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India-Israel relations will remain unaffected by war: Israeli foreign ministry spokesperson

Lior Haiat also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other Indian leaders for supporting Israel during the crisis. "I do believe that the strong relations between Israel and India will continue and get even stronger," he said.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Tel Aviv (Israel) Published on: October 09, 2023 23:53 IST
Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Lior Haiat.
Image Source : ANI Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Lior Haiat.

As Israel battles against Hamas following a devastating attack launched by the latter, Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Lior Haiat on Monday remarked that the war will not affect its relations with India and will continue to grow stronger.

Speaking to news agency ANI, Haiat said, "I don't think the war will have an impact on the relations between Israel and India. I do hope that the initiatives will continue to flourish. This is not just for Israel but the entire region...I do believe that the strong relations between Israel and India will continue and get even stronger."

He also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other Indian leaders for their support towards Israel in this unprecedented crisis.

"We saw a huge support and solidarity that we received from many countries and leaders in the Middle East and the entire world, including the European Union and the US. We really appreciate the support. Israel will defend itself," Haiat said.

Commenting on war operations, the Israeli spokesperson said that people are being evacuated from southern to central Israel and expressed confidence that they will win the war against such terrorist attacks, for which he blamed Iran.

"Hamas is a terror organisation...The only way to fight it is to get each and every terrorist and have him pay the price - not only the ones that participated but also the ones that sent them, the ones that financed them and the ones that are behind them. We know that Iran is the main financer of terror organisations in the Middle East and they are also deeply involved in what happens in the Gaza Strip...There will be consequences for this attack for each and everyone responsible...," said the official.

Israel-Hamas war

As the conflict between Israel and Hamas enters its third day, the government declared war and intensified its bombardment of the Gaza Strip in retaliation for a major surprise attack by Hamas. Militants of the armed group infiltrated Israel on Saturday and gunned down several civilians and soldiers during a Jewish holiday and launched over 4,400 rockets.

Israel formally declared a state of war and launched retaliatory airstrikes and struck over 2,400 targets in Gaza to prevent more infiltrations, levelling down numerous buildings. Nearly 500 people have been killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza, while thousands of people have been injured on both sides.

Hamas and other militants in Gaza have said that they are holding over 130 soldiers and civilians who were abducted when around 1,000 Hamas militants infiltrated Israel. The situation has worsened as over 900 people have been killed in Hamas' devastating attack on Israel, as per Israeli media. 

Hamas' military wing has threatened to execute one Israeli hostage "without prior warning" every time Israel targets any civilian in their homes in the Gaza Strip. Abu Obeida, the spokesperson of the Qassam Brigades, said that Israel has launched intense strikes that have destroyed civilian homes.

On the other hand, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen demanded the Hamas group to not harm any of the hostages, and said that they are committed in bringing them back in the "spirit of mutual responsibility".

"I ask you to stand firm because we are going to change the Middle East. I know you have been through terrible and difficult things. What Hamas will go through will be difficult and terrible … we have only just begun," Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu told authorities. He further praised the soldiers for their steadfastness and says the coming fight would take time.

Meanwhile, the Israeli military said it had largely gained control in its southern towns where it had been battling Hamas gunmen. Tanks and drones were deployed to guard breaches in the border fence with Gaza to prevent new infiltrations. Thousands of Israelis were evacuated from more than a dozen towns near Gaza, and the military summoned 300,000 reserve forces.

(with agency inputs)

ALSO READ | Hamas threatens to execute Israeli hostages 'without warning' in response to airstrikes

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