India's improved relations with Israel could actually benefit Palestine, experts said here, underlining that the Palestinian leadership sees an opportunity in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit in reviving the peace process with Israel.
Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Palestine, is reaching Ramallah amid heightened tensions in the region after US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
India has consistently voted in favour of resolutions supporting the Palestinian cause at international forums, an issue that has bothered strategic partner Israel.
Ahmad Majdalani, a Palestine Liberation Organisation Executive Committee member, said improved relations between Israel and India could help the Palestinians.
In discussions with several officials in Ramallah, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, it appears that the Palestinian leadership sees in the Indian prime minister's visit an opportunity to seek his assistance in pushing forward the deadlocked peace process.
"India today enjoys wider acceptance in the global community. The recent participation of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) leaders in its Republic Day function is a clear demonstration of its enhanced status. Its membership in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and visibility at several leading international forums, clearly shows that it is today a global player", an official said.
His friends seem to back the same contention displaying a great degree of acquaintance of international politics. Some appreciated India's support for the Palestinians at the UN despite all the publicity around the personal chemistry between Modi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netnayahu.
When asked about India's growing engagement with Israel, President Mahmoud Abbas himself emphaticlally asserted that "any state has the right to establish relations with other countries".
Modi had visited Israel last year in July in a standalone visit that had led to many analysts questioning the future of the Indo-Palestine ties.
The question that arises out of Abbas' effort is if Israel would accept a multilateral forum of the sort being promoted by him to seek negotiated peace. Israel has made it clear that it will only work under a US-led peace process.
India has also consistently voted in favour of the Palestinians at all international forums and Netanyahu clearly expressed his "disappointment" at New Delhi's recent vote at the UN General Assembly where 128 nations rejected US' unilateral declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
As Modi embarks on the three-hour hectic trip to Palestine today, he kickstarts his engagement by laying a wreath at the Mausoleum of iconic Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
The Israeli press has highlighted the event with some reports expressing disappointment over the gesture. Many Israelis see Arafat responsible for th killing of several innocent civilians and stoking violence in the region.
Modi will be accompanied by his Palestinian counterpart Rami Hamdallah during the ceremony.
He will spend some 20 minutes touring the 15-month-old Yasser Arafat Museum, which chronicles the life of the former Palestinian leader.
Modi will then be received by President Abbas before the ceremonial welcome at the Muqata'a.
The two leaders will then have discussions, sign bilateral agreements, hold a joint press conference and share lunch before Modi leaves for Amman in a chopper following a farewell ceremony.
Modi will then leave for the UAE later in the day for a two-day visit.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)