India Palestine Relations

Introduction:

  • After India achieved its independence in 1947, the country has moved to support Palestinian self-determination following the partition of British India. In the light of a religious partition between India and Pakistan, the impetus to boost ties with Muslim states around the world was a further tie to India’s support for the Palestinian cause.
  • India was the first non-Arab country to contemporaneously recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization’s authority as “the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. A PLO office was set up in the Indian capital in 1975, with full diplomatic relations established in March 1980. In return, India opened a Representative Office in Gaza on 1996.
  • India consistently supported the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to a State and the consequent imperative need for a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the region based on United Nations Security Council resolution 242, 338 and 425, as well as the principle of “Land for Peace.” India has also supported these causes the Madrid Conference of 1991.

However, since the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Israel, there has been increased cooperation in military and intelligence ventures. The fall of the Soviet Union and the rise of Islamist anti-state activities in both countries paved the way for a strategic alliance.

Non Political support and Cooperation:

  • Apart from the strong political support to the Palestinian cause at international and bilateral levels, India has been contributing, since long time, material and technical assistance to the Palestinian people.
  • With the Government of India’s aid, two projects were completed in the field of higher education i.e. Jawaharlal Nehru Library at the Al Azhar University in Gaza city and the Mahatma Gandhi Library‐cum‐Student Activity Centre at the Palestine Technical College at Deir Al Balah in the Gaza Strip.
  • Under India‐Brazil‐South Africa (IBSA) Forum’s assistance, an Indoor Multi‐purpose Sports Complex has been constructed in Ramallah. Al Quds hospital in Gaza is in the process of reconstruction and the process of building a rehabilitation centre in Nablus has started.

Cause of Palestine & India’s Stand

India always supported Palestinian bid for membership of the United Nations and in 2011, India showed its historical support gesture again by supporting Palestine for permanent membership in UNESCO. The resolution to admit Palestine as the agency’s 195th member state was adopted at the 36th General Conference of UN assembly on 31 October 2011 and was ratified November 2011 making Palestine a full member at UNESCO. Recently Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited India for a state visit in 2012, the fourth of its kind since 2005. New Delhi pledged its full support for yet another. India’s displayed a balancing act between its Israeli and Palestinian friends in the recent decades.

 

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