Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his wife Sara, Rabbi Shimon Rosenberg and his 12-year-old grandson Moshe Holtzberg are set to leave Israel Saturday night for India.
“With this visit, I intend to strengthen the relations between our countries even more,” Netanyahu said in a statement prior to leaving. “This visit is an opportunity to strengthen cooperation with a world leader in the fields of economy, security, technology, and tourism.
“Indian Prime Minister Modi is a close friend of Israel and to me personally, and I appreciate the fact that he himself will accompany us during large portions of the trip.”
The event will mark 25 years of diplomatic relations between India and Israel, and comes at the six-month point since Modi’s visit to the Jewish State.
Netanyahu will meet with Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind and Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj.
Also on the agenda is the signing of bilateral agreements on energy, cyber and aviation and discussions on a five-year working plan for the two countries.
Netanyahu will also meet with India’s most successful business leaders and attend economic events together with Modi and a group of CEOs from India and Israel. In addition, he’ll meet with the leaders of India’s Jewish community and the heads of India’s film industry.
The prime minister will visit the grave of Mahatma Gandhi and will participate in ceremonies marking the terror attack on the Taj Palace and the Nariman Chabad House in Mumbai, where Moshe Holtzberg will see the place where he was born, and where his parents died.
Holtzberg’s parents, Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, were the co-directors of the Nariman Chabad House in Mumbai when a 10-member Lashkar-e-Taibe terror cell attacked the city in November 2008. Both parents were slaughtered together with all four of their Jewish guests, along with 158 others in the city; at least 308 others were wounded.
Moshe Holtzberg, then age 2, was the sole Jewish survivor of the bloodbath at Nariman Chabad House, saved by his nanny, Sandra Samuel. Both were brought back to Israel by his grandparents.
Moshe met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Israel last summer and was invited to return the city where his parents lived. Modi provided visas for young Moshe and his maternal grandparents, and it was arranged they would accompany Prime Minister Netanyahu and his wife on their state visit this month.