Jerusalem – This week, India and Israel launched another defense summit.

The two countries convened their military chiefs for a five-day summit to review defense and military cooperation.

Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi represented Israel and was invited by his Indian counterpart, Gen. Deepak Kapoor.

“The visit to India is part of the process of strengthening the ties between Israel and India and the nations’ militaries,” a statement by the Israeli military statement said last Sunday.

Israeli military sources said Mr. Ashkenazi and Mr. Kapoor reviewed strategic relations, assessing the regional situation, including Al Qaida, and discussing experiences with new weapons and techniques. They said the review would help India decide on new weapons procurement programs with Israel.

“This was the first official visit of an Israel Defense Forces chief to India,” the statement said.

Israel has been deemed the leading military supplier of India.

The Indian military has been absorbing airborne early-warning and alert aircraft, air defense systems, aircraft upgrades, unmanned aerial vehicles, missile defense systems and light armament from Israel.

“In the past year, Israel has overtaken Russia as its main defense equipment supplier, and about 30 percent of India’s defense imports come from Israel, and that number is growing,” Indian defense analyst Behram Sahukar told the Jerusalem Post.

India has sought to intensify defense and military relations in wake of the Al Qaida-aligned Mumbai attacks in November 2008, in which six Israelis and Jews were killed.

India has deemed the acquisition of naval reconnaissance and counter-insurgency systems a priority.

“Both India and Israel want to expand their military exercises, especially for the air force,” an Israeli military source confirmed.

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.

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