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India and Israel come closer with reduced flight time

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India and Israel come closer with reduced flight time

Air India flies over Saudi Arabia to reach Tel Aviv

The ties between India and Israel have witnessed a major jump when two capitals were connected with direct Air India Flight with reduced flight duration due to Saudi Arabia’s permission to Air India to fly over its airspace.

The first direct flight arrived in Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport from New Delhi late on Thursday night. It left New Delhi at 6 pm that evening.

Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, who was present at the airport told an Indian news agency, “This is really a historical moment…We are in a new era. I am sure that we will see many more Indian tourists coming to Israel…and Israelis would also come to India in much higher numbers,”

Air India’s flight covered the distance in 7.15 hours, 2.10 hours less than the time taken by the only other airline that flies between the two countries Tel Aviv and Mumbai by Israel’s national carrier El Al.

Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu posted a tweet on this occasion.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Tourism Minister was cautious on Saudi Arabia allowing Air India to use its air-space for reaching Tel Aviv. He said: “We have to very cautious. This is really a first step — a very important one… I hope with times we have more and more normal relation with our neighbour in this region….India played a very important bridge (by introducing this flight over Saudi airspace) not only between India and us but also between Israel and other countries in this region.”

Many Arab and Muslim countries do not recognise Israel as a nation because of its illegitimate occupation of Palestinian land and disallow airlines from using their airspace for flights connecting with Israel.India and Israel come closer with reduced flight time

Meanwhile Indian Ambassador to Israel Pavan Kapoor called Air India’s arrival a “historic” moment saying that a lot of efforts had gone into it over the last two years with a strong vision and support for the initiative from the prime ministers of both the countries.

He said the initiative would strengthen the relationship between the two countries in various spheres, including political, trade and cultural.

The flight will be operating its 256-seater Boeing 787 Dream-liner every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. The inaugural flight left at 6 pm IST on Thursday while the scheduled departure will be 4.50 pm IST from Sunday when the Air India’s summer schedule comes into effect.

However, amidst joyous mood on the beginning of the direct Air India flight between New Delhi and Tel Aviv, Israel’s national carrier El Al has decided to petition at their Supreme Court for getting access to the Saudi airspace.

Read More: Saudi Arabia grants airspace permission to Air India for Israel

Yisrael Katz, Israel’s transport minister, while welcoming direct flight between New Delhi and Tel Aviv, said, “I hope that Israeli airlines like El Al (Israel’s flagship carrier) will be allowed to use this route in the future.”

Al-Jazeera reports that the court appeal will come early next week. The Saudi government has not officially commented on the development.

However, observers believe that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who is currently trying to moderate Kingdom’s image to the outside world under his Vision 2030, may positively consider such a request from Tel Aviv.

Riyadh allowed Air India to fly over its air-space when ties between India and Saudi Arabia were growing steadily. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was honoured with highest civilian award: King Abdul Aziz Sash, by Saudi King Salman when he visited Riyadh in April 2016.

The permission by Saudi authorities to fly over its territories has reduced flight time by almost 2 hours and 10 minutes compared to the longer route taken by Israel’s national carrier El Al, which has direct flights between Tel Aviv and Mumbai.

The new air route between the two countries was first announced by PM Narendra Modi during his visit to Israel in July last year. Israeli PM Banjamin Netanyahu, while visiting India in January this year had asserted the new air route over Saudi territory would drastically reduce flight time.

At present El Al takes a circuitous route over the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and then enters India and avoids countries that are on the direct flight path such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman and Pakistan.

India News

Prime Minister Narendra Modi slams Rahul Gandhi, Lalu Yadav for eating mutton during holy month of Sawan, compares them to Mughals

PM Modi even compared them with the Mughals and accused them of trying to tease the people of the country.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday made a scathing attack on senior Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and RJD leader Lalu Yadav for allegedly eating mutton during the holy month of Sawan last year. He claimed that they do not care about the sentiments of the majority of people of the country. PM Modi even compared them with the Mughals and accused them of trying to tease the people of the country.

PM Modi was referring to a viral video which was released in September last year in which senior Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and RJD leader Lalu Yadav were seen cooking mutton together. PM Modi was speaking at an election rally in Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur.

