MEA urges Indians to relocate after Keralite death in Israel

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) issued an urgent advisory on Tuesday, urging Indian nationals in Israel to relocate to safer areas immediately.

| Updated: 05 March, 2024 6:18 pm IST
MEA advised all Indian nationals in Israel to relocate to safer areas within the country

NEW DELHI: After the death of an Indian national who was killed in a deadly missile attack in northern Israel. Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) issued an urgent advisory on Tuesday, urging Indian nationals in Israel to relocate to safer areas immediately. In an advisory MEA said, “In light of the current security situation and local safety advisories, all Indian nationals in Israel, especially those in border areas, are strongly advised to relocate to safer areas within the country. The Embassy of India remains in close coordination with Israeli authorities to ensure the safety of all Indian nationals.”

The tragic incident occurred on Monday when an anti-tank missile, allegedly fired from Lebanon, struck an orchard near Israel’s northern border community of Margaliot. Officials confirmed the death of one Indian national and injuries to two others in the attack – all three belonged to Kerala.

The deceased has been identified as 31-year-old Nibin Maxwell from Kollam district in Kerala. The injured, Bush Joseph George, 31, and Paul Melvin, 28, were promptly taken to hospitals for treatment. George underwent surgery at Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva for injuries sustained on his face and body, while Melvin, from Idukki district, is currently receiving treatment at Ziv Hospital in Safed.

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MEA further shared 24*7 Emergency Helpline, hotline and contact number for guidance or assistance, “please contact the following helplines: 24*7 Emergency Helpline/Contact Embassy:Tel: +972-35226748 ; Email: [email protected] ; Alternatively, you may contact the hotline number of Population and Immigration Authority of Israel at Tel: 1700707889” Embassy requested the Indian nationals to disseminate this advisory through local networks for wider circulation.

The Israeli Embassy in India condemned the cowardly terror attack orchestrated by the Shia Terror organization Hezbollah and expressed profound shock and sadness. The embassy assured full support and assistance to the affected families, highlighting the exemplary medical care being provided to the injured by Israel’s top medical professionals.

Israel has become a favoured destination for caregivers and nurses from India, alongside other countries like Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the Philippines. The presence of foreign workers amidst the conflict has introduced a new aspect to the Israel-Palestinian conflict compared to previous decades.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, approximately 18,000 Indians still reside in Israel, despite the advisory issued in October prompting India to undertake the evacuation of several batches of its citizens.

Although the evacuation was temporarily paused, the ongoing conflict has led Israel to suspend work permits for thousands of Palestinians, resulting in job vacancies, particularly in the blue-collar segment of the economy.

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Following the onset of the latest conflict, a significant number of Indian workers from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have been observed queuing up to fill positions left vacant due to the lack of Palestinian labourers. India and Israel signed an agreement in May 2023 to absorb 42,000 Indian workers into the Israeli economy.

Despite the situation, the Ministry of External Affairs maintains its advisory, urging Indians to remain cautious amid the conflict. Indian Ambassador to Israel, Sanjeev Singla, has been actively urging citizens to take shelter from incoming rockets fired by Hamas against Israeli targets.

Israel has attributed the missile attack to the Shi’ite Hezbollah faction in Lebanon, accusing them of launching rockets, missiles, and drones towards the northern parts of Israel since October 8 in support of Hamas amid the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip.

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