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'Operation Ajay': Second flight carrying Indian nationals from Israel to land in Delhi today morning

India on Thursday had launched 'Operation Ajay' to facilitate the return of Indian nations who wished to come back home. The first flight carrying 212 Indians landed at the Delhi Airport on Friday morning from Israel's Ben-Gurion Airport.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Tel Aviv Updated on: October 14, 2023 6:42 IST
Under 'Operation Ajay', the first flight safely evacuated
Image Source : MEAINDIA/X Under 'Operation Ajay', the first flight safely evacuated 212 Indians from Israel.

After a successful evacuation of 212 Indian nationals from war-torn Israel, the Indian embassy in Tel Aviv had scheduled another flight for Friday evening to rescue Indians stranded amid the conflict with Hamas. The flight is expected to reach Delhi on Saturday (October 14) at 6 am.

"The Embassy has emailed the next lot of registered Indian citizens for the special flight today. Messages to other registered people will follow for subsequent flights," said the Indian Embassy in Tel Aviv on X.

As chaos erupted following Hamas's surprise attack on Israel and the latter's furious retaliation, India launched 'Operation Ajay' on Thursday to facilitate the return of those who wished to return home. The first charter flight to facilitate the return of Indian citizens wishing to return from Israel landed at Delhi Airport on Friday morning. 

The flight on Thursday evening had left from the Ben Gurion International Airport carrying 211 adults and an infant living in the war-battered region. Union Minister Rajiv Chandrashekhar is present welcomed the Indians who were stranded in Israel.

The flight, which took off at 22:14 local time, was arranged to facilitate the return of those who were unable to do so because Air India had immediately suspended its flight on the day fighting began on October 7, and its commercial operation remains suspended till now.

The passengers were 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.

There are about 18,000 Indian nationals living and working in Israel including caregivers, students, several IT professionals, and diamond traders.

India issues advisory

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.

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.

Israel-Hamas war

The week-old war has already claimed over 2,800 lives on both sides and sent tensions soaring across the region. The death toll from Israeli strikes on Gaza rose over 1,500, with 6,612 people wounded, the Gaza-based Health Ministry said Thursday. Of those killed, 500 were under the age of 18, the ministry said. On the other hand, over 1,300 people have died in Israel from the Hamas attack since Saturday morning.

The Hamas militant group on Friday said that at least 13 hostages captured by them have been killed due to Israel's relentless bombardment of the Gaza Strip. There has not been any immediate response from Israel. In a statement, the Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, announced that the 13 hostages were killed in five locations targeted by Israel over the last 24 hours. 

(with PTI inputs)

ALSO READ | Israel-Hamas conflict: First flight under Operation Ajay carrying 212 Indians lands at Delhi airport

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