Two women, including an Indian caregiver named Soumya Santosh were killed and dozens were injured after the Hamas Islamist movement in Gaza fired rockets at southern Israel on Tuesday, prompting retaliatory airstrikes from Israeli forces.
Soumya (34) was killed while her elderly charge (80) was said to be in a serious condition after one of the rockets struck her home, The Times of Israel reported citing local media.
Soumya Santosh, who hails from Kerala's Idukki district, worked as a housemaid in Israel's Ashkelon city for the past seven years. On Tuesday she was talking to her husband, who was in Kerala, via a video call when a rocket - one of the hundreds fired by Israeli and Palestinian forces over the past 24 or so hours - struck her residence.
V Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs, spoke to the bereaved family in Kerala and assured all possible assistance from the Government of India. He noted in a tweet that New Delhi had condemned the “attacks and violence in Jerusalem” and urged both sides to exercise restraint.
Spoke with the family of Ms Soumya Santhosh to convey my deep condolences at her tragic demise during the rocket attacks from Gaza today. Assured all possible assistance.— V. Muraleedharan (@MOS_MEA) May 11, 2021
We have condemned these attacks and the violence in Jerusalem, and urged restraint by both sides.
On Tuesday, Hamas said that it fired 137 rockets in around five minutes in an apparent attempt to overwhelm the Iron Dome missile defense system. Less than an hour later, the two women were killed in an apparently separate attack. Over the last few days, the city has been witnessing series of clashes between the Palestinians and Israeli police, with both sides blaming the other for igniting the confrontations. Over 300 Palestinians have been injured in the riots, many seriously.
Israel ambassador to India Ron Malka said that he spoke to her family and expressed sorrow for their unfortunate loss and extended my condolences on behalf of the state of Israel. The whole country is mourning her loss and we are here for them," he tweeted.
"My heart goes out to her nine-year-old son, Adon, who has lost his mother at such a young age and will have to grow up without her. This evil attack reminds me of little Moses, who also lost his parents during the 2008 Mumbai attacks. May God give them strength and courage," he added.
My heart goes out to her 9-year-old son, Adon, who has lost his mother at such a young age and will have to grow up without her. This evil attack reminds me of little Moses, who also lost his parents during the 2008 #Mumbaiattacks.— Ron Malka 🇮🇱 (@DrRonMalka) May 12, 2021
May God give them strength and courage🙏
BJP MP Tejasvi Surya tweeted his support to the nation through Twitter.
We are with you.— Tejasvi Surya (@Tejasvi_Surya) May 12, 2021
Stay strong, Israel. https://t.co/is3HCd00N1