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Business News/ News / India/  First evacuation flight for Indians to reach Israel today: foreign ministry
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First evacuation flight for Indians to reach Israel today: foreign ministry

The flight is expected to pick up 230 passengers and return to India on Friday morning, said spokesperson Arindam Bagchi

Israel's Iron Dome air defence system intercepts rockets launched from Gaza on October 11, 2023 (Photo: AFP)Premium
Israel's Iron Dome air defence system intercepts rockets launched from Gaza on October 11, 2023 (Photo: AFP)

The first evacuation flight for Indian citizens in Israel under the aegis of Operation Ajay will reach the West Asian country later on Thursday, said Arindam Bagchi, official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs. He added that the flight was expected to pick up 230 passengers and return to India on Friday morning.

"Launching #OperationAjay to facilitate the return from Israel of our citizens who wish to return. Special charter flights and other arrangements [are] being put in place. Fully committed to the safety and well-being of our nationals abroad," external affairs minister Jaishankar posted on X on Wednesday.

Violence has escalated in the region since militant group Hamas launched a series of attacks on targets across Israel last week. Hundreds of Israelis were killed, following which Israel’s military launched an air bombing campaign on Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas. The violence has already claimed over 2,000 lives, according to several estimates. Tel Aviv has also announced a “siege" of Gaza and has cut off its access to food, fuel and water.

India’s prime minister expressed solidarity with Israel as news of the attacks broke. “Deeply shocked by the news of terrorist attacks in Israel. Our thoughts and prayers are with the innocent victims and their families. We stand in solidarity with Israel at this difficult hour," PM Narendra Modi said on X.

Asked about India’s stand on the issue, Bagchi said, “Our policy in this regard has been long-standing and consistent. India has always advocated the resumption of direct negotiations towards establishing a sovereign, independent and viable State of Palestine living within secure and recognized borders, side by side at peace with Israel." Bagchi also said India was in touch with countries that border Israel, such as Jordan, Syria and Egypt.

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Published: 12 Oct 2023, 06:18 PM IST
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