From missiles to tomatoes: Israel’s importance for India and Modi explained

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. File photo

India and Israel have had clandestine defence ties since the 1962 Indo-China war

 

Latest news : Defence, agriculture, trade, diplomacy and water management will dominate talks when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Israel from July 4-6 at the invitation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the Jewish homeland.

 

Modi is also expected to meet Moshe Holtzberg, a survivor of the 2008 Mumbai 26/11 terrorist attack. Moshe was two years old when the attack happened.

 

“Ahead of the visit, both countries have prepared a roadmap of joint economic undertakings,” The Haaretz reported on June 29, 2017. “The Israeli cabinet approved a 23-page document continuing scores of bilateral measures and a budget of 280 million shekels (about $79.6 million or Rs 514 crore)–a bigger sum than Israel has ever set aside for China, Africa and Latin America combined. No fewer than 11 ministries were involved in preparing the program.”

 

Here are five things that define the India-Israel relationship today:

 

1) Defence: India is Israel’s top destination for arms exports, buying 41% of Israel’s arms export between 2012 and 2016, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, an independent global conflict and arms-research institute.

 

Israel is India’s third-largest source of arms, with a 7.2% share of imports between 2012 and 2016, next to the USA (14%) and Russia (68%).

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