New Delhi: India has so far provided 70 tonnes of humanitarian aid, including 16.5 tonnes of medicine and medical supplies, to the people of Palestine affected by the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, the parliament was told on December 8.
In a written reply to a question posed by Anto Antony of the Congress and A. Raja of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the Ministry of External Affairs has stated that the humanitarian aid was sent in two tranches to the people of Palestine, between October 22 and November 19, 2023.
“This included tents, blankets, hygiene kits, life-saving medicines, surgical items and medical equipment,” the MEA told the Parliament.
On October 22, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had posted on X that an Indian Air Force C-17 flight carrying nearly 6.5 tonnes of medical aid and 32 tonnes of disaster relief material had departed for the El-Arish airport in Egypt. The airport is roughly 45 kilometres away from the Rafah crossing on Egypt’s border with the Gaza strip.
Bagchi’s post had said, “The material includes essential life-saving medicines, surgical items, tents, sleeping bags, tarpaulins, sanitary utilities, [and] water purification tablets among other necessary items.”
The MEA’s December 8 statement at the Lok Sabha also said that so far, 1,309 Indian nationals have returned to India in six special flights operated under Operation Ajay from Israel. “We have also facilitated return of one Indian national from Gaza Strip,” it added.
The ministry said, “The Embassy of India, Tel Aviv is in regular communication with the Indian community and relevant departments and ministries in the government of the State of Israel to ensure the safety and security of all Indian nationals living in Israel.”
The MEA, on October 19, had stated that nearly 1,200 India had returned to the country under the Operation Ajay.