Tue. May 21st, 2024

Israel is currently facing the most severe escalation of its conflict with Palestinian group Hamas. The ongoing violence has resulted in the loss of nearly 1,000 lives and has caused immense suffering on both sides. Hamas launched a massive surprise attack on Israel, using a barrage of rockets and launching a large-scale ground assault. In response, thousands of Israeli forces have been deployed to combat Hamas fighters in the southern regions, while the air force continues to target sites in the Gaza Strip.

The situation has led to a dire predicament for nearly 18,000 citizens who are currently stuck in Israel. Among them are caregivers, IT professionals, and students. These individuals are primarily employed by agencies in Israel that hire caregivers for the elderly population, with approximately 85,000 Jews of Indian-origin residing in the country.

NDTV spoke to two Indian students who are currently in the city of Bersheva, Israel. According to them, the situation is extremely unpredictable. While the city of Bersheva itself has not been attacked, they are aware of students in other parts of the country, particularly in the southern regions, who have been affected by the ongoing violence. Despite the uncertainties, the students believe that their current location is relatively safer compared to other parts of Israel.

The immigration of Indians to Israel began in the 1950s and 1960s. In recent years, there has been a migration of Jews from Mizoram and Manipur to Israel. The Indian embassy in Jerusalem and the Representative Office of India in Palestine have issued advisories, urging Indian nationals in both countries to remain vigilant and to directly contact the respective offices in case of emergencies.

The violence on Saturday resulted in gunmen from Hamas rampaging through Israeli towns, resulting in the deaths of numerous Israeli civilians and the taking of hostages. This represents the deadliest day of violence in Israel since the Yom Kippur war 50 years ago. The streets of Sderot in southern Israel, near Gaza, were scattered with the bodies of Israeli civilians, with shattered glass surrounding them.

It is crucial to note that the escalation in violence occurs amidst a backdrop of increased tensions between Israel and Palestinian terrorists in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. In this region, where a Palestinian authority exercises limited self-rule, there is opposition from Hamas, which aims for the destruction of Israel.

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