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Israel-Hamas War: Fourth flight with 274 Indian nationals arrives in Delhi

Indian government launched 'Operation Ajay' to bring Indian nationals who want to return home amid the intense Israel-Hamas war. There are about 18,000 Indian nationals living and working in Israel including caregivers, students, several IT professionals, and diamond traders.

Raju Kumar Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 Tel Aviv Updated on: October 15, 2023 10:42 IST
A batch of 274 Indian nationals take a special flight to
Image Source : X A batch of 274 Indian nationals take a special flight to India

Israel-Hamas War: As the Israel-Hamas war intensified further, the Indian government arranged the fourth special flight to bring Indian nationals from the war-torn country. A special flight carrying 274 Indian nationals arrived at the Indira Gandhi International Airport on Sunday. It was the second flight in a day and the fourth since the launch of 'Operation Ajay' - an initiative by the Indian government to bring Indian nationals who want to return to India.

'Operation Ajay' was launched on October 12 following the brazen attacks on Israeli towns by Hamas militants from Gaza on October 7 posing a threat to around 18,000 Indians who are living in the war-torn country.

The Indian Embassy in Tel Aviv earlier announced that two special flights - the first flight left around 5.40 pm local time and the second flight with 274 Indian nationals took off at 11.45 pm local time - operated from Ben Gurion airport on Saturday.

The third batch of 197 Indian nationals left for home around 5.40 pm local time (8.10 pm IST).

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar posted on X wrote, "#OperationAjay moves forward. 197 more passengers are coming back to India." 

"As part of #OperationAjay, Indian nationals still in Israel and wishing to travel back to India are urgently requested to complete the attached travel form," the Embassy of India in Israel posted on X.

Guidelines for returnees

 "The travel slots will be allocated on a 'first come, first served' basis in the 'Operation Ajay' and "In the event of a no-show or refusal to travel after confirmation and slotting, your name will be moved to the back of the queue," the Indian Embassy's guidelines read.

The Embassy has been working round the clock to facilitate all our citizens in Israel who wish to leave, officials said.

Ambassador Sanjeev Singla said Embassy officials had reached out to students, caregivers, and business people and some of them were actually working with them as volunteers.

We urge everyone to remain calm, he added.

"The Embassy has emailed the next lot of registered Indian citizens for two special flights today. Messages to other registered people will follow for subsequent flights," the Indian Embassy in Israel posted the announcement on X earlier in the day.

The passengers are chosen on a "first come first serve" basis after a drive launched by the Indian embassy for all Indians to register at the mission's database. The government is bearing the cost of their return.

The first charter flight from Israel carried 212 people on Thursday. The second batch of 235 Indian nationals was flown back late on Friday. So far, a total of 918 Indian nationals have been flown out of Israel.

The week-long war has already claimed over 3,500 lives on both sides and sent tensions soaring across the region. The death toll from Israeli strikes on Gaza rose to 2,215 people have been killed in the territory, including 724 children and 458 women, the Palestinian health ministry said. On the other hand, over 1,300 people have died in Israel from the Hamas attack since last week.

On Saturday, the Israeli military said that it has prepared a "coordinated" offensive in the Gaza Strip involving air, ground and naval forces.

(With PTI inputs)

Also read: India Vs Pak World Cup match: Happy that Pakistan could not dedicate victory to Hamas, says Israel envoy

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