KATHMANDU – Two hundred and fifty-four Nepali nationals rescued from Israel have been brought to Nepal early this 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 pick them up.
Talking to the media at the Tribhuvan International Airport after the rescue flight, Minister Saud said 254 of the 503 Nepalis who wanted to return Nepal from Israel have been 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 wanting 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 safe zone in Israel. He added that four Nepali citizens were injured in the attack by Hamas militants in 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 continues 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.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs said 10 Nepali students who had gone to Israel from the Far-west University of Nepal were killed in the attack by the Hamas group and coordination is being established with the Government of Israel to bring their bodies to Nepal.
“The Israeli side has stated 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 arrangement for bringing home the remaining Nepalis who could not be brought this time due to some reason, as regular commercial flights are also being operated from Tel Aviv at present.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs has thanked the media and media persons, 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 the rescue of 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 Israeli government funded ‘Learn and Earn’ programme.
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.a