On his final day in Israel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid homage to the Indian soldiers who were martyred during the World War I while protecting the Israeli city of Haifa from the Ottoman Empire forces.
PM Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu flew down to Haifa, where they visited the Indian cemetery and laid wreathes at the site.
“I am deeply honoured to stand here today to salute the valiant Indian soldiers, who led down their lives for the liberation of Haifa during the WW I,” Modi wrote in the guest book.
The Prime Minister also unveiled a plaque commemorating Major Dalpat Singh, known as the ‘Hero of Haifa’ for his critical role in the liberation of the city.
“The exceptional bravery and supreme sacrifice of Major Thakur Dalpat Singh MC, the “Hero of Haifa” and his men, will be remembered forever and continue to inspire generations to come. Next year, the centenary of the battle of Haifa will present another opportunity to mark this enduring bond between India and Israel,” he wrote.
The Indian Army commemorates September 23 every year as Haifa Day to pay its respects to the two brave Indian Cavalry Regiments that helped liberate the city following a dashing cavalry action by the 15th Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade.
Later in the day, both the leaders headed to Olga Beach to witness a demonstration of sea water purification technology pioneered by Israel.
At the beach both leaders had a long chat among themselves. They viewed the demonstration, tasted the purified water and also rode the unique Gal-Mobile vehicle.
Gal-Mobile is an independent, integrated water purification vehicle, designed to produce high-quality drinking water. It can be useful in natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, military use in difficult terrain and rural areas to provide drinkable water, the Indian Prime Minister’s Office said.
“It can purify up to 20,000 litres per day of sea water and 80,000 litres per day of brackish/muddy or contaminated river water and bring it to WHO standards, the demonstrators said.
On Wednesday, India agreed establish a “strategic partnership in water and agriculture”.
The partnership will focus on water conservation, waste-water treatment and its reuse for agriculture, desalination, water utility reforms, and the cleaning of the Ganges and other rivers using advanced water technologies, a joint statement issued after the talks said.
PM Modi will head to Hamburg in Germany to attend the two-day G20 Summit.
(With inputs from PTI)