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Contact lost with nearly 300 Israelis after India floods

Monsoon rains have wreaked havoc in the country's north.

Monsoon clouds in Madhya Pradesh state, India. Credit: Rajarshi MITRA via Wikimedia Commons.
Monsoon clouds in Madhya Pradesh state, India. Credit: Rajarshi MITRA via Wikimedia Commons.

Some 290 Israeli travelers in northern India cannot be reached due to a lack of cellphone connections and downed power lines following stormy weather and flooding, the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem said Wednesday.

The Israeli embassy in New Delhi is trying to connect with the travelers and make sure that they are safe.

At least 49 people have died in India since the weekend as flash floods and landslides washed away bridges and vehicles, blocked roads and destroyed buildings following days of intense monsoon rains. 

In May, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen made an official visit to India, where he engaged in talks on strengthening relations between the two countries.

Cohen attended the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) India-Israel Business Forum in Delhi, saying that he would raise the issue of a free trade agreement during his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Israel’s top diplomat was also present for the signing of three memorandums of understanding between Jerusalem and New Delhi and met with his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. 

Israel and India are celebrating 30 years of diplomatic relations. Cohen’s trip followed recent visits by Israel’s Economy Minister Nir Barkat and Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana.

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