IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


12th January, 2023 International Relations

Disclaimer: Copyright infringement not intended.


Context: Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi spoke on the telephone with His Excellency Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel.


  • Prime Minister conveyed his warm congratulations to H.E. Netanyahu for his election as the Prime Minister of Israel for a sixth time and wished him a very successful tenure.  
  • The two leaders expressed satisfaction at the rapid progress in the India-Israel Strategic Partnership in recent years and agreed on the potential for further strengthening strategic cooperation in a variety of areas.  
  • Prime Minister invited H.E. Netanyahu to visit India at an early date.


  • Israel and India established diplomatic relations on the 29th of January 1992
  • The two countries have extensive economic, military, and strategic relationships.

Political relations:

  • Political ties between the two countries are friendly.
  • Prime Minister Modi undertook a historic first ever visit by an Indian PM to Israel from 4-6 July 2017, during which the relationship was upgraded to a strategic level.

Economic and Commercial Relations:

  • India is Israel's third-largest trade partner in Asia and seventh largest
  • Major exports from India to Israel include precious stones and metals, chemical products, textiles etc.
  • Major imports by India from Israel include precious stones and metals, chemicals and mineral products, base metals and machinery and transport equipment.
  • Potash is a major item of Israel’s exports to India.

Cooperation in agriculture:

  • Under a comprehensive Work Plan for cooperation in agriculture signed on 10 May 2006, bilateral projects are implemented through Centres of Excellence.
  • India has benefited from Israeli expertise and technologies in horticulture mechanization, protected cultivation, orchard and canopy management, nursery management, micro-irrigation and post-harvest management, particularly in Haryana and Maharashtra.
  • Israeli drip irrigation technologies and products are now widely used in India.

Defence relations:

  • India is the largest buyer of Israeli military equipment and Israel is the second-largest supplier of military equipment to India after Russia.
  • Military and strategic ties between the two nations extend to intelligence-sharing on terrorist groups and joint military training.

Indian Community:

  • There are approximately 85,000 Jews of Indian-origin in Israel (with at least one Indian parent), who are all Israeli passport holders.

Recent developments in defence relations:

  • In October 2021, India and Israel had agreed to form a task force to formulate a comprehensive 10-year roadmap to identify new areas of cooperation as part of efforts to further advance the bilateral defence cooperation.
  • At the same meeting, it was also decided to form a Sub Working Group (SWG) on defence industry cooperation and in this regard, a Terms of Reference was signed between the two sides.
  • Israel has been one of India’s top defence partners supplying a range of high end defence equipment. Indian armed forces rely heavily on Israeli Searcher and Heron UAVs to meet their surveillance requirements with growing need for more.
  • In the second half of last year, the Army also placed orders for smaller, expendable ‘SkyStriker’ drones to be manufactured in Bengaluru by a joint venture between Israel’s Elbit System and India’s Alpha Design Technologies, which is now part of Adani Group.
  • The two countries have several joint development projects in the pipeline, including the Long Range Surface to Air Missile also called Barak-8 for the Indian Navy’s warships. The development which saw some delays is now complete and the missile systems are being inducted.
  • In another important project, in April, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited entered into a memorandum of understanding with IAI to convert six Boeing-767 civil passenger aircraft to midair refuelling aircraft in India for the Indian Air Force.
  • However, another major deal for two more Phalcon Airborne Warning And Control Systems (AWACS), to add to three in Service, has been stuck for a while for final approval from the Cabinet Committee on Security. With the current focus on indigenous manufacturing and DRDO now indigenously developing larger AWACS, the Phalcon is unlikely to materialise.
  • The Army which has operated Israeli small arms for a long time had contracted 16,497 Negev Light Machine Guns from Israel in March 2020 under fast-track procurement and they have since been inducted.