11 Sri Lankans stranded in Gaza arrive home safely

IANS Photo

IANS Photo

COLOMBO, NOVEMBER 5 (IANS): Eleven Sri Lankans from two families, who were stranded in Gaza Strip safely arrived in Sri Lanka on Sunday, a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

The group comprising two adults and nine children had been stranded in Gaza Strip has come through Egypt crossing the Rafah border, Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo announced.

The Foreign Ministry had arranged the logistics and air transportation of the returnees with the assistance of the International Organisation for Migration.

Sri Lankan Ambassador to Israel, Nimal Bandara, told media that 17 Sri Lankans were given permission to leave Gaza through Rafah border crossing.

However, four Sri Lankans who are still stuck in a church in the northern part of the Gaza Strip are unable to reach the border. Additionally nine more Sri Lankans are staying in the West Bank, which belongs to Palestine.

Since the conflict started between Israel and Palestine, two Sri Lankan citizens were confirmed dead.

Following a DNA test done matching the children on Friday, Sri Lanka Mission in Israel confirmed the death of a 48-year-old man.

The Sri Lankan worker in Israel was earlier reported to have been taken hostage by the Hamas militants but it was later confirmed that he had been killed during the Hamas attack in Israel on October 7.

On October 17, Israel authorities confirmed the death of the first Sri Lankan national, who worked as a housemaid there, and the post-mortem done in Sri Lanka revealed she was killed due to shooting and bullet wounds found in the body.