Nepal: First batch of 254 students, stranded amid Israel-Hamas war, land in Kathmandu

Public TV English
Public TV English
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KATHMANDU: As the first batch of evacuees from Israel arrived back in Kathmandu in the wee hours of Friday, the Government of Nepal has announced to make further arrangements to bring back citizens from Israel.

A Nepal Airlines wide-body aircraft, which flew to Tel Aviv on Thursday morning to bring back the Nepali students, landed in Kathmandu at around 3 am (Local Time) on Friday.

Leading the rescue mission, NP Saud, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Himalayan Nation announced the arrival of 254 students in the first batch of evacuation while 249 still wait back in Israel for airlift.

“The Nepal Embassy in Tel Aviv had earlier registered Nepali citizens who wanted to be located in safer areas and those wanting to return back to Nepal. Till now a total of 557 Nepali citizens have registered themselves, of which 503 wanted to return to Nepal and of them a total of 254 students have been evacuated under the first phase of evacuation efforts,” said Saud while addressing media persons here at the airport on Friday morning.

“Currently in Tel Aviv commercial flights are commencing on a daily basis. The students whom we couldn’t accommodate during this evacuation, on the basis of need, the Government of Nepal will make arrangements for their return,” the Foreign Minister added.

Students were seen hugging and embracing their families and relatives as they arrived back in Kathmandu with a feeling of relief but minds full of ordeal. The killing of 10 students working as interns under the “learn and earn” scheme of the Israeli government, by the terror group Hamas has left everyone there shattered.

“We were having our lunch, then suddenly we got a high alert message, after which we ran towards the bunker, we ran for life leaving all the work. We stayed in the bunker for 2 days, as it wasn’t that safe for us, we then shifted to the community bunker where we stayed for about 25 hours. Though the bunker was guarded by the army it wasn’t deemed secured as we were running short of supplies. We tried relocating ourselves but the condition developed alike everywhere,” Krishna Acharya, one of the evacuees who stayed in Northern Israel told ANI as he waited for his luggage to arrive.

Another evacuee Sobha Paswan who worked at a nursery in Israel had to undergo the same ordeal of drying out supplies and fear of getting bombed.

“On the first day of the war we were really scared, spent the first day in full of fear, we were running out of supplies, we had food only once and we didn’t get out of the bunker for a whole 24 hours. We were advised to stay inside and the sirens kept on rising followed by the missile. After completing two rounds of clocks we were advised to go washroom, within less than 5 minutes we again had to rush back to the bunker. A total of 18 people were confined in that tiny bunker.”

As the war between Israel and Hamas continues to enter its 6th day, the whereabouts of one Nepali student are yet to be ascertained. Officials at the Foreign Ministry stated that a search is underway utilising all possible measures.

Dhan Bahadur Chaudhary, who was injured in an attack by Hamas, also arrived back in Nepal taking support of a wheelchair in the same batch of evacuees.

The latest move of the Nepal government comes in the wake of the death of 10 students from Nepal in Kibbutz near the Gaza border after Hamas terrorists opened fire on them on Saturday (October 7). The Nepal government on Sunday confirmed the death of the students, who were in Israel under a 10-month internship in the agricultural sector.

“Since day one of the ongoing conflict, I was in close contact with my daughter, and her reaction at the time of conversation always scared us. We used to contact her on an hourly basis, in case she was not online or didn’t reply to us we used to get really scared and worried for her. We only would settle after seeing her over the virtual video call. After she got on the evacuation plane in Tel Aviv the worries about her ended,” said Ganesh Kumar Sharma, a family member of one of the evacuees. (ANI)

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