‘RIP Soumya Santosh’: Indians in Israel Hold Candle Vigil For Fellow National Killed in Hamas Strike
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‘RIP Soumya Santosh’: Indians in Israel Hold Candle Vigil For Fellow National Killed in Hamas Strike

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Members of the Indian community in Israel held a candle-lit vigil in memory of
an Indian woman, Soumya Santosh, who was killed in a Hamas rocket attack in
the Israeli city of Ashkelon last week.

Ron Malka, Israel’s ambassador to India, shared video footage of the
procession, showing a crowd of Indians holding pictures of Santosh, candles,
and Indian and Israeli flags.

​The video has attracted many emotional reactions from Indians, who have sent
their condolences to the Israeli and Palestinian families who have lost family
because of the violence.

Santosh had lived in Israel for the past seven years, working as a care worker
looking after an elderly woman. She was talking to her husband in India on
video call on the evening of 11 May when a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip
fell on the terrace of her building and killed her.

She is survived by her nine-year-old son who is with his father in India’s
southern state of Kerala.

On 19 May, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin spoke to Santosh’s family in India
and sent his condolences.

Her remains were sent to India on 14 May in a specially arranged flight from
Israel which reached her hometown, Idukki, on 15 May.

Tensions on the Israeli border with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip started to
escalate nearly two weeks ago. Fighting was prompted by the planned eviction
of Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah, a predominantly Palestinian
neighbourhood in East Jerusalem, and the decision by Israeli authorities to
restrict access to the al-Aqsa mosque – one of Islam’s holiest sites – and has
led to the worst violence between Israel and Palestinians in years.

As of today, more than 4,000 rockets have been launched against Israel from
the Strip, and Tel Aviv has responded with strikes on Hamas targets in the
Palestinian enclave. According to the latest data, there have been 12 deaths
on the Israeli side with more than 50 people seriously wounded, and 227 deaths – including 64 children – on the Palestinian side.

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