03/05/2024, 14.50
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Hezbollah missile lands in the Galilee, killing an Indian migrant

The victim, 31-year-old Pat Nibin Maxwell from Kerala, arrived in northern Israel just two months ago to work on a farm. He had a five-year-old daughter and his wife is expecting a second child. Two other Indian nationals were wounded. The Israeli embassy in Delhi extended its condolences to the victim’s family and slammed the "cowardly" attack that puts the spotlight back on the fate of migrant workers, the war’s "forgotten” victims.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews) – An Indian migrant worker was killed yesterday and two others were wounded in Israel by an anti-tank missile fired by Hezbollah against the Jewish state’s so-called northern front in the war with Hamas in Gaza after the latter’s terror attack on 7 October.

The missile hit an orchard in Margaliot, near the border with Lebanon, striking migrant workers from Kerala, southern India, raising the number of “forgotten victims” killed, wounded or held hostage by the radical Palestinian movement.

The man who was killed was called Pat Nibin Maxwell, 31, from Kollam; he had arrived in Israel just two months ago to be employed as a farm worker despite the war.

His remains are being kept at Israel's Ziv hospital awaiting orders by Israeli authorities and the Indian embassy. He leaves behind a five-year-old daughter and his wife, who is pregnant with their second child.

Speaking to Press Trust of India (PTI), Zaki Heller, spokesman for Magen David Adom (the Israeli Red Cross), said the missile hit a plantation in Margaliot, near a moshav (collective agricultural community) in the Galilee region, around 11 am.

The other two wounded men are Bush Joseph George and Paul Melvin, who were also hospitalised.

George “was taken to the Beilinson hospital in Petah Tikva after suffering injuries on face and body. He underwent an operation, is recovering well, and has been kept under observation," an official source said, adding that he had already been able to “speak with his family in India."

Melvin was slightly injured and is being treated at the Ziv Hospital in the northern Israeli city of Safed. He is originally from the Idukki district, Kerala.

Pathrose Maxwell, the victim's father, said he received a phone call from his daughter-in-law yesterday at around 4:30 pm, informing him that his son had been in an accident. Later, at around half past midnight, he was informed of his son's death.

"I have three children, while two are in Israel, one is working in Abu Dhabi," the victim's father said reacting to the news. "Pat Nibin has one daughter. She is five years old. His wife is seven months pregnant," he added.

Meanwhile, the Israeli embassy in Delhi expressed its sorrow over the death of the Indian national and said that the wounded were receiving medical treatment.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), the diplomatic mission said it was "deeply shocked and saddened" by Hezbollah’s “cowardly terror attack" against "peaceful agricultural workers who were cultivating an orchard”.

Asian migrant workers, from Thailand to Nepal, are the "forgotten face" of the war in the Holy Land between Israel and Hamas, triggered by the 7 October attack that caused 1,200 casualties on the Israeli side and more than 31,000 Palestinian deaths, mostly civilians, including women and children.

To date, at least three Thai migrants (who do not have dual passports) remain in the hands of the radical movement that controls Gaza, but the real number is uncertain, and their fate unknown.

The situation of abducted migrant workers has elicited less media coverage than that of other hostages with fewer diplomatic efforts made to secure their release.

With 24 migrants killed, Thailand has paid the greatest toll in blood in the war between Israel and Ham, while another 21 of its citizens are missing.

Government sources in Bangkok say that, to date, at least 8,160 Thais living in Israel have applied for repatriation.

Some Thai workers were employed on farms near the Gaza border when the attack took place in early October.

(Nirmala Carvalho contributed to this article)

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See also
Hamas attacks, Israel's bombs, and freedom: A Thai hostage tells his story
10/04/2024 14:57
Israel opens doors to Asian migrants to replace Palestinian workers
22/01/2024 14:54
Uncertain fate for 'forgotten' Thai and Nepali hostages in Gaza
15/01/2024 19:24
Gaza: Lebanon hostage to Hezbollah. Southern Christians fear 'large-scale war'
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Asian migrants, Hamas’s forgotten hostages
27/10/2023 19:18


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