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‘Evacution of Indians from Gaza is difficult’: MEA on Israel-Hamas war

The MEA called for a strict observance of international humanitarian law after the attack on the al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza

October 19, 2023 1:26 pm

MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi (
MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi

New Delhi: The Union ministry of external affairs on Thursday said the situation in Gaza Strip is not conducive for evacuation of four Indians who are stranded in the war-torn region, adding that the government will bring them back at the first opportunity. One Indian national is in the West Bank region, MEA spokeperson Arindam Bagchi said.

“The situation in Gaza is difficult for any evacuation but if we get a chance, we will get them out,” the MEA spokesperson said during a press conference.

MEA also said that it is firm in its position in favour of a two-state solution amid the conflict over Palestine issue, however, condemned the horrific attack on Israel by Hamas, a declared militant group that administers the Gaza Strip situated in the east of Mediterranean Sea. Bagchi said India is concerned over civilian casualties and the humanitarian situation amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, urging the international community to stand together in combating terrorism in all its forms.

Responding to the attack on the al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza, which claimed around 470 lives, the spokesperson urged for a strict observance of international humanitarian law.

Bagchi also said that India has been supporting Palestine and its refugees through significant contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. “A total of $29.53 million has been contributed between 2002-2023. The Indian annual contribution has also increased from $1.25 million to $5 million in 2018. We have pledged this annual contribution of $5 million for the next two years.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier expressed shock at the loss of lives in the attack on the Gaza hospital and that those involved in civilian casualties in the ongoing conflict should be held responsible.

“Deeply shocked at the tragic loss of lives at the Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza. Our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, and prayers for speedy recovery of those injured,” Modi said on X, adding that, “Civilian casualties in the ongoing conflict are a matter of serious and continuing concern. Those involved should be held responsible.”

Updating on the ‘Operation Ajay’, a government initiative to bring Indians from war-torn Israel, Bagchi said at least 1,200 people, including 18 Nepalis, have been evacuated in five flights. However, he refrained from speculating if anyone was brought back from Gaza Strip or West Bank regions.

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