254 Nepalis rescued from Israel brought home

KATHMANDU: The government has said that 254 Nepalis rescued from war-hit Israel were brought home on Friday morning.

They were brought home on a wide-body aircraft of the Nepal Airlines Corporation. Government officials, including Minister for Foreign Affairs, NP Saud, had gone to Israel to evacuate them.

Talking to journalists at the Tribhuvan International Airport, Minister Saud said 254 of the 503 Nepalis who wish to return home from Israel were brought in this rescue flight and the remaining ones would also be brought soon.

“Five hundred and fifty-seven Nepalis had provided their details in response to the request of the Embassy of Nepal based in Tel Aviv, Israel to the Nepalis wishing to relocate to safer places and return to Nepal to give their details online. Out of the 557 Nepalis, 503 had applied to return to Nepal and among them 254 have returned home today with us,” the Foreign Affairs Minister said.

According to him, 54 Nepalis who requested to be relocated from risky areas have been shifted to safer areas in Israel.  He added that four Nepali nationals were injured in the attack by Hamas militants in the southern part of Israel and one among them has returned to Nepal today itself after treatment, another one has been discharged from hospital while two others are receiving treatment in hospital in Israel.

“A search has been intensified for Bipin Joshi who has gone missing following the attack. We will share the information as soon as we get additional information on this,” Minister Saud said.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Saud said that 10 Nepali students, who had gone to Israel from the Far-west University of Nepal, were killed in the attack and coordination is being established with the Government of Israel to repatriate their bodies.

“The Israeli side has said that it will take some time for handing over the bodies as it is required to complete the legal process and keep separate details of each and every deceased, and the number of bodies in Israel is currently very high,” he said and requested the families and relatives of the deceased Nepalis to have patience for some time.

Minister Saud maintained that the government will make arrangements to rescue the remaining Nepalis who could not be brought this time due to some reasons, as regular commercial flights are also being operated from Tel Aviv at present.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs has thanked media and mediapersons, the Government of Israel and the Government of Nepal, the Embassy of Israel in Nepal and the Embassy of Nepal in Israel and the members of the flight crew, who helped in rescuing Nepali nationals and expressed their solidarity in this.

Nepal Police had kept three buses on stand-by at the airport to take the rescued Nepalis to various destinations.

According to the statistics of the Ministry, there are currently 265 Nepali students studying in Israel and about 4,500 working in various professions and sectors. The 265 Nepali students went to the Israeli government funded ‘Learn and Earn’ program.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stated that the bodies of all the deceased will be brought to Nepal as soon as possible after the due procedures are completed.

 

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