Operation Ajay: The first flight carrying 212 Indian nationals lands at Delhi airport

After the Israel-Hamas war, the first flight bringing back 212 Indian nationals from Israel successfully landed at Delhi airport on Friday. On their arrival, the returning citizens were received by Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar. ANI reported.

The first group of Indian travelers embarked on a flight from Tel Aviv to India as part of Operation Ajay. These passengers were observed boarding a charter flight specially initiated by India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) aimed at repatriating people from Israel.

Passengers were seen chanting ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’.

Also read: Israel-Hamas War: India launches ‘Operation Ajay’ to bring back its citizens from war-torn Israel

Indian Ambassador to Israel Sanjeev Singla emphasized the commitment of the Indian Embassy to Israel to protect the welfare of Indian citizens in conflict-torn Israel. He also announced that the embassy will facilitate the return of Indian nationals who wish to return to India under ‘Operation Ajay’. ANI reported.

Also read: LIVE updates on Israel-Hamas war: Envoy sees ‘ISIS-Daesh connection’ in Hamas attack

The Indian Embassy in Israel supports Indian businesses and has set up a dedicated helpline to help Indian citizens in need of assistance.

Additionally, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) set up a 24-hour control center on Thursday in response to the worsening conflict. The role of this control room is to monitor the situation and provide information and assistance if necessary.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said today: “As announced by the EAM yesterday, Operation Ajay has been launched to facilitate the return of our citizens of Israel who wish to return. The first chartered flight will reach Tel Aviv this evening.” “We will pick up the Indian citizens and are expected to return to India tomorrow morning,” the Foreign Ministry spokesperson said during a press conference here today. “We are closely monitoring the situation in Israel.”

The MEA spokesperson also said that there have been no Indian casualties so far. “We haven’t heard of anyone injured so far,” he said.

“About 18,000 Indians live in Israel. There is a conflict that is a cause for concern. Indians are advised to follow the recommendations of our mission,” Bagchi said.

Also read: Operation Ajay explains: First batch of Indians flown out of Israel today, hotlines set up | 5 things we know so far

India’s Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar chaired a meeting to assess the preparedness and arrangements for ‘Operation Ajay’.

Meanwhile, Israel’s military chief has declared: “Now is the time for war” as Israel deploys tanks near the Gaza Strip in anticipation of an impending ground operation to eradicate the Palestinian militant organization Hamas, which rules the enclave. Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip worsened as the region’s only power plant exhausted its fuel supply on Wednesday. Israeli air strikes had destroyed neighborhoods and forced thousands to seek shelter.

(With contributions from agencies)

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Sybil Alvarez

"Incurable gamer. Infuriatingly humble coffee specialist. Professional music advocate."

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