Operation Ajay: First batch of Indians return home from Israel: 212 Indian citizens stranded amidst war-like situation in Israel have returned home. All these people were brought to Delhi on Friday morning by a chartered plane under the Indian Government’s Operation Ajay. Most of the returnees are Indian students.
Last Saturday, Hamas carried out a terrorist attack in Israel, after which Israel has been continuously attacking the Gaza Strip area of Palestine. Due to this war, Indian citizens present in the entire area are being brought back. There are about 18 thousand Indian citizens in Israel and 17 in Palestine. If needed, help of the Indian Navy can also be taken for the return of Indian citizens.
Union Minister welcomed at the airport
On reaching Delhi airport from Israel, the first batch of 212 Indians was welcomed by Union Minister Rajiv Chandrashekhar. He greeted everyone with folded hands and said ‘Welcome home’ while shaking hands with some people. Researcher Shashwat Singh, who has been living in Israel since 2019, told PTI on reaching Delhi with his wife that they live in central Israel. He told that one day he woke up after hearing the sound of siren giving information of air raid. “They don’t know what form this conflict will take…but they hope that peace will be restored and they will be able to return to their work.”
18 thousand Indians present in Israel
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said on Thursday that currently about 18 thousand Indians are living in Israel, while about a dozen are living in the West Bank and three to four in Gaza. Suparno Ghosh, a resident of West Bengal and a PhD student from ‘Ben-Gurion University of the Negev’ in Beersheba, Israel, has also reached Delhi by special plane. He told that he had to live in temporary camps in Israel. But they were safe there.”
VIDEO | "It's pretty and unsettled and it will take some time. The normal life is paused, people are not working on the streets anymore. People are scared and angry at the same time, and on the border, the war is going on," says another Indian who returned to Delhi from Israel… pic.twitter.com/1bSbI25tZq— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) October 13, 2023
Another Indian student, Deepak, said that on Saturday they heard the sounds of sirens and air strikes. During this time, Israeli officials were continuously giving instructions to take precautions. There were continuous attacks.
Deepak said that he is happy to come back home, but is also worried about his friends still stuck in Israel. Dutee Banerjee of West Bengal, who was among the first batch of Indians who returned from Israel, said that the situation there is very bad and Is unstable. It seems as if normal life has come to a standstill. People are scared and angry. They have to live in camps.
11 lakh people ordered to evacuate Gaza in 24 hours
Meanwhile, the United Nations has said that the Israeli army has ordered 11 lakh people living in Gaza City to leave the city within 24 hours. This is being considered a signal for a ground attack by the Israeli Army on the Gaza Strip area. However, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said that it is impossible to implement this order and it could have dire humanitarian consequences.