The New Delhi Municipal Corporation has deferred renaming Delhi’s iconic Teen Murti Marg after Israeli city Haifa. Earlier, reports emerged that the decision to rename the street was taken by the municipal body in view of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to Israel where he is scheduled to make a pit stop in Haifa.
Earlier in the month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a tweet said the people of his country were eagerly waiting for the "historic" visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Thank you, my friend, for your kind holiday greeting. The people of Israel eagerly await your historic visit. https://t.co/Is1NmfWiMF— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) April 11, 2017
Haifa’s Place in Indo-Israeli History
Haifa holds significance in both Indian and Israeli history books as hundreds of Indian soldiers – part of the Allied forces – sacrificed their lives to liberate the city in 1918 during the First World War.
As per historical records, soldiers from the Indian 15th Imperial Service Brigade fought a gruelling battle against the forces of the Ottoman Empire in the region. The battle led to the deaths of nearly 900 Indian soldiers who were cremated or buried in cemeteries across Israel.
In 2012, the Israeli authorities recognised the efforts of the brave soldiers after the municipality of Haifa went ahead with its decision to immortalise the sacrifices made by them.
The Haifa municipality through an official order decided to include stories of the soldiers in liberating the coastal city during the First World War in the school curriculum.
The Indian army also commemorates 23 September every year as Haifa Day, to pay its respects to the brave Indian soldiers, while residents of the Israeli city also celebrate Haifa Day with a series of cultural programmes during the week.
(With agency inputs.)