Photo Credit: Israel in Banglore Facebook page
Consul General Yael Hashavit with Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi

In a gesture of friendship, Consul General in Banglore, India, Yael Hashavit, city reached out to the Muslim community across south India and hosted an iftar meal for them on Wednesday, The Hindu reported.

Ifthar is the evening meal when Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset. Muslims break their fast at the time of the call to evening prayer.

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The main guest at the party, a first for Israel in South India, was Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, chief of the All India Organization of Imams of Mosques.

“I was born and raised in Haifa, a city where people from many religions stay together in harmony,” Consul Hashavit told her guests, noting that “Jews and Muslims have a lot in common. We have many shared values, and Israel has over one million Muslims living in peace and playing a vital role in all aspects of society.”

The Muslim guests broke their fast with a Middle-Eastern buffet designed by Hashavit.

Imam Ilyasi told the participants that his visit to Israel had helped clear many of his misconceptions about the treatment of Muslims in the predominantly Jewish country.

“I want Indian Muslims to visit Israel,” he stressed, so “they can clear their misconceptions as well. We want both Palestine and Israel to have good relations.”

“I am sure Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit will be important in terms of promoting peace in the region,” the Imam suggested.

PM Modi is scheduled to visit Israel in early July.

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