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6 Mar, 2024 06:26

New Delhi warns citizens in Israel after worker dies in missile attack

The Indian Embassy has urged its citizens residing in border areas of the country to relocate to safer places
New Delhi warns citizens in Israel after worker dies in missile attack

Indians living in the border areas of Israel have been asked to relocate to “safe areas,” as the Gaza conflict enters its fifth month. New Delhi’s embassy in Tel Aviv issued the warning on Tuesday, a day after an Indian was killed in a rocket attack in Margaliot, northern Israel.

Apart from the deceased, identified as Patnibin Maxwell from the southern Indian state of Kerala, two other Indians were also injured. After the attack, the embassy contacted the Israeli authorities to ensure the safety of Indian nationals, according to the advisory. 

Meanwhile, Israel’s embassy in India said it was “deeply shocked and saddened” by the death “due to a cowardly terror attack.” 

“Our countries, who are sadly well versed in civilian loss, stand united in hopes of a speedy recovery for the injured and solace for the family of the bereaved,” the statement read. 

Israel claimed that the strikes were carried out by the Lebanese-based group Hezbollah. The militants have been launching attacks on Israel’s northern military posts since October 8 in solidarity with Gaza. 

Many Indians have been lured to Israel in the recent months with lucrative job offers after the country launched its siege of Gaza in retaliation for the October 7 Hamas attacks that left around 1,100 people dead. In Gaza, more than 30,000 people have been killed since the war began, and the UN has estimated that 570,000 people are starving. 

In the aftermath of the Hamas attack, Israel suspended work permits for thousands of Palestinians after the attack, opening doors for workers in countries such as India. Earlier this year, news agency PTI reported that around 10,000 workers were set to travel to Israel for work, primarily in the construction sector.

India has walked a diplomatic tightrope on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was one of the first world leaders to condemn the October 7 attacks, which he unequivocally termed “terrorism.” However, Modi has also advocated for a two-state solution – India’s traditional stance on the decades-long conflict.

Last week, the country’s Ministry of External Affairs said it was “shocked” after 104 Palestinians were killed and another 750 wounded at an aid distribution point west of Gaza. Previously, Modi had mourned the loss of life in Gaza’s Al Ahli hospital, which was hit by a stray rocket. After initially abstaining from voting on resolutions against Israel at the UN, the country in December finally assented to a motion calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Meanwhile, Israel has been pressing India to designate Hamas as a “terrorist” organization after the October 7 attacks. The US, UK, Israel, Australia, Japan, and the EU are among the countries and regional blocs that have officially designated the group, which has ruled the Gaza enclave since 2007, as a terrorist organization.

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