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Israel’s decision to join India’s Covid fight showcases special ties

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi (Pic: Courtesy Twitter/@IsraeliPM)

Israel’s decision to join India in its fight against the vicious second Covid wave yet again showcases the special ties between the two countries, which shine brightly during a crisis.

In a statement on Monday, the Israeli foreign ministry announced that Tel Avis was sending out a series of flights throughout the week, which would carry aid that included thousands of group and individual oxygen generators, as well as respirators, medications and other medical equipment.

"The extension of emergency assistance is an expression of the deep friendship between our countries in India's time of need," the statement cited Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi as saying.

The statement follows growing public sentiment in Israel for fully backing  India at the time of its special need. For instance, the Israeli daily Haaretz wrote in an opinion piece that Israel Defence Forces (IDF) should set up field hospitals in India’s large “red” cities like New Delhi and Mumbai. “The Israel Defence Forces field hospitals have for years been renowned as leaders in medical aid missions in disaster zones…”

 It added that Israel’s Medical Corps supplies advanced services under field conditions, including lab and imaging services, which are crucial to treating Covid-19 victims. “It would behove MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development, which is responsible for formulating and implementing Israel’s foreign aid programs, to launch a program of logistical aid to India until this coronavirus storm passes.”

“The India crisis is getting lots of coverage, and residents of Western and Muslim countries alike are watching. Many people may think that Israeli aid to India would constitute a drop in the bucket, but during a disaster any lifeline is welcome, and it’s possible that Israel could help this Asiatic power overcome one of the most serious crises in its history,” the daily observed.

Separately, The Jerusalem Post newspaper reported that India and Israel are working together to develop non-invasive audio based, Terahertz, breath analyser and scent diagnostic kits for detecting Covid-19. “Over the summer, a delegation of Israeli defence and medical personnel travelled to India to kick off the programme, testing the novel screening kits on some 25,000 Indian citizens,” the daily reported.

Analysts point out that the support flowing in from Israel is in tune with the strong tradition of the two countries of coming to each other’s support as seen during the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai and the Pulwama terror strike.