India stands by Israel: PM Modi to Netanyahu over phone

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said India is firmly standing with Israel in its hour of crisis following a phone call by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu amid the raging conflict between Israel and Palestine triggered by a surprise attack by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.

PM Modi shares a special bond with Netanyahu. File Photo courtesy: X/Netanyahu

"I thank Prime Minister @netanyahu for his phone call and providing an update on the ongoing situation. People of India stand firmly with Israel in this difficult hour. India strongly and unequivocally condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations," PM Modi posted on his X handle.

India, which maintains cordial relations with both Israel and Palestine, has always balanced its West Asia policy even though Prime Minister Modi shares a special bond with Netanyahu.

According to a CNN report, at least 900 people in Israel  and more than 680 people in Palestine have been killed so far as Israel pounds Gaza with unrelenting airstrikes. Israel has declared a war following the attack by Hamas on Saturday. 

More than 100,000 people have been displaced so far, said reports.

Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu earlier gave a strong message to the world when he equated Hamas with ISIS and vowed that his country would defeat the 'terrorists'.

Also Read: Hamas warns it will begin executing Israeli hostages in response to strikes

“We are in an operation for our home, a war to ensure our existence, a war that we will win," the PM said in a televised address to the nation on Monday.

“This war was imposed upon us by a despicable enemy — by savages who celebrate the murder of women, children, and the elderly,” he said. “The atrocities carried out by Hamas have not been seen since the atrocities of ISIS. Children bound and executed with the rest of their families, young girls and boys shot in the back, executed, and other atrocities that I will not describe here.”

Attacking the group, Netanyahu said: "Hamas is ISIS.” "We will defeat [Hamas] precisely as the enlightened world defeated ISIS," he said.

Meanwhile, in an interview with NDTV, Palestine Ambassador to India, Abu Alhaija, blamed Israel and the international community for the war.

"What has happened is a reaction to what Israel is doing in the West Bank. The international community is responsible for the war. The UN has passed 800 resolutions on Palestine. Israel has implemented none," he said.

"If Israel ends its control on the occupied territories in Palestine, the attacks will also end,"  Alhaija, who is an appointee of the Palestine Authority government led by President Mahmoud Abbas, said.