The first charter flight carrying 212 Indians evacuated from Israel under Operation Ajay arrived in New Delhi in the early hours of Friday. Speaking about the mission, Union Minister Anurag Thakur said today India does not ask for help, but it offers help.
Speaking to reporters, Thakur said: “Whether it is the COVID era or the time of the Ukraine-Russia war or during the Arab Spring, India has done one operation after another and rescued Indians. This has been happening for the last nine-and-a-half years.”
“Not just our citizens, we have rescued the nationals of other countries also… Today, India does not ask for help, it offers help,” Thakur said.
#WATCH Mumbai: On Operation Ajay, Union Minister Anurag Thakur says, “Whether it is the COVID era or the time of the Ukraine-Russia war or during the Arab Spring, India has done one operation after another and rescued Indians… This has been happening for the last 9 and a half… pic.twitter.com/wwJOIrfS8E
— ANI (@ANI) October 13, 2023
The first batch of 212 Indians, including students and one infant, returned to New Delhi from Israel onboard a chartered flight on Friday.
India’s External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar announced the launch of Operation Ajay to facilitate the return of those who wish to come back home as a series of brazen attacks on Israeli towns by Hamas terrorists over the weekend triggered fresh tension in the region.
The passengers were chosen on a “first come first serve” basis after a drive launched by the Indian embassy for all Indians to register at the mission’s database. The Indian government is bearing the cost of their return.
The flight took off at 22:14 local time from the Ben Gurion airport. It was arranged to facilitate the return of those who were unable to do so because Air India had immediately suspended its flight on the day fighting began on October 7, and its commercial operation remains suspended till now.
For the unversed, Ben Gurion International Airport is the main international airport of Israel. It is situated on the northern outskirts of the city of Lod.
The multi-pronged attacks against Israel by Hamas terrorists from Gaza since Saturday and the subsequent Israeli retaliation have left around 2,800 people dead. Israel has launched a massive counter-offensive in Gaza to avenge the attacks by Hamas.
With inputs from agencies