Thursday, September 11, 2008

Israeli Army chief in Kashmir?

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Srinagar, Sept 10: Israel’s Army chief, Major General Avi Mizrahi has arrived in Kashmir on an unscheduled visit, reports said today. However authorities here are tightlipped about the visit and they neither confirm nor deny the reports.
Maj Gen Avi Mizrahi, the chief of the Israeli ground forces, arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday on a three-day visit. He met the chiefs of India’s army, navy and air force and discussed matters of mutual concern, including joint military training and exercises for the two armed forces.
Israel has offered to train Indian troops in counter-insurgency and anti-militant operations, the reports from New Delhi added.
When contacted by Greater Kashmir, Defense spokesman A K Mathur neither confirmed nor denied reports about the visit.
Gen Mizrahi’s visit comes at a time when Kashmir is engulfed in a massive anti-India uprising. At least 50 Kashmiris have been killed in police and troops firing in the recent uprising that began two months back with the tensions still high.
India and Israel have shared defense co-operation since diplomatic relations between New Delhi and Tel Aviv were established in 1992. The ties have become stronger in recent times with India emerging as the largest purchaser of Israeli arms since the beginning of the 21st century.
India has purchased the Phalcons Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems from Israel that would be fitted onto the Indian Air Force’s three IL-76 heavy-lift transport aircraft.
It has also bought the Green Pine radars that warn of incoming enemy ballistic missiles.
The Indian armed forces also use Israeli unmanned aerial vehicles for intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance. The Indian Army uses Israeli night-vision equipment, particularly in Kashmir.

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