India launches ‘Operation Ajay’ to bring back citizens from war-torn Israel

S Jaishankar
Image Source : PTI External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar informed about the launch of ‘Operation Vijay’.

India on Wednesday launched “Operation Ajay” to bring back citizens from war-torn Israel. Taking to ‘X’ (formerly known as Twitter), External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that special charter flights and other arrangements are being put in place to bring back citizens. The announcement comes as the military conflict between Hamas militants and Israel continued for the fifth day.

“Launching Operation Ajay to facilitate the return from Israel of our citizens who wish to return. Special charter flights and other arrangements being put in place. Fully committed to the safety and well-being of our nationals abroad,” he stated. 

Indian embassy issued advisory

Earlier on October 8, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan urged the Indians stranded in Israel to stay safe and to contact the Indian embassy there if they require any assistance. Speaking to the media, Muraleedharan said the Indian embassy has already issued an advisory to Indians there to stay safe. “Indians in Israel can approach the Indian Embassy anytime. The embassy will extend all sorts of assistance to Indians stranded there,” he added. 

According to the details on the website of the Indian Embassy in Tel Aviv, there are about 20,000 Indian citizens in Israel, primarily caregivers employed by Israeli elders, diamond traders, IT professionals and students.

 ‘India stands firmly with Israel’

After the war began, Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked to his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu and said that the people of India stand firmly with his country in this difficult hour. He also expressed strong and unequivocal condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Netanyahu had dialled PM Modi to update him on the ongoing situation as Israel carries out retaliatory strikes against Hamas after its militants killed hundreds of Israelis in a surprise weekend attack across its southern border.

Israel-Hamas war

On the fifth day, the Israeli military said more than 1,200 people, including 155 soldiers, had been killed in Israel while in Gaza, 950 people had been killed, including 260 children and 230 women. According to reports, Hamas is holding an estimated 150 Israelis hostages. The group continued to fire rockets at Israel, including a heavy barrage at the southern town of Ashkelon. It should be noted here that Israel has imposed various levels of blockade on Gaza since Hamas seized power from rival Palestinian forces in 2007.

(With PTI inputs) 

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