Govt. ready for ‘any emergency situation’ in Israel, says Union Minister

Indian citizens in Israel should stay in contact with embassy in Tel Aviv, says Minister V. Muraleedharan

Updated - October 09, 2023 03:11 am IST

Published - October 08, 2023 03:15 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan. File

Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan. File | Photo Credit: PTI

Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan has urged Indian citizens in Israel to stay in contact with the Embassy of India in Tel Aviv and remain alert regarding the escalating violence in the country after a massive surprise attack by Hamas on October 7. The latest message from the Minister came in the backdrop of news that at least 10 Nepalese students have died over the past 24 hours as fighting rages in several Israeli villages near Gaza Strip.

Israel-Palestine conflict live updates

Mr. Muraleedharan said Indians who were stranded in Israel were safe and that they can contact the Indian Embassy for any assistance. Speaking to reporters in Kochi, Mr. Muraleedharan drew attention to the advisory that the embassy in Tel Aviv had issued on Saturday, which urged them to stay in contact with the Indian officials.

Terming the attack on Israel as a terror plot by the Hamas, the Union Minister expressed solidarity with the people of Israel.

According to the latest information with the External Affairs Ministry, approximately 900 Indian students are studying in Israel, mainly at doctoral and post-doctoral levels. That apart, there are around 85,000 Israeli citizens of Indian origin who are Israeli passport holders, out of which many maintain intense personal and professional contacts with India.

The Indian-Israeli community in Israel is divided among the Bene Israelis of Maharashtra, the Cochin Jews of Kerala, and the Baghdadi Jews of Kolkata. That apart, there are the Bene Menashes from the northeastern States who have become part of the Indian-origin Israeli citizens. Apart from the scientists and students, a large number of caregivers from India are also known to be in various towns of Israel that are near the Gaza border.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and his Israeli counterpart, Eli Cohen, signed an agreement on May 9 to allow 42,000 Indians to find job as caregivers in Israel. It is understood that a large number of caregivers had already landed in Israel from India before the fighting commenced on Saturday. Caregivers for elderly citizens is a fast growing sphere of economic activities in Israel for people from South Asia, especially India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal.

India stands ‘in solidarity with Israel’ after attacks, says PM Modi

The wave of violence, which is being compared with the military setback of the 1973 Yom Kippur war, however did not come overnight. The two sides had clashed also in May when Mr. Cohen had to rush back home cutting short his visit to India. Mr. Muraleedharan’s assurances on emergency situation indicates to a possible evacuation-like situation that India has carried out in recent years from multiple conflict locations including from Ukraine and Sudan in the past two years. 

The Foreign Ministry of Nepal announced during on October 8 evening that at least 10 Nepalese students had died in the fighting between Hamas and the Israeli forces in a kibbutz in southern Israel. Arrangements are under way to bring back the moral remains of the students from Israel to Kathmandu.

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