Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

Rajya Sabha MP Dr Wanweiroy Kharlukhi, along with his wife and daughter, are stranded in Israel due to the escalating violence caused by a surprise attack from Hamas, a Palestinian group. Dr Kharlukhi, who is a senior member of the ruling National Peoples Party (NPP) in Meghalaya, had traveled to Jerusalem for a pilgrimage but is now stuck in Bethlehem. The Chief Minister of Meghalaya and NPP chief, Conrad Sangma, is in contact with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to ensure their safe return home. The Indian Mission to Egypt may evacuate them on Sunday.

The Indian embassies in Israel and Palestine have warned Indian citizens to stay alert and contact them if needed, as the ongoing war between Hamas and Israel has already claimed more than 500 lives. There are approximately 18,000 Indian citizens residing in Israel, including caregivers, IT professionals, and students. Moreover, there are around 85,000 Jews of Indian origin in the country. While the major waves of immigration from India to Israel occurred in the 1950s and 1960s, there has been a recent increase in the migration of Jewish people from Mizoram and Manipur.

In light of the current situation, the Indian Embassy has advised all Indian nationals in Israel to remain vigilant and follow the safety protocols recommended by local authorities. They have also urged individuals to exercise caution, avoid unnecessary movement, and stay close to safety shelters. The embassy’s advisory includes emergency contact numbers and links to preparedness brochures from the Israeli Home Front Command.

Soma Ravi, an Indian national working in Israel for 18 years, expressed the severity of the situation, stating that within 20 minutes, 5,000 rockets were fired by Hamas militants, resulting in the death of 22 people and injuries to 500. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared a ‘state of war’ and initiated an offensive against Hamas, particularly in the Gaza Strip.

Indian student Vikas Sharma, studying at the Hebrew University in Tel Aviv, assured that despite the tense situation, all Indian students are safe. Most of them are staying in dormitories and accommodations provided by the college and are in contact with each other and the Indian embassy through WhatsApp.

The Representative Office of India in Ramallah has also issued a public notice, requesting Indian nationals in Palestine to contact the office in case of emergencies. The notice provides two contact numbers for a 24/7 emergency helpline.

This conflict marks the bloodiest escalation since the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Hamas launched a massive rocket barrage and launched ground, air, and sea offensives, resulting in the death of over 300 Israelis and the injury of 1,000, according to the Israeli army. Gaza officials reported that Israeli airstrikes in the coastal enclave have killed at least 232 Palestinians and injured nearly 1,700.

By admin