Amidst escalating gun battles in various towns and on highways, a dire situation is unfolding in Israel, where nearly 18,000 Indians have been trapped. This includes a diverse group of caregivers, IT professionals, students and caretakers. The ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas has reached a critical juncture, claiming around 1,100 lives on both sides, including 700 in Israel. Tragically, 44 Israeli soldiers have also lost their lives in this deadly warfare.
Hamas initiated a massive and unexpected attack on Israel, unleashing a barrage of rockets and launching a large-scale ground assault on Saturday. In response, thousands of Israeli forces have been deployed to engage Hamas fighters in the southern regions, while the Israeli air force continues to strike targets in the Gaza Strip.
The situation is particularly concerning for the approximately 85,000 Jews of Indian-origin living in Israel. Many caregivers from India are hired by agencies to assist the elderly population in Israel.
Indian embassy on their toes
As the conflict intensifies, the Indian embassy in Jerusalem and the Representative Office of India in Palestine have issued advisories to Indian nationals in their respective countries. The advisories urge Indian citizens to “remain vigilant” and to “directly contact the Office” in case of emergencies.
The conflict has taken a grave turn, with gunmen associated with Hamas launching attacks in Israeli towns. This has resulted in casualties and the taking of dozens of hostages, marking one of the deadliest days of violence in Israel since the Yom Kippur war half a century ago.
The Indian embassy in Tel Aviv has been inundated with requests from Indian nationals, including tourists, who find themselves stranded due to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. Fortunately, as of now, there have been no reports of any untoward incidents involving Indian nationals.
Additionally, Wanweiroy Kharlukhi, a Rajya Sabha MP, along with his wife and daughter, are part of a group of 27 Indians who had successfully been evacuated to Egypt from conflict-ridden Israel yesterday.
As there are huge number of Indians trapped in Israel, the Indian government and relevant authorities are working diligently to ensure the safety and well-being of their citizens caught in the midst of this escalating conflict.