Indian students stuck in Israel amid the ongoing attacks by the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched on Saturday (Oct 7) told WION that the situation in northern Israel was relatively peaceful. In light of the violence unfolding in Israel, the Indian embassies in Israel issued advisories for all its citizens to “remain vigilant”. 

Situation in northern Israel ‘relatively peaceful’

Speaking to WION on Saturday, Vaasu Sharma, a PhD student at the University of Haifa, said, “The situation here in the north is comparatively peaceful. However, the situation in southern Israel continues to be grave…and of concern especially for international students.” 

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“We here at the University of Haifa have been advised that we should refrain from going to Tel Aviv and other certain cities in Israel. The Indian embassy in Tel Aviv has also issued helpline numbers that we should contact in case of any emergency,” he added. 

He also said that they began receiving updates about the Hamas attack around 7:00 am (local time) and have been tracking them since as well as staying cautious and helping each other out. 

‘Very nervous and scared’

Indian student, Goku Manavala in Israel told news agency ANI, “I am very nervous and scared…Thankfully we have shelter & Israeli police forces nearby. So far we are safe…We are in touch with Indian Embassy people, we have a good Indian community around and we are connected.” 

Another student Vimal Krishnasamy Manivannan Chitra said the attack was “very tense and scary”. He added, “Indian embassy is in touch with us in the group. They are keeping a check on us.”

Meanwhile, an Indian student in Israel, Aditya Karunanithi Nivedita also told the news agency how the attack was “all very sudden we did not expect it” because of the ongoing religious holidays in Israel.

“We got the sirens early in the morning at around 5:30 am (local time). We were in bunkers for around 7-8 hours the sirens went off…We are asked to stay inside our homes…We are in contact with the Indian Embassy & they will update us for the future things…” Nivedita told ANI. 

Indians in Israel

The Indian Embassy on Saturday (Oct 7) issued an advisory asking all its nationals to “remain vigilant” and “observe safety protocols” after hundreds of rockets were launched from the blockaded Gaza Strip towards Israel creating a war-like situation.

There are about 18,000 Indian citizens in Israel, primarily caregivers employed by Israeli elders, diamond traders, IT professionals and students, as per the details mentioned on the website of the Indian Embassy.

“Today was a very difficult day, we have never seen a situation (like this). Within 20 minutes, 5,000 rockets were fired, and they (Hamas militants) killed 22 people while 500 were injured. This is a very difficult situation for the country,” an Indian national working in Israel for the past 18 years, Soma Ravi, told PTI. 

(With inputs from agencies) 

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