Bangladesh–Israel relations

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Bangladesh–Israel relations
Map indicating locations of Israel and Bangladesh



Bangladesh and Israel do not maintain any diplomatic relations, although through the embassies of the USA and the European Union, Bangladesh has semi-trade ties to Israel.[1] Bangladesh said that it will not recognize Israel until there is an independent Palestine.[2] However, in recent times there have been talks between politicians of both countries to consider establishing relations with each other.[3]


The Bangladeshi passport is valid for all countries of the world except Israel

Bangladesh is one of 29 UN member states that does not recognize the state of Israel. It is one of several countries that officially bans its citizens from traveling to Israel and does not accept Israeli passports.[4][5][6]

In November 2003, Bangladeshi journalist Salah Choudhury was arrested for attempting to fly to Tel Aviv, arraigned for "sedition, treason, and blasphemy", and sentenced to a seven-year prison term.[7][8]

Bangladesh supports a sovereign Palestinian state and an end to Israel's "illegal occupation of Palestine".[5]

In a statement published in the Jerusalem Post, an Israeli government spokesperson said, "We have no conflict with Bangladesh. We want dialogue. We want people-to-people relations. We welcome the religious-minded people of Bangladesh to visit the holy land of Jerusalem".[9] Israel fruitlessly "sought a relationship with Bangladesh" after they had established "full diplomatic relations with China and India in 1992".[10] Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina said in 2014, "We have been continuing our support to the Palestinians and occupation of their land by the Israelis is never acceptable".[11] A former foreign minister of Bangladesh Dipu Moni said Dhaka was yet to take any decision regarding the establishment of relations between Bangladesh and Israel.[3]

In the year 2017, Dr Shadman Zaman became the first Bangladeshi national in history to visit Israel using his Bangladeshi passport. Since then, he is said to be residing in England after receiving multiple death threats from terrorists and facing the prospect of trial for treason.


Bangladesh maintains a ban on trade with Israel, even though both countries are members of the WTO.[10][12] In 2014, it was found from the official statistics of the Bangladesh Export Promotion Bureau that Bangladesh had exported a small amount of merchandise goods worth about US$2,577 to Israel in 2013–14 fiscal year.[13][14] However, in recent years it is said that Bangladesh products are exported to Israel from USA or European Union.[15]

Bangladesh liberation war[edit]

Israel was one of the first nations to recognize Bangladesh.[16] Both the Israeli government and general public supported the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. After the independence of Bangladesh, the newly minted country was recognized by Israel on 4 February 1972; however, the Bangladesh Government officially rejected the recognition.[9][17][18] On behalf of the Bangladeshi Government, the then foreign minister of Bangladesh Khondaker Mostaq Ahmad sent a letter to the Israeli Government saying that they could not accept the Israeli recognition.[9]

2006 Lebanon War[edit]

In the immediate aftermath of the 2006 Lebanon War, Bangladesh offered to send battalions of its infantrymen to help with the UN peacekeeping force, but Israel rejected it, stating Bangladesh does not recognize Israel.[19] Although Israel rejected the country's participation, Bangladesh and Nepal were the first countries whose troops reached the shores of south Lebanon, whereas western nations, such as the original leader and top contributor, France, delayed their deployment. As of 25 May 2015 Bangladesh has 326 participating in UNIFIL in Lebanon.[20]

Allegation of Mossad connection[edit]

In May 2016, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina alleged that opposition parties BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh have joined together with Israeli national intelligence agency Mossad to overthrow her government through a Military coup after it had been reported that Aslam Chowdhury, the joint secretary general of BNP met the Israeli politician Mendi N. Safadi during a visit to India.[21] Aslam claimed that the meeting was accidental.[22]

On 7 June 2016, Bangladeshi Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan alleged that the main opposition party BNP has link to the recent fundamentalists attacks in Bangladesh and these attacks are part of a wider conspiracy that also involved Mossad, the national intelligence agency of Israel.[23] An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman in Jerusalem rejected the allegation in a statement and termed the accusation of the Bangladeshi Home Minister as "utter drivel."[23]


  1. ^ "No diplomatic ties but B'desh earns from export in Israel". New Age. Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  2. ^ "B`desh should not establish ties with Israel: Experts". Retrieved 2015-06-21. 
  3. ^ a b "Bangladesh yet to decide on relations with Israel: FM". Retrieved 2015-06-21. 
  4. ^ "Moving Israel from Europe to Asia". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Statement by Her Excellency Ms. Dipu Moni, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh". Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dhaka. Archived from the original on 2013-12-24. 
  6. ^ "Grant: I'll have no issue with my Israeli passport". Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "The unfathomable life of Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury". Times of Israel. Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  8. ^ Winer, Stuart (9 January 2014). "Bangladesh editor gets 7 years for attempted Israel trip". Times of Israel. Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c Nasir, Khaled (2 September 2011). "Time for a quiet revolution in Bangladesh-Israeli relations". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  10. ^ a b Ohad Shpak. "Elections in Bangladesh – Why do we care?". Times of Israel. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  11. ^ "PM: Attack on Gaza is violation of humanity | Dhaka Tribune". Retrieved 2015-06-21. 
  12. ^ "Bangladesh Trade Boycott On Israel Impacts U.S. Firm And Garment Sector". WikiLeaks. 7 January 2010. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  13. ^ "Bangladesh exports unknown goods to Israel". Prothom Alo. 11 August 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  14. ^ "No diplomatic ties but B'desh earns from export in Israel". The New Age. 20 May 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  15. ^ "Bangladesh exports unknown goods to Israel". Retrieved 2015-06-21. 
  16. ^ "Israel Recognizes Bangladesh". The Jerusalem Post. 7 February 1972. Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  17. ^ Verinder Grover (1 January 2000). Bangladesh: Government and Politics. Deep & Deep Publications. p. 674. ISBN 978-81-7100-928-2. 
  18. ^ Habib, Mohshin (5 December 2011). "A Story of Israel Hatred". Gatestone Institute. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  19. ^ "Israeli troops shoot Hezbollah militants". CNN. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  20. ^ "UNIFIL Troop-Contributing Countries". Information and Communications Technology Division. Archived from the original on 26 June 2015. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  21. ^ "Hasina accuses rivals of trying to topple govt". The Hindu. 2016-05-19. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2016-06-16. 
  22. ^ "I met Israeli accidentally". The Daily Star. 2016-05-11. Retrieved 2016-06-16. 
  23. ^ a b "Bangladeshi minister blames Israel for string of gruesome murders". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 2016-06-16.