Taking diplomatic relations of 26 years between India and Israel to next level, Israel’s Consul General Ya’akov Finkelstein announced direct flights between Panaji(Goa) and Tel Aviv, according to reports.
The announcement came during the opening ceremony of 49th International Film Festival of India(IFFI). Israel is ‘Country of Focus’ at IFFI this year.
“Shalom and Namaskar. It’s a great honour and pleasure that Israel is the country of focus at IFFI. Israelis love India, specifically, Israelis love Goa. That is why Israel Airlines will be opening a direct flight from Tel Aviv to Panjim very soon so that all the Israelis can come straight to the lovely beaches of Goa and enjoy them,” reports quote Finkelstein.
Thousands of Israelis visit India every year and Goa is a popular tourist destination among them. This year Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu visited India and also attended an event in Mumbai called ‘Shalom Bollywood’. He had met many Bollywood celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan and Karan Johar, on the occasion.
Finkelstein thanked the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for curating a package of 10 Israeli movies for its ‘Country in Focus’ segment and for inviting veteran filmmaker Dan Wolman and award him Lifetime Achievement Award at IFFI.
Israel is also India’s one the biggest defense technology supplier, along with USA and Russia. In 2017, Israel Aeronautics Industries struck a $2 billion with India. The deal was to supply missile defense systems to the Indian army and navy. Another contract which followed was, of $630 million with Bharat Electronics Limited. It was to provide Barak 8 surface-to-air missile systems for four ships in the Indian navy. This year it was awarded, the additional supply of Barak 8 to India’s seven navy ships for dollar $777 million.
IAI in collaboration with Israel’s defense ministry, India’s DRDO and the navies of both the countries have developed Barak 8.