Indian Caregiver in Israel Injured in Airstrike While on Video Call With Husband

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Amid the on going Israel-Palestine conflict, an Indian caregiver in Israel was reportedly injured in an airstrike in Ashkelon, a coastal city in the southern part of the country Saturday. Sheeja Anand, 41, a native of Kerala’s Kannur district, is out of danger, according to her family.

Thousands of Indians, many from Kerala, work as caregivers of the elderly in Israel. Sheeja, who has been a caregiver in Israel for the last seven years, was reportedly hit by shelling on Saturday noon when she was speaking to her family at Payyavoor in Kannur.

Sheeja’s sister Shiji said, “The incident happened when she was making a video call to her husband Anand. During the call, she herself indicated the impending danger of a shell attack. Anand then told her to be careful. Suddenly, the call got lost with an alarming sound in the background, leaving all of us in a panic. Later, we tried to call back but could not get in touch with her. On Sunday, we learned from her colleagues in Israel that she was injured in the missile attack,” said Shiji.

Shiji added, “On Sunday late night, we came to know from her colleagues that she is being shifted to another hospital for better treatment. But we are yet to get further details.”

The escalating tension in Israel has pressed the panic button in Kerala. Norka Roots, the agency under Kerala government for the welfare of overseas Keralites, does not have any official data about the number of Keralites working in Israel. The respite for the families of these caregivers, both men and women, is that they have been mainly confined to houses with safety bunkers. However, many caregivers have raised concern about supply and provisions if the war gets prolonged.

“Only 500 people working in Israel have so far registered with the Norka Roots. As of now, we don’t have any distress calls from Israel, but expatriates were asked to follow the advisories issued by the local government,” said Norka sources.

In May 2021, Soumya Santhosh, 32, from Kerala, was killed in Israel after shelling from Gaza. She was employed as a caregiver in the Israeli city of Ashkelon. She was hit by the shelling while on a video call with her husband who was in Idukki in Kerala.

Gunmen from Hamas, the ruling militant group in Palestine, carried out a rampage in southern Israeli towns on Saturday, firing thousands of rockets and infiltrating these towns by foot, marking the deadliest day of violence in Israel since the Yom Kippur war half a century ago. Tel Aviv retaliated by launching deadly airstrikes in Gaza, ushering in a full-blown war in the region.

Source: The Indian Express