Skip to comments.Indian Navy warships on goodwill visit to Israel to celebrate diplomatic ties
Posted on 08/18/2012 8:46:57 AM PDT by James C. Bennett
ISRAEL: Four Indian navy warships equipped with modern weaponry are on a goodwill visit to this northern coastal city of Israel to "strengthen service-to- service linkages", as the two countries celebrate 20 years of diplomatic ties this year.
INS Mumbai, Trishul, Gomti and Aditya, from Indian navy's western fleet, anchored at the Haifa coast on Monday as part of their Mediterranean tour.
The four-day visit here of the Indian navy warships, which are equipped with electronic sensors and missile systems, "shows the importance India attaches to the growing Indo-Israeli relations and continued cooperation and engagement between the two countries is expected to grow," officials here said.
"Indian warships have regularly paid visits to ports in the West Asia and East Africa reaffirming their peaceful presence and solidarity with countries in the region," they said.
The Indian navy has also been at the forefront in providing humanitarian assistance to victims of natural disaster in all parts of the world.
The Mediterranean tour of the four warships is being headed by Rear Admiral A R Karve, who will be calling upon several senior Israeli naval officers and the Mayor of Haifa, Yona Yahav.
The Indian sailors will also be paying their respects at the memorial of Indian soldiers buried in Haifa while fighting for the Allied forces in what has come to be known as the war for the liberation of Haifa.
In a rare tribute to the Indian soldiers who fought for the liberation of the city, the municipality of Haifa has decided to include the stories of their valiant efforts by incorporating them in the school curricula as part of the history textbooks.
Haifa was captured from the Ottomans in September 1918 by Indian horsemen serving in the British Army after overrunning Turkish positions armed with spears and swords. On 22 September, British troops were heading to Nazareth when a reconnaissance report was received indicating that the Turks were leaving Haifa. The British made preparations to enter the city and came under fire in the Balad al-Sheikh district (today Nesher). After the British regrouped, an elite unit of Indian horsemen were sent to attack the Turkish positions on the flanks and overrun their artillery guns on Mount Carmel.
Under the British Mandate, Haifa became an industrial port city. The Hejaz railway and the Technion were built at this time. Haifa District was then home to approximately 20,000 inhabitants, 96 percent of them Arabs (82 percent Muslim and 14 percent Christian), and four percent Jews. Over the next few decades the number of Jews increased steadily, due to immigration, especially from Europe. The Arab immigration on the other hand swelled by influx of Arabs, coming mainly from surrounding villages as well as Syrian Hauran. The Arab immigration mainly came as a result of prices and salary drop. The Arab population of Haifa almost doubled between 1922 and 1931, increasing from 18,404 to 34,560.
By 1945 the population had shifted to 53 percent Arab (33 percent Muslim, 20 percent Christian) and 47 percent Jewish. In 1947, about 70,910 Arabs (41,000 Muslims, 29,910 Christians) and 74,230 Jews were living there. The Christian community were mostlyGreek-Melkite Catholics.
The 1947 UN Partition Plan designated Haifa as part of the proposed Jewish state. On 30 December 1947, members of the Irgun, a Jewish underground militia, threw bombs into a crowd of Arabs outside the gates of the Consolidated Refineries in Haifa, killing six and injuring 42. In response Arab employees of the company killed 39 Jewish employees in what became known as the Haifa Oil Refinery massacre. The JewishHaganah militia retaliated with a raid on the Arab village of Balad al-Shaykh, where many of the Arab refinery workers lived, in what became known as the Balad al-Shaykh massacre. Control of Haifa was critical in the ensuing Arab-Israeli war, since it was the major industrial and oil refineryport in British Palestine.
British forces in Haifa redeployed on 21 April 1948, withdrawing from most of the city while still maintaining control over the port facilities. Two days later the downtown, controlled by a combination of local and foreign (ALA) Arab irregulars was assaulted by Jewish forces in Operation Bi'ur Hametz, by the Carmeli Brigade of the Haganah, commanded by Moshe Carmel. The operation led to a massive displacement of Haifa's Arab population. According to The Economist at the time, only 5,000-6,000 of the city's 62,000 Arabs remained there by 2 October 1948.
Contemporaneous sources emphasized the Jewish leadership's attempt to stop the Arab exodus from the city and the Arab leadership as a motivating factor in the refugees' flight. According to the British district superintendent of police, "Every effort is being made by the Jews to persuade the Arab populace to stay and carry on with their normal lives, to get their shops and business open and to be assured that their lives and interests will be safe." Time Magazine wrote on 3 May 1948:
Benny Morris said Haifa's Arabs left due to of a combination of Zionist threats and encouragement to do so by Arab leaders. Ilan Pappéwrites that the shelling culminated in an attack on a Palestinian crowd in the old marketplace using three-inch (76 mm) mortars on 22 April 1948. Shabtai Levy, the Mayor of the city, and some other Jewish leaders urged Arabs not to leave. According to Ilan Pappé, Jewish loudspeakers could be heard in the city ordering Arab residents to leave "before it's too late." Morris quotes British sources as stating that during the battles between 22 and 23 April 100 Arabs were killed and 100 wounded, but he adds that the total may have been higher.
Thanks for interesting History.
I hope they off loaded a few dozen “Bunker Busters”.
Israel and India, pretty well the only two friends we can trust in that part of the world.
Thanks James C. Bennett.
Ping for later read ............................................. FRegards
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