Israeli foreign ministry spokesperson Lior Haiat on Tuesday confirmed in response to an inquiry from Press Trust of India (PTI) that Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba is a “terror organization.” The inquiry followed an embassy press release ahead of the 15th anniversary of the 11/26 Mumbai terror attacks in which 166 people, including six Jews, were killed by Lashkar-e-Taiba.
The embassy’s press release stated: “To symbolize the marking of the 15th year of commemoration of the Mumbai terror attacks, the state of Israel has listed Lashkar-e-Taiba as a ‘Terror Organization.’”
PTI noted that the re-affirmation came several weeks after Israel said the time had come for India to declare Hamas a terror organization.
Lashkar-e-Taiba (Army of the Righteous) is a Pakistan-based Islamic terrorist group founded in 1985 and considered Pakistan’s “most powerful jihadi group.” Its primary stated objective is to merge all of Kashmir with Pakistan.
On November 26, 2011, 10 members of Lashkar-e-Taiba carried out 12 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks for four days across the Indian city of Mumbai. Nariman House, a.k.a. the Mumbai Chabad House, was taken over by two attackers, and several residents were held hostage. Police evacuated adjacent buildings and exchanged fire with the attackers, wounding one. The attackers threw a grenade into a nearby lane, causing no casualties. NSG commandos arrived from Delhi, and a naval helicopter took an aerial survey. During the first day, 9 hostages were rescued from the first floor. The following day, the house was stormed by NSG commandos fast-roping from helicopters onto the roof, covered by snipers positioned in nearby buildings. After a long battle, one NSG commando, Sergeant Gajender Singh Bisht was killed, as were both perpetrators. Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka Holtzberg, who was six months pregnant, were murdered inside the house with four other hostages.
According to radio transmissions picked up by Indian intelligence, the attackers were told by their handlers in Pakistan that the lives of the Jews were worth 50 times those of non-Jews.
India is a long-time supporter of “Palestinian” rights, and regularly votes against Israel on this issue at the UN. But after the October 7 Hamas massacre, New Delhi quickly condemned Hamas and abstained from the General Assembly resolution calling for a humanitarian truce in Gaza.
Yojna Patel, India’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, said the Hamas massacre in Israel was “shocking and deserves condemnation.”
“Terrorism is a malignancy and knows no borders, nationality, or race,” Patel said on the day of the UN vote from which his country abstained. “The world should not buy into any justification of terror acts. Let us keep aside differences, unite, and adopt a zero-tolerance approach to terrorism.”
Can an Indian designation of Hamas as a terrorist group be far behind?