In the ongoing military conflict between Israel and Hamas, India has launched ‘Operation Ajay’ to rescue its 18,000 citizens from Israel. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday chaired a meeting to review preparations for Operation Ajay amid the growing conflict between Israel and Hamas. The crucial meeting was also attended by External Affairs Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra, coming a day after India announced a rescue operation to facilitate the return of Indians seeking to return home from Israel.
Israel declared war on Hamas and established a war cabinet, while Hamas said it was prepared for a protracted conflict. Israel’s strategic partner India condemned the Hamas attack and Prime Minister Modi expressed solidarity with Israel. Shortly after the outbreak of the conflict, Israel’s foreign minister warned Indians to be careful. The ministry came up with a helpline number and on the fifth day of the conflict India launched Operation Ajay.
This is not the first rescue operation launched by the government of India to bring back its citizens safely from other countries. Many operations have been done before this also.
- Operation Raahat in Yemen In response to the crisis in Yemen during the Yemeni Crisis of 2015, the Indian government launched Operation Raahat.
- Operation Maitri was launched by the Indian government and armed forces as a rescue and relief operation in Nepal following the devastating earthquake that struck the country in April 2015.
- Operation Sankat Mochan, carried out by the Indian Air Force was aimed to evacuate Indian and other foreign nationals from South Sudan.
- Operation Samudra Setu The Indian government launched Operation Samudra Setu on May 5, 2020, as a part of a national effort to repatriate citizens stranded abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Operation Devi Shakti (2021) was an operation of the Indian Armed Forces to evacuate Indian citizens and foreign nationals from Afghanistan.
- Operation Ganga was an evacuation mission carried out during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, by the Indian government to rescue its citizens stranded in neighbouring countries.
- Operation Dost is a search and rescue operation led by the Indian government to assist Syria and Turkey following the devastating 2023 Turkey-Syria earthquake on February 6, 2023, with the epicentre near Gaziantep, Turkey.
- Operation Kaveri (2023) was launched by the government of India to rescue thousands of citizens who were stranded in conflict-hit Sudan. The operation was launched with the aim of ensuring the safe return of Indian citizens on April 24, 2023. The armed forces are currently in coordination with the government to rigorously evacuate stranded Indians from Sudan.