• Saturday, April 20, 2024

ASIA

Indian from Kerala killed in anti-tank missile attack in north Israel

The deceased was identified as 30-year-old Patnibin Maxwell. Two other Indians were also killed. All three are from the state of Kerala.

A protester holds a placard calling for the release of Israeli hostages held in Gaza since the October 7, 2023, attacks by Hamas militants during a demonstration in front of the Branch Office of the US embassy in the coastal city of Tel Aviv, on March 1, 2024, demanding an intervention by the US president for their release. (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

AN Indian national lost his life while two others were injured on Monday (4) when an anti-tank missile fired from Lebanon by Hezbollah militants struck an orchard near Israel’s northern border community of Margaliot, officials said. They also condemned it as a cowardly terror attack on peaceful agriculture workers.

All three victims were from the southern state of Kerala. The missile hit a plantation in Margaliot, a moshav (collective agricultural community), in the Galilee region in the north of Israel around 11 am on Monday, Zaki Heller, spokesperson for rescue services Magen David Adom (MDA), told news agency Press Trust of India.

Patnibin Maxwell, 30, from Kollam in Kerala was killed in the attack. His mortal remains were identified in Ziv hospital, official sources said.

Read: Indian port workers won’t handle weapon cargoes to Israel for Gaza war

Bush Joseph George, 31, and Paul Melvin, 28, were injured and taken to hospitals for treatment, they said.

“George was taken to the Beilinson hospital in Petah Tikva after suffering injuries on face and body. He underwent an operation, is recovering well, and has been kept under observation. He could speak with his family in India,” an official source told PTI. Melvin was slightly injured and is hospitalised at Ziv Hospital in the northern Israeli city of Safed. He is from the Idukki district.

Read: Indian labourers eye quick bucks as they queue for jobs in Israel

The Israeli embassy in New Delhi said, “We are deeply shocked and saddened by the death of one Indian national and the injury of two others due to a cowardly terror attack launched by Shia Terror organisation Hezbollah, on peaceful agriculture workers who were cultivating an orchard at the northern village of Margaliot yesterday early afternoon.”

“Our prayers and thoughts naturally go to the families of the bereaved and those of the injured. Israeli Medical institutions are completely at the service of the injured who are being treated by our very best medical staff,” it posted on X.

Israel regards equally all nationals, Israeli or foreign, who are injured or killed due to terrorism and will be there to support the families and offer them assistance, it said. “Our countries, who are sadly well versed in civilian loss, stand united in hopes of a speedy recovery for the injured and solace for the family of the bereaved,” it added.

MDA earlier said one foreign worker was killed and seven others were injured in the attack. The Hezbollah faction in Lebanon has been launching rockets, missiles, and drones at northern Israel daily since October 8 in support of Hamas amid the ongoing war in the Gaza Strip.

MDA said seven foreign workers were injured altogether in the attack, two of them seriously, and were taken to Beilinson, Rambam, and Ziv hospitals in their ambulances and Israeli Air Force helicopters. Israel Defence Forces (IDF) on Monday said they responded by shelling the launch site with artillery.

The IDF also said it struck a Hezbollah compound where members of the group were gathered in the southern Lebanon town of Chihine, and another site belonging to Hezbollah in Ayta ash-Shab. Hezbollah has been launching attacks on Israel’s northern communities and military posts since October 8 saying it is doing so to support Gaza.

The skirmishes between Israel and Hezbollah have resulted in the death of seven civilians and 10 IDF soldiers on the Israeli side. Hezbollah has named 229 members who have been killed by Israel during recent flare-ups. Most of the casualties on the Hezbollah side happened in Lebanon but also some in Syria. Another 37 operatives from other groups, a Lebanese soldier, and at least 30 civilians have also been killed since October 8 last year.

(With PTI inputs)

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