The second charter flight to repatriate Indian citizens stranded in Israel amid the ongoing war landed in New Delhi from Tel Aviv on Saturday morning under ‘Operation Ajay’. A total of 235 Indian nationals, including two infants, arrived on the second flight.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar shared pictures of the second repatriation of the stranded citizens on X, formerly known as Twitter, and said: “#OperationAjay Flight #2 carrying 235 Indian nationals takes off from Tel Aviv.”
This comes a day after 212 Indians were flown out from Israel in the first repatriation exercise under ‘Operation Ajay’. The first flight took off from the Ben Gurion airport in Israel on Thursday evening and reached New Delhi on Friday morning. Reportedly, the passengers were chosen on a ‘first come first serve’ basis.
The government launched ‘Operation Ajay’ on October 11 to bring back stranded citizens from Israel. This came after Air India and other airlines suspended all its commercial operations to and from Israel as the war began on October 7. Under this operation, special chartered flights will bring back the Indians. According to reports, the Indian Navy ships will also be deployed if the need arises.
MEA sets up control room, issues helpline numbers
The ministry of external affairs has set up a 24-hour control room in the national capital to monitor the situation in Israel and Palestine. The phone numbers for the control room are: 1800118797 (toll free), +91-11 23012113, +91-11-23014104, +91-11-23017905 and +919968291988, while the email ID is email@example.com.
The Indian embassy’s 24-hour emergency helpline can also be accessed at – +972-35226748 and +972-543278392, and the email ID firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Israel-Hamas war
The escalating war between Israel and Hamas entered its eighth day on Saturday. According to the latest reports, at least 3,200 lives have been killed on both sides since Hamas launched an unprecedented surprise attack on Israel on October 7.
Meanwhile, over a million people in the northern Gaza Strip have been ordered to evacuate to the south – creating panic among civilians. According to the UN, tens of thousands in Gaza are estimated to have fled south after Israel gave Palestinians 24 hours’ notice to evacuate. Earlier, the UN said that more than 400,000 Palestinians had been internally displaced due to the hostilities.