He said the opposition and INDI alliance do not care about the sentiments of the majority of the people of the India. He added Congress party enjoys playing with the sentiments of the people.

Talking about RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav, PM Modi said a person who has been sentenced by the court and who is on bail – Rahul Gandhi visited the house of such a criminal and enjoys cooking mutton in the month of Sawan and a video was also made to tease the people of the country.  The Prime Minister claimed the intention of INDI alliance is to tease the people of the country and he even compared them with the Mughals.

PM Modi said the law does not stop anyone from eating anything but the intentions of these people are something else. He cited the example of the Mughals and said that when they attacked here, they were not satisfied until they demolished the temples. So just like Mughals, the Congress wants to tease the people of the country by showing the video in the month of Sawan.

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Akhilesh Yadav condemns deployment of cops in priests attire at Kashi temple

While the female policemen were wearing a ‘salwar kurta’, the male policemen were in a ‘dhoti-kurta’.

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Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has condemned the deployment of police officers dressed as priests at the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi. The Samajwadi Party (SP) chief demanded the suspension of the officers and wondered who ordered to deployment of cops in such attire.   

On the orders of Varanasi Police Commissioner Mohit Agarwal, the male and female policemen have been deployed in the temple in the priests’ attire. While the female policemen were wearing a ‘salwar kurta’, the male policemen were in a ‘dhoti-kurta’.

Yadav questioned the system in UP and asked according to which police manual is it correct for policemen to be dressed as priests. Those who give such orders should be suspended, he added. If tomorrow any ‘thag’ (fraudster) takes advantage of this and loots the innocent public, then what will the UP government and administration answer, he further asked. He called it Condemnable in a post on X.

Police Commissioner Agarwal had earlier told reporters that people who come from far away places to have obeisance have regard for the priests and they often get hurt if they are pushed forward by the policemen.

The duty in the temple is different from other places as police have to manage different types of crowds here. The crowd here is not for creating law and order problems. The police are here to ensure easy darshan to people and help and guide them, the police officer said.

He added the devotees get hurt if being pushed by policemen, if the same thing is done by priests they take it in a positive way. Following the no-touch policy, policemen are being deployed in priests’ attire.

The Samajwadi Party had earlier announced its candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Party chief Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple Yadav will be contesting from her existing seat in Mainpuri.

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Omar Abdullah to contest from Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency

Firebrand Shia leader Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi would contest from central Kashmir’s Srinagar constituency, which has been an NC bastion.

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Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah will contest election from the Baramulla constituency in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the party announced on Friday.

National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah, while speaking to reporters, said that Omar Abdullah is the party’s candidate from north Kashmir’s Baramulla Lok Sabha seat.

The National Conference president also informed that the firebrand Shia leader Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi would contest from central Kashmir’s Srinagar constituency, which has been an NC bastion.

On contesting the General election from Baramulla, Omar said that it’s a challenge, every election is a challenge but it’s a challenge that he is looking forward to. As he said earlier, his fight is not against an individual, it is against the skullduggery, treachery, the political machinations of the BJP, he asserted.

The former Chief Minister said the way in which BJP is trying to create alternatives to parties like the National Conference, the way in which they are conspiring to try and bring their associate parties together on one stage and therefore he sees this as an opportunity to take the fight directly to the BJP and to the Centre, he added.

Speaking to a reporter, he said that this time, his fight is not against any individual. In North Kashmir, his fight is not against any candidate instead his fight is with those powers which are behind that candidate. It has been decided that he will be contesting from North Kashmir because BJP is focusing a lot on North Kashmir, Omar added. He said he wants that these powers should be defeated in North Kashmir.

Regarding the BJP, the NC leader wondered if what PM Modi is saying is correct then why are his candidates not in the field? Why is the BJP not contesting South, Central and North Kashmir, he asked.

On being asked if he would leave politics if the BJP wins a single seat, he said to let the BJP announce their candidates. He will also see if they are able to get a single seat in J&K or not, he said while speaking to a reporter.

According to the Election Commission of India, polling in Baramulla will be held on May 20.

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