Al-Qaeda terrorist outfit’s regional branch – Al-Qaeda In Indian Subcontinent – has criticised India for backing Israel following October 7 attacks by Hamas militant group that killed around 1200 Israelis. The AQIS in its monthly magazine – Nawai-e-Ghazwatul Hind – accused India of using Israeli tactics against Kashmiris and attempted to incite Indian Muslims against the state.
Just a few hours after Hamas launched its assault on Israel, India’s prime minister was among the first world leaders to respond. In a strongly worded statement, Narendra Modi condemned the “terrorist attacks” and said India “stands in solidarity with Israel at this difficult hour” reported The Guardian.
The Indian foreign minister retweeted the comment almost instantly. Another Union Minister warned in a tweet that India “may face the situation that Israel is confronting today if we don’t stand up against politically motivated radicalism”.
Though Modi’s words chimed with the messaging of most western governments, for India they marked a departure from the past. It was not until a few days later that the foreign ministry quietly reminded the public of India’s historical commitment to the two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.
On Friday, India was among the countries that did not back a UN resolution for a “humanitarian truce” in Gaza, instead choosing to abstain.
For many, the immediacy of Modi’s comments and the UN resolution vote symbolises just how significantly the India-Israel relationship has shifted since he came to power in 2014, notably demonstrated by the public bonhomie between the two countries’ prime ministers.