(JNS.org) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will make a historic visit to Israel this summer, the first by a sitting Indian leader, and will reportedly not visit the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership in Ramallah.
“Contrary to expectations that Modi would include Palestine in his itinerary too, like many ministers did in the past, he will be traveling only to Israel,” the Times of India reported, noting that the move underscores the “di-hyphenation” of India’s relations with Israel and the Palestinians.
The PA’s envoy to India, Adnan Abu Alhaija, said he was “shocked” by Modi’s decision to skip a Ramallah visit, but that PA President Mahmoud Abbas will likely visit India before Modi’s Israel trip.
“Mr. Modi is not visiting Palestine on this occasion. Inshallah (by Allah’s will), our president will be here this year,” Alhaija told the Times of India.
Modi is expected to visit Israel on his return from the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, during the second week of July. The Indian government said it believes the standalone visit to Israel will further “underline the significance of India’s special ties with the Jewish nation.” The visit will mark 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two allies.