When India released a stamp in 'solidarity with the Palestinian people'

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A commemorative postage stamp issued by India in 1981. Photo: India Post

India has championed the liberation of Palestine for decades and was one of the first countries to recognise it as a state even while maintaining a healthy relationship with Israel.

In fact, India released a commemorative stamp in honour of the people of Palestine as early as 1981, that is seven years before New Delhi recognised its statehood following a declaration of Independence.
The Re 1 postage stamp bearing the flags of India and Palestine had the words 'Solidarity With The Palestinian People' written over it. It was issued on November 29, 1981.

India has never strained its relationship with Palestine since. India's Representative Office in Ramallah continues to be involved with the Palestinian authorities.

Palestine observed Yoga Day in June and less than a week before Hamas terrorists attacked Israel, Palestinian students took part in the Government of India's 'Swachhbharat' initiative in Ramallah.

India for two-state solution
In April 2022, India's Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ravindra Raguttahalli said at the UN Security Council that there was "no other alternative to a negotiated two-state solution". "I reaffirm India’s unwavering commitment to the establishment of a sovereign, independent and viable State of Palestine, living within secure and recognized borders, side by side and at peace with Israel," the Indian representative had said.

However, in view of the escalating war between Israel and Hamas -- a militant, nationalist political organisation in Palestine -- India has yet to reiterate its constant call for peace negotiations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had expressed his shock over the "terrorist attacks in Israel" on October 7. He said: "We stand in solidarity with Israel at this difficult hour." The prime minister's comments were endorsed by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. However, neither the PM nor the Ministry of External Affairs has condemned Israel's counter-attack on Palestine, yet.

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