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Israel Envoy Expresses Willingness: ‘We Would Welcome’ India’s Assistance in Rescuing 200 Hamas Hostages

October 19, 2023

As the war between Israel and Hamas terrorists entered its 13th day, Israel’s ambassador to India, Naor Gilon on Wednesday said the country welcomes any sort of help from India for the release of over 200 people held hostage by Hamas.

The Israeli envoy said that they were moved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s gesture of expressing solidarity with Israel after the war-triggering attacks by Hamas that have claimed over 1,400 lives. “PM Modi again expressed solidarity after speaking to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a few days later. Not just the Indian PM, we have got a show of support from all levels here — officials, ministers, civil society, and even people on social media,” he told The Indian Express.

Gilon said that if there is a way to get the global powers to put pressure on Hamas and if India is able to speak to the leaders who have influence on Hamas for release of over 200 Israeli hostages, including several foreign nationals, “we would welcome that”.

“Hamas commanders are living a life of luxury in places like Istanbul and Qatar. We understand that India has a special place in the world. Many countries are trying to put pressure on Hamas to secure the release of the innocent civilians. If India is able to speak to people who have influence over them, we would welcome that,” he said.

Meanwhile, Israel has agreed to deliver limited humanitarian aid to Gaza, a deal announced by US President Joe Biden during his visit to the nation. After face-to-face talks in Israel and intense telephone diplomacy with Egypt, Biden said a limited number of trucks would be allowed to cross the shuttered Rafah crossing from Egypt into Gaza from Friday.

It would be the first international relief to enter Gaza since October 7, when Hamas launched shock raids into Israel, killing 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and seizing about 200 hostages.

However, Israel fears that aid deliveries could be used as cover to bring in weapons, while Egypt controlling the border fears throwing open the gates would bring tens of thousands of refugees to its territory.

Earlier, Gilon claimed that Hamas was afraid of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) and was putting pressure on them to prevent any further action on the militants. He further claimed that the explosion at the Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza, which killed over 500 people, was hit by a rocket of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

A massive blast rocked a Gaza City hospital packed with wounded and other Palestinians seeking shelter which killed over 500 people. Hamas blamed an Israeli airstrike while Israel and the US said the cause was a failed rocket launch by Islamist militants in Gaza who denied responsibility.

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