Tue. May 21st, 2024

The first charter flight to bring back Indian citizens stranded in Israel took off on Thursday night from Ben Gurion airport. Approximately 230 individuals were able to board the flight on a “first come first served” basis.

This flight was organized to assist those who were unable to return due to Air India suspending its flights on the day fighting broke out on October 7. Air India’s commercial operations remain suspended.

The government is covering the cost of the flights for those returning. A long queue of Indian citizens, including students, gathered at the airport to board the special flight operated under ‘Operation Ajay’ from Tel Aviv.

“We are grateful to India… Many of the students were anxious. Suddenly, we received notifications and links from the Indian embassy, which boosted our morale. We felt connected to the embassy, which provided us with relief. Then, they made all the necessary arrangements,” said Shubham Kumar, a student in Israel, in an interview with news agency PTI.

Israel has launched an unprecedented offensive against the Hamas group in the Gaza Strip after Hamas fighters breached the border fence and entered the country through air, land, and sea on October 7.

As of the sixth day, the Israeli military reported more than 1,300 deaths, including 222 soldiers. This is the highest death toll since the 1973 war with Egypt and Syria, which lasted for weeks.

In the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, authorities have reported at least 1,417 deaths, including women and children.

The Indian embassy sent an email to the first batch of registered Indian citizens for the special flight. “Messages to other registered individuals will be sent for subsequent flights,” the embassy stated.

By admin