15 Oct 2023

Israel-Palestinian Conflict: Nepali Student Taken Hostage By Hamas

Kathmandu: A Nepali student who went missing after a farm in Israel was attacked by Hamas has been taken hostage by the Hamas militant group, the Nepal government said on Sunday adding efforts were on to find him with the help of international organisations.

Hamas carried out a barrage of strikes in Southern Israel on Saturday last which killed 10 Nepali students.

Six students were rescued while one went missing. The 17 Nepalese students were working as interns on the farm under the 'Learn and Earn' scheme.

Foreign Minister N P Saud told a select group of international media representatives at his residence in Kathmandu that Bipin Joshi, who saved the lives of other Nepalese students when Hamas launched a grenade attack on them, had been abducted by the militant group.

Nepal govt seeks help of global organisations and diplomatic missions

Saud said Joshi had been taken hostage by Hamas. Based on information from his colleagues, Hamas took Joshi as a hostage along with a group of Thai nationals. The Nepal government has requested international organisations and diplomatic missions to assist in locating Joshi, he said.

Joshi even threw away one of the two unexploded grenades, which were hurled by the Hamas on them, Saud said.

"The Israeli government has taken control of the dead bodies of the 10 Nepalese students killed in the terrorist attack," he said.

"I spoke with Israel's Foreign Minister Eli Cohen on the matter, and we are working towards bringing back the bodies at the earliest. The Nepalese ambassador to Israel has also expressed a commitment to bringing back the bodies to Nepal as soon as possible, Saud said.

The Nepal government has also issued a travel advisory for its citizens, urging them not to visit Israel unless absolutely necessary and to exercise extreme caution and take necessary safety measures in case the travel is urgent.

Nepal wants a peaceful resolution of the Middle East issue, Saud said in reply to a question.

The attack on our students, some of whom are very young, below 20 years, by Hamas is deplorable, he said.

Hamas targeted the Nepalese students, who were hiding in a bunker, with multiple attacks, including grenade explosions and gunfire, Saud said.

One of the seriously injured students is currently receiving treatment in Israel, he said.

Around 200 Nepalese nationals working in different fields in Israel have filled online forms expressing their desire to return home and the government will soon make some arrangements for their repatriation, the foreign minister said.

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