The ensuing war between Israel and Palestinians has led to the deaths of more than 30 people in just the past two days, one of them being a woman from India who worked as a caregiver in an Israeli town.
Thirty-year-old Soumya Santosh, who hailed from Kerala’s Idukki district, was killed in a rocket attack by Palestinian militants from the Gaza coastal strip. She worked as a caregiver to an old woman in the southern Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon.
Ashkelon, which borders the disputed Gaza Strip, has come under massive fire from Palestinian militants. At least 32 people have so far been killed in the escalation after militants in Gaza fired more than two hundred rockets towards Israel since Monday evening.
Israel too carried out hundreds of air strikes at Hamas and Islamic Jihad locations in Gaza.
Soumya was believed to have been living in Israel for the past seven years and is survived by a nine-year-old son and husband in Kerala. Her 80-year-old elderly charge reportedly survived the air strike on the house but is critical in the hospital as the rocket struck directly on the house.
Local media network Channel 12 reported that the nearest rocket shelter was a minute away from the old lady’s home but they couldn’t reach it in time, while the house itself lacked a fortified room.
Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan condemned the attacks and expressed grief over Soumya’s demise.
“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. We have condemned these attacks and the violence in Jerusalem, and urged restraint by both sides,” he said.
Israeli Ambassador to India Ron Malka took to Twitter to condole the Indian woman’s death.
“On behalf of the state of Israel, I convey heartfelt condolences to the family of Ms. Soumya Santosh, murdered by Hamas indiscriminate terror attack on innocent lives. Our hearts are crying with her 9 years old son that lost his mother in this cruel Terrorist attack,” he said in his tweet.
As per Soumya’s family back home, she was speaking to her husband Santhosh over a video call when the incident took place yesterday evening.
“My brother heard a huge sound during the video call. Suddenly the phone got disconnected. Then we immediately contacted fellow Malayalees working there. Thus, we came to know about the incident.
The mortal remains of Soumya will be brought to her home soon, her relatives and authorities said