jordan) and Gaza Strip (bordering Israel and Egypt).

Most of the area claimed by the State of Palestine have been occupied by Israel since 1967 in the consequence of the Six-Day War.

 Bilateral Visits 

There have been regular bilateral visits between India-Palestine.

  • Late President Yasser Arafat visited India on 20–22 November 1997. He also paid a one-day visit to India on 10 April 1999.

 

  • In April 1997 Yasser Arafat attended the 12th Ministerial Conference of Non-Aligned Movement, where he addressed the NAM Foreign Ministers in a special session.

 

  • The PLO’s Executive Committee member, Sulaiman Najjab, visited India to participate in a seminar on “Prospects for Peace in the Middle East,” organized by the United Nations’ Department of Information on 3–4 February 1998.

 

  • The Director-General of the Palestine Election Commission also visited India in February 1998. To familiarize himself with the election process in India, where he visited Gandhi Nagar and Mumbai to witness the election process.

 

  • The Palestinian Minister of Housing and Energy, Abdel Rahman Hamad, visited India in April 1998 to attend another seminar organized by the Council of Arab Ambassadors.

 

  • Al-Fateh, in charge of foreign relations and a member of the Palestine National Council and Hani Al-Hasan, visited India as a representative of the PLO to attend the 17th Congress of the Communist Party of India (CPI) held at Chennai from 18–20 September 1998.

 

  • An Indian official delegation visited the Palestinian self-rule areas in May 1997 and called on President Arafat in Gaza.

 

  • President of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas visited India in the years 2005, 2008, 2010, 2012 and most recently in May 2017 on his third State Visit.

 

  • Shri Pranab Mukherjee, President of India visited the State of Palestine in October 2015.

 

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had met President Abbas in September 2015 on the sidelines of UN General Assembly session in New York also in Paris on the sidelines of climate change summit in December 2015.

 

  • Smt Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister (EAM) visited the State of Palestine in January 2016.

 

  • Shri M.J. Akbar, Minister of State (MOS) for External Affairs visited the State of Palestine in November 2016 for the historic first ever Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) between both countries.

 

  • Mr. Narendra Modi became first ever Indian prime minister to visit West Bank (Palestine) on February 10th 2018.
INDIA-PALESTINE
PM NARENDRA MODI
  • During the trip to Palestine, Narendra Modi was conferred Grand Collar of the State of Palestine on 10th February 2018.

 Steps Of India Supporting Palestine 

  • India voted in favor of “the right of Palestinians to self-determination” during the 53rd session of the UN General Assembly.

 

  • UN General Assembly Resolution in October 2003 India voted against the construction of the separation wall by Israel and supported subsequent resolutions of the UNGA in this regard.

 

  • India voted in favor of accepting Palestine as a full member of UNESCO.  

 

  • On November 29, 2012, at the United Nations General Assembly, Palestine became a ‘non-member state’ and India had co-sponsored this resolution and voted in favor of it.

 

  • India supported the Bandung Declaration on Palestine at Asian African Commemorative Conference in April 2015.

  • And supported the installation of Palestinian flag at UN premises in September 2015.

 

  • In December 2017 India voted to favor Palestine in United nations on the sensitive issue of Jerusalem.

 Deals and agreements between India-Palestine 

India and Palestine on 10th February 2018 signed six Memorandums of Understanding (MoU)s (Memorandum of Understanding) worth USD 40 million.

 

  • MoU for setting up of India-Palestine Super-specialty hospital at Beit Sahour in Bethlehem Governorate.

 

  • India will also build women’s empowerment centers where women from different parts of Palestine can come and learn the skill.

Memorandum Of  Understanding

 

  • For setting up of new National Printing Press at Ramallah.

 

  •  Construction of the school in Muthalth Al Shuhada Village.

 

  • Also providing assistance for construction of additional floor to Jawaharlal Nehru for Boys at Abu Dees.

 

India and Palestine have signed five agreements during the 4-day visit of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to India on 16th May 2017.

 

This was Abbas’s fifth visit to India and the third state visit after his earlier visits in 2008 and 2012. During the visit 5 MoUs were signed :

  • Visa exemption for diplomatic passport holder.
  • Agriculture cooperation.
  • Cooperation in the field of IT & Electronics.
  • Assistance in the health sector.
  • Contribution in the field of youth affairs and sports.

 

The president of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee visited Palestine in October 2015 during his visit 

 

  • India has given a grant of five million US Dollars to Palestine as Budgetary assistance.

 

  • And announced 5 projects worth $17.79 million in Palestine.

 

  • $1 million India-Palestine Centre for Excellence in Gaza.

 

  • $4.5 million Palestine Institute for Diplomacy.

 

  • $12 million for setting up Palestine-India Techno Park at Ramallah in Palestine.

   Main objective Of the Tech Park 

  • The Technopark will be set up with an Indian grant of $12 million as part of India’s strong commitment to the Palestinian cause.

 

  • It will serve as an IT hub in Palestine with complete IT facilities offering a one-stop solution to all IT-related service requirements.

 

  • It will also provide state-of-the-art technology, host IT companies and foreign companies benefiting local business, universities and other institutions.

 

  • The project will help job creation, business and other opportunities for young Palestinians.

 An Eternal Bonding Since Freedom Struggle 

Despite the rivalry between Israel and Palestine, India has flourishingly maintained it’s bonding with both of them.

In  July 2017  PM Modi’s visit to Israel created an illusion of dissociation between  India-Palestine relationship.

But soon reality came out when India voted to favor Palestine and against Israel in United Nations on the sensitive issue of Jerusalem.

Which both of the countries are fighting and claiming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Palestine separately.

So, the magnificent diplomatic stand of India favoring both countries but not at the same time is truly appreciable.

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