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Israel Ambassador to India Naor Gilon (Photo/ANI)
Israel Ambassador to India Naor Gilon (Photo/ANI)

Israel did right thing: Naor Gilon on banning LeT to mark 15th year of 26/11

ANI | Updated: Nov 24, 2023 19:35 IST

New Delhi [India], November 24 (ANI): Calling Israel's ban on Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) "right thing," Israel's Ambassador to India Naor Gilon said that Tel Aviv had a few months back decided to ban LeT after his deputy found that it was not listed as a terrorist organisation in Israel.
On Israel banning Lashkar-e-Taiba to mark the 15th year of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, Gilon said, "When it comes to Lashkar-e-Taiba, it started a few months ago when my deputy found out that we never, designated them as their organization. It was done, by the way, less relevant, I would say even designating them because they have no footprint in Israel. And if India would come, any country with another terror organization would come and tell us, look, this terror organization is funnelling money through Israel or recruiting people, you know, whatever. We will go against it because it's terrorism."
Multiple terrorist attacks were witnessed on November 26, 2008 in Mumbai. As many as 166 people, including 20 security force personnel and 26 foreign nationals, were killed and over 300 people were injured.
Speaking to ANI, he said, "Regardless, if it's in our list or not our list, then, you know, something happened, and we aimed it at, anyhow, upfront to the 15 years to the horrible Mumbai attack. So, it was a few months ago, we decided, then came October 7th, and, the designation of Hamas. Of course, we are speaking of it very openly, but the two are not connected. I think it's doing the right thing regardless. We don't, you know, we don't need to tie things in order to do the right things. Israel did the right thing. Now symbolically because of the factor, as I said, we would have treated them as terror organizations regardless."
Fifteen years ago, Pakistan carried out one of the most heinous terror attacks perpetrated anywhere in the world. The 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, was named after the date in 2008. The targets were carefully chosen after being surveyed for maximum impact, viz. the Taj and Oberoi Hotels, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, the Jewish centre at Nariman House, and the Leopold Cafe, since these places were frequented by Europeans, Indians and Jews.
Gilon also spoke about former Hamas chief Khaled Mashal's recent address at an event. Earlier in October, Mashal virtually addressed the event, which was organised by Solidarity Youth Movement, the youth wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami in Kerala. The former Hamas chief addressed the gathering in Arabic.
He reiterated his call on India to designate Hamas as a terrorist organisation.
He also highlighted terror financing and financing of terrorist groups like Hamas and how they motivate fighters to rape, kill, murder, cut limbs, of children, women, the hostages, and kidnapping 240 people.
Speaking about terrorist attacks faced by India and the US in the past and the recent October 7 attack on Israel, he said that each country has its own watershed event. He emphasised that these terror attacks change the thinking of the nation in dealing with terrorism.
Naor Gilon said, "Each country has I think, you know, each country has its watershed event. We all suffered terrorism for ages and we still suffered before and after India, Israel, US, and 9/11 for the US, 26/11 for India and probably 7 October, for us. So it's a watershed meaning in the sense that it's not like other terror acts. This is the thing that changed your DNA in thinking about how you have to treat terror and the terrorists."
He said that after India, Jews had the most number of casualties in Mumbai terror attacks. He said that six Israeli nationals and two American Jews were among the casualties in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.
He said, "So, you know, the second target I believe after the Leopold Cafe was the Chabad House that they reached. They targeted upfront. They knew where they were going. They were going to also not only after the big places like the Taj Hotel where that was I guess that famous place, and where the most died and hostages and everything, but they went also after the Jews, and this is very symbolic."
"It's another thing that puts us together. I think also the second population with the most casualties after Indians were Jews and Israelis, so they were six Israeli citizens and, another two American Jews. So, you know, it's something else that connects us and, I think makes our bonds even stronger," he added.
Highlighting the bond between the two nations, Gilon said that India is always on Israel's side. He asserted that there are no ifs and buts when you fight terrorism. He recalled PM Narendra Modi's recent speech where he called terrorism a global phenomenon.
Asked about his message of solidarity on the Mumbai attacks, he said, "First of all, it's a horrendous phenomenon when people come into your safe haven, to your houses, in Mumbai to disrupt the life to create panic, they wanted to panic. They wanted to transmit it. Exactly like Hamas, you know, their aim is not only to kill. It's also to kill to create panic with the surviving to make them afraid. And, we are telling the Indians, like India is always standing with Israel, and especially recently, but always, since I have been here for more than 2 years, India, on most occasions, especially when we need India, India's on our side. That's the feeling."
"And Indians have to know we are on your side. When it comes to fighting terrorism, there are no ifs and no buts. We are working together. We will eliminate terrorists as Prime Minister Modi also said, rightly so that terror is a global phenomenon. You have to join hands globally. Countries and free people of the world have to join hands and efforts in order to fight it. And I think that India and Israel, we demonstrate in our actions and friendship and what we do together the joining of these hands to eliminate terrorism," he added.
Earlier in the day, Naor Gilon said that Hamas' attacks on Israel on October 7 show that the fight against terrorism continues. He called on people to tie yellow bands on their wrists to showcase joint commitment to fight terrorism. He thanked the people of India for their unwavering support for Israel.
In the video posted on X, Gilon said, "This week, we mark the fifteenth anniversary of
the tragic 26/11 Mumbai terror attack. I'd like to extend my heartfelt condolences to the people of India and salute their unbreakable spirit. The 26/11 attack also took a toll on Israel. The recent events of October 7th remind us that the fight against terrorism continues, highlighting the importance of our solidarity."
"I invite each of you to join me by tying this yellow band on your hand and share with us here your picture. This simple act symbolizes our joint commitment to stand together against terrorism. The yellow band represents our shared values, resilience, and determination to build a world free from terror. Together, we can make a difference. I thank the people of India for their unwavering support. Let's continue, stand strong, shoulder to shoulder, remembering the past, facing the present, and building a safer future for all."
While posting the video on X, Gilon stated, "This week, we commemorate 15 years of the horrific #MumbaiTerrorAttack. The tragic events of #Mumbai2611 and the recent #Oct7Massacre underscore the urgency of standing together against terrorism. Join us in wearing the yellow band, a symbol of our unwavering commitment to stand together against terrorism. Tag us and share your photo using #UnitedAgainstTerrorism." (ANI)