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Palestine honours Indian with ‘Star of Jerusalem’ Award

Palestine honours Indian with ‘Star of Jerusalem’ Award

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has conferred Indian-origin Sheikh Mohammad Munir Ansari (91 year old) with the ‘Star of Jerusalem’ medal for strengthening Indo-Palestine ties. It is one of the highest honours given to foreign nationals by the Palestinian Authority.

Ansari, 91, is the Director of Indian Hospice, a unique and historic monument in the heart of Jerusalem, which has become a symbol of India's heritage and presence in the third holiest city for Muslims going back to over 800 years. The Indian hospice has been under the direct supervision of a representative from India since 1924.

History of Indian hospice

The history of the hospice goes back to about 12th century, when famous sufi saint from Punjab Baba Fariduddin Ganj-i-Shakar (or Baba Farid, as he is better known) visited Jerusalem on pilgrimage and prayed in seclusion for 40 days at the site. It later became a pilgrimage site for Indian pilgrims visiting Jerusalem.

Palestine is the sovereign state in Western Asia claiming the West Bank and Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as the designated capital, although its administrative center is currently located in Ramallah. The entirety of territory claimed by the State of Palestine has been occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War in 1967.

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