Indian students in Israel thank embassy for timely assistance, helping hand to fly home after Hamas attacks

Indian students in Israel thank embassy for timely assistance, helping hand to fly home after Hamas attacks
Image source: ANI

Haifa, Israel: Amid the war on Hamas across the border in Gaza, Indian students studying in Israel expressed gratitude towards the Indian embassy and authorities in New Delhi for ensuring their safe return in the wake of the horrific terror attacks of October 7, last year, targeting the southern kibbutzes with co-ordinated strikes from the land, sea and air.

Rahul, a PhD student in organic chemistry in Israel, relived the initial chaos and confusion after Israel declared a war on Hamas, in response to the terror attacks that left over a thousand dead and injured many more. Even as the country counted its dead, the masked attackers crossed over into Gaza with hostages.

"When it (the war) started, it was all so sudden... it was chaos and confusion that day. And then things became clear. The embassy reached out to us about the flight back home. They assured us of sending back all of us who wanted to go home," he told ANI.

Rahul said the Indian embassy swiftly organized the evacuation, ensuring that all students willing to return home could do so within a span of two to three days. "So, eventually, they took us back in two, three days.

Like all the people who wanted to go home, we signed up via email and then they took us home in three days. And, yeah, it was very clear and we knew what to do exactly," he added, expressing appreciation for the clear guidance provided by the authorities.

Another Indian student echoed Rahul's sentiments, expressing gratitude towards both the Indian and Israeli governments for their assistance during the crisis.

"After the attacks of October 7, we received an email from the embassy. We contacted the embassy and the government of India. The Indian embassy was very kind to reach back with help. They made all the necessary arrangements... everything went off smoothly. So we would like to thank the Indian government, as well as the government of Israel," the student stated.

On October 11, last year, the Indian government launched Operation Ajay, an operation to help stranded and distressed Indian citizens willing to return home from Israel. The operation was named after the Sanskrit word 'Ajay', which means "unconquered".

As of December 2023, 1,309 Indian nationals, 14 OCI card holders, and 20 Nepalese returned to India from Israel on six flights arranged under 'Operation Ajay'.