Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Representative Office of India
Sunil Kumar, India's representative to the PA

The Government of India on Tuesday signed agreements to fund several projects in the Palestinian Authority worth $36.1 million.

The projects include establishing a $29 million hospital in Beit Sahour, east of Bethlehem, a $5 million national printing press, and two schools in Samaria which will cost $2.1 million.

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the PA in February 2018, which was the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to the PA. During his visit, Modi was conferred as Grand Collar of the State of Palestine.
Tuesday’s signing ceremony took place at the PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh’s office in Ramallah, with the PM and the Indian
Representative to the PA Sunil Kumar.

PA Foreign Minister Riyad Malki handed Kumar a deed for a plot of land in Ramallah, asking that India build its temporary embassy there until it moves it to Jerusalem “after the establishment of the independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.”

To put the Indian charity donation in perspective, as of 2014, India is Israel’s tenth-largest trade partner and import source, and seventh-largest export source. India’s major exports to Israel include precious stones and metals, organic chemicals, electronic equipment, plastics, vehicles, machinery, engines, pumps, clothing and textiles, and medical and technical equipment. Israel’s imports from India amounted to $2.3 billion or 3.2% of its overall imports in 2014. Israel’s major exports to India include precious stones and metals, electronic equipment, fertilizers, machines, engines, pumps, medical and technical equipment, organic and inorganic chemicals, salt, sulfur, stone, cement, and plastics. Israeli exports to India amounted to $2.2 billion or 3.2% of its overall exports in 2014. The two countries have also signed a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement.

Following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, in April 2020, India exported to Israel a five-ton shipment of drugs and chemicals, including ingredients for the drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine. On that occasion, India’s ambassador to Israel Sanjeev Singla stressed the bilateral ties between these two Asian democracies.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.