Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Body of Kerala nurse killed in rocket attack on Israel, to be brought home soon: CM Vijayan

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Israeli ambassador to India Ron Malka also rang up the family to convey his government’s condolences. Later he tweeted the photograph of Soumya with her husband and their 9-year-old son.

PUBLISHED ON MAY 12, 2021 11:44 PM IST

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday said the body of Soumya Santosh (32) who was killed in a rocket attack on Israel on Tuesday will be brought to the country soon. He said the state government was in touch with the External Affairs Ministry and Israeli embassy in Delhi.

“It is a sad incident. We are in touch with all to bring her body to the country,” he said. Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan also said her body will be brought to the country at the earliest.

Israeli ambassador to India Ron Malka also rang up the family in the morning to convey his government’s condolences. Later he tweeted the photograph of Soumya with her husband and their 9-year-old son.

“My heart goes out to her nine-year-old son Adon, who lost his mother at such a young age and will have to grow up without her. The evil attack reminds me of little Moshe who lost his parents during the 2008 Mumbai attacks,” he tweeted. He was referring to the case of Moshe Holtezberg, the two and a half year old boy, whose parents were killed during the Mumbai terror attacks of 2008. The boy’s caretaker had saved him miraculously and she later migrated to Israel with Moshe.

Her husband K Santosh, a native of Keerithode in Idukki district, said a rocket sent by Hamas fell on the apartment in Ashkelon in Israel as she was making a video call to him. “She was complaining about the worsening situation and I heard a huge explosion. When I called her after ten minutes there was no answer,” he explained. He said he immediately alerted some of her friends in Israel who later confirmed her death. The elderly woman for whom she worked was also killed in the attack.

Her relatives said she was working in Israel for the last seven years as ‘caregiver’ and she was planning to return next year. Soumya last visited her native place in 2017. Many women from the state especially nurses work in hostile areas due to financial compulsions. In 2014, 46 nurses from the state were rescued from the war-torn Iraq city of Tikrit.

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