Kathmandu: The Nepal government on Tuesday said all Nepali students who are in Israel have been shifted to secured locations, a day after it confirmed the death of 10 students when Hamas militants from Gaza launched an unprecedented attack against the Jewish nation.
Israel has formally declared war on the Islamist militant group Hamas after its fighters launched a brazen attack on Saturday that has so far killed more than 1,000 people in Israel.
Ten Nepalese students in Israel were killed by Hamas militants in the country's southern region.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in a statement confirmed that all Nepali students in Israel "have been shifted to secured location”.
“With the assistance of the Israeli army, we have successfully moved nearly all the students to safe areas. As per the information available to me, over 50 students were safely transferred by nightfall,” MFA spokesperson Sewa Lamsal said.
"The ministry is maintaining continuous contact with the Nepal embassy team in Israel and is actively preparing to charter a flight to bring these students back home to Nepal once Israel grants permission for air travel,” she said.
"Tragically, last Saturday, 10 Nepali students lost their lives during an indiscriminate attack by the Palestinian extremist group Hamas on Israel,” Lamsal recalled.
The spokesperson said of the total 17 students who were attacked by Hamas, one remains out of contact, and four others who sustained injuries are receiving treatment with the assistance of the Israeli army. The remaining two have already been evacuated from the incident site and are under the security of the Israeli government.
These 17 were among the 49 students pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Agriculture at Sudur Paschim University who had gone to Israel last month under an 11-month learn and earn programme. Of them, the remaining 32 students have been shifted to safe places, the ministry said.
Similarly, 23 students from the Agriculture and Forestry University of Nepal, who are working as interns in different farmhouses in Israel, have also been relocated to safe locations, it said in the statement.
The Nepal embassy in Israel said 72 Nepalese students residing in the Northern part of the country and awaiting rescue have been shifted to safer places.
There are a total of 265 Nepali students settled in Israel under the "learn and earn" programme. Besides, 450 Nepalis are working as caregivers in different parts of Israel.
The Nepal government has been arranging special aircraft to bring back citizens working in Israel. To date, 324 individuals have registered their names in the database provided by the foreign affairs ministry for rescue and repatriation. While 288 citizens have expressed their intent to return, 36 want to be relocated.
Meanwhile, Minister for Foreign Affairs N P Saud has made a phone call to his Israeli counterpart Ali Cohen and asked for necessary coordination to bring back the dead bodies of the 10 students killed in the Hamas attack, according to the Foreign Minister’s secretariat.
Saud also asked Cohen to provide necessary support to bring home Nepali students studying in Israel.
Cohen expressed sorrow over the killing of 10 Nepali students and wished speedy recovery of those injured in the incident. He also assured of providing necessary help and support for the repatriation of Nepalese students and to bring back the dead bodies to Nepal, the secretariat said.