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HomeIndiaFirst Charter Flight Brings Stranded Indians from Israel Amid Ongoing War

First Charter Flight Brings Stranded Indians from Israel Amid Ongoing War

Repatriation Operation 'Ajay' Successfully Retrieves Indian Citizens

New Delhi| October 13, 2023 : In a significant development during the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, the first charter flight, designated under ‘Operation Ajay,’ has successfully repatriated 212 Indian citizens, including an infant, from Israel to New Delhi. This humanitarian mission comes as a relief for Indian nationals stranded in a conflict-ridden Israel. The flight, organized on a ‘first come first serve’ basis, took off from the Ben Gurion airport in Israel on Thursday night and landed in New Delhi on Friday morning.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar took to social media to share the successful beginning of Operation Ajay, formerly known as Twitter, with the message: “Operation Ajay gets underway. 212 citizens onboard the flight are en route New Delhi.” This operation was initiated by the government on Wednesday to ensure the safe return of Indian citizens facing the turmoil in Israel, which erupted with the conflict between the Israeli military and the terrorist group Hamas on October 7. Air India and other airlines had suspended all commercial operations to and from Israel due to the escalating conflict.

Under ‘Operation Ajay,’ special chartered flights have been arranged to bring back Indian citizens from Israel, and if necessary, Indian Navy ships will also be deployed. This operation is a significant relief for the approximately 18,000 Indians residing in Israel, comprising students, professionals, and traders.

Meanwhile, in response to the crisis, the Ministry of External Affairs has established a 24-hour control room in the national capital to monitor the situation in Israel and Palestine. The control room can be reached at toll-free number 1800118797, as well as +91-11 23012113, +91-11-23014104, +91-11-23017905, and +919968291988. For further assistance, they can be contacted via email at [email protected]. Additionally, the Indian embassy’s 24-hour emergency helpline is available at +972-35226748 and +972-543278392, with the email address [email protected].

As the conflict in Israel continues to intensify, the war between Israel and Hamas entered its seventh day on Friday. Reports indicate that over 2,800 individuals from both sides have lost their lives, while 423,000 people have been forced to flee their homes due to the ongoing hostilities.

The crisis was triggered when Hamas militants initiated a surprise attack on Israel last Saturday, citing a long-running dispute over the Al-Aqsa Mosque, a site of significance for both Muslims and Jews. In response, the Israeli military has been conducting near-constant airstrikes. There are also reports of Israel preparing for a potential ground operation in Gaza, although the final decision on this matter is yet to be made by the political leadership.

This conflict has escalated into a humanitarian crisis, and the safe return of Indian citizens from Israel is a priority for the Indian government. With ‘Operation Ajay,’ they are making earnest efforts to ensure the well-being and security of their nationals abroad during this challenging time.

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