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India Launches Operation Ajay: A Resolute Effort to Safeguard Its Citizens in Israel

As the Israel-Hamas conflict continues to escalate, nations across the world are racing to bring their citizens safely home from the war zone. In the midst of this turmoil, India has announced the launch of “Operation Ajay” – a commendable initiative aimed at repatriating its citizens from Israel and Palestine. This mission, initiated by the Indian government, reflects a relentless commitment to the safety and well-being of its nationals abroad.

Operation Ajay: Ensuring Safe Passage

Operation Ajay is a multifaceted effort to facilitate the return of Indian citizens to Israel. The government has put forth an extensive plan that includes specially chartered flights and, if necessary, Indian Navy ships. The overarching goal is to ensure the safety and well-being of Indian nationals amidst the ongoing conflict.

India’s External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar, took to the digital platform to make this significant announcement. In his message, he stated, “Launching #OperationAjay to facilitate the return from Israel of our citizens who wish to return. Special charter flights and other arrangements are being put in place. Fully committed to the safety and well-being of our nationals abroad.” This statement underscores the nation’s dedication to its citizens, even in the face of unprecedented challenges.

Operation Ajay: The First Steps toward Repatriation

The Indian embassy in Tel Aviv has initiated the process by emailing the first group of registered Indian citizens who will be part of the special flight departing on Thursday. These individuals, who have chosen to return home, will be among the first beneficiaries of Operation Ajay. Subsequent flights will follow to accommodate the needs of other registered citizens, ensuring that they, too, can safely return to their homeland.

Diplomatic Engagements amidst Crisis

In a time of crisis, diplomatic efforts are more crucial than ever. External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar held a significant conversation with the Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, on Wednesday evening. The discussion revolved around the ongoing crisis in West Asia, underscoring the importance of international cooperation in managing the challenging situation. The commitment to maintaining open communication lines in these trying times emphasizes the global need for unity and support.

A Network of Support

Operation Ajay is backed by a comprehensive network of resources dedicated to safeguarding the well-being of Indian citizens in Israel and Palestine. In New Delhi, the Ministry of External Affairs has established a 24-hour control room to monitor the situation, provide essential information, and offer assistance. The contact details for this control room are 1800118797 (toll-free), +91-11 23012113, +91-11-23014104, +91-11-23017905, and +919968291988. For direct communication, you can reach out to situationroom@mea.gov.in.

In addition to the control room in New Delhi, the Indian Embassy in Tel Aviv has set up a 24-hour emergency helpline. You can access this helpline at +972-35226748 and +972-543278392 or via email at cons1.telaviv@mea.gov.in. Furthermore, India’s Representative Office in Ramallah has established a 24-hour emergency helpline, which can be reached at +970-592916418, including WhatsApp communication, or by email at rep.ramallah@mea.gov.in.

To ensure a comprehensive response, the embassy has urged Indian nationals in Israel to register with the embassy using the following link: https://indembassyisrael.gov.in/whats?id=dwjwb.

The Human Dimension: India’s Citizens in Israel

Approximately 18,000 Indian citizens are living and working/studying in Israel. This diverse group includes caregivers, students, IT professionals, and diamond traders. The well-being of these individuals is a matter of paramount importance to the Indian government.

The control rooms that have been established will assess the number of Indian nationals in Israel and Palestine, their current locations, and their willingness to relocate. This data will be instrumental in shaping the repatriation efforts and ensuring the safety of Indian citizens.

Diplomacy in Action

The foundation for Operation Ajay was laid when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi received a phone call from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. During this call, Prime Minister Modi emphasized the importance of the safety and security of Indian citizens in Israel. In response, Prime Minister Netanyahu assured full cooperation and support.

This significant diplomatic interaction set the wheels in motion for India to develop contingency plans for the potential evacuation of its citizens in the region. In these trying times, diplomacy plays a crucial role in preserving the well-being of citizens abroad.

The Need for Operation Ajay

The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has left thousands dead. Israel responded to attacks with a massive bombardment of the Gaza Strip, ruled by Hamas. Israel has also mobilized its military forces around the besieged Palestinian enclave, indicating the possibility of a ground invasion.

Furthermore, the conflict has led to the taking of hostages, including foreign nationals. Israel faced the threat of a multi-front war after days of exchanges with Hezbollah on its northern border with Lebanon. In response, Hezbollah fired missiles at Israel, while Israel struck one of the group’s military observation posts in southern Lebanon.

Israel’s security concerns extended to Syria, where it engaged in a firefight with militants after munitions were fired toward the Golan Heights. This complex and volatile situation underscores the necessity of Operation Ajay to ensure the safe return of Indian citizens in Israel and Palestine.

India’s Commitment to Citizen Safety: A Legacy of Rescue Missions

India’s commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of its citizens knows no bounds. Over the years, the nation has undertaken a series of remarkable operations to rescue its nationals facing dangerous situations abroad. These missions stand as a testament to the Indian government’s dedication to the welfare of its citizens, regardless of their location on the global map.

  • Operation Kaveri (2023): Evacuated Indian 4000 Indians stranded in conflict-hit Sudan.
  • Operation Ganga (2022): Rescued the Indian nationals from Ukraine during the Russian invasion.
  • Operation Devi Shakti (2021): Evacuated the Indian nationals from Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover.
  • Operation Vande Bharat (2020): Relocated the Indian nationals stranded abroad due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Operation Samudra Setu (2020): Evacuated Indian nationals from overseas during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Operation Sankat Mochan (2016): Rescued 156 Indians and 28 foreign nations from South Sudan.
  • Operation Maitri (2015): Rescued over 43,000 Indian nationals from Nepal after the earthquake hit.
  • Operation Raahat (2015): Evacuated 5600 Indian nationals and about 1,000 foreign nationals from Yemen during the civil war.
  • Operation Kuwait Airlift (1990): Evacuated Indian nationals from Kuwait during the Persian Gulf War.

A Beacon of Hope amidst Crisis

Operation Ajay is a testament to the Indian government and their commitment to safeguarding its citizens, even in the most challenging circumstances. In a world marked by uncertainty and unrest, the unity and support displayed by the international community are beacons of hope.

As special charter flights and arrangements are made to facilitate the return of Indian citizens, Operation Ajay stands as a symbol of resilience and determination, ensuring the safety and well-being of those who call India their home. In times of crisis like these, the importance of international cooperation, diplomacy, and solidarity has never been clearer.

 

Read More: Israel-Hamas Conflict Escalates: Over 1,100 Lives Lost in 3-Day War

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