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Israel, India look past defence to broaden commercial ties

TEL AVIV: In the months leading up to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's historic visit to Israel, India signed two arms deals, spending $2.6 billion on Israeli missile defence systems. Yet since Modi arrived on Tuesday, military ties -- for decades the secretive bedrock of India-Israel relations -- have taken a back seat. The governments have instead spent time discussing companies that sell medical devices, hi-tech and water systems. Rather than making the visit, the first by a sitting Indian prime minister, all…

Israel push for more settler homes despite UN vote

JERUSALEM: Israel could advance plans this week for thousands more settlement homes in annexed east Jerusalem in defiance of a landmark UN resolution demanding an end to such activity. It would mark the first such approvals since Friday's UN Security Council vote demanding a halt to Israeli settlement building in Palestinian territory. The resolution, which passed after the United States took the rare move of abstaining, infuriated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who lashed out at President Barack Obama and vowed not…