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Operation Ajay: Fifth flight carrying over 260 Indian nationals, 18 Nepalese citizens leaves Israel's Tel Aviv

According to the Nepal's Deputy Chief of Mission in Israel Arjun Dhimire, both Indian and Nepalese embassies were in touch and cooperating with each other on the repatriation of citizens. Under 'Operation Ajay', at least 906 Indians have been successfully brought back from Israel.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Tel Aviv Published on: October 17, 2023 19:42 IST
Indian nationals in Israel waiting for their flight to
Image Source : DR S JAISHANKAR/X Indian nationals in Israel waiting for their flight to leave for New Delhi.

A special flight carrying Indian nationals and 18 Nepalese citizens from war-torn Israel left Tel Aviv for New Delhi on Tuesday under India's 'Operation Ajay', announced External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar on social media platform X.

"Operation Ajay moves forward. 286 more passengers are coming back to India. Also carrying 18 Nepalese citizens," said Jaishankar on X. Operation Ajay has been launched by the government to facilitate the return of Indians who wish to come back from Israel where an intense conflict is going on with the militant group Hamas.

The Indian embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, also announced the departure of the fifth flight from Tel Aviv and wished everyone onboard a safe journey.

Meanwhile, Nepalese Ambassador to Israel Kanta Rizal told news agency PTI that some of the 18 Nepalese citizens were living in difficult zones amid the Israel-Hamas war and wanted to go back to their own countries.

"We sent 254 Nepalese citizens on the Nepal Airlines on October 12 and may look to arrange more flights to take them out," she said. 

The Nepalese Deputy Chief of Mission in Israel Arjun Dhimire also told PTI that the Indian and Nepalese embassies were in touch with each other and cooperated in the repatriation process. "This time also, considering the limited flights, the Embassy of Nepal asked to accommodate its 18 citizens," he said.

In the past week, at least four chartered flights from Tel Aviv have successfully repatriated 906 Indian nationals from Israel, including children. The flights are part of India's 'Operation Ajay' launched on October 12 to facilitate the return of those Indian nationals who wish to return home following the unprecedented attack on Israeli towns by Hamas militants last Saturday. 

The Indian government had arranged the fourth special flight to bring 274 Indian nationals from the war-torn country on Sunday. 

Guidelines for returnees

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

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 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 last 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 brutal attack by Hamas on Israel claimed the lives of at least 1,400 people. Israeli strikes have killed at least 2,778 people and wounded 9,700 others in Gaza, according to the Health Ministry.

(with PTI inputs)

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