Palestine’s deputy envoy: PM Modi to “touch and see” Israel’s atrocities during his visit

Two of PM Modi’s stauncher allies, Netanyahu and Donald Trump, will be severely criticised when the Indian PM meets Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas on Feb 10


Dhairya Maheshwari

Palestine’s President Mahmoud Abbas will show Prime Minister Narendra Modi how Israel is “destroying” the two-state solution in the occupied territories by constructing settlements and military checkpoints.

“The Prime Minister will “touch and see on the ground” how Israel is destroying the two-state solution,” Dr Wael Albattrekhi, the Deputy Head of Mission at the Palestine Embassy in New Delhi has said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting Palestine on February 10, as part of his three-nation tour to the UAE and Oman.

“We believe and expect that India will stand with justice, right and with the resolutions of international legitimacy and international consensus regarding the Palestinian issues and the conflict between Israel and Palestine, in order to end the Israeli occupation,” Dr Albattrekhi said ahead of PM’s visit.

Albattrekhi further said that US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December will also feature in discussions between Abbas and Modi. The controversial announcement by the US President triggered a spate of protests across the world, also resulting in the deaths of 14 persons in Palestine, according to Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.

“[Abbas] will explain to [Modi] the repercussions of the illegal decision made by President Trump, which threatens the peace, security and stability of the world,” the diplomat said.

He also said that President Abbas expects the Indian leadership to play an active role in the peace process, as India enjoyed good relations with both Palestine and Israel.

Modi’s one-day visit is expected to be closely watched next door in Israel. A major buyer of Israeli arms, India’s bilateral relations with Israel have blossomed under the Modi government, even as critics accuse the Indian Prime Minister of diluting India’s long-standing commitment to the Palestinian cause.

The centre, however, put some of the allegations to rest after voting against President Trump’s resolution on Jerusalem at the United Nations General Assembly in December.

This, though, was followed a by six-day state visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to India in January, sending mixed signals as to where India’s loyalties lie.

“I would say that US and Israel’s relations with Palestine are a separate matter. India’s own position has been historically established in a different direction than that of the US,” said India’s former MoS External Affairs Salman Haidar.

Haidar, however, conceded that a strong reaction from the Modi government on Trump’s declaration was still lacking. He said, “There hasn’t been a strong, official reaction to President Trump’s declaration of making Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.”

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