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'Operation Ajay': First flight to bring back Indians from Israel departs Delhi, likely to return today

India on Wednesday launched "Operation Ajay" to bring back citizens from war-torn Israel. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that special charter flights and other arrangements are being put in place to bring back citizens.

Written By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Tel Aviv Updated on: October 13, 2023 0:00 IST
Israel-Hamas war
Image Source : AP Israel-Hamas war

A day after India launched "Operation Ajay" to bring back citizens from war-torn Israel, sources claimed that the first flight departed from New Delhi and is likely to return back with Indian nationals on Friday (October 13). According to the sources of news agency ANI, there are about 18,000 Indian citizens residing in the war-torn country and the registration process of Indians for "Operation Ajay" is currently underway. 

Earlier on Wednesday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who is currently on a visit to Sri Lanka, in a social media post, announced bringing back the Indians into the conflict zone and added special charter flights and other arrangements were being put in place. There are also about 1,000 students, several IT professionals and diamond traders.

Operation Ajay

The Indian Embassy in Israel issued an advisory on Wednesday, wherein it urged Indian nationals living in the war-torn nation "to register themselves with the Embassy of India, Tel Aviv and Israel". In a video message, the Indian Ambassador to Israel, Sanjeev Singla, assured desperate people to stay calm and follow the guidelines issued by the local authorities and contact the emergency numbers of the embassy in case of trouble.

"Registration with the Embassy will facilitate any measures that need to be taken in a situation of emergency or if such a need arises. It will also facilitate information availability about various events through our emailing network," according to the statement released on Wednesday.

"The Embassy has been working constantly to help our fellow citizens in Israel through a 24-hour helpline. Please remain calm & vigilant & follow the security advisories," it added.

The contact details of the control room are:

1800118797 (Toll-free) 

+91-11 23012113 

+91-11-23014104 

+91-11-23017905 

+919968291988 

situationroom@mea.gov.in. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Tuesday, spoke to his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu where the latter briefed him about the ongoing war with Hamas militants. PM Modi, who shares good relations with Netanyahu, spoke for the first time after the conflict broke out on October 7, Saturday. During his conversation, PM Modi condemned the terror activities by Hamas and extended support to Israel in this difficult hour.

According to the statement released by the Prime Minister's Office, he highlighted the issue of safety and security of Indian citizens in Israel and Netanyahu assured him of full support and cooperation in that regard.

Israel-Hamas war

The development came as Israel and neighbouring Palestine-backed Hamas militant organisation started a brutal war on October 7. This resulted in mass casualties on both sides. According to the official figures, more than 4,000 people have been killed on both sides since the conflict escalated.

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.

Also Read: Israel-Hamas war: MEA sets up control room to provide information, and assistance to Indians in Israel

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