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  4. India sees strikes in Israel as terrorist attacks, flight to get 230 passengers onboard: MEA

India sees strikes in Israel as terrorist attacks, flight to get 230 passengers onboard: MEA

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.

Ajeet Kumar Written By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 New Delhi Updated on: October 12, 2023 17:33 IST
MEA
Image Source : INDIA TV MEA

The Ministry of External Affairs Ministry, on Thursday, briefed about "Operation Ajay" wherein it said it is expected at least 230 passengers onboard will leave the war-torn nation by tonight and would reach New Delhi by tomorrow morning. 

"A charter flight will reach Tel Aviv today later in the evening. It is expected to get 230 passengers onboard. We have all options, but the role of IAF in evacuation) can't be ruled out," said MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi in a media briefing.

"Around 18,000 Indians are in Israel. There is conflict going on and it is a matter of concern. Indians are advised to follow advisories issued by our mission. We haven’t heard of any casualty so far," he added.

According to the source of India TV, the flight from the war-ravaged nation would reach India by 5 a.m.-6 a.m. on Friday.

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.

Further, Bagchi, during the presser, affirmed India's support for Israeli citizens while dubbing the Hamas actions "terrorist attack".

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.

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