Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the centenary of the Battle of Haifa, which falls next year, would present another opportunity to mark the enduring bond between India and Israel. There could be some sort of ceremony organised during the course of 2018 to mark the moment, sources said. “I am deeply honoured to stand here today to salute the valiant soldiers who laid down their lives for the liberation of Haifa during the first World War,” the Prime Minister wrote in the visitors book after a solemn ceremony in Haifa.
Modi and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu travelled to Haifa in a helicopter and laid wreaths at the Indian War Cemetery in Haifa. Forty-four Indian soldiers had died during the liberation of the city in World War I.
As reported by The Indian Express on Thursday, the two leaders unveiled a plaque commemorating the memory of Major Dalpat Singh, who led the successful cavalry charge that resulted in the liberation of Haifa, and is hailed as the “Hero of Haifa”.
According to officials, the three bronze statues at Teen Murti represent the Hyderabad, Jodhpur and Mysore Lancers who were part of the 15 Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade.
The brigade carried out the victorious assault on the fortified city of Haifa on September 23, 1918, during World War I. There are various accounts of this battle — all narrate the valour with which the Lancers undertook the assault on the garrisoned town protected by a joint forces of Ottomans and Germans.