Modi urges Israel, Palestine to find 'comprehensive resolution'

Modi urges Israel, Palestine to find 'comprehensive resolution'

U.S. President Donald Trump called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and discussed his upcoming visit to Israel, senior officials told Haaretz on Wednesday morning.

Abbas also pitched for an agreement with India on religious tourism as Palestine has several religious shrines.

The visit of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas comes ahead of PM Narendra Modi's visit to Israel which is likely to take place in July.

For the Palestinians, the right to return to homes they fled or were forced to leave is a prerequisite for any peace deal with Israel, but it is a demand the Jewish state has rejected.

He will also meet Vice President Hamid Ansari and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

"We know very well that India has very good relations with Palestine and Israel", Abbas said while addressing the India Islamic Cultural Centre here.

The Prime Minister and the visiting Palestinian President, who held detailed discussions and exchange of views on the situation in West Asia and the Middle East peace process, agreed that the challenges in West Asia must be addressed through sustained political dialogue and peaceful means.

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The Palestinian news agency WAFA reports that the anniversary this year coincides with a hunger strike underway by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

"I am convinced that those who support the Palestinian struggle will be willing to sacrifice their meals for 24 hours to boost the morale of our comrades in Palestine who have been without food for nearly a month", Laloo Chiba has told the nation. "We, like the Palestinians today, embarked on hunger strikes in from our prison cells in protest against Apartheid South Africa's human rights violations", Mfeketo said.

The Nakba - the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by Zionist militias and the nascent Israeli state - is not something that happened in the past, Abbas stressed.

Also on Monday, thousands of Palestinians marched through Ramallah carrying Palestinian flags and waving keys to symbolize their former homes in Israel before 1948. This is the Palestine President's fifth visit to India and the third state visit after 2008 and 2012.

"Trump has made it clear on so many occasions that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel, so it would be quite a reversal for him to state differently on this occasion".

"The president has chosen Israel as the site for his first worldwide visit this coming week".

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