India launches “Operation Ajay” to bring back Indians from Israel

New Delhi: India has launched Operation Ajay to facilitate the return of citizens from Israel amid a full-blown war with the Hamas group in Gaza. There are 18,000 Indians in Israel. “Special charter flights and other arrangements are being put in place. Fully committed to the safety and well-being of our nationals abroad,” Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said in a post on X.

The first lot of Indians who had registered to return has been notified and they will be put on the first special flight tomorrow (October 12) to India, the country’s embassy in Israel said in another post. “The Embassy has emailed the first lot of registered Indian citizens for the special flight tomorrow. Messages to other registered people will follow for subsequent flights,” the post read.

Meanwhile, in Delhi, a round-the-clock control room has been set up and separate emergency helplines in Tel Aviv and Ramallah are working to monitor the situation in the war torn regions and provide information and assistance to the Indian citizens.

Assuring that the Israeli government is doing the utmost to assist the Indian Embassy in Operation Ajay, Kobbi Shoshani, Consul General of Israel in Mumbai, said, “there are around 18,000 Indian citizens in Israel, including 1,000 students whom we love very much. The Indian business community, whom we love and respect very much, contribute to our economy in a big way.”

Jaishankar mentioned that he is in touch with his counterpart from the United Arab Emirates and discussed the issue in detail. The multi-pronged attacks against Israel by Hamas militants from Gaza since Saturday and the subsequent Israeli retaliation have left around 2,150 people dead.

The Israeli authorities said more than 1,200 people, including 155 soldiers, have been killed in Israel, while the Palestinian side put the death toll in Gaza at 950.

